True Freedom Found Only in Christ

 


Freedom is at the heart of a lot of our country’s history and national holidays. There is Martin Luther Jr’s Day, and his, “I Have a Dream,” speech declaring freedom at last. Just a couple of weeks ago, President Biden signed into law the “Juneteenth Bill,” making June 19 a Federal Holiday, commemorating the freedom declared by the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862 for enslaved people in the US in the aftermath of the Civil. We experience religious freedom because of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And we just celebrated one of our most foundational holidays on July 4, commemorating the passage of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, declaring our nationhood and freedom from Great Britain rule. But I believe true freedom is found only in Christ.

Once upon a time, in Africa, the king of one tribe was taken prisoner by a bitter enemy and carried off to his distant territory. There he was chained to a heavy iron weight, but allowed to move about as he could drag or carry the heavy weight. He longed to be free and return to his own tribe again. One day, a European traveler, passing through the country, saw the poor man and had pity on the captive king. He dared not try to help him openly, but he did get permission to give the poor captive a Bible. Well, the captive king wasn’t interested at all in the Bible. He wished the traveler had given him food or clothing or money. So, he put the Bible to one side and never looked at it.


Three years went by and one day, bored with nothing to do, he picked up the Bible, and as he was looking through it, he felt something hard inside the back cover. It was a metal file. Well, slowly he made his way to the woods, with his chain and weight, and began to file away at the chain. He worked and he worked till at last the chain fell off. He was free! At once he set out for home, traveling by night to keep out of sight, and before long he was safe at home again.


Moral of the story? He had endured three years of needless slavery. Why? Because He did not look inside the Book. It is not enough just to have a Bible, we need to read it and find Christ in it! I believe that Jesus can make us free, for true freedom is found only in Christ! Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:31,32-36)


Today, as we open our Bibles to Romans Chapter 8, we discover the spiritual Declaration of Independence from sin for the believer in Jesus Christ. Paul is saying that you and I, as Christians, can enjoy four wonderful freedoms in Christ.

1. When we look back to our past, in Christ, there is no condemnation, we are free from guilt and

judgment, because of the gift of Righteousness from Christ. (Read Romans 8: 1-4)

2. When we look within ourselves, in Christ, there is no obligation to sin, we are free from temptation

and defeat, because of the gift of the Holy Spirit living in us. (Read Romans 8: 5-17)

3. When we look around in our world, in Christ, there is no frustration, we are free from

discouragement, because of the gift of Glory in Christ. (Read Romans 8: 18-30) The ability to think

and see beyond our present circumstances gives us hope in times of disappointment and tribulation.

4. When we look ahead to our future, in Christ, we have freedom from fear. There is no separation,

because of the free gift of God’s Love and Assurance. (Read Romans 8: 31-39)

Are you afraid of what lies in your future? Remember He who loves you will never leave you nor forsake you. Are you discouraged and in despair? Then turn your eyes upon Jesus and get a glimpse of His Glory and Hope. Are you tempted and feeling spiritually frustrated and defeated? Then turn to God’s Power and let the Holy Spirit give you His victory. Are you living under a cloud of guilt and feeling condemned? Remember the gift of Righteousness from Jesus and let Him clothe you. So, no matter where you look, as a believer in Christ, you are victorious in Jesus Christ! True Freedom is found only in Christ. Please don’t just endure needlessly, but open the Book and let Jesus set you free! (Homework Assignment – Read Romans Chapter 8)


Retired Pastor Jim Nichols –

Sidney Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

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