I’m Free, Now What?

I’m Free, Now What?
By Don Vess

After the Civil war was over and President Abraham Lincoln had made the famous Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that all men are created equal and therefore are entitled to certain inalienable rights and were declared to be free, certain slave owners hid this truth from the slaves that they had owned and kept them in slavery long after they had been granted their freedom. Many of the slaves were forbidden to learn to read and therefore could not read the papers. They had to depend on others to give them their news.
 
Today, there are many Christians who act as though they haven’t heard the news that they have been set free from their sins and are no longer enslaved to them. There were many slaves who made a choice to work for their former masters for food and shelter or to share in the monies that were earned from the sale of the crops they worked. Since they didn’t know any other life, they chose to continue as they were with their masters.
 
Romans 6:12-23 NLT- Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any pare of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God., for you were dead, but now you have new life. So, use your body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become a slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

19 Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you have given yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.

20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to right. 21 And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 22 But now you are FREE from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
God has given us the right to choose! We can choose Life or Death! God has given us a GIFT! Eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord! Or we choose to serve sin and receive the wages that we earn, Death!

We can choose to be FREE from sin and instead to be Love-Slaves of our heavenly Father.
This means we live to please Him in all we do.

The apostle Paul stated in 2 Cor. 5:6-15 …we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7 For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So, whether we are here in this body or away from this body, OUR GOAL IS TO PLEASE HIM. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
 
Paul understood what this present life has to offer vs. what is offered by living a life pleasing to God. Phil 1:21-24 For me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So, I really don’t know which is better. 23 I am torn between two desires; I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.
 
We are FREE and have been given a choice. Paul said in Gal 5:13-14 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
 
True freedom is when we come to the place that we can live free from the desires of our human nature that is contrary to the Spirit man and can instead live and walk in the Spirit which is life, the “zoe” or God-kind of life.
 
The apostle John wrote 1 Jn. 1:5- This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.
 
We have been declared FREE by the Word of God through faith in Christ. But we are not truly free until we accept our freedom and walk it out! We can ‘say’ we are free; we can use the name of Jesus and say we are a “Christian” but if we continue in our sin and say that we are not sinning then we are only deceiving ourselves and lying to ourselves.
1 Jn 1:8-10 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 So if we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts.
 
Once we have received our freedom from sin, why would we ever want to go back to it?
 
It is only because our flesh desires the pleasures of sin. But sin always has disastrous results. James 1:12-15 NLT- God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. 13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and He never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
 
Peter gave a sound warning about listening to false teachers who preach a licentious message that doesn’t produce freedom FROM sin, but rather an entanglement in sin that is a result of continuing to live in it. 1 Peter 2:12-22 NLT- These false teachers are like unthinking animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed. They scoff at things they do not understand, and like animals, they will be destroyed. 13 Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight. They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They delight in deception even as they eat with you in your fellowship meals (communion). They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied. They lure unstable people into sin, and they are well trained in greed. They live under God’s curse. 15 They have wandered off the right road and followed the footsteps of Balaam son of Beor, who loved to earn money by doing wrong. 16 But Balaam was stopped from his mad course when his donkey rebuked him with a human voice.

17 These people are as useless as dried-up springs or as a mist blown away by the wind. They are doomed to blackest darkness. 18 They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. FOR YOU ARE A SLAVE TO WHATEVER CONTROLS YOU. 20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would have been better if they had never known the way of righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 22 They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its own vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”

The enemy is not satisfied to just watch you walk away and live in freedom. Like Pharoah did when God led His people out of Egypt. He went after them in an attempt to bring them back into slavery. But God destroyed Pharoah and his entire army. Satan CANNOT bring you back again to slavery. But you can choose to go back there if you want. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO! God has given you everything you need to fight the good fight of faith.

Heb. 12:1-2 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…

 2 Cor. 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not [a]carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ..

Eph. 6:10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the [a]wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which, you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT- By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the One who has called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruptions caused by human desires.
Phil 1:6 NLT …I am certain that God, who began a good work within you, will continue to work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ returns.

You are FREE! NOW WHAT? WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH YOUR FREEDOM?
 


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