Glorious Freedom #1

Sunday, October 5, 2014

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7 KJV).

The first verse of Haldor Lillenas’ classic 1917 hymn “Glorious Freedom” highlights today’s Scripture.

“Once I was bound by sin’s galling fetters;
Chained like a slave, I struggled in vain.
But I received a glorious freedom,
When Jesus broke my fetters in twain.”

Prior to becoming a saint by faith alone in Jesus Christ, the sinner was “bound by sin’s galling fetters;” sin’s chains or shackles held the individual to the point of chafing or irritation. Once religiosity (religious works) and secularism (worldly works) were exposed as equally filthy in God’s sight, the sinner understood that they had nothing to pay to free themselves from their sins of the spirit and their sins of the flesh.

Whether struggling in a religious system (faithful giving, water baptism, prayers, church attendance, confessions, et cetera) attempting to gain God’s acceptance; or engaging in drunkenness, fornication, swearing, theft, and lying attempting to gain the world’s acceptance; one must perform to receive favor. The sinner finally realizes they know that the ultimate blessing is to be freed from such bondage, liberated from such a system of failure and misery, for they can neither fully gain God’s acceptance nor the world’s acceptance.

In John 8:34-36, Jesus told the Pharisees: “[34] Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. [35] And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. [36] If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” The Pharisees needed to be freed from their sins, especially their hypocrisy and works-religion!

By the riches of God’s grace (His work on our behalf), through faith alone in Jesus Christ’s shed blood, we can be crucified with Christ and “redeemed” (set free; today’s Scripture), for “he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:7). Verse 18 says, “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” We are alive and free in Christ—not to live for ourselves, but to choose to live as the living dead people we are, saints alive with Jesus Christ’s resurrection life!