“You Shall Be Free Indeed”
Jesus declared to the Jews, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). The Jews thought of themselves to be the free sons of Abraham and bragged of their liberty saying, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” (John 8: 33). They were not ready to admit their slavery, whether literal or spiritual. Their presumed freedom was not real.
Deliverance From Sin
Jesus didn’t come to save men in sin but from sin. It is through a close relationship and union with Christ that the believer receives the power to overcome sin (John 15:4). “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). Sin have no longer control over the soul.
The Holy Spirit helps the believer to be obedient and gives him the power to “mortify the deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13). Thus, the law of the Spirit of life works against the law of sin and death in the body, strengthening the Christian to have victory over his weaknesses and freeing him from sin’s slavery and judgement. The apostle Paul taught, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Liberty – Not a License to Sin
Freedom in Christ does not mean license to do as one pleases. There must be control. The man, who is renewed in Christ Jesus can be safely trusted with full liberty, because he will not abuse it by making it a permission to fulfill his fleshy desires. The liberty of the Spirit is that of conversion because when a person is converted, his ultimate wish is to do the will of God in his life.
God’s law written upon the heart (2 Corinthians 3:3) frees the believer from external coercion. He chooses to do right, not because the “letter” of the law forbids him from doing wrong, but because the “spirit” of the law, engraved in his heart, helps him to do what is good. The Holy Spirit controls his will and heart that he wants what is right and is free to obey the truth of Jesus. He agrees that the law is good and rejoices “in the law of God after the inward man” (Romans 7:22; Psalms 1:2).
Freedom Through the Truth
If one is to “stand fast,” he must have firm foundation upon which to stand. For the Christian, this foundation is truth as set forth in Scriptures. Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The genuine believer will persevere in his study of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16, 17), and then search himself to see whether he stands firm in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Regardless of how much a person may know Bible, he must always continue his searching for more truth. It is God’s wish that the believer shall continually “grow in grace, and in the knowledge” of Christ (2 Peter 3:18), knowing that “the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18).
The Bondage of the Traditions of Men
Unfortunately, the Jewish religious leaders added their own man-made traditions that blinded the people to the truths of God (2 Corinthians 3:14, 15). The people were held captive to the leaders’ burdensome traditions, which violated the law of God (Matthew 23:4; Mark 7:1–13) and also by their own sins (Romans 2:17–24; 6:14; Galatians 4:21).
Paul urged the believers, “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). Jesus came to set all people free. He declared that His mission was “to preach deliverance to the captives” (Luke 4:18). And to those who accepted the truth, He promised true liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17).
In His service,