Freedom in the Bible

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Spiritual Freedom: Man's Greatest Need


You cannot study the history of the United States for long without encountering the idea of freedom. With most of history filled with monarchy's and dictatorships across the world, this wonderful idea that man can and should govern himself is quite rare indeed. But there is a deeper freedom that is even more rare. That is being spiritually free. And I would argue that this is the cornerstone of all true freedom . Without it man cannot truly be called free.


I. Jesus on Freedom


Our Lord got into a conversation with what appears to be some rather nominal disciples about this very subject and this is what Scripture records:

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him: "If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." Then they answered Him, "We are Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how do you say, you shall be made free." Jesus said to them: "Truly, Truly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant does not abide in the house forever: but the Son abides forever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:31-36).

Apparently these disciples had forgotten their history of slavery in Egypt and the fact that other empires took over the world after that. Also, at the moment that they were having this conversation with the Savior, they were under Roman rule. But Jesus doesn't mention their obvious error. Instead He points them to their ultimate slavery to sin. Someone once said that man's greatest need is to know what is his greatest need. And that is what Jesus was trying to point these disciples toward.


II. You've Got to Serve Somebody


Bob Dylan wrote a song a few years ago that said it well. He said:

"You're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed you're gonna have to serve somebody. Well it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord but you're gonna have to serve somebody."

The truth is that man was created in the image of God to love, serve and have a relationship with Him. He is only truly free when that relationship is intact. When man chooses to be "free" from that relationship, he doesn't choose to be self-governing. He chooses to be a slave to his sin nature. Man without God is not free. He is enslaved to sin.

Those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior are in that tangled web of sin and can never get out on their own. When Jesus Christ comes into your life, He frees you from sin and puts you back under the only Master you are to be serving. That Master is the God of the universe. And when you are under Him, it frees you up to become all that you were intended to be.


III. Christians Have a Choice

Before salvation, none of us had a choice. We had an old nature that could do nothing good (Romans 3:10-12). The book of Isaiah says that all of our righteousness were as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). In other words, we could do nothing to please God, or work our way into His favor. Our lives were tainted with sin. And it held us under its control.

When we become saved, we are new creatures in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 5:17). We have a new nature which is capable of pleasing God and saying no to sin. And we have the Holy Spirit who guides us and gives us the power to obey God and righteousness. That doesn't mean that we will never sin again. The old nature is still present until Christ returns and gives us our new and perfected bodies. What it does mean is that we now have a choice of whom we'll serve.

In Romans 6:13-16 the Apostle Paul tells Christians:

"Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts. And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are salves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?"

As we allow the Spirit of God to lead us and guide us through the Word of God, the old habits of the sin nature begin to be replaced by new habits of righteousness and those things which please God. Ultimately we become more and more like our sinless, perfect, Savior. But we must first desire to allow the Lord to change us. God doesn't force us to change.


Conclusion

As we look at true freedom, it becomes abundantly clear that there are really only two main choices in life; to serve God, or to serve sin. The first choice leads to life like it was truly meant to be. It is a choice of spiritual abundance, a relationship with our Creator and one that leads to eternal life. The other leads to spiritual death and all the misery that accompanies it. And at the end, for the unbeliever, it leads to eternal separation from all that is good and holy. In this life you truly do have to serve somebody. The decision is yours. Please choose wisely.



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Comments 22 comments

graceinus 4 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

Thank you lifegate.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

GodTalk

Could you please delete my second comment to Brian in Canada. It was meant for graceinus. I accidentally addressed it to Brian and it sounds like I'm agreeing with him, which I'm not. Thanks!


Writing Ram profile image

Writing Ram 4 years ago from Tacoma WA

Sorry about my earlier post I rechecked and there was indeed a reference, John 8:31-36. I do not know how I missed it, and I apologize for that. Thanks again for the interesting idea or freedom through servitude. Good food for thought.


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

Thanks to all who contributed to the conversation here. But I must address Brian in Canada. You seem to be quite angry. I'm wondering if a person who claimed to be a Christian hurt you in some way?

