Freedom is what we have—Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.Galatians 5:1 GNB
Not too long ago, I was in a service full of young folks when the band broke out in a very lively version of the Newsboys anthem, “I Am Free.” Predictably, the front of the room quickly filled with worshippers jumping and running and sweating. Thank God for the freedom to jump and holler in church!
As the years go by, my jumper doesn’t work as well, but I’m still in favor of zeal, and in favor of folks expressing their joy in a physical way as the Spirit moves them. As the festivities continued, I became intrigued with the song’s refrain:
“I am free to run, I am free to dance, I am free to live for you, I am free. Yes, I am free.”
The thought popped into my mind (I won’t blame the Holy Spirit for it, but I thought it was Him at the time), ‘Don’t trivialize the work of Christ.” I understood immediately what that meant. We are free to express our heart in worship, but the freedom Jesus bought us goes so much deeper. The last line obliquely touches on it. We are free to live for Him.
The New Testament speaks extensively of our freedom, and never once mentions yelling, running, jumping, or dancing. It does mention:
- Freedom from the Law of Moses as a means of righteousness: Bondage comes when I am constantly fearful for my salvation because I transgress the commandments. It keeps me centered on self, my successes and my failures. Christ has set me free from that life of condemnation and fear. 1 Peter 1:18-19 / 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
- Freedom from the slavery of sin: Sometimes, teaching about grace seems to imply that sin no longer matters, as Christ has already dealt with it on Calvary. That’s a half-truth. Our sins are cleansed, our nature changed. We are free from sin, not free to sin. Sin has consequences, but it no longer has control. Romans 6:14, 18 / 1 Peter 2:16 / Romans 8:2, etc.
- Freedom from Satan’s power: The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He can do none of the above to me unless I cooperate. The devil cannot make me do anything! Colossians 1:13-14 / Acts 26:18 / Hebrews 2:14
I am free from condemnation, free from the bondage of sin, and free from the tyranny of the devil. Now that makes me want to shout!