It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
As we get ready to celebrate the freedoms that we have in our nation this week, I thought it would be beneficial to also look at the freedom that was bought for us with Jesus' blood. Everywhere around our country this week, people will gather with family and friends to eat, launch fireworks, watch a parade, celebrate independence and hopefully pause to remember what that means for us as citizens. We have freedoms in our country because people fought for them - and because many people lost their lives in order to guarantee them for us.
But more importantly, as Christians, we also are free! Before Jesus paid the price, we were slaves to sin, but His death on the cross has purchased our freedom. Now, THAT is something to celebrate!
When we were dead in our trespasses and sins, we were like the prisoners described in Psalm 107:
There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in misery and chains, because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the counsel of the Most High. Psalm 107:10-11
As slaves to sin, we struggled in vain because we could never live up to God's holy standard for our lives.
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. James 2:10
But God had a plan. He would send His sinless, perfect Son to die a cruel death that belonged to you and me. His atoning work on the cross ensured our freedom from slavery - slavery to sin that had us bound up in chains.
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Romans 6:5-7
Jesus broke my fetters in twain! Hallelujah! This glorious, wonderful freedom breaks the bonds of sin. Jesus is my emancipator, having freed me from my former life.
So what is my response? Now and forever He shall be mine! I will live for Him for what He has done for me. Let's celebrate freedom!
(Join me back here in the next week or two as we look at the next verses of this hymn and more closely meditate on what we have been freed from - and what we are set free for!)
Words by Haldor Llineas
Once I was bound by sin’s galling fetters;
Chained like a slave, I struggled in vain.
But I received a glorious freedom,
When Jesus broke my fetters in twain.
Glorious freedom! Wonderful freedom!
No more in chains of sin I repine!
Jesus the glorious Emancipator—
Now and forever He shall be mine.
Freedom from all the carnal affections;
Freedom from envy, hatred and strife;
Freedom from vain and worldly ambitions;
Freedom from all that saddened my life!
Freedom from pride and all sinful follies;
Freedom from love and glitter of gold;
Freedom from evil temper and anger;
Glorious freedom, rapture untold!
Freedom from fear with all of its torments;
Freedom from care with all of its pain;
Freedom in Christ, my blessed Redeemer—
He who has rent my fetters in twain.