not just free, free indeed

Around the world, people long for and fight for freedom. This includes human rights and the ability to worship as they please, pursue their dreams, succeed or fail based on their own talent and hard work, and so much more. This freedom is precious, and hope exists for those of us who enjoy this type of freedom. We earnestly pray for those who don’t and for the elimination of political oppression and corruption around the world.

The tricky part about earthly freedom, though—the thing so many millions of people never understand—is that in this life, we’re never fully and completely free. We can’t be because we are not God. Only God is completely self-existent, self-determinant, omniscient, all-powerful, outside of time, and unconstrained by this physical world. We who are not God remain governed by the physical and spiritual laws of the universe. Romans 13:1 (ESV) says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”

What’s more, our history proves free will can be very dangerous, and we’re not equipped to handle it. Consider Adam and Eve, the first and most perfect humans. They sinned, and humanity (plus the physical world) has borne the consequences ever since. We are fallen, and even the best of us can’t change our eternal destinies alone.

The wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23), and this debt must be paid. Thankfully, God was willing to not only rescue us from the consequences of Adam’s sin, but our own, as well.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”—Romans 5:8 (ESV)

Jesus paid for all sins committed by all people—past, present, and future—with His blood on the cross. However, His gift must be freely accepted. With that, our illusions of self-direction are purposefully traded for the acknowledgement of Jesus as not just Savior, but Lord.

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”—John 8:36 (ESV)

Yes, to be free we must deliberately relinquish control and submit our lives to God. It’s a little mind-bending to be sure, but we are all in “service” to something or someone at all times, and the freedom we enjoy in this life is best used to secure the hope of Heaven and to help others do the same.

So, as we contemplate and celebrate freedom—with all its pleasures and pitfalls—let’s also be sure to share with our family and friends that the path to spiritual freedom can’t be found in success, power, fame, money, physical beauty, or any other worldly gain. The greatest freedom is liberty from the eternal penalty of sin through Jesus Christ.

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”—John 8:36 (ESV) 

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