We are all very much aware of the fact that liberation movements are everywhere. People want to be free; they want to be independent. I am not criticizing anybody, but I wonder sometimes how these very small nations are going to make it. Often the true meaning of freedom is overlooked. Sometimes the meaning of freedom is actually distorted, twisted, so people do not really understand what freedom means.
To want what is not good for us is to become misfits and that surely leads to bondage, not freedom. I often think of the way children demonstrate this. They want what is not good for them and in that way create more problems for themselves than they solve.
But the most serious bondage is the bondage of the spirit. And the most joyous freedom is freedom of the spirit. Because we are so fleshly we often fail to understand this fact: the most joyous freedom is freedom of the spirit.
The way to freedom is set forth in the Scriptures. I have chosen John 8:31-36 for the foundation of this instruction on HOW TO BE FREE.
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
How can we be free? Jesus offers several expert COUNSELS as to how we can be free in the true sense.
The first Counsel:
Continue in My Word.
I want to point out to you that Jesus by making this statement, continue in my word, suggested that this is not a momentary experience, but this is an abiding or a dwelling place. “If you continue (if you live, as it were) in my word then you will be my disciple indeed.”
There is a definite relationship: my disciple. This whole idea of disciple and Lord is an exciting idea, because it simply means that when you become a disciple of Jesus Christ then He orders your life. You need no longer be so concerned about where you are going or what you are doing because Jesus as Lord of your life will give you direction.
There is also a distinct discovery here because Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Oh, people are searching for truth but they don’t find it because they don’t search for it at the right place. Jesus said His word will bring you to truth. Some find it. Praise the Lord! I’m glad to point out to you that truth is found in Jesus’ words.
To be free means to continue in the word of Jesus. Don’t miss the full force of this counsel. He said if you want to be free then you continue in His word.
The second Counsel He gives us:
They really denied their condition. They said, “We are Abraham’s children. We have never been in bondage to anybody.” They fell into a serious state. They thought that family lines can override the spiritual problem. They over emphasized their family background. They ignored the daily situation because at that time they were under the bondage of Rome. The Roman rulers had the say over them, but in their desperation they did not consider the wisdom of Jesus. So He needed to point out to them that true freedom is not in their family line, but true freedom comes in the spirit. So He showed them that sin enslaves. Sin makes slaves out of people.
Oh yes, I know that to be true. I have witnessed it. What’s more, I have experienced it. He taught them that sin enslaves and yet there is hope in the Son. For He said, “The slave does not abide in the house forever but the Son abides forever.” In other words, you can break the bondage of sin if you respond to the wisdom of Jesus.
To be free means to consider the wisdom of Jesus. Sin enslaves. It creates bondage of the spirit, but Jesus can liberate you.
There is a third Counsel on how to be free:
Confess My Work.
That is the only way, for Jesus said when the Son makes you free, then you are free indeed. Oh, my friend, I want you to catch this in verse 36: “Therefore if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” It is His work to set you free. You can struggle all you want but you will never be free until you are willing to confess His work.
Then you have true freedom! And without a doubt for Jesus said, “You shall be free indeed.” Indeed, without doubt. Yes. Praise the Lord! When we come His way then we experience that freedom of the spirit, the most important area where freedom can be experienced.
To be free means to confess Jesus’ work. He liberates the spirit. And that’s the most important place for liberation to happen, in your spirit and mine.
How to be free then involves accepting the counsels of Jesus: continue in my word, consider my wisdom, confess my work. He said, “If you continue in my word then you are my disciples indeed and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”
I invite you to find this freedom of which Jesus spoke, freedom of the spirit.