I am sure you will agree that throughout history one of the recurring themes has been the desire to be free. The fight for freedom amongst all men is universal. No doubt you will recall seeing or hearing of the fight for freedom in places like South Africa, freedom from slavery in America in the past centuries and freedom from oppressive regimes in many parts of the world.
In the Old Testament of the bible the children of Israel were held in bondage in Egypt until Moses was appointed by the Lord God to set his people free. Theirs was a physical slavery under an oppressive Pharaoh and they cried to the Lord for release. They received their freedom from slavery and then journeyed to the homeland promised to their father Abraham by the Lord many years earlier.
One thing you may not have seen is that there are many parallels between what happened in the Old Testament and the New Testament. It was even prophesied by Moses that as the Lord had raised him to set the people free, the Lord would raise up another prophet.
Jesus was that prophet and he came to set us free through the truth as he stated when he said, "The truth will set you free."
The idea of the need to be free conjures up the idea that there must be some kind of a bondage that we need to be freed from. All of mankind was born under bondage to sin and this is driven by the passions of the flesh. It is sin that separates us from God. But what is sin? John tells us that, "Sin is lawlessness." That is, sin is the breaking of the law of God and there are in excess of six hundred laws in the Old Testament.
Now I don't know about you, but I don't even know what all of those laws even are, let alone whether I can keep them. And as for the passions of the flesh, the Bible tells us that, "whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved." Do you have problems of self-control over anything, or is there something or someone that you just can't seem to say no to? If so then you are in bondage to that person or thing. The apostle Paul vividly described this situation in Romans 7 saying, " I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Wretched man that I am, Who will deliver me from this body of death?"
So what do we say to this and how can we overcome this issue? Fortunately Paul not only describes the problem but also gives us the answer saying, "Thanks be to Christ Jesus..." Jesu came to take away our sins. You may recall the words of John the Baptist who said of Jesus, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."
But let us now consider what happens if we take hold of the freedom on offer from the Lord. What is freedom anyway? To many people, the idea of freedom is the ability to do whatever they want. Can you imagine a world where everyone was free to do whatever they want? You could drive through red traffic lights or punch out someone's lights for cutting you off on the road and all without fear of recrimination. It was for these reasons that the law was given, to set the standards against which we are to live.
So the concept of REAL freedom is not about allowing people to do what they want, as this can lead to anarchy and chaos. Rather the real freedom the Lord is leading us towards is the freedom to do what you should.
The Lord said the whole of the law could be summed up in two of the laws. The first was to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength. The second was to love your neighbour as yourself. The essence of these two laws is...love. Love does not do wrong to a neighbour and so it enables you to do what you ought to do.
Of course if you do what is right, you do not need the law because the law was set down for the lawless, not the just. But if you break the law you are guilty of sin. Now God said that it was because of sin that we are separated from God. Also all men are born under the power of sin and no man does what is right. So if we are unable to keep the law and are constantly being reminded of our failings when we break the law, how can we truly be free? And how can God help us as sinners when he said he has already given us up because of sin?
Under the law, the Israelites could be forgiven their sins through the offering of blood sacrifices at the temple each year. This was a requirement under the old testament. In Hebrews we are told that the New Testament is enacted on better promises than the old testament and in order for it to have effect a sacrifice must be given too. Jesus became that sacrifice for us when he was put to death on Calvary.
Under the sacrifices of the Old Testament, the priests had to offer sacrifices every year for the sins of the people. However as the people continued to sin each year, the sacrifices had to be continually offered. Jesus opened the way though for a perfect process to enable us to be set free from all of the things we could not be freed by the law.
Jesus became the perfect sacrifice for us and was offered once only. We need to follow the process that enables us to enter into this freedom in Jesus Christ. This freedom enables us to firstly be set free from our sins, but even better to be set free from the law and the condemnation under the law. This is an awesome opportunity because once we are set free from sin and from the law, we can never break the law again. And if we are no longer sinners, then God will step in and help us to reach the position where we do what is right because it is the right thing to do.
This may be a new concept to some of you reading this and I will not cover it in depth here. However I urge you if you wish to know more to go to our website, subscribe to the free newsletter and download the eBook on the Foundations of Christianity. This eBook deals with these matters in considerable detail.
If you do what is right then you no longer need to be under the law since you uphold the just requirements of the law. And if you do this then you are truly free.
I hope that you found something here to help you or add to your own knowledge. If you have any questions, then please feel free to contact me.