Our Own Freedom DEFINITION
In our culture, we have become very confused about what freedom really is. We have come to believe that freedom is being able to do whatever we want to do, without any restriction or restraint at all - from anyone or anything. This is not unique to our day and time, but has been allowed to more fully permeate everything in our society, and to be taken to amazing extremes everywhere!
Our Own Freedom DIMINISHES
The problem with this way of thinking is that we are actually diminishing our own unrealized potential, because we cannot possibly know what the end results of this type of freedom will bring us. We may falsely hope that whatever choices we make now will take us to certain places or help us in some specific way, but as our lives unfold the consequences may end up being much different or possibly far worse than we could have ever imagined.
Our Own Freedom DISAPPOINTS
By giving into our strong desires to be absolutely free in whatever way we want, we go along making choices and creating for ourselves new circumstances constantly. When we put our lives into new parameters, we force ourselves to make new decisions, so that our next steps put us farther and farther out from where we started, and not so sure where we are going. Sadly, this whole process may take us to a point where we have lost all control, and begun to spiral downward to unknown and unwanted destinations.
Our Own Freedom DECEIVES
This negative outcome becomes more likely when we take into account another huge compounding problem: we cannot possibly control all the factors that might come into play as our lives and choices progress, whenever we decide to go a certain direction or do something we have not done before. We are not even able to control what might happen the next time we do anything, although we may have done it many times before.Nothing in this fragile life we lead is certain, so we are constantly risking some possible difficulty or tragedy in whatever we decide to do.
Our Own Freedom DISTORTS
Our ability to be free is not only limited by these uncontrollable factors, but it is also fatally flawed. We have distortions in how we perceive ourselves and everything around us, because we can only view our surroundings and construct our conceptions in a self-centered fashion. Our worldview, colored by this selfish and limited focus, can never direct our own freedom in the way that is really maximal for us, nor truly be a benefit to anyone else in the best way possible.
Our Own Freedom DAMAGES
Without guidance and positive insight, and left to our own selfish devices, we will almost always err on the side of what we desire, although it may hurt or hinder others. To be released from this natural inclination we must be impacted in some way by a higher point of view, filled with goodness and grace. Also, when we harm others, we are creating consequences which will negatively impact us further down the roads of our lives.
Our Own Freedom DESTROYS
Getting everything we want, in itself, may actually become the very downfall and worse consequence we could never have believed would happen, when we decided to make the choices and to go that particular way in the first place.
Freedom from JESUS Beyond Our Human Abilities
Jesus offers a greater freedom than anything we or even the whole world can give us, because He is above and beyond this world system in which we live out our lives. When we choose to trust Jesus as our Savior and as our Lord over all else, we are acknowledging that He has entered our world from above, with knowledge and insight that is eternal, knowing everything from beginning to end.
Freedom from JESUS Benefits Everyone
Jesus can also lead us, to go for what will benefit others, even ahead of taking our own advantage. Although this may seem totally counterproductive from our earthly vantage point, when seen in the light of eternity, losing something or everything now may bring us glorious returns beyond our ability to comprehend!
Freedom from JESUS Based in Infinite Love and Power
Jesus’ freedom is the freedom to trust ourselves and our entire lives to Someone Who loves us more than anyone on this earth, is more powerful than anything that has ever existed in this universe, and is able to see and fully know our future.
This is why His freedom is true freedom:
JOHN 8: 32 You will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. 33 The crowd answered Him, We are Abraham’s offspring (descendants) and have never been in bondage to anybody. What do You mean by saying, You will be set free? 34 Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin. 35 Now a slave does not remain in a household permanently (forever); the son [of the house] does remain forever. If the Son liberates you [makes you free people], then you are really and unquestionably free.
Freedom from JESUS Brings Direct Access
We gain this kind of freedom only in direct, ongoing relationship with Jesus Himself through His Holy Spirit. Our greatest foundation for all other eternal freedoms, is the liberation from our earthly bonds to have free access to Him at all times. It is in freely going to Jesus continually that we are transformed to become like Him:
HEBREWS 10:13 Therefore, brethren, since we have full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies [by the power and virtue] in the blood of Jesus
EPHESIANS 3:11 This is in accordance with the terms of the eternal and timeless purpose which He has realized and carried into effect in [the person of] Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).
