F-WORD VOCAB #3
WHAT IS FREEDOM?
Handy Concordance Link (There are a multiplicity of facets to Biblical freedom and freedom in general, check out this link and various dictionaries to prompt a prayer review of your perception)
Common perceptions of being free / freedom
- Getting something for nothing
- Doing whatever we feel like (That is more to do with being licentious)
- Very prevalent in today’s culture is the notion that there are no absolutes - which in itself is an oxymoron, because the statement in itself is an absolute. In Jesus the absolving of our sin, is absolute absolution. It makes us absolutely free of the guilt, shame and condemnation of sin.
A good term is Civil Society
where every individual is free to contribute to mutual blessing and rich relationship. Where innovation, integration, ingenuity, and interdependence are encouraged. In Christ we have the ultimate freedom which is primarily a state of heart. The term "state of the art" is used to describe the latest and most effective and efficient development. In God, relationship and freedom to create to relate is our most important freedom, and that is about the state of the heart. Yes with Jesus we can live in absolute freedom regardless of law, circumstance, and the likes.
The Burden of Freedom
Listened to an interview with Shelby Steele recently who provided an excellent explanation of the notion of the burden of freedom. To sum it all up, despite popular perception, freedom has a cost and to take hold of it requires personal responsibility. Learning how to take hold of freedom and exercise personal responsibility is not something that comes naturally in general. That’s why, for example, we don’t have to teach children to misbehave, to disobey or any other undesirable behavior / expression
Matt 11:30 “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”
Personal responsibility: –
Ezekiel 33:2-8 “Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. 6But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. 7So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.“
1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
2 Corinthians 12:14 “Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.”
Roman 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse”
Hebrews 9:27 “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment”
HOW DO WE GET IT
John 8:31-34 You will know the truth...And be free indeed...The Son sets us free.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Where the Spirit of the lord is there is liberty
James 1:25 "But whoso loveth into the perfect law of liberty, and continued therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
Praise in the prison
Joseph (Gen 39/40), Paul and Silas (Act 16:25-34) , Boys in lion’s Den (Dan 6) /fiery furnace (Dan 3) , Peter and John (Act 4), Peter (Acts 12:5)
Psalm 142:7 Brought my soul out of prison
Romans 8:14-19 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself heareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waited for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Hebrews 2:15 "Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”
Ephesians 4:8 "Therefore he says, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men."
Psalm 68:6b “He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;”
HOW DO WE KEEP IT
A bandage is not the Biblical solution to Bondage
Proverbs 25:20 "Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
and like vinegar on soda.”
So often we get preoccupied with the symptoms, outward expression and natural consequences when we come across a person who is enslaved to sin / living in bondage, the tendency is to want to, so to speak, put a bandage on the wound. What needs to happen is to deal with the root cause of the bondage, this doesn’t mean that we don’t care for people’s hurts, of course we do, however just as removing a tumor from inside someone will deal to the root of serious symptoms, the tumor will cause to people’s health and wellbeing, so dealing with the sinful nature, sinful practices and the susceptibility to demonic activity will deal with the root cause of bondage. similarly, applying the principles of faith and rejecting any inclination or peer pressure to get caught up in and / or return to trying to live by the law will ensure that we don’t lose the freedom we have that comes by applying the perfect law of liberty - i.e. the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus
Luke 11:46-52 46 And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed.48 So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.””
Galatians 2:15-21 15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified[a] by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. 17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness[b] were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”