Last week, we started talking about sin.
We are going to continue that conversation next week, and maybe a week or two after that, but today, I’m talking about freedom.
On July 4th, Americans will celebrate Independence Day; the day that our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. The document told King George of England that we no longer considered ourselves his subjects. Eight years later, we finally earned our freedom, but even then, not all were free. That wouldn’t come until 1865, when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery.
Freedom is a big deal to us, but if you asked the average person what freedom means, you will probably get a host of different answers.
Jesus talked about freedom too.
17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”(Luke 4:17-21)
Jesus told the Jews in the synagogue that He was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31-34)
Jesus said that his followers would know the truth and the truth would set them free. Later he would tell Thomas
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:16)
So His followers would know the truth that would set them free, and the Truth is Jesus Himself, as the only way to God.
Set them free from what?
38“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. (Acts 13:38-39)
How did He do that?
because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. (Rom 6:7)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. (Heb: 9:15)
and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, (Rev 1:5)
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
But why was it even necessary?