Last Sunday, Taylor Brown brought the Word to us regarding the freedom from sin we have in Christ. Powerful message from a great preacher! I have been thinking a lot about it this week. And here is the thought that keeps resonating…
Something I have found profoundly interesting is that, when you look at the way the world thinks / operates, it is almost always the exact opposite of the way God and His kingdom think / operate.
For example, your neighbor’s dog tears up your garden. What worldly advice would you get from your worldly friends? Tear up his garden, right? Get even!
But what is the opposite of that? Opposite of destroying your neighbor’s garden: help him build his own garden up. That sounds crazy!
And it sounds like the kind of thing Jesus would do.
Here is another opposite for you when it comes to the world’s way / God’s way:
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31-36)
When worldly people think about Christians, they often think of us as people who have to live according to a strict list of rules. Oh you poor Christians. So restricted in the way you live.
First of all, we were not meant to live by a list of rules. Jesus saw to that. (Galatians 2:21)
But even more fascinating about this: take a look at what is really happening. We are thought of as being restricted, while worldly people view themselves as being free. They define freedom as “the ability to do whatever you want”. But such a mindset never leads to freedom - it always leads to bondage!
Sin is enslaving. And immersing yourself in sin in the name of freedom always leads to bondage. Name a sin that doesn’t trap someone in addiction. Name a sin that doesn’t hold people in bondage when they make it a practice. What sin does not lend itself to being "hard to shake" once it is started?
Pornography, alcoholism (or other drugs), lust, gossip, envy, greed, stealing, hatred, illicit sexual activity - the list goes on and on. All sin carries a hard reality of enslavement.
Jesus brings real freedom. Not merely “freedom to do whatever the heck I want to do”. But freedom to be who God created you to be. Not freedom to sin. Freedom from sin. Free indeed.
Have you been freed?
p.s. - needs to apologize to his neighbor for his dog’s behavior…