If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)
Today’s passage of Scripture is one of the hardest for many of us to take hold of and appropriate to our hearts. It’s certainly difficult for me and my heart. I have no doubt that I am not as free as Jesus intends for me to be in the Gospel freedom He died to purchase for His children.
I often allow the devil to accuse me, in spite of the fact that I know there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). I have a tendency to think that the more obedient I am, the more God will love me, forgetting the fact that I am already completely loved in Christ, no matter what I think, do, or say. I’m sure many of you reading this will readily admit that you succumb to that sort of “stinkin’ thinkin'” also. We all wrestle against the world, the flesh, and the devil, and our old sin nature is still very much alive deep within us and is busily engaged in trying to keep us in bondage. One of Satan’s most effective tactics is to dangle before us the deceitful promises of sin, which can deliver on its promises for a moment, but always leave us empty and wanting in the end.
Only when we receive the truth of the Gospel freedom that we have in Jesus will we respond by faith to the emancipation we have received. This emancipation has two facets, thanks to our spiritual union with Jesus: First, we are freed from the penalty, the power, and the pleasures of sin. Second, we have been freed to walk in the newness of life we have received. Because we are new creatures in Christ, we are released from the bondage and burden of sin and freed to the beauty and bounty of a new life in Christ.
May that dual truth set us all free — free indeed — to live the life Jesus has set us free to live, by grace through faith.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!