Too many poems, hymns, and novels were written under the melody of liberty. Truly, the sound of freedom is music to the ears. Tears will be brought into the eyes and smiles will be painted in the lips of those who will hear the words of emancipation. It is sweeter than honey; it is more beautiful than the breaking of dawn. But to us who has seen the beauty of the Lord, there is nothing more magnificent than the freedom that we now possess because of Jesus Christ.
But, what are the things which belong to such freedom? I’ll give some examples from the abounding grace we found in God’s love:
1. We are free to know the truth about God. Because of Christ who became Word made flesh, we have known the Father. We, who were once “slaves to sin” (John 8:34), have seen the light and known “the truth, and the truth [has set us free]” (v. 32) because the Son has set us free (v. 36) and also, the Truth Himself (John 14:6).
2. We are free to come to God. Because of Christ who is the only-begotten Son, we are adopted as sons and daughters of God. We now enjoy the freedom to draw near to Him through prayer for we know we have a Father who listens to the cries of His children. We know with full assurance and without doubt that he will provide us with all things necessary for body and soul, and will also turn to our good whatever adversity that will come to us in this valley of tears (Heidelberg Catechism 26). “We did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but we have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15).
3. We are free from the bondage of sin and the tyranny of the devil. Because of Christ who does not have sin yet became sin for us, we are now freed from the miry pit and accusations of the Devil. Before, we were “dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world” and “once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:1-3). But because of the riches of God’s grace and His love for us, He “made us alive together with Christ” (v. 5) and through His precious blood, He redeemed and “freed us from all the power of the devil to make us his own possession” (Heidelberg Catechism 34).
4. We are free from the reign of death. Because of Christ who is the Lamb who died, death has been defeated and we are now freed from its power and condemnation (Romans 8:1-2). Our physical death is no longer a thing to be frightened of because it already has lost its might. “’Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). To us who believe in Him, death now serves as an end of sinning and entrance to glory and joy in communion with God (Heidelberg Catechism 42).
5. We are free from our guilt. Because of Christ who is our High Priest who continually intercedes for us, we are free to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:21-22) since we have confidence “to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh” (v. 19-20).
6. We are free to live a life in service to the Lord. Because of Christ who is our righteousness, we are justified in the sight of God. Christ’s perfect performance is imputed to us as if it were our own. We are freed from living out of slavish fear or constant failure. We are free to live a life, a living sacrifice, that is pleasing to His eyes. We are empowered by the Spirit to live with filial fear and joy. And even if we fail, He remains faithful. He will pick us up and bind us together to walk again in the path of holiness. Because of what our Lord did, and because we are in Him, “we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him” (Ephesians 3:12).
Indeed, now, “the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). Therefore, we should “live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16).