Today's Reading: John 8:12-41 & Psalm 88
“I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin … if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:34-36
Freedom—what a precious word! But are we certain we understand what true freedom means?
Listen to the protest of those in the crowd: “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone” (John 8:33). Despite their claim, they were living in political bondage—under Roman occupation—and under an even heavier bondage, sin. Fast forward to the 21st Century, where some still claim, “We are slaves to no one.” They consider themselves free—free to exercise whatever sexual lifestyle appeals to them. Free to use God's gift of sex without the Christ-honoring commitment of marriage. Free to choose abortion. They’re living under bondage to the lie that happiness is attainable without Christ and His Word—and under an even heavier bondage, sin.
Are you truly free? One sadly mistaken idea of freedom declares, “I can do as I please.” But freedom without control is no freedom at all. A pianist who stops practicing is not free to play at concerts. An automobile, without a set of working brakes, is not free to be driven on public streets. True freedom is not something we get by claiming a “right.” Quite the opposite; true freedom is a matter of grace—what God, through, in, and on account of Jesus Christ has done and is doing to us and for us.
Free from, and also free to. Free from the condemnation of sin. Free to move with bold discipleship in living our God-given, Grace-filled freedom.
Gracious God, who sent Your Son into the world to release sinners from the condemnation of sin, increase our faith in His sacrificial and redeeming work, that we may use our freedom to encourage believers and bring to unbelievers the Good News of Jesus Christ, through whom we pray. Amen.
What holds you in bondage? Take it to the Lord in prayer—and live in the freedom He has given to you.
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