Thursday, August 1, 2013

Glorious Freedom, verse 4

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Job 19:25

Paralyzing fear. Have you experienced it? As this hymn says, fear is a tormentor. But because of our freedom in Christ, we have been delivered from fear. Jesus reminds us that we don't need to be fearful because He has given us His peace.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

And here's a reason not to fear - we've been adopted as God's children - we can call Him Father! We are free from our spirit of slavery and adopted into His family!

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

What is the one thing most feared by most people? It is death. And when we fear death, we are like slaves to that fear - subject to slavery "all our lives" - paralyzed by fear. But there's hope -- Jesus' death made the devil, who had the power of death, powerless! Because of Jesus' death, we are FREE!

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:14-15

We also are free from fear about the future, even when the future may include hurt and suffering. We are urged to be faithful, and not fearful.

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10

And look at the reward for our faithfulness - the crown of life! We can be free of fear because we've been set free from our slavery to fear.

We are also set free from our slavery to care, or to worry. Worrying over things from little to big is nothing new for humans, we've been doing it for thousands of years. Jesus tells His followers repeatedly to not worry.

"Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’" Matthew 6:31

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

"But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say." Matthew 10:19

"If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?" Luke 12:26

"And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying." Luke 12:29

Do not keep worrying. Clearly this was a pattern with people, just as it is today. Worry is really rooted in control. We worry because we cannot control everything. It is our sinful nature that seeks to control, but Christ's atonement has set us free from cares and their pain! We don't need to be a slave to worry anymore! He is on the throne, doing what He pleases.

Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps. Psalm 135:6

And we can trust the One who gave His life for us. It is no longer we who live, but Christ in us. Christ who has set us free. Hallelujah!

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20

Glorious Freedom
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.

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