Greetings brothers and sisters… Pastor Rob here
This coming week we celebrate the Fourth of July… Independence Day… Freedom from the tyranny of another nation. Freedom is a precious thing! According to the Declaration of Independence, it is one of the “inalienable rights” granted to us by our Creator. (Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness)
Americans are blessed to live in a free country. But believers in Christ are doubly blessed, because we are spiritually free in Christ Jesus. We are free from the penalty of sin; free from the curse of the law; free from the fear of death; free to be a willing servant to others. All these freedoms were purchased for us when Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead. The gospel is a declaration of freedom! Apart from Christ, people are slaves to their sins. Paul describes that bleak condition in the book of Ephesians: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Eph. 2:1-3) That is the grim picture of people who are totally enslaved by sin.
But, praise God! Paul continues with these amazing words: “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:4-6) And that is the glorious picture of people who have been set free from their sin, and have been united with Christ through faith.
There is another freedom that I just love to talk about! It is a future of freedom that is ours because we belong to Jesus. I’m talking about freedom from the slavery we endure because we are trapped in these bodies of flesh! Our frail bodies, which house our sinful natures, are the cause of multitudes of woes that afflict us! Our flesh, (sinful nature) is in constant conflict with the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. (Gal. 5:17) O, how we struggle against the motions of sin in our flesh! And not only are we afflicted by our sinful natures, but our frail bodies are falling apart! The apostle Paul declares that we “groan” because of our earthly bodies! But our groaning is only for a short time, for we know that we are going to receive a brand new body when Christ returns. So, when we have discarded these old bodies, along with our sinful natures, and have been clothed with our glorious bodies, we will live in perfect, eternal FREEDOM! Hallelujah!…”Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed!” (John 8:36)