by S. S. Peter
In this world, different people have different kinds of freedom - freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, and so forth. However, I would like to talk about the real freedom that comes from God. Many people do not have real freedom.
When God created the first man (Adam), He gave him a free will. Man had freedom to do what he wanted to do. He had freedom to eat different fruits in the garden of Eden, he had freedom to communicate with God - he was practically king of the earth! He had dominion over everything that was created on earth. He even had freedom to choose to do good or evil. However, rather than using his free will to do good, man chose to do evil by listening to the Devil, the enemy of God. We do not know how many years he stayed in the perfect will of God, but we do know that when the Devil tempted him, he sinned. However, Adam named the woman Eve after they had sinned (Genesis 3:20). God named the first man and woman under the same name - Adam (Genesis 5:2 - "Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam"). I do not want to go into detail about this. I just want to bring up the point that man disobeyed God and that disobedience is sin.
In the Garden of Eden, man was happy. He did not need to worry about what to eat, what to wear, etc. However, when man sinned by listening to the enemy of God, he lost his peace, as well as his fellowship with God, and sorrows and all kinds of problems began. Also, man had to work to survive. He then became a slave of the Devil. That is why Jesus said in John 8:34, "...Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." However, God did not destroy man immediately. He gave man a chance to repent - a chance to choose God. Therefore, we have the freedom to choose God or the Devil.
Today, many people are looking for freedom from bondage. Everyone wants to be free. That is a good desire, but that is still not real freedom. Jesus said, "...ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). He said the truth will set us free. If you were wondering what the truth was, John 14:6 said that Jesus is the truth. If the truth sets us free, then a lie puts us under bondage. Who is the liar? Jesus said the Devil was the liar. He said, "[The Devil] ...abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). From these verses, we can understand that the Devil is a liar and the father of lies, and Jesus is the truth.
In the Garden of Eden, the Devil tempted the first couple to sin, by lying to them. After they had sinned, they died spiritually and then physically. This was the work of the Devil. The Bible says, "...the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8).
Since Adam and Eve were our first parents, we all have their sinful nature. The Bible says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). The Bible says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." The penalty for sin is death, and man cannot save himself from it. However, the Bible says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Here, we see that God sent his Son (Jesus) to die on the cross to save us from this penalty.
Let us read 1 Corinthians 15:45-57 and you will get a better idea of what Jesus did to free us from this bondage. "And so it is written, The first living Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put in immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Here, we see that Jesus made us free from the bondage of death. He made us free to have everlasting life once more. John 8:36 says, "If the Son [Jesus] therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." Galatians 5:1 says, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Colossians 1:13-14 says, "...Who [God] hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son [Jesus]: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." The Bible says, "...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17). These verses prove that we are set free.
We are free from the penalty of death. Jesus said in John 5:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him who sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life." Romans 8:1-2 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
Some people wonder why believers in Christ die physically when they are free from death. According to the Bible, believers in Christ Jesus never die; they just sleep. As the Bible says, "...I would not have you be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, and also we read earlier 1 Corinthians 15:51-54). According to these Scriptures, we will live forever with the Lord. Physical death is separation of the spirit and soul from the body, but spiritual death is separation from God. However, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, there is no separation from God. What a glorious hope we have in Jesus! He is coming soon!
Dear friend, are you ready to meet the Lord? God has given us freedom to choose eternal life or eternal death. Death comes from Satan, and life comes from God. He wants to set you free. If you are searching for real freedom, this is your chance. No matter what your condition is, or wherever you are, if you need real freedom, Jesus will set you free. Just pray a simple prayer like this: Dear God, I thank You for sending Jesus Christ, your Son, to die on the cross of Calvary to set me free. I believe he has risen from the dead and He is living today. I ask Jesus to forgive and wash away all my sins with His precious blood. I ask Him to come into my heart and give me real freedom. I accept Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
If you really meant this prayer from your heart, then He has forgiven you and made you free. Now you are a new creation. (Please read John 1:12 and 2 Corinthians 5:17.)