You clearly don't know the God of the Bible or you wouldn't be talking like that. And just to let you know, most responsible historians who don't have some kind of ax to grind don't doubt that Jesus indeed lived. There is more evidence to prove His actual existence than any other ancient historical figure that we study about today. If you doubt Jesus' existence, you'll have to doubt all of the others who lived in antiquity as well.

I hope that you'll one day come to know the true God that I know and serve. God bless you.


FSlovenec profile image

FSlovenec 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA

The message in the Hub is very encouraging. The facts are the facts. Because someone chooses not to believe gravity exists does not mean that it does not exist it only means that person denies a truth. The Bible is the breathed always true Word of God. It is a book of love. The Bible also tells us to the non-beleiver the Word is foolishness. Pray the non-believer into the Kingdom. Jesus came to save not to condemn it. Thank you!


graceinus 4 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

Gee Brian in Canada, there's no sign of blasphemy in you, is there !!!!


Brian in Canada profile image

Brian in Canada 4 years ago

Life gate: To follow God you must be a slave and if you wish to give up your very integrity as a human being and follow a God who clearly advocates murder, rape, genocide and slavery then so be it. However, can you please stay off my street? Thank you!

Godtalk, Jesus is the most wicked man in the Bible. To follow him is to blindly follow a bronze aged madman who claimed to be the son of God (if Jesus actually existed which there is very little proof to support it) - and why should anyone believe him? Because his mother never had sex with anyone? Nonesense! Prophets at this time were a dime a dozen. Not only is Jesus the most wicked man in the Bible it is clear he was quite mad.


graceinus 4 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

Brian in Canada

When it come to integrity in is purest form, then Jesus Christ is the ONLY man who ever walked this earth that had any.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

@ Brian in Canada,

I'm glad to be in a "master-slave" relationship with the God of Heaven. I'd much rather be slave to him than to sin. He, as my master, meets not as a wicked slave owner, but as a loving Father who looks out for his children. I've known nothing but blessing in my life as His slave. I would never want it any other way.


graceinus 4 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

GodTalk, the relevance of my comment above is this. A sinner is any person who violates a law. It does not matter if the sin is from violating a man made laws or a laws handed down by God in the from of covenants. Therefore we are all sinners wheather we like the idea or not . Also it does mot matter is one is a believer or non-believer. One must understand where all this idea of a sinner came from. To the believer, the only chance of pardon of their sins is through our Lord Jesus Christ. To a non-believer their own sins are not a issue for concern on their part in most case due to the lack of care or understanding of right and wrong.

To understand the issue of sin we must know when and where is concept came from and why forgiveness for them is so important for all of us. In order to understand that we are all SINNERS and need the Lord Jesus Christ we have to understand "WHY" in the first place.


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

Brian in Canada: I'm sorry that you don't know my God. If you did, you'd never feel that way. A relationship with God through Jesus Christ is the most freeing and wonderful experience that any person can know this side of heaven. I hope you'll experience it someday.

graceinus: Thank you for your comments. I'm not sure that I see the relevance for this particular Hub, but you make some good points.

lifegate: As usual thanks for stopping by.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

GodTalk,

I was noticing that several of the above comments seem to have nothing to do with the hub you wrote. I could never figure out why people take such serious offense over statements that have nothing to do with what they're upset about. Anyway, thanks again for writing and defending the Truth.


graceinus 4 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

Has anyone stop to think about where the IDEA of right and wrong came from. Or even more important the IDEA of Law. We (humans) did not invent these concepts. This also inclues the IDEA of sin. Where do you think this idea came from. The only book that I have ever heard of that explains any of these concepts IS the Bible. And as far as I know is the only book the starts out with; " In the Beginning."

Just for thought!!!!!!!!


Brian in Canada profile image

Brian in Canada 4 years ago

Without question, a 'relatiosnhip' with God or the wickedest man the in the Bible. Jesus Christ, is a master-slave relationship - Sadomasochistic, really. God is the great totalitarian dictator in the sky who monitors your every though and action whether one os asleap of awake. Nothing destroy's one's integrity as a human being than a 'relationship' with the Christian God or any other God for that matter.


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

I would be glad to do that if I knew what quotes to which you are referring. Please clarify and I'll see if I can help you.


