The whole concept of freedom conjures up all kinds of ideas from fundamental necessities to total anarchy. Most of them have to do with a basic right to our own choices, way of life or ambition. However, the concept of freedom in scripture is quite different from the ideas we have grown to attach to this concept on both extremes.
Firstly, if we are to understand freedom in Christ and in the world properly, we must ask three fundamental questions: what am I free from?; what have I been freed into?; what did it cost to see this change? Without these three contexts, our understanding and enjoyment of our freedom is lost. This is where most of the world finds itself when looking at this issue- lost and clueless (imho).
To get straight to the point, we were set free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). This means the sin prone humanity in me has been eliminated. We have been set free into a new life together with God. We now live unto Jesus, not for ourselves (Galatians 2:20). It cost God His very character and nature to purchase this freedom (Philippians 2:7-8, 2Corinthians 5:21). Rectifying the condition of despising God through sin wasn’t simply a matter of convincing people to live right with better methods at a seminar or motivational conference. The heart of man was enslaved to reject God and His ways (Romans 3:9-20).
Just so we understand why we are free from the sin nature but still struggle with sinful acts and desires in our daily living , let’s break things down. Our spirit has already been made fully new. We have been made alive to God and seated with Him in heavenly places (2Cor 5:17,Ephesians 2) FACT! Right now FACT! Our soul on the other hand; the thinking, feeling, deciding part of us, is being renewed and changed daily by the Holy Spirit and the Word (James 1:21, Rom 12:2, 2 Pet 1:3-4). This is what we call being renewed, sanctified, and transformed. Finally, our body! We all get one, and we’re stuck with it…for now. This is the part of us that was born in sin and needs to be brought into submission by our soul and spirit. Romans 6 and 7 teach us how to deal with that issue. This saving work in our body will all soon catch up with the work in our soul and spirit as we are raised up with a new body when Christ returns ( 1Corinthians 15:54-57) . But till then, in order that you don’t lose hope that you are stuck in this sinful body, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you and imparts life to every part of you (spirit, soul and body) so you can partake of your divine nature now (Romans 8:10-11, 2Peter 1:4). When we don’t see these stages, we sometimes may feel like God made false promises about being free.
We were set free into a life filled with Jesus. “What?”, I hear you say, “You mean I was just set free and I can’t do what I want?” Yes, that’s correct! You and I were bought with a heavy price. The life we now live, we live unto God in obedience, not because we’re obliged to do so, but because we love to do so. If that is not the reason why we follow and believe in Jesus, then we are back under the law He came to save us from in the first place.
Just in case we a tempted to think this is some pseudo-freedom which does not do what it says on the box, God reiterates “Listen up!! It is for (the explicit reason of) freedom that Christ set you free, so don’t backtrack and get plugged into that old system again”(Galatians 5:1 paraphrased). ‘I’m only human’ is precisely what Jesus saved you from, and now that statement is absolutely false; your entire design and make-up are completely new.
2 Corinthians5:17 does not leave any room for doubt on this. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. The word for ‘new’ here in Greek, is the word ‘kainos‘. It implies a totally novel design; unlike anything that came before. Simply put, it’s not a rehashed updated version 2.0( which is the Greek word ‘neos‘, where we get common word ‘new’ in English) . This is a totally different version 1.0 (‘kainos’ kind of new). Your new creation self is not based on the old template of corrupted humanity. We were re-designed and re-made into holiness and righteousness vessels in Jesus.
I realize this is quite a lot to digest in one post, but please do use the scripture references and study God’s word at your own pace. I urge you to rightly appreciate and value the freedom you have. I will end with Psalm 124:7-8 We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap. The trap is broken, and we are free! Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
You have broken free!!! Live free!!