Day 21: Freedom in Christ

Day 21 - Freedom in Christ

Reading:  John 8:36, 1 Peter 2:24,  Romans 6:5-14


The first part of this passage is stating we have been united with Christ in his death.  Meaning, our old sinful nature has been crucified, our old sinful self is dead. It is important to see our sin as dead so we are no longer slaves to that sin.  Sin no longer has power over us.  But just as our sin died with Christ, we are also given new life with Christ. And the power of Christ now lives in us. And if Christ lives in us, we live to please God and not ourselves.

So if I’m dead to this sin, why do I still feel the temptation to sin?  It’s a battle of the Living Spirit within you and the flesh.  God still gives us choices, he doesn’t make us robots. Our flesh with our old life has been trained with old sinful habits, it’s influenced by the world, and the devil still seeks to tempt us. BUT the living power of God that now lives in us is fighting the flesh. And when we surrender to God and His will, when we commune with him daily, when we allow God’s Word to influence our thoughts, actions and emotions the battle with the flesh becomes less intense.

Romans 6:5-14 is a powerful passage. And it might be easy to understand that Christ’s death set us free but it’s hard to truly live out in our lives. At least for me it was.

I gave my life to Christ back in my last year of college. My old sinful self was quite nasty.  It was selfish and prideful.  I did things to my body I shouldn’t have.  I treated people the way I shouldn’t have.  I have one sin in particular that I’ll never forget.  But when I gave my life to Christ I knew that I was a new creation.  The old was gone and the new had come.   Jesus had forgiven my sin.  I knew he could forgive all sin.  So I allowed him to help me fight my battle against the flesh and my old sinful ways.  On the surface, life was good and I was being a good Christian.  But I never felt free.  I always wondered how I could live such a blessed life with such an icky past.  Until one day, a sermon changed my life.

He explained the brutality of the cross and why Jesus went through all the pain and suffering.  He did it because of his deep love for us and he wanted to set us free.  But freedom just doesn’t mean forgiveness it means breaking the chains of sin that holds us captive.  I still had these chains.  Then our pastor went on to challenge us to take these burdens and physically lay them at the foot of the cross, to let them go and give them to God.  I still couldn’t.  But then he pointed to the cross.  What he said next changed it all for me.  “And when you don’t. When you selfishly hold onto those burdens. You make a mockery of the cross.”

...mockery of the cross.

Think about that. I did and it changed everything for me. What Jesus went through was horrific and he did it so you and I could live in complete and utter freedom.  And when I didn't except this gift of freedom he so sacrificially and selflessly gave me, it showed my heart didn't truly understand, maybe even respect, him and all he gave up on the cross. It showed a scoffers glance.  So I laid my past down, I laid my sin down, I laid my burdens at the cross.  The weight has been lifted and I live in freedom.

Jesus didn’t just die to forgive us.  He died to completely set us free.  Free from sin. Free from death. Free from the chains that hold us captive.

  The power of sin is broken and we live in the freedom of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus broke the chains of sin and death. We are no longer slaves to sin. Sin no longer has a stronghold. We have been set free and given new life.  We get to live in the freedom of God’s grace. His wounds have healed us.

So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. - John 8:36