ATP Blog #57
No one likes being enslaved to anyone or anything. We are so desirous of self-dependence that we are willing to do anything, even to the point of lying to ourselves, to become free. So, what does it mean to be free, and what are we needing to be free from?
Free – The dictionary defines free in two ways: not under the power or control of another, and able to accomplish your own wishes or desires.
Slave – The things that enslave us are habits, chemicals, and people. This is accomplished through deception, trickery, coercion, or power. Those who are Christians know that the biggest slave-master is sin (not people, not circumstances, not even the devil).
Truth – The biggest question today is ‘What is truth?’ So many who deny God, find the only way to describe truth is relativity (feelings and opinions), and yet that still doesn’t seem to work. God’s Word tells us that the Almighty Creator is truth. He has set the rules, boundaries, and facts in place for us to discover and study. There is only one truth, and it comes from the One who created all things. It is up to us to search for, and discover, this truth, and find its significance in our world.
Belief – So, what does truth have to do with freedom from slavery? ‘To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really my disciples.”’ Thus, the first step to freedom is believing in Jesus Christ, and holding to His teaching. That is a huge step, and yet without it one cannot know the truth, nor can you be free. To believe is an act of faith, but this is not blind, nor is it naïve. Jesus Christ is Immanuel, which means God with us. Believing in Him means that you recognize the facts presented regarding His identity, mission, purpose, and vision. Belief also requires action, since true belief will affect every aspect of your life, and decision making.
Obedience – Holding to Christ’s teachings, as given in God’s Word, is an act of willful obedience, not out of obligation, but out of love. This will be explained further in the next session, but has to do with our adoption as children of the Heavenly Father!
Knowledge – Then Jesus followed up that statement of being His disciples by saying, ‘You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ Belief in Christ, followed by obedience to His teaching, results in acquisition of knowledge regarding THE TRUTH. Please notice that this is not a truth, nor is it your truth. A focus on God directs a person towards knowledge of the truth. Adam and Eve acquired the knowledge of discernment between good and evil, passing that on to us, however the devil has clouded the vision of many, seeking to make evil look good. Christ makes it possible to remove that cloud, and once again see the truth.
True Freedom – What does truth do for you? It brings you true freedom. The greatest slave-master, as was said before, is sin. The greatest sins are lust and pride, which are perpetuated by lies. Truth uncovers the lies, exposing them for what they are, and allowing us to make wise decisions. This is true freedom: being able to truly live! Life is far more than just blood pumping through your veins; it is about your relationship with the Creator, and how you will spend eternity. Sin deceives you into thinking that you are making your own decisions, when in fact you are stuck in the mud-pit of sinful desires. Truth frees you to walk without anything (or anyone) holding you back, allowing you to live the way you were created to live.