On Faith column: Look to Jesus for freedomFree. When you think of this word what does it mean to you?
By: Pastor Kirk Schield, Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church, Two Harbors
Free. When you think of this word what does it mean to you?
Since we Americans celebrated the Fourth of July or Independence Day last week we might remember that we were made free by the patriots who fought to become free from the tyranny and taxation of Great Britain.
And, we are still blessed to have many active soldiers who are right now risking their lives and many military veterans who have risked their lives to keep this country free. We can certainly thank them for their service!
As we continue to think of the word “free,” things come to mind such as “Buy one, get one free” or “Free: kittens to a good home.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the following meanings for free:
1) having liberty;
2) not controlled by others : independent
3) released or not suffering from something unpleasant (such as free from pain or suffering);
4) given without charge
5) made or done voluntarily;
8) not restricted by conventional forms;
9) not fastened or bound;
10) to relieve, rid, disentangle.
Now let’s look at a Bible passage: Jesus said, “If you abide in my Word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.” “Therefore, if the Son makes you free you will be free indeed.” (John 8:31-36)
When we think about what Scripture teaches about Jesus and what He has done for us we can use lots of those dictionary terms. Jesus knew that as sinners we were slaves; we did not have liberty, we were in bondage to sin. Without Jesus we would have something very unpleasant in our future-eternal separation from God in hell. But God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus. Jesus voluntarily gave himself-Our freedom cost Him his life. Yet for us there is no charge. We think that we can somehow work to gain our freedom. But, we cannot free ourselves. So, Jesus, who is not restricted by conventional forms gave His life in our place. Through faith in Jesus as our only Savior we can be relieved and be rid of the guilt of our sin.
Since the Son set us free we are free indeed. We need to know that in a world cursed by sin the struggle goes on. But Jesus has won the victory. Now, since we are free from sin, every day is Independence Day.
You may be oppressed by guilt, pain, and the bondage of a sinful past or behavior, or you know people who are. The consequences of your sin or their sin may continue. But as you learn about Jesus’ forgiveness you will see that you can be free from slavery. Or, if you have been freed but know someone who needs to be freed you can tell them, what Jesus assures us, “If you abide in my Word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Therefore, if the Son makes you free you will be free indeed.”
Pastor Kirk Schield serves at Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church in Two Harbors. Feel free to contact him at 834-5345 or w61valley @hotmail.com.