Freedom from JESUS Begins New Understandings
Jesus’ freedom pulls off the chains of our selfish, limited thinking, and places us into an eternal perspective of trusting Him as we go forward. We are offered daily opportunities to trade in our slavery to ourselves and our own ideas of what we should do or how we should do it, for His greater wisdom and freedom. He also frees us from our fears of how we will be seen by others, along with all the peer and societal pressures that cause us to conform to other’s expectations of us. We begin to gain His infinite perspective, which is the root of an amazing wisdom and discernment about what we are to do and not to do:
2 CORINTHIANS 10:23 All things are legitimate [permissible—and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all are constructive [to character] or edifying [to spiritual life]. 24 Let no one then seek his own good and advantage and profit, but [rather] each one for the other [seeking the welfare of his neighbor].
Freedom from JESUS Best Way of Life
Walking in this higher level of discernment, with a supernatural knowledge and wisdom, is what the Bible speaks of as,”putting on the mind of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 2. Living in God’s will, guided and led by His Holy Spirit will take us beyond our own limited potential, and will bring good results, for our own lives and for those we impact. This is the outgrowth of letting Jesus increase to us, within us, and then out from us. We begin at some point to realize, either from seeing bad consequences of our wrong decisions or from receiving revelation, that only Jesus knows what will be out best path onward and upward:
GALATIANS 5:13 For you, brothers and sisters, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another. 1 PETER 2:16 [Live] as free people, [yet] without employing your freedom as a pretext for wickedness; but [live at all times] as servants of God.
Freedom from JESUS Breaks Off Bondages
Jesus has also freed us from the bondage of self-made religious regulations, false self-centered rules, and traditions that are really destructive and do not bring His true freedom. Jesus calls us to freely follow His leadings and promptings by His Holy Spirit, which will always correspond with the broader outlines of His own Scriptural mandates.
These leadings will also take us personally beyond godly Biblical guidelines, to make Christlike choices that require an even greater sacrifice. As our spiritual obedience outpaces the law keeping of others who try to do it on their own, we will find a greater freedom, even as Jesus exhibited in the Gospel accounts of His earthly life and ministry.
We actually begin to look like Jesus, by closely and intimately following Him in what we think, feel, say, and do, both as individuals and with others: GALATIANS 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery to humanly energized law keeping [which you have once put off].
2 CORINTHIANS 3:16 Whenever a person turns [in repentance] to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom). 18 And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.
ROMANS 6: And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action).
Freedom from JESUS Banishes All Fears
Ultimately, we are brought by the Word and the Spirit of the ever living God, into His fullest freedom from the fear of death, which haunts every human being. This is not a longing for some kind of escape from this world through death, but a transformation into never being afraid of anything that this world, or our supernatural enemy, can do to us. This level of true freedom is not simply a recognition of eternal realities, but a gracious work of preparation so that we are completely free to do our heavenly Father’s will, no matter what it may be, just as Jesus’ did:
HEBREWS 2:14 Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to naught and make of no effect him who had the power of death—that is, the devil 15 And also that He might deliver and completely set free all those who through the [haunting] fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives.
Freedom from JESUS Beckons Us Into Eternal Reality
The final result of living and loving in Jesus’ full freedom here in this world, is our transformation into His own brothers and sisters, fellow heirs with Him, as children of God who will rule and reign with Him, over His redeemed new creation (Romans 8). Every step we take, in obedience and submission to the eternal leadings of God, make us decrease in our selfish desires for false, self-destructive, so-called freedoms. These false freedoms can be what we conjure up within our own deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:5-10), or can be foisted upon our minds by the world system that seeks to control us through them.
Jesus came to live among us, a life of true freedom above and beyond this world, even as He walked on water above the natural law of gravity. Jesus showed all of us His perfect life of total freedom from all sinful and negative inner cravings, and from any successful allurements by dark spiritual forces or by the machinations of the world system.
Jesus constantly desired only the intimate oneness of His supreme love shared by His Father God and the Holy Spirit, which then continuously flowed out from Him, into the hearts of everyone around Him who chose to receive His ineffable light and grace, and to walk with Him into the same eternal fullness of freedom.
Following this eternal freedom led Him to become a bondslave to all, and to fully embrace His trial, torment, torture, and death on the cross for us, so that we can be set free to live free forever with Him, as resurrected, ascended, and glorified sons and daughters of almighty God:
REVELATION 1:5 Jesus Christ is the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead [first to be brought back to life] and the Prince (Ruler) of the kings of the earth. To Him Who ever loves us and has once [for all] loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood, 6 And formed us into a kingdom (a royal race), priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the power and the majesty and the dominion throughout the ages and forever and ever. Amen (so be it).
Neil Uniacke, Executive Director