“All who are called to salvation are called to discipleship, no exceptions, no excuses!”
One of the greatest benefits of the Gospel of Jesus lies in the area of freedom.
Gal 5:1-13 MSG Christ has set us free to live a free life therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
There is a universal craving inside of every human being to be free. No one wants to be in slavery or bondage. Our nations Declaration of Independence states ” “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty (feedom), and the Pursuit of Happiness.” For those who are in Christ there is a freedom from the devil and the power of sin. As Paul said it isn’t a freedom to sin, but from sin (Gal 5:1-13, 1 Pet 2:16, 2 Pet 2:19 etc.).
Herein lies a dilemma. If Christ has set people free why is there still so much bondage to sin and its destructive effects? Why do marriages, families, and relationships continue to break down? Why do people get delivered from all kinds of destructive maladies only to return to them and be overcome by them? I am talking about God’s people. The old bumper sticker, “Try Jesus” is often scratched out with the experience of people who write over it, “I tried Christianity/Jesus and it didn’t work.”
I have seen it work like the yo-yos we played with when we were kids. People get delivered out of the hand of the
enemy/sin only to progress for a while then get sucked right back into the hand of what they were delivered from. How does a yo-yo get completely free? The string has to be cut, and it has to be tied to another hand. This is the only way of freedom.
Freedom in Following
Colossians 2:6 CEV You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following Him.
This is where discipleship comes into play. When Jesus made His famous statement, “if the Son sets you free you will be really free” (Jn 8:36), it was in the context of the truth He was trying to get across about how His freedom works. He was speaking to people who were beginning to believe in Him.
Disciples of Jesus are people who do not just profess certain views as their own but apply their growing understanding of life in the Kingdom…to every aspect of their life on earth.” Dallas Willard
In the Gospels 25 times Jesus called people to follow Him, only 4 times does He say to believe in Him. The clear emphasis is on discipleship (a follower, learner, and an adherent). One reason there is so much bondage upon people who believe is that they don’t continue to follow. As the call of the Great Commission states, “make disciples (followers) teaching them to obey everything I commanded” (Mt 28:18-19).
God’s freedom only comes through following. It isn’t just a decision to believe that leads to freedom it is a decision to follow Jesus and put into practice His way of living. Christianity isn’t a decision, it is a journey following Christ. As we turn away from patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior that destroys (puts us in bondage), and we walk with Him who gives us power to live it out, we become free. It is a progressive freedom. It is a roadway of freedom. We may occasionally trip and stumble, but if we keep following we continue to experience more and more Proverbs 4:18-19 The road the righteous travel is like the sunrise, getting brighter and brighter until full daylight has come. (19) The road of the wicked, however, is dark as night. They fall, but cannot see what they have stumbled over. God's Freedom only comes though Following Click To Tweet
Essential aspects to walking with Him and His truth which leads to freedom
- God’s word must become your objective basis of faith and practice. Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp (small lamp) to my feet, and a light (sunlight) to my path. His word clearly shows us what leads to life and freedom as well as destruction and bondage. If His word says it and that settles it, end of story!
- We must continually get His word in us through reading, studying, and listening to it. There are a great host of online Bible materials and easy to read and understand Bible translations.
- We must commit to let the word measure our attitudes, thinking, and actions. Our feelings and desires may be real but that doesn’t make them right. We turn to Jesus and turn away from those He clearly tells us to forsake and avoid
- You must commit to put His word into practice, not just listen to it (James 1:22-23). If it doesn’t affect your attitudes and behavior it isn’t really affecting you.
The level of our obedience is most often determined by the behavior standard of other Christians around us. –Jerry Bridges
- Walk with people who will help us hear and obey God’s word in the everyday issues of real life. The Bible calls it “fellowship.” Biblical friendship is