You are free. You just don’t know it yet.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery… For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another…. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Galatians 5
Oh beloved, it is true.
The freedom we have been given comes to us at an astronomical price. And, if we think about it, we realize that we can’t truly comprehend it. The very G_d of the universe, in counsel among His Triune self, chose this path before the foundations of this earth were laid.
G_d, The One Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of G_d, begotten of His Father before all worlds, G_d from G_d, Light from Light, very G_d of very G_d, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father… This One, the One through Whom all things came to be, chose to submit to the wrath of the Triune Father’s justice, and the wrath of His own creation on the cross.
All of this; every iota of this was born of the fabric of Who They Are: Love. And so, Love Himself laid down His Life for ours, and as ours to pay for our sins. But He also died that the slavery we had to our own selves would be abolished as well.
More simply, Christ’s death was not a passive payment for bad deeds. It was that, but it was more. Christ’s death was an active advance of the dominion of G_d across His creation. Jesus Christ, in His dying, also took us with Him through this death that we might not only be innocent of our transgressions, but also free from the need to keep transgressing.
Jesus not only beat sin and death, He beat our fallen flesh too. Jesus victory at the cross was so astounding! What looked like a beat-down on a prophet was actually Him crushing the head of the vilest trio of enemies that have ever existed: Sin, Death, and our fallen Flesh.
The effect of such a victory is so overwhelming that we may be stunned by the force of its eternal blast. We may miss it altogether. The freedom that He has bought for us has broken down the prison doors of all three enemies.
Can we see it?
Actually we can’t. And so, many of us brothers have sat in our prison cells, still convinced that we are locked into a pattern of failure. The lies we have listened to have beaten such a path, that we think there is no other way. But there is.
What if we just got up, and walked out of the prison we think we are still in? What if we simply allowed The Love that started this whole revolution in the first place to usher us into the freedom that has already been purchased for us? What if?
Are you still sitting in your prison cell? Have you walked back into it? This fool of a writer has haunted the doorstep a few times in the years since i walked out. Oh yes, the flesh will make a play in opposition to the freedom we have in The Spirit. It will never really quit, but we don’t have to listen to something that is no longer part of who we really are.
Because of our union with Him, in His freedom, the voice of your new, true inner man sounds like the Holy Spirit. That voice is loving and joyful and patient and good and whole… and free.
So, hopefully this all is fairly clear. Do you want to sit in a prison you no longer need to inhabit? You do have that choice, though the price is exceedingly high. Or, do you want to walk out into the Light of His Presence?
Tonight is your night. Maybe no one has told you before, so let me do it now (for both you and me). GET UP. WALK OUT! DON’T GO BACK!
In truth there is only one freedom – the holy freedom of Christ, whereby He freed us from sin, from evil, from the devil. It binds us to God. All other freedoms are illusory, false, that is to say, they are all, in fact, slavery.
~ Justin Popovich