Writing Ram profile image

Writing Ram 4 years ago from Tacoma WA

You make some good points about freedom. However, your first quotes don't have a reference, but many of the others do. If you have the references for it you could share I would appreciate it. It's always good to double check those.


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

I didn't call you a sinner. The Bible calls everyone sinners, including me. All humanity has sinned and fallen short of God's glory. That is why Jesus came into the world to die for us. Once again, if it is truth, then it is truth. And if it is truth then denying the facts, or getting mad about them will not change the truth that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. Thanks for your comments.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

My friend, calling me (and anyone who does not hold your religious beliefs) a sinner is not something nice now, is it? Look in the dictionary, sinner is not used in goodness.

Cheers!


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

I am insulting no one. And I don't seek to belittle anyone. It is not I that made the universe and set the rules, but God.

Truth is not a matter of perspective. The world either exists or it doesn't. A square can never be a circle. A lie is a lie no matter who tells it. Those who deny absolute truth, deny it absolutely. It is self-contradictory.

And I will not answer your claim that Christianity has done more harm than good, because I've written a whole Hub on the subject entitled: "What Has Christianity Done for the World." If you care to read that, it is my answer to you. I will say, however, that those who think Christianity has done more harm than good, either don't know or choose to ignore over 2000 years of Christian history. May the Lord bless you.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Mr. Godtalk,

As Michele de Montaigne said: "so it is, that I may peradventure contradict myself, but, as Demades said, I never contradict the truth."

What is truth but perspective. Right? One person may believe that the glass is half empty, while another may say that the glass is half full. Both are right and there is truth in both explanations.

I am sorry I do not believe in Jesus' resurrection and that suddenly, in your mind I am a sinner, which in your religion basically means wickedness, moral deprivity, etc. These I took just now from the dictionary ...

I deny monotheistic religions but I do not go around insulting those who do not hold my belief. That is the difference here, You see?

If I don't believe your story - I'm a wicked, bad person (sinner). If You don't believe my story, it's all good - no insults coming from me your way.

Yes, Christianity has done probably more harm than good. It produced the genocide of First Nations people, here in the Americas because they were considered savages, it stole children from parents and put them in Residential Schools to be made Christian ... all it did was kill them, Christianity never thrived in any Native community ... I can go back to the Inquisition (how many people were killed then, in the name of your God?) or even further, about 1800 years when my ancestors, the Dacian people were also almost wiped out due to the need to be turned into Christians by the Romans. I can go on for days but I will stop here.

The problem comes when You belittle others because they do not conform to your beliefs and then, people start fighting, killing, etc.

I just wish your religion would stop insulting other people who do not have the same perspective on Life.

All the best!


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

The trouble with your point of view is that you completely disregard a viewpoint if it speaks about the possibility of absolute truth. Jesus claimed to be the "way, the truth and the life." He didn't say that he was a way, a truth and a life, but claimed to be the epitome of these things.

This view can only be damaging if in fact it is not true. And Jesus Christ proved His truth claim by His resurrection from the dead. No other religious leader has ever done that, including Muhammad.

You deny religions that preach absolute truth yet you say absolutely that Christianity is damaging to the world. You too have your belief system that you're not willing to compromise. I pray that God the Father will lead you into the truth of Jesus Christ and show you the love that He demonstrated on the cross of calvary. God bless you.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"Those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior are in that tangled web of sin and can never get out on their own." - This is exactly what I do not like about religions and why I have left my Greek Orthodox upbringing behind.

That above sentence is a negative belief directed at people who are not of the same spiritual beliefs as You are. And this mistake is not only made by Christians, it is made by other people of different religions. Like some Muslim people who say that those who do not believe in what is said in the Holy Qur'an are infidels ... this is a rather simplistic way of viewing this Great Mystery we call Life. It is damaging too because it creates antagonism between people of different faiths and beliefs.

I wish the Great Spirit will guide You to see that even those people who do not agree with the Jesus story, are not sinful, bad people.

I wish You well.

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    Jeff Shirley (GodTalk)119 Followers
    182 Articles

    I am a Christian pastor who wishes to bring glory to God in all that I do, and to help people through my writing to know Him better.



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