Independence From The Darkness Through Keeping Christ’s Words

July 4, 2012

Friends,
Freedom. It is a great word because it is a glorious reality for those who experience it, who have it, who own it, who keep it forever.

Where does freedom come from? It comes from being set free. And Jesus tells us that this comes from knowing the Truth. (John 8:32)

If we want freedom, and if Jesus –the most wonderful and wise teacher who ever lived (because He is also God)– tells us that it comes from knowing the Truth, then wouldn’t anyone who has any bit of sense seek to know this Truth? We’d certainly think so.

So where do we find this Truth that brings freedom? Jesus informs us that it comes from being His disciples which comes from holding to His teaching. (v. 31) Shouldn’t everyone then strive to do this? We’d think so. And being that He added that those who keep His Word (another way to say, “hold to His teaching”) will be prevented from ever seeing death (v. 51) –another way to say, “will have eternal life”– would it not be advantageous to have the ability to obey His instructions? We’d think so.

But how do we obtain the ability to live out (hold to / keep / obey) Jesus’ teaching? God’s Word tells us that it is “by dying to what once bound us” (Rom. 7:6) and by receiving the Holy Spirit who gives us His divine power. (8:2,4 // Gal. 5:16 // 2 Peter 1:3,4) We do this by confessing our sin, turning from it forever, putting our faith in Christ to follow His commands, and thus giving our whole heart (and life) to God. (Rom. 10:9-13) This is Christ’s teaching, simplified.

So, here is what Jesus is saying: “If you want freedom, then get to know the Truth, doing so by living out My teaching.” (paraphrased)

Should we not then search out Christ’s teaching? We’d have to in order to know what He says. And where do we find this? In the Word of God.

So: Studying and applying God’s Word = the ability to keep Christ’s teaching = becoming Christ’s disciple = knowing the Truth = being set free from the dark realm’s bondage = opportunity to live in continuous freedom

Sadly, many people don’t even realize that they need to be set free. They feel fine because they’ve deceived themselves into feeling fine. These are the elitists, the ones who can buy temporary happiness with money, the ones who have everything going for them –so far. Then there are others who do know they need freedom, for they’re miserable in their bondage to the darkness –to sin, evil, fear, gluttony, alcohol, drugs, lust, etc– yet they have no power to defeat these bondages. But should it be any surprise that they can’t? No, for they have neglected, or refused, to believe that it all starts with turning to God’s supernatural, living, powerful, life-changing Word.

Why won’t people turn to God’s Word? It’s because they’ve been fed all sorts of false gospels. Of course these gospels promise freedom (2 Peter 2:19); otherwise they couldn’t hook people into listening to them. So people listen and spend all their time there, only to come up short and more entangled than ever in the darkness. For only Truth frees. The false can deceive and blind people, it can lie, it can fake, it can counterfeit, it can bind and imprison and control and suppress, but it cannot set anyone free. Indeed, any temporary freedom which people may experience from sources other than holding to Christ’s words, is a false way, and it does not truly liberate.

Therefore, when we Americans are celebrating Independence Day, it is also a good reminder for Christ-followers to be grateful for the New Kingdom which we’ve transferred into –something that came about by our declaration of independence from the dark realm and pledge of allegiance to Christ. For definitely, thanksgiving and praise should be given to Jesus, the One who made our freedom possible by paying mankind’s debt of sin and offering us the gift of His Spirit to come and in-dwell us so that we might hold to His teaching, belong to Him, know the Truth, and live in freedom forever.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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