Freedom From Bondage
John 10:10 - "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." - Jesus Christ
In order to live this life that Jesus came to make available, and to live it more abundantly, a person must discover the freedom they have in Christ from mental bondage. The chains which bind one’s mind are more painful and defeating than any other. As Christians, however, we have a personal liberator. God has delivered us in Christ. We must simply accept the freedom, once we know what He has done for us. God teaches us how to realize our freedom from bondage if we allow Him to. It is we who must appropriate the freedom which God has poured out to us in and through Christ.
God’s will is for every one of us to see release today from whatever prison is holding us. Prisons are not only made of bars of steel. The prisons of our secret sins, things in our lives which we don’t want to share with any other person in the world, are the most frustrating and defeating. The thoughts of self condemnation that have been gnawing in the back of one’s conscious and subconscious mind for years and years – thoughts of sickness and disease, fear, worry, anxiety, suicide, death – are the most tormenting and wretched kinds of prisons. It is not God’s will for us to be so mentally bound; God’s will is just the opposite as He has given total release from all negatives.
- Psalms 103:11, 12: "For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear [respect and reverence] him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
It is the will of God that all self-condemnation be gone because He wants to see us living "free indeed" – not just half-free, but as wholly-free persons.
Not only does God want us to realize our freedom from all the secret condemnation, but He wants us to live free from all the powers of darkness in this world. He desires that we live free from resentments, from pride, from envying, from jealousies, from obsessions and oppressions which have been eating away at us. He wants us to enjoy being released from these prisons as well.
Mankind has lived in the midst of evil ever since the devil received the power of this world (see Luke 4:6). Mankind, through Adam’s fall, has brought upon itself the evil with which we are surrounded. But, God so lovingly provided a way by which people could recognize and receive a greater and more wonderful power than we have ever known; that those who will to believe regarding the redemptive work of Christ and the results thereof can experience the complete release they have from every prison enslaving their lives.
In Matthew 15:13 Jesus said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.” Every influence which is not based upon the accuracy of God’s Word shall come to naught. Such influences lead only to imprisonment.
- Hebrews 4:2: “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith [believing] in them that heard it.”
We must not only hear that Christ sets us free, we must believe it, and thereby we will live accordingly. God and His Son Jesus Christ already know who they are and who we are. We're the ones who are still coming up to speed.
A camera offers an appropriate analogy of the means by which you can get the truth of who you are in Christ into your heart and find release from your prisons. If you want to believe God, first make sure you have the light of the cross. Secondly, get what God says is true in mind. This is crucial: get clear on what God says is true of you in Christ (The Christians True Identity). Thirdly, use the range finder and focus the subject properly. Then consider the length of exposure of the picture so that all factors may work together for a perfect picture.
When you are focused on the picture of who you really are in Christ, in the light of the cross, keep your mind stayed on it. If you allow something else to come in and take precedence over that true picture you will have a blurred perspective of what is and what is not true and you will get blurred answers to prayers; you will not get the results you desire; you will not receive into manifestation the release from the prison which is encasing you (James 1:6,7: “But let him ask In faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”
If you want to receive something from God today, and/or get rid of something, you must focus and allow for proper exposure time; dwell on the appropriate promise of God until the picture is clear and bright. Focus on the promise not on the problem. It is the introduction of light that dispels darkness, not the dwelling on the darkness that introduces light.
If you want to get out of your prisons today, immediately change your thinking to what God says about the matter, holding tight to that alone, and watch God change your situation; change your subject of focus; focus on what God says and not on the problem. You may say, “Well, that is not an easy thing to do, but I am going to try it. With God’s help I am going to get out of this prison.” However, if within half an hour you have forgotten to keep your thinking changed and you fall back into the old negative rut of believing the devil's lies about you, you will be back living the same way you were before. Then don’t wonder why you don't experience the gospel producing the promised results in your life, why you can’t get an answer to prayer, why you cannot tap into the unlimited resources of God, why the answer is not flowing as easily for you as it is for others, why you cannot have your release. The answer is that you only momentarily changed your mental image; you are not keeping the true picture of yourself in focus and allowing proper exposure time.
Experiential release from one’s prisons depends upon two things: clearness and concern – the two “C’s” of release. Get clear on what God says about you and then stay concerned about holding onto it. Get the genuine gospel of deliverance and release into your mind and into your heart (there is more to come about this gospel of deliverance down the page, and there are many more Scriptures on this subject in the other b4u2c hubs); eat it, drink it, sleep it and walk with it. Every time you take a step or every time you think about your situation or condition, thank God that the answer and your release is coming. Soon the negatives drop off and the positives become yours, the result of which is release from any prison you are in. It can be done; it will be done for as Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
How have you mentally pictured yourself for the past week, month, year, ten years? The picture that you carry of yourself with clearness and with concern is what you are. This works for positive and negative thinking alike.
Most people believe that in order to gain the spiritual heights in life where they can tap the resources of God, it is necessary to strain and strive and struggle. They think that gaining spiritual results is like an air hammer – the harder one presses the hammer, the quicker he gets the job done. However, this is not the case. When we have stress and strain, we tie ourselves into knots. We will never get out of our prisons that way; just the opposite occurs – we bring more and more frustration to ourselves. It is not stress and strain, but believing God is that which brings release into our lives.
It doesn’t make any difference who you are or in what prison you may be, God will hear your prayer, God will back His Word. Allow God to change you from the inside out by way of you changing your thinking patterns to line up with what He says: God guarantees that you will see the circumstances change. Study the Scriptures regarding who and what you are in Christ and all that is available to you, and you will learn to know the Christ who has made you free. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
Outside of Christ we cannot be free. Jesus Christ was the liberator who set us free. He is the head of the Church. The truth of Christ is our light and power in life; this is our release from fears, worries, anxieties, frustrations, heartaches, headaches and everything else that comes along. This is our means to get out of the negative prisons of self enslavement into the glorious liberty of children of God.
