What Does It Mean to Be Free?
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” ~Jesus
Today is July 4th, 2018! The day our country celebrates its freedom! But what does it mean to truly be free? We have many freedoms as Americans—many more than most of the countries of this world. But what does freedom mean? We all have an opinion about this subject.
Is real freedom the right to act on my sexual desires however I see fit?
Is freedom the ability to speak my mind without worry of imprisonment?
Is freedom enjoying and showing God’s grace–unless I have to give this grace away to those who disagree with me politically?
Maybe true freedom is financial freedom?
Then again, we might call freedom, “freedom from an addiction” or “freedom from a relationship.”
Is real freedom the freedom to practice a religion? Or freedom to believe in nothing at all?
What does it mean to be free?…Paul told the Galatians this:
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
What was the heavy, uncomfortable yoke he was referring to? Legalism. Attempting to improve their status with God through Mosaic Law observance. The church in Galatia had gotten bored with faith in Christ alone and needed their ears tickled–they needed to be told to do something else. We modern-day American Christians do the same thing when we have a laundry list of “things to do and not do” to improve our faith.
For us, WE. ARE. FREE–we are already free, and there’s nothing else we can do to cause ourselves to be more free. I’m not talking about our physical bodies—although those are free too—but I’m talking about us, you and I, believer. We are literally free spirits.
Our spirit is free from the power of sin.
I know that sounds religious, and it preaches good when people say this from the pulpit, but I’m not talking about sinful actions and attitudes. I’m talking about the force of sin–not the verbs of sin (these verbs are better known as “sinning”). The actual power of sin is what we are truly free from!
From the moment we first believed Jesus forgave us, our spirit was literally crucified with Christ in the spiritual realm, buried, and then raised back to life as a new, perfect, sinless spirit, who is forever enmeshed with Christ’s own Spirit. We got a brand new spirit! Look:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
The first I in that verse is our old, sinful spirit. The second I is our new, sinless spirit! Here’s more proof:
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Romans 6:6-8)
Paul is not talking about later on in heaven–HE’S TALKING ABOUT NOW! This stuff has happened–past tense–to every single believer equally! We have been set free from the power of sin and placed inside of God forever! We are new creations inside of Christ!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3)
Friend, it doesn’t matter if you felt it–it happened. Our salvation–the receiving of our new, sinless spirit–is not based on our feelings or exuding a supernatural gift. It’s based on our faith in Jesus’ ability to forgive us once and for all time (see Hebrews 7:25, 10:10, Ephesians 2:8-9). Believing this truth sets us free from the power of sin, right now, not later on when our physical shell wears out.
This might be difficult to understand because the modern American church has attempted to make us believe we are free from sin when we stop sinning, or when we sin less. This is not what Paul was referencing in Romans 6 (nor was he talking about water when he said “baptized into Christ”–not once does he mention a liquid). With such an incorrect theology of “you’re completely forgiven of your sin until you sin” fear and hypocrisy runs rampant. Paul was talking about the force of sin.
When Adam and Eve chose to no longer believe God about their perfect identity, and instead were sold on the “knowledge” of good and evil by Satan, a power entered into our physical realm called sin (see Romans 5:12). Like gravity, it’s everywhere. Even as a believer, it’s still a parasite in our physical bodies (see Romans 7)–not in our spirits, but in our flesh.
Sin is the batter that Satan and his demonic morons use to cook up ideas in our mind which will lead us toward ungodly choices and thinking. From the opening book of the Bible, we are warned about the power of sin:
“Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (See Genesis 4:7)
Do you see that sin is an it?
Jesus said we are really only slaves when we are slaves to sin (see John 8:34). But then He makes the claim that He Himself can set us free from this crippling power! (John 8:36). How? Only through a new spiritual birth into the family of God, by grace through faith.
He tried to explain this very thing to a very legalistic man as they met up under the cloak of night so his religious buddies wouldn’t find out:
Don’t be surprised when I say, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7)
When we act on this supernatural force in our flesh, we create the verbs of sin—or “sinning.” Thankfully, for those who believe in the power of the Cross, Jesus has taken all of our sins committed away–past, present, and future! How is this possible? Because He is not bound by time like us! (See John 1:29, 1 John 3:5, 2 Peter 3:8). Further, just because the power of sin suggests something, that doesn’t mean we have to act on it, therefore bringing it to life through our physical members: our hands, feet, mouth, and even our brain.
We are dead to this power and alive in Christ! (See Romans 6:11). We are holy, blameless, and set apart from sin! (See Colossians 1:22). So we don’t have to act like slaves to sin. That’s what we are doing when we choose to sin–we are acting. Christians are not slaves to sin, we are free! Paul said:
“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have become obedient from the heart…You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” (See Romans 6:17-18)
SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS?! I need to repeat that: slaves to righteousness? Slaves means you have no choice in the matter! Christian, do you see it? Do you see that your new birth has caused you to become a new creation who is shackled to rightness with God?! You are chained to holiness!
YOUR SPIRIT IS BOUND UP IN GODLY PERFECTION FOREVER! (See Hebrews 10:14).
How?!…Only by way of what Jesus did at the Cross. Only by way of a supernatural rebirth. Only by way of receiving a new, sinless spirit, who is connected to the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. Not by what you do or don’t do, but by who you are, your new identity; by your one-time spiritual death and resurrection, now, not later. The only new thing that will happen later is you will get a new physical body (like Jesus’ new physical body) and the power of sin will be banished forever (see 1 Corinthians 15:52, Hebrews 9:28, Revelation 21:4).
Christian, you are complete as of now (see Colossians 2:9-10). You are free, as of now. Therefore, live free.
So today, my friends, know this: True freedom is being free from sin—the power. True freedom is walking out our identity of not allowing this power to come to life through our actions and attitudes. True freedom is realizing we rule over sin–not the other way around. We are dead to it! Freedom is knowing that sin has no authority over us! True freedom is coming to the knowledge that even when we don’t walk according to our true nature—sinless, righteous, holy spirits—the Cross will never allow the power of sin to have any dominion over who we are! We are free, Christian! We have the deepest level of freedom on all the earth, not just in America! Enjoy it and live it out!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, thank you for true freedom. Thank you for my new self, my new identity, and my new family. You brought me into your family by faith when I was just a young boy, but since then you’ve taught me what it truly means to be your child. Thank you, Dad. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who don’t understand what you’ve done to their spirits, reveal the truth to them. Let them know you’ve recreated them in your Son if they believe He has forgiven them! Let them know such a belief has set them free from the power of sin and is irreversible! Reveal their true identity today! Reveal the infiniteness of your grace which is the basis of our freedom! In Christ’s name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from The Christian Identity, Volume 1. Get your copy here!