Free Indeed

The one who has never been a slave does not know the joy of being set free. The one who has never felt the weight of chains has no reason to leap for joy. The one who has never been driven to endless hard labor takes for granted the sweetness of rest.

To the freed slave, their Savior is cherished, but the free man has always saved himself.

Jesus says that we were all once slaves to sin. Indeed, all of us were born into this condition of heart. Our hearts know there is a God, but our mouths refuse to acknowledge Him. We will work to become like Him, but our labor gets us nowhere. He offers life, but we want to discover it elsewhere. We were made for Him, but our unsatisfied cravings drive us away.

With our own glory in mind, we are driven to endless work, idols that never satisfy, blinding darkness, and the dream of saving ourselves. The dream ends in a nightmare, though, as slavery to sin always leads to death. We were all slaves in the worse way.

This is the condition of the drug addict and the pastor’s kid, the prostitute and the teacher’s pet, the thief on the cross and the squeaky-clean Pharisee. All our stories start the same way. No testimony is less exciting than another. A slave to sin is a slave to sin no matter what the external package looks like. The chains were just as heavy for each of us, but have we forgotten?

The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has sent His Son to set the captives free. By His cross, the chains of our sin have been released. The heart is free to fly to our Father and enjoy His freeing love. The dungeon darkness has been broken by the Light of the World. The taskmaster has been replaced by a loving Father and His Son. Once doomed to be cast out as a slave, now we enjoy the house of the Lord forever and the inheritance of the Son.

Christ has done the work. He has made the payment. We are free indeed.

The father of lies, though, will try to convince us that no rescue was needed. He will insist that we were all born pretty good: “Your work is sufficient. God is withholding. Go ahead and show off your righteousness.”

Or, if the guilt becomes too great, he will persuade us to make payment for ourselves: “Beat yourself up! Work a little harder! If needed, take your own life and payment will be complete!”

He is a liar and a murderer. The deception that we were never slaves has only one goal in mind: our misery and death.

Resist the devil and he will flee!

Submit to love of the Father!

Jesus has set us free!

Leap for joy!

Sing His praises!

Shout from the rooftops!

We were once slaves, but we have been set free!
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