The True Meaning of spiritual Freedom
This is a special time of the year in our country when we remember our freedom. We are celebrating the 66th Independence Day of our Nation. What a privilege it is for us to mark the celebration and be a part of the largest democratic nation in the world! We are proud of our Motherland, the patriots who sacrificed their lives to give us this freedom, the incredible heritage, unique culture, unity in diversity and her significant contribution to global peace, harmony and brotherhood. India has witnessed agricultural revolution, industrial revolution, Information revolution; and we are now into economic driven revolution and ecological awareness, in mobilizing nations. But, in spite of all these matters of pride and glorious achievements, there still exists a serious vacuum in the heart of every human. We seek for true freedom – a freedom with eternal assurance.
But I suppose that all of us are very much aware of the fact that the freedom we enjoy is in the day in which we live being terribly abused. We look at our world and we see those things that demonstrate to us how we abuse our freedom...high crime, for example, Every morning we have been confronted by “Breaking News” in the media, which pains and grips our heart with terror. Ethnic and communal violence, riots, insurgency, murder, terrorism, hijack, scams, and corruption, hit the headlines. Other news like drug menace, rapes, child abuse, kidnapping, underworld activities, ecological imbalance, economical instability, political warfare, discrimination, exploitation and poverty etc. add to our misery. And all of those things that mark our society are the abusive of our freedoms.
No one who does wrong can be called free. The Holy Bible says, “All wrongdoing is sin….” (1 John 5:17). “For sin is the Breaking of God’s laws.” (1 John 3:4). “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34). The Bible also says, “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) Those who break God’s law will have to pay a heavy price. It is appointed for Men to die once but after this the judgment (Heb 9:27). Everyone will have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ. There, no one will be able to escape the result of their deeds.
A question you may ask is, “Can’t a Loving God overlook our sins and forgive us, just like a father would forgive his son?” Suppose if a man were a judge in a court and his own son was being tried, accused of some crime, will he tell his son, “Son, I love you, so, I forgive you. I won’t punish you”? No earthly judge with the slightest sense of justice and integrity would ever do such a thing. Being Holy, Righteous and the God of Justice, God will punish sin, wherever, it is found (Romans 2:12).
Another question you may ask Has God done anything for me in this one life, in preparation for the Judgment Day?
Yes Bible declares that “For God so loved the world that He gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John.3: 16).
Jesus Christ, the Son of God loves us and gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all wickedness. (Rf Eph.5: 2, Titus 2:14). For your salvation, there is one God and one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all men. (1 Tim. 2:5-6). " It was the love of God that moved Him to sacrifice His only Son for sinful mankind. It is unexplainable how a holy God could so love sinful creatures that He would sacrifice His only Son to pay for our sins in order that we might be saved, But He did! He did this for you: He did this for me. Jesus is our gift from God. He will set you free.
Jesus said “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:32.Psalm 119:142 says “Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.”Bible also says “The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.”(Psalm 19:7) God’s laws are the rules of the spiritual Kingdom of God and His way of life, and they are divine truth and perfect in intent, equity and administration. The law of God is eternal and does not change with time or peoples or places. As Creator and Lord over His creation, God has established His law by which He governs and holds all things accountable. The law of God is an expression of His desired will, which has been revealed to all mankind in various degrees. It is the manifestation of the mind of God and is the standard by which He judges and declares what is good and evil. It is a reflection of God's own moral character: everything that God is, He demands the same from His creation; that which God would never do, He thus forbids His creation. It is only through this perfect moral compatibility by God's law that fellowship between the Creator and creation is possible. If God's law is not perfectly upheld, it demands justice—that God be vindicated and transgressors punished.
God's law is written on the hearts of all men. Conscientious convictions demonstrate the work of the law on the heart. Those who have ever violated these convictions have broken the law written on their hearts and are guilty, regardless if they have ever heard about God's commandments in Scripture. God's standard of morality and righteousness is also revealed in greater detail by the law of Moses, most prominently in the Bible. God's standard of morality and righteousness finds its supreme revelation and fulfillment in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Christ not only upheld the law of Moses—He greatly exceeded it. Through Christ, the full spiritual intent of the law of Moses is brought to light. The law of God is perfect; it is truth, and is holy, just, and good. It is the demonstration of God's unfailing justice, it upholds the absolute perfect standard of morality and righteousness, and it determines true love toward God and mankind; with no other standard of morality in the world measuring up to it. The law is spiritual and is not concerned merely with outward appearance or external practice but all the more with inward realities; it governs the heart and converts the soul.
God has revealed His law to all men to such an extent that all are without excuse. Though the law may be revealed in greater detail to a certain number of people at certain times, there is nonetheless a general revelation that transcends all ages, generations, peoples, nations, and cultures. The things of God and His law have been made so clearly evident to all that He remains perfectly just in condemning those who have continued on in rebellion. Moreover, those who reject the general revelation of God's law have already demonstrated rebellion against Him and prove unworthy of any additional revelation. Therefore, God is not obligated to reveal His law in greater detail to all as this is purely an act of undeserved mercy and grace.
