While Jesus was still growing in her womb, his mother was singing about freedom: “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble” (Luke 1:52). You might say the whole of his ministry was about setting people free – from sickness, sin, and the grip of Mammon. Jesus has the power to set us free from crippling patterns of thought, from the chains of grudges and resentment, from the paralysis of shame.
The freedom of Jesus is exercised by particular disciplines in our lives (see our passages above). 1) Faith in Jesus sets us free from the grip of sin into the new creation of grace. 2) Truth sets us free – that means honesty, integrity, authenticity, and insight or discernment; and truth is also the childlike spirit, the way of simplicity. 3) Generosity sets us free – as we give freely, so we are released from fear, from the belief that there is not enough to go round. 4) Healing sets us free; in all kinds of ways we receive Christ’s healing, and taking the trouble to follow a healthy lifestyle is part of our discipleship. 5) Avoiding debt and releasing others from debt bring freedom, and this was an important practical New Testament principle. 6) Self-discipline and self-restraint bring freedom; the escape from addictions, compulsions, and impulsivity is part of our healing in Christ and brings great peace.
Can you identify areas in your life where you have found freedom through your faith in Jesus?
Can you think of any areas in your life where you long to experience deeper freedom?
How is the freedom of Jesus different from permissiveness?
God of life, when we are set free by your truth, we are free indeed! We thank you for the freedom won for us by Jesus. We thank you for the spaciousness of his love, which lets us breathe again, which breaks the chain of hopelessness and sin. There is such joy in your freedom, dear Lord, and such peace. All our lives may we be led by your Spirit into the way of perfect freedom. Give us grace and wisdom to discern the way of life; help us to be self-controlled and prudent in our choices. Give us the insight, sensitivity, and generosity to help others to step into freedom. We ask these things in Jesus’ holy name; Amen.