GOSPEL FREEDOM

FREEDOM – A KEY FACT OF THE GOSPEL

The Bible uses a number of words that convey the concept of freedom as an outcome of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: liberty, salvation, freedom, ransom, redemption, being set free, deliverance. We read texts like:

“… the Son of Man did not come to be served, but … to give his life a ransom for many’ [Mark 10:45].

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people” [Luke 1: 68].

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me … He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners  … and to release the oppressed’ [Luke 4:18].

“… you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” [John 8:32].

“… if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed’ [John 8:36].

“… we have been released from the law so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit” [Romans 7:6].

“… through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death” [Romans 8:2].

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” [Galatians 5:1]

“In him we have redemption through his blood” [Ephesians 1:7].

“… he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might … free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death’ [Hebrews 2:14,15].

“… you were redeemed … with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect’ [1Peter 1:18,19].

This concept of freedom as an outcome of the Gospel presupposes that prior to this liberating impact of the Gospel we were in a condition that made release or deliverance necessary: that prior to this action of the Gospel we were not free, and, in addition, that we were not able to free ourselves.

This Gospel freedom is a precious and costly gift; as such it is meant to be treasured and enjoyed, not ignored or abused.

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at Gospel freedom … at what Paul calls ‘the glorious freedom of the children of God’ [Romans 8:21]. We will also be looking at what we have been set free from and what we have been set free for. In the process we will encounter and expose some misconceptions of Christian freedom.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2012