Glorious Freedom #5

Thursday, October 9, 2014

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1 KJV).

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

“Glorious freedom! Wonderful freedom!
No more in chains of sin I repine!
Jesus the glorious Emancipator—
Now and forever He shall be mine.”

Would God save us by grace through faith in Christ without Law-keeping (without our works) to only then demand that we must keep the Law to merit His fellowship and blessings? Preposterous! While a religionist preaches some sense of “grace,” you can be sure that a works-message will immediately follow in the same breath! “God is saving (?) you by His grace, but now you better get water baptized, give a tithe, and confess your sins, or your Christian life will be displeasing to Him and He will withhold His blessings.” Ridiculous!

Romans 6:14,15 confirms: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” If we want sin to rule our lives, Law-keeping is the answer. If we want holiness (Christ’s life) to dominate our lives, grace is the answer (Titus 2:11-15)! Grace is Jesus Christ’s performance on our behalf; He never fails. When Christ lives, and not us, we will not wallow and complain in sin’s chains; we will be free from that bondage, defeat, and misery!

One frequent objection is, “Preaching grace will cause people to live in sin!” Nay, beloved. Actually, people (naturally) “live in sin” already, having never known one trace of God’s grace. Every child of Adam lives in sin, so God does not take us out of Adam and put us into Christ just so we could continue “living in sin;” God put us into Christ to give us a new nature, a holy nature, that sin not dominate us. He gave us His grace, not His law, that sin not dominate us; His grace produces Christ’s life in us.

Jesus Christ freed us from sin, that, “Now and forever we will be His,” and “Now and forever He shall be ours!” 🙂

Glorious Freedom #4

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:24,25 KJV).

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

“Freedom from fear with all of its torments;
Freedom from care with all of its pain;
Freedom in Christ, my blessèd Redeemer—
He Who has rent my fetters in twain.”

Our Apostle, Paul, was no “super-human;” just as human as we are, he worried, he struggled with sin, he grew exhausted when he attempted to live the Christian life. As we Christians often do today, he would forget the glorious doctrines of grace living in Romans chapter 6—our death to sin and our resurrection unto life for God’s glory—and he would lapse back into a performance-based acceptance system.

Before Paul was saved, as Saul of Tarsus, he was “a Pharisee” (Philippians 3:5), people whom Jesus repeatedly condemned for emphasizing outward performance and ignoring inward faith in God’s Word. Like we who abandoned legalistic religions or denominations would do today, Paul (now saved) would return to that old thinking, that old lifestyle of legalism (Law-keeping), and he would wind up defeated (today’s Scripture). He would ignore Jesus’ finished crosswork at Calvary as the power to save him from being defeated by daily sins.

We are free from fear with all of its torments, for our future is secure in Christ because of His performance and not ours (2 Timothy 1:12; Romans 8:35-39). We are free from care with all of its pains, for when we pray to Father God in light of His Word to us (Paul’s epistles), He gives us His peace (Philippians 4:6,7)—even in the midst of trouble (2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Philippians 4:11-13). We are free in Christ, for we function in Him as His (and our) Heavenly Father designed us, by faith allowing the indwelling Holy Spirit to work mightily in us to produce in us the Christian life (Romans chapter 8). Yea, Jesus Christ, our wonderful Redeemer, has freed us from Satan and sin! 🙂

Glorious Freedom #3

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Romans 6:12 KJV).

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

“Freedom from pride and all sinful follies;
Freedom from love and glitter of gold;
Freedom from evil temper and anger;
Glorious freedom, rapture untold!”

Once, when we were lost, under the control of the Adversary, separated from the Creator God, on our merry way to eternal hellfire, we “were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past [we] walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Ephesians 2:1-3). What a description!

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us [given us life and power to function in life] together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (verses 4,5). Now, we are dead with Christ and raised with Christ (Romans 6:3-11). Today’s Scripture says that we do not have to serve sin anymore; sin does not have to reign as a king over us anymore. We can choose to walk by faith in our new identity in Christ.

We are freed from pride (Philippians 2:5-11), for it is not us, but Christ living in us (Galatians 2:20). We are freed from foolishness (Ephesians 5:3,4; Titus 3:3), for we have Christ’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16). We are freed from materialism, for “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10; cf. 1 Timothy 6:6). We are freed from unrighteous anger; we are to be “kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven [us]” (Ephesians 4:26,32).

Freedom, not to serve self, but to serve others! Inexpressible delight indeed! 🙂

Glorious Freedom #2

Monday, October 6, 2014

“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Romans 6:22 KJV).

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

“Freedom from all the carnal affections;
Freedom from envy, hatred and strife;
Freedom from vain and worldly ambitions;
Freedom from all that saddened my life!”

Lost people view Christianity as bondage (due to strict denominational oppression) and their own lives as freedom (due to the deceitfulness of their own sinful hearts). Lost people assume they freely think for themselves and freely run their own lives—they succinctly declare that they are “not fettered to ancient texts of superstition and fiction” as we are!

Still, they fail to realize that they are captive, not free; they are slaves to sin, powerless to overcome it. Our Lord plainly declared that in John 8:34-36. Actually, the Pharisees resented Jesus for those words, even going so far as to say they “were never in bondage to any man” (verse 33)—they overlooked the hundreds of passers-by, soldiers who belonged to Israel’s overbearing Roman government! Even today, lost people claim to be free as they walk around wearing chains of sin.

In Christ, we are liberated from fleshly attitudes and likings; envy; hatred; strife (fighting); worthless secular goals; and all the other miserable actions that accompany our Adamic sin nature. After illustrating a horrible (sinful) lifestyle in verses 17-19 of Ephesians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul wrote: “[20] But ye have not so learned Christ; [21] If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: [22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation [behavior and lifestyle] the old man [old, Adamic, sin nature], which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; [23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; [24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” He then delineates grace living in verses 25-32, the eternal life God has for us in Christ. We are free from sin, and, as God’s Word rightly divided renews our minds, we see that everlasting life become evident in ours!

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!