photo courtesy of muffet
Freedom in Christ
Dear fellow disciple-makers,
The 4th of July is a special holiday for those of us who live in the United States. It marks the day the Declaration of Independence was signed by our nation's founding fathers. The primary focus of this document is freedom.
The first president of the United States, George Washington, declared, "The time is near and we must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves."
Free and Independent People
This simple desire to be a free and independent people is what led Thomas Jefferson to write, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Jesus' Message of Freedom
When our Lord came to earth he also brought a message of freedom. In the early days of his public ministry, he announced that God had sent him to preach good news to the poor and proclaim freedom for the prisoners (Luke 4:18).
The good news of salvation through Jesus frees us from the penalty of sin. In addition, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead enables every follower to be set free from the power of sin that so easily controls our lives.
photo courtesy of lel4nd
Forgiven, but NOT Free?
I have observed that many followers of Jesus feel forgiven, but not free. In short, they continue to live in a type of spiritual and emotional prison. Jesus promised that the truth will set us free, but spiritual freedom continues to be illusive to many that claim Jesus as their savior.
People are imprisoned by many things, but the four most common "spiritual prisons" I have observed are these: The prison of bitterness, guilt, lust, and worry. As the Spirit of God applies the Word of God into our heart Jesus can set us free.
The Holy Spirit Can Set You Free
This is a spiritual battle and the battle for the control of our minds is fierce one. The scriptures teach: The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (I John 4: 4). Our enemy wants us to remain a spiritual prisoner. Jesus wants to set us free. The decision is ours. Will we learn and meditate on the words of truth, or trust our own common sense without God?
I encourage you to spend time with Jesus this 4th of July. Thank him for his forgiveness and ask him to set you free from the prison that is consuming your thoughts and robbing your joy.
Open to the Spirit and the Word
Jesus has the power to forgive us and set us free. Being open to the Spirit and the Word is the secret to winning any spiritual battle.
Author: Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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