“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28)
The message of Christ is freedom from death, free from the stain of sin but how does one achieve this freedom.
Every year in America we celebrate the “Declaration of Independence” but to simply declare it without exercising it doesn’t represent true independence. Having national independence does not suggest that all have the freedoms God intended.
As Christians, we don’t have the right to do what we please however we have the responsibility to do the what is right, to do what God intended us to do. God doesn’t make distinctions when He offers salvation. It is not arguable, He offers salvation to all and intends it for all. It is when we practice this truth, His truth, that we will experience a true declaration of freedom!
Mind of Christ
“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:18-20; 24-25)
Prisons were built for the purpose of housing inmates and intended to deter people from committing crimes. Yet some prisons are created by our own choices and misdeeds. In fact, prison can be defined as thinking and behavior that suffocates life, not allowing you the freedom in Christ that God intended.
Limited understanding and the refusal to acknowledge that we have enslaved ourselves to the patterns and thinking’s of this of the world cause self-imposed prisons. Addiction, bad relationships, debt, work, negative self-talk and more are all examples of self-imprisonment but there is a cure. Paul said, “be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
True freedom can only be obtained when you surrender your desires to the will of Christ by following the teachings of His word.
No Fear in Christ
“But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” (Acts 16:19-21)
Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned for their radical evangelism. Prior to their imprisonment they shared the message of Christ and a woman by the name of Lydia, a wealthy woman who dealt in purple cloth and a slave girl experienced and received the message of Christ. Lydia was converted to Christianity and the slave girl freed of a spirit that allowed her to predict the future. Unfortunately, Paul and Silas preached a religion that was counter to Roman culture.
The religion Paul and Simon preached was Christ crucified and raised from the dead but Roman custom dictated no other gods other than the ones determined by Roman hierarchy were to be worshipped. It was a cause of dissension and controversy by suggesting there was One more powerful than the deities they worshipped.
Cultural mandates can be prohibitive of religious freedom and countries today exercise strict restrictions when it comes to faith. But when the power of the One true God is clearly demonstrated no mandate can denounce His power.
made free in Christ!
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
We who believe in Christ have been given great gifts and one of these gifts is the gift of freedom. But what exactly does it mean to be free and most specifically what does it mean to be free in Christ? Freedom suggests that we are no longer confined, no longer prisoners to cultural and societal norms, that we have the power to speak and act without hindrance but freedom in Christ doesn’t mean we are to act and do anything we please.
Freedom in Christ is living a life that exemplifies living for Him; it is a call to action. We can be set free yet exhibit no change in our action or behavior however when you’ve been made free, your behavior changes to match the change that has occurred on the inside, which is a new life in Christ. When Christ enters your life, old things are passed away and you are given an opportunity to start all over again.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” (Nelson Mandela)
Give it to God
On Saturday, June 27, Pastor Mamie shared an insightful and deeply moving webinar about God’s Cure for Anxiety. Pastor Mamie shares from personal experience how God walked her through traumas and difficulties bringing her to a new day where she can live free from anxiety. Please enjoy today’s devotion and excerpt from her webinar. To watch the entire webinar, please visit Mamie Johnson Ministries’ YouTube channel.