It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Stand Firm in Your Freedom
In June of 1865, Major General Gordon Granger landed with his soldiers at Galveston, Texas to announce that the American Civil War had ended and that all slaves were now free. Note that this happened more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. By the declaration of the President, all slaves were free in 1863. However, it took more than two years for all the slaves throughout the United States to hear about it. For more than two years, countless people were living in a slavery from which they had already been set free.
Sadly, the same type of thing still happens. The United States no longer condones slavery. But people feel enslaved every day. Enslaved to alcohol or pornography. Enslaved to the high that comes from drugs or prescription medication. Enslaved to feelings of bitterness, anger, or jealousy. To be enslaved means that you no longer feel in control. You do not do what you want to. Someone or something else has control of you. When what controls you is sin, and you feel chained to the same sinful choices again and again; the discouragement and deep guilt that result can make you feel like you are living in slavery.
But sin’s slavery is one from which you have already been set free. Not by your ability to finally overcome the addiction or to stay away from the temptation. Not by your newfound faithfulness to God’s laws. But by the declaration of Jesus, who died on the cross to take the punishment for your sin, so that you could live every day knowing that you are forgiven. Your sin does not determine your status in God’s family. Jesus does. He declares that you are free from the power and punishment of sin.
“Stand firm, then,” the Bible says, “and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Remember that you have been set free–the next time temptation comes creeping in, when you are overwhelmed with guilt, or you feel weak. Remember “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
Dear Jesus, thank you for the precious gift of freedom from sin. Help me to stand firm against Satan and his wicked temptations by remembering your declaration that I am free. Amen.