flower-in-mud

 

As election season arrives and —and as we thank God for the hard- won freedoms this country enjoys during Thanksgiving week—it is important to point out the freedoms we have through Jesus Christ. His hard-won victory on the cross gives us these five liberties:

1. Freedom from guilt that all inherit

The Bible says

in 1 Corinthians 15:22, “In Adam all die.” Physical death—and the risk of spiritual death—are universal realities because of the sin we inherit from Adam and Eve. In Christ we are forgiven, promised a home in heaven, and are set free from guilt.

2. Freedom from sinful deeds we personally commit

We have all known the right but done the wrong. Sinful actions not only put a wedge between us and God, they result in numerable negative repercussions. Christ forgives our sins, and the indwelling Holy Spirit can give us the strength to overcome temptations.

3. Freedom within ourselves over personal struggles

If we are willing, God’s Spirit can even help us overcome sinful habits that may have held us in bondage for years. Whether the issue is a gnawing remorse over past bad decisions, feelings of worthlessness, emotional pain from abuse, or just fear about tomorrow- Jesus gives us peace within. The gospel is our way to peace with God, and is also the key to peace with ourselves.

4. Freedom from judgment that is ultimately coming

Jesus is in the process of restoring a broken world. “Eschatology” is an 85-cent word that refers to what the Bible says about “last things.” One day the entire world and universe will be made brand-new (Revelation 21:5). Just as there is a global, universal eschatology- Jesus gives us a joyous personal eschatology! This fallen world is under judgment, but Jesus has made the believer exempt!

5. Freedom to face eternity, and our soul’s final destiny

Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed for people to die once- and after this, judgment.” We may not want to think about our own mortality, but it is unavoidable. There is a date that we will leave this world, and God knows when that date is. It is very freeing to know that we are ready to face God!

Not long ago I was asked to visit the friend of a friend who had been arrested and put in jail. As a minister of the Gospel, requests like this come along more than you might imagine. It is an honor to do such things, and when people find themselves in the deepest of valleys they are very often quite open to allowing Jesus Christ to become Lord of their life.

The facility was very bleak, with rough gray concrete everywhere and seemingly endless hallways of bars and flaking paint. Not surprisingly, an air of gloom and hopelessness permeated the place, and this was reflected on the faces of the inmates.

The particular jail where I visited the inmate in question had a very small courtyard in the middle of the building. There were a few concrete squares in an otherwise dirt courtyard. The dusty courtyard area reminded me of forlorn places I have been in developing nations. Suddenly I noticed a small flower growing up against the concrete wall in one corner. It was the only bit of vegetation in this otherwise lifeless place. Invisibly, some breeze had carried a grain of pollen over the roof and into this small open area within the prison facility. The bleakness of the surroundings made that one little flower all the more vivid.

When you think of the bondage, sufferings, and entanglements that permeate this world, the freedoms that we have through Christ appear all the more precious. Jesus is the flower of beauty is a barren dusty place. He absolves the guilty who are imprisoned by sin. The heart longs for freedom, and finds it in Christ.

Written by Alex McFarland
Alex McFarland serves as Director of the Center for Apologetics and Christian Worldview, North Greenville University, located in South Carolina (www.ngu.edu). www.alexmcfarland.com