When you find yourself in one of life’s prisons, get a positive, clear picture of your freed self, focus in on the positive image and thank God that right now you positively have the answer. Keep confessing and believing according to what is true of you in Christ and your release will absolutely follow.
God Rescued Us
In order to understand and believe that God rescued us, we first should know how we got in a position to need rescuing. The roots of mankind’s dilemma stem back to the time of Genesis 3:6 when Adam disobeyed God after God originally gave him rulership, dominion and authority over this world (Genesis 1:28). Mankind was placed in this world as the ruler and caretaker. But when sin entered the earthly realm, due to Adam’s disobedience to God, mankind lost their authority, dominion, rulership. The devil, who by deception, assumes the role of the rulership in man’s fall, offered his lie to Jesus Christ in the temptation as recorded in Luke 4, “…for that [power and glory of the kingdoms of this world] is delivered unto me.” Even to this very day, as a result of people not knowing truth, the world in which you and I live is still under the deception and influences of the devil (save wherever believers are exercising their authority in Christ). We live in a world that is blindly living in subjection to Satan’s deceptive rulership.
According to Ephesians 2:1 all people are born in this world “... dead in trespasses and sins,” and then in verse 12 “... having no hope, and without God...” Being in such a dire state, we definitely needed to be rescued.
- Colossians 1:13: “Who [God] hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.”
The Greek verb translated “hath delivered” is more emphatically translated “rescued.” The word “from” is the Greek preposition ek meaning “out of” or “out from the center” [as of a circle]. What did God rescue us out of or out from among? “The power of darkness."
The word “power” in the above verse [“from the power of darkness”] is the Greek word exousia from which English derives the word “exercise.” He delivered us from the exercised power of darkness. The deception based powers of the devil can not trick us when we know and believe what God says is true.
God rescued us out from among the dominion of the devil and has given us authority over him. He rescued us out of the darkness of this world even while we are still physically living here. This is one of the greatest of all miracles.
The devil manipulates circumstances in the senses realm to deceive God's people; however, even if we go by our feelings, our own thoughts, our own ways, or by what our five senses tell us now, there is a day coming when everything will be in complete alignment with that which God says is true in Christ.
- Ephesians 2:3: “Among whom also we all had [past tense] our conversation [behavior] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."
There was a time when our sinful behavior was "among" the "children of disobedience" (verse 1). By the very event of being born into this world, we were children of whose realm? Satan’s. This is the meaning of the word “wrath” in “children of wrath.” We were born children of Satan’s realm – not spiritually, but physically. Physically I was born a child under Satan’s rulership, dead in trespasses and sins without God and without hope in this world. God changed all this for those who are now His children. His judgments concerning us were based upon our performance, but now His judgments concerning us are all based upon the accomplished work of Calvary.
- Romans 3:21-22a: "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe..."
- Ephesians 2:4-6: “But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together [with Christ], and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
Who did the quickening; who raised us up; who made us sit in the heavenlies? God.
- Verses 7-9: “That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved [rescued and being made whole] through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
When we were born in this world, we were alive physically yet dead spiritually, “without God and without hope.” But something happened to us. God, who is rich in mercy and grace, saved us.
- Verse 10: “For we are his workmanship [masterpiece], created in Christ Jesus unto [Greek = epi; upon] good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
According to the context these "good works" are the good works of God and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord; moreover, just as we are seated in Christ as a result of their good works (Ephesians Chapter 1), we also walk by way of what they produce and we stand firm in these truths (we stake our lives upon the gospel being true. - see Ephesians 6:14-17).
God saved us. We are not our own workmanship; we are His children, His workmanship, His masterpiece. God’s workmanship came to bear when we were spiritually dead; at that time God made us alive in Christ.
- Colossians 2:13: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He [God] quickened [made alive] together with him [Christ], having forgiven you all trespasses.”
We were dead in sins. But God sent His only-begotten Son who was the means by which we were rescued. We are God’s workmanship created through the accomplishments of Christ Jesus. God rescued us through and by Jesus, the Christ. We are now a new creation (see 2Corinthians 5:17).
- John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son...”
Because of God's love for us, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, God rescued us out of this realm of Satan and gave us citizenship in His kingdom as "kings and priests," not victims, paupers and vagabonds.
- Rev 1:5, 6: "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
Until we received our new spiritual birth as God's children, we were children of wrath; we presently exists in a physical world which the devil is exercising control over things; in effect, it is his kingdom. But now that we are God's children, we become “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke [from God], in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation [kingdom]” according to Philippians 2:15.
Galatians 1:4: “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us [rescue us] from [out from among] this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.”
We have legal citizenship in God’s kingdom as His children. He has “...made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” as told in Ephesians 2:6. From God's perspective, and legally speaking, we are completely identified with Christ (biblically referred to as being "in Christ"): In Christ we were circumcised with Jesus' circumcision. When Jesus Christ fulfilled the law, the law was fulfilled in us. When Jesus died, we died with him. When he was buried, we were buried in the baptism of his burial. When God raised him from the dead, we arose with him. When he ascended, we ascended with him. When Christ Jesus conquered, we conquered with him. When he was seated at God's right hand, we were seated with him. When he led “captivity captive” and “gave gifts unto men,” we were given the power to live victoriously. Even in this realm where Satan runs a muck we have the ability to manifest the power of God in the more abundant, life. What a revelation to the soul of man! What glory, what joy, what peace, what bliss! We are rescued now. We are free indeed.
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We will be seeing in this series that God is the same powerful and delivering God that we read about in the Old Testament. All the promises of God find their “yes” and “amen” in Jesus Christ....