Real freedom, therefore, is not restricted by law; in fact it can flourish only under the law. Freedom is not merely absence of bondage but it is the presence of God, “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”( 2 Corinthians 3:17) And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty; which may be understood of the third person in the Godhead; where he is as a spirit of illumination, there is freedom from former blindness and darkness; where he is as a spirit of regeneration and sanctification, there is freedom from the bondage of sin, and captivity of Satan; where he is as a comforter, there is freedom from the fear of hell, wrath, and damnation: where he is as a spirit of adoption, there is the freedom of children with a father; where he is as a spirit of prayer and supplication, there is liberty of access to God with boldness, No one who does wrong can be called free. Jesus said “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”Jn 8:32. Real freedom, therefore, is not restricted by law; in fact it can flourish only under the divine law. True Freedom is being virtuous, free from anxiety, perplexity, and fear, being brave & wise. Responsible freedom is a value to be acquired, a gift to be cherished, and a quality to be cultivated.
We are free only if we surrender ourselves to God. We are free in the measure in which we are generous and unselfish. To misuse freedom is to sin. Sinners are not free but a slave of their passions. Jesus said, “Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin” Jn8:34. Self surrender is the secret of self liberation.Freedom means doing good to all. Speaking evil of none, hearing before judging, holding an angry tongue, thinking before speaking, being kind to the distressed, asking pardon for every wrong, being patient towards everybody, stopping the ears to a talebearer, disbelieving most of the ill- reports. These are the marks of one who diligently guards the freedom, one enjoys. The faithful man is free, and the free man is faithful. If you want to be free? Then, Put your faith in God, not in man.
A story was told about a man— who kept a large Snake as a pet. He used to take pride, in showing it to the public and playing with it. People used to enjoy the show and throw money to him. One day, as usual, he took the snake on the public street and allowed the snake to coil around him, with its uplifted hood. Unlike other days, the snake behaved in a very strange manner, which, the spectators failed to realize. People enjoyed the show and as usual showered him with money. Little did they know that inside the man was suffocating and was having all his ribs and bones broken. In the struggle for life, he started to be restless. The Snake crushed him. and he died.
Sin is like playing with a snake, first it may entertain you, but ultimately, it will destroy you. That which we consider as pleasure giver initially, ends up, in a major disaster, even to the extent of losing one’s life.
The Death and resurrection of Christ gives us the gift of a full “Abundant Life” with real freedom,joy, peace and happiness. The new life in Jesus, frees us from the devastating hold and effects of sin, guilt and death (Rf.1 Cor. 15:7; Rom. 8:1; Heb. 10; 22; 1 John 1:7). The resurrection power provides us the POWER and GRACE to live a truly Glorious and Everlasting life.
The death of Jesus on the Cross-doesn’t automatically offer Salvation or freedom SINS.
Let me illustrate the fact with a story. Once a man was once condemned to death for a violent crime. His close friend could obtain a pardon from the President. For some strange reason, the condemned man refused to accept the pardon. A special court was called to decide the case. The decision was “The pardon would have been valid if the condemned man had received it, but, as, he had rejected the same, the pardon could not be applicable.” The man was executed. Nobody was saddened than the friend who had strived to save him.
Salvation is God’s gift to every person. But, no one can receive God’s forgiveness and salvation unless and until one personally receives this forgiveness through repentance and faith in Jesus. If one refuses to accept the gift of God’s Salvation, it is painful, for God, but the person who refuses the Eternal Gift will be condemned.” Except you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke. 13:3,5). Bible says, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the evil man his thoughts and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon (Isa. 55:7).”
Repentance means that we get rid of the sinful person within, the old behavior, bury the past; and we clothe ourselves with the Divine Nature and Character of Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new (II Cor 5:17). Not only do we stop doing those things, which are contrary to Christ’s Character, but also we "start" doing those things, which are in line with Christ-like behavior and His teachings.
Jesus said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” . Your sins will be forgiven and your heart will be cleansed by the blood of Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary (John 1:7,9). The Bible says that God gives eternal life to those who Repent to God and Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Act 20:21).Jesus is standing beside you and inviting you to make Him the Lord of your life, “Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any one hear my voice and open the door I will come into him”. “What will it PROFIT a MAN, if he GAINS the WHOLE WORLD and LOSES his OWN SOUL?" (Mark 8:36). In order to set us free from Sin and Death, Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice on the Cross-. Only Jesus can give you Eternal Life. Jesus is extending an invitation to you, to open your heart and let him come in. You can open your heart and receive Forgiveness, Acceptance, Love and Assurance of Everlasting life.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, “(Romans 12:1)