- He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners.
- It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
- You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love,joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.Against such things there is no law.
- But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
- Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom.
- Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
-Luke 4:18b, Galatians 5:1a, 13, 22-23; James 1:25, 2:12; 1 Peter 2:16 (NIV)
Freedom. What does that word mean to you? It means a lot to a slave or someone in prison. We were all slaves and prisoners, and Christ set us free. He set us free from sin and death, religion and demonic bondage. People are bound, enslaved, and imprisoned today; and Jesus is still setting them free.
Now that we are free, what do we do? How then shall we live? Like a freed slave, a concentration camp survivor, or one freed from being a hostage; we are now in a new ball-game. The game-changer intervened, and things are different. Our way of life is now going to be marked by freedom, instead of bondage.
That means that we have been freed from some bondage, and now we are going live out a life, of getting and keeping that bondage out of us. Jesus took us out of something and now he is taking that something out of us. We have to cooperate for that to happen though.
For example, a slave can be freed, legally and physically. But getting the slavery: style, persona, way-of-thinking, or identity; out of the freed person, is another matter. He set you free to live freely. That sounds obvious, but many people get freed, but do not live free.
When you are set free, you are set free to live right, or to live wrong. That is true freedom. We are free to sin and get into bondage again, but we should not do that. Freedom is so real that you can get in trouble with it. That is the way that God operates with us. He requires our responsibility. We have to choose.
The law of freedom or liberty is the whole word of God. All the wisdom and counsel contained in the Bible is meant to teach you or train you to walk with God, to walk in love, to know God and to trust God. We are not coming into bondage with God's word, but it rather shows us the better way of love.
When you live by love, walking before God, giving yourself to God, in thankfulness, trusting him and obeying him; you let God fulfill his ways in your life. The Spirit of God's fruit is what you produce and live in. That is the Jesus way, the Christlike way.
We become slaves of God. But these are a different kind of slave. It is all voluntary. It is from love and not servitude. We are sons and daughters who are love slaves of Jesus. His freedom is what we live in. Free to receive and free to give. We want to set others free with his love too. His ministry and mission is ours.