PSALM 118:5 – Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.
THEME OF THE DAY. OUR FREEDOM IN CHRIST. If we were asked what the greatest benefit of salvation in Christ is, what are some of the answers? I realize the list is long – forgiveness of sins, fellowship with God, heaven, a clean conscience . . . and the list goes on and on. But behind all of the benefits is a single truth that our Lord Jesus proclaimed – So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed 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 (John 8:31-32). The greatest benefit of salvation is freedom from the three things we were enslaved to, or held in captivity, prior to Christ setting us free. And this freedom is accomplished by His Word, applied by His Spirit, in the heart of the believing person.
First, Christ has set us free from the captivity of the devil. The Apostle Paul told Timothy that people are “captured by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:26). Every person outside of Christ is held in Satan’s kingdom and unable to break those chains independently. Yet, in Christ, the chains are broken, destroyed – Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). No longer are we enslaved by the devil. We now walk in the spiritual freedom of being in Christ.
The second area we are freed by the Lord Jesus is in the bondage of sin and all its sinful passions. We no longer must be deceived by the lies of sin. We no longer must seek and never find contentment in the pleasures of the flesh. The words of the Apostle Paul are shouts of freedom – For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14). Friends, we are free in Christ. Sin has been conquered. Yes, we still fight it, but we fight from a position of victory. Sin will not ever again rule over and control our lives. We will sin, but we won’t be conquered by sin. Christ leads us to the freedom from sin’s reigning power. We now walk in the spiritual freedom of sin’s bondage being defeated.
Finally, we are set free by Christ over perhaps are greatest area of bondage – ourselves. In the fifth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we are introduced to this freedom and where it directs us – For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). Later in the chapter, we are told why we are set free from the bondage of ourselves – For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13). Christ sets us free to love, not ourselves, but others. And our greatest freedom is indeed from the ugliness of self-love or the bondage of a selfish life. Walk in this freedom. We find more satisfaction and contentment in life by living for others rather than ourselves.
Salvation’s benefits. They are many but none more precious than the freedom Christ has bought for us; a freedom from Satan, sin, and self. May the Lord help us to walk in the freedom that truly sets us free – freedom in the Lord Jesus.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to walk in the freedom You have given me in Your Son.”
QUOTE: “Christ has set us free from sin, self, and Satan to live no longer for ourselves but others.”