On August 15 people of India once again celebrated their independence day. On the next day social activist Mr. Anna Hazare began an indefinite fast demanding a strong law that can eradicate corruption. He continued his fast for 12 days and successfully mobilised various sections of the society against the government. According to the commentators free India has never seen such a massive agitation. Mr. Anna termed it as a second freedom struggle.
It is a well known fact, even after enjoying political freedom for the last 65 years people of India live under various bondages. Not only corruption; casteism, child labour, child marriage, female foeticide, drug addiction etc are some of the evil the society is fighting with. Definitely there are different laws to deal with these issues. Yet we see more and more people falling under such evil practices. Can a ‘strong’ law enacted by the parliament liberate people from such evil practices? One thing is certain, political freedom is good, but that is not enough, man needs much more to be free indeed.
The Lord Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Jews who heard these words were not happy about this statement. “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been in bondage to any one” they replied immediately. Notice, how easily one forgets his true state! Not only that the Jews were under the Romans then, even earlier too, they were taken captives by various nations.
Then the Lord answers, “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” John. 8: 32 –3 6. He reveals another truth to them. More than political bondage, moral, spiritual bondage is more serious. He needs to be delivered from sin and Satan before he can enjoy any other form of freedom.
Sin is like a hard master. Some one has explained like this, “Sin enters as a guest, then becomes a friend. You get to know each other. Then sin becomes a servant. It promises you and to give you pleasure. But that servant becomes a Master and that Master becomes a tyrant and that dictator becomes a destroyer.”
That’s absolutely right. Sin always begins with sweet promises but gradually takes us to slavery and end up in destruction. The worst thing is, as the religious Jewish people of Christ’s time, man fails to understand his true state. He misunderstands his problem and tries to treat the symptoms but the root cause – sin- remains with in. It is from this bondage the Lord Jesus Christ delivers us. He declared to the same group of Jews, “Therefore if the some makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36.
No, wonder even if there is no political freedom, believers in Jesus Christ enjoy true freedom in their heart. They are not plagued by evil habits or practices. They refuse to give a bribe. They can not cheat the authority. They will be faithful at their workplace. Not because the law will catch them, because the Lord dwells in their heart and help them to lead a holy and pure life. They strive to walk by the spirit of God who indwells them.
Yes, they may have to face the consequences of what’s taking place in the society yet they will be free with in. They can rejoice and enjoy peace that surpasses all understanding. What a wonderful privilege a believer in Christ enjoys. That is the freedom Christ offers to those who follow Him.
But the word of God warns us, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1. This verse shows the possibility of going under the yoke again; forfeiting the freedom we have in Christ. We do believe in the security of salvation, but the Bible teaches that even after we have been liberated from bondage of sin and Satan, our old master makes every effort to bring us under him. He may not succeed ultimately, yet he can make our life miserable and disturb our peace and put us under various bondages again. Cf. John 10: 28, 29; Gen . 4:7; 1Corin 7:23; Matt. 6:25 etc.
Our God is a deliverer. He wants our freedom. How carefully The Lord made sure that under the Old Covenant servants were freed every 7th year. Cf. Exo. 21: 2 –6; Lev. 25: 39 – 46. Proclaiming liberty to the oppressed was one of major goals of the Messiah. Cf. Luk 4: 18, 19. He has translated us from darkness and slavery no more to be under any kind of oppression. Let us enjoy our freedom in Christ.
Know, Reckon & Yield
How to enjoy true Christian freedom? In Romans chapter 6 Paul explains it beautifully that we need to know that we have been crucified with Jesus Christ. This is the truth that we need to know. Cf. Roma 6:2, 18; Jn 8:32. Know what Christ has done for us and what all the privileges we have in Him. As we know more of His precious word, our experience of freedom enlarges.
Then, reckon ourselves as dead with Christ. That is we need to consider ourselves as dead every day, that Sin master has no right over us. We are not obliged to sin any more. That is the first step. Cf. Roma 6:11, 12; 2Cori 5:14; Col 2:20; Gal 2:20.
Finally, yield to God as bond slaves! Rom 6:13. True freedom is not lawlessness. We are free because we are not under the evil one, but under a loving God, who leads us, takes care of us, who helps us to lead a pure and holy life. Cf. Gal 5:16; 1Pet 2:16c.
Slaves to God
There is no freedom like living under the yoke of Christ. There is no other person who really enjoys liberty like a Christian who lives and walks with Christ. Cf. Matt. 11:28, 29. True Christian freedom coming from being a bond slave to God!
Sad, there are times; believers even though born again, fail to enjoy full freedom in Christ. They are under the bondage of self, prejudice, past, and their feelings. Some are under the bondage of man, materialism or traditions. Be aware of the satanic tactics to keep us under oppression and take away our joy and effectiveness. Let us know the word of God more and more, acknowledge our new life with Christ, and yield to Him moment by moment. Thus keep on enjoying and exhibiting true liberty in Jesus Christ.