MM00045 Free indeed
Mentoring Manna: Free indeed!
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
John 8:31-36 “’If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, “You will be made free?”’ Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.’” Freedom. It is a value that we all hold dear. Yet freedom is hard to define. Here in America, it seems our definition of freedom has come to include a license for every type of sin and fleshly indulgence. But what is the purpose of freedom? Freedom means “free dominion.” In creation, God’s purpose for man included the responsibility to exercise dominion on the earth. Freedom is therefore the liberty to exercise our responsibility in this life to pursue and possess God’s will. It is the liberty to fulfill our destiny. Freedom is not a selfish virtue. Freedom includes the liberty and responsibility to use our gifts and our purpose in life to serve one another. In so doing, we liberate others do the same thing. But sin has distorted God’s purpose of “free dominion.” “Domination” is sin’s perversion of “dominion.” Domination leads to slavery. Slavery is any attempt to “dominate” or control another person’s life in a way that robs them of their God-given right of “free dominion.” In essence, slavery is robbery of another person’s destiny. Usually when we speak of slavery, we think of black slavery in America before the civil war or of Hebrew slavery in Egypt before Moses. We understand that human slavery is evil because it robs individuals of the liberty to pursue their own personal destiny. But Jesus made it clear that we have all been slaves to sin. It is well known that alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling, food, debt spending, bitterness, unforgiveness, rage, and the like rob a person of their full potential in life. These things stunt healthy personal development and hinder a person’s ability to succeed at home, at work, with finances, and in doing the will of God. We may claim to be free, but we are actually enslaved by the sin we continue to commit. Jesus did not die on the cross so that we might simply go to heaven one day. He did not come to comfort us in our slavery by encouraging us to “hold on” until death when we would finally be free. Jesus Christ came to deliver us from our slavery to sin in the here and now. If we belong to Christ, then we are free! We are now released in our God-given right of free dominion. The reality we need to embrace is this: If Jesus Christ has set us free, then we are free indeed!
Application: Paul said that we are not to use our liberty as an opportunity for the flesh but through love we are to serve one another (Galatians 5:13). Freedom has a higher purpose than self-centered living. We are now free to serve others. Jesus did not set us free from the slavery to sin so that we could indulge in it again. If we return to the pigpen of sin, we will once again be enslaved. Freedom is not an opportunity for the flesh but is an opportunity to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. Freedom is an opportunity to minister hope and healing to those who have been crippled and robbed through their enslavement to sin. Freedom is an opportunity to serve others so that they might also pursue and possess God’s will for their lives. Freedom is a gift given to us by God. Embrace His purpose for freedom and rise to your full potential in Christ.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I want to thank You for my freedom in Christ Jesus. Thank You for delivering me from my slavery to sin. I determine not to use my freedom as an opportunity for the flesh. Rather, I choose to use this gift of freedom to pursue and possess Your will for my life. I choose to use my freedom to lovingly serve others. In doing so, I pray that they too might experience Your freedom and be empowered to fulfill Your will for their lives also. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
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