Seth Udinski, FISM News
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8:36
This Independence Day, we remember and celebrate our freedom as a nation. On July 4, 1776, the United States formally declared its independence from the British Empire and then earned that independence with victory over the British in the Revolutionary War. Freedom is a good and virtuous trait.
For Christians, we have infinitely more to celebrate in regards to freedom. We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, died on the cross to set us free from our self-inflicted enslavement to sin. Jesus promises and gives freedom from sin to all who simply repent and believe on His name.
But there is a fascinating paradox in freedom that we cannot miss. We are all created beings, limited by our sin, our finitude, our will, and our knowledge. Theologically, we must admit that there is only one “free” being in the universe (that is free to do whatever He pleases), and that is God. None of us, according to this definition, is truly free.
Since none of us is truly free, we must come to terms with the fact that we are enslaved to something. Upon entrance into the world, all human beings are enslaved to sin. We cannot help but sin, for that is our nature, passed down to us from Adam and Eve.
This is where the paradox comes in – freedom from sin means that we are now slaves of Christ. Romans 6 reveals that when we cross from death to life, our ownership changes. Where we once belonged to the world, we now belong to Christ. Freedom from sin equals slavery to Christ.
Slavery is a harsh word, but it perfectly describes how we must see ourselves in relation to our Master. And the beauty of this paradox is this – enslavement to Christ is the only place where we can find true freedom. If you belong to Christ, you have an eternal security, a hope in suffering, and a present purpose. The shame of sin no longer has a hold on you, because you are secure in Christ. When the Father looks at you, He does not see the wretch that you are. He does not see the wretch that I am. He looks at us and He sees Christ, and He is well-pleased. Why? It is because, praise God, we belong to Christ.
So as you celebrate your independence as an American today, celebrate even more your slavery to Christ. Those who belong to the Son of God are free from their sin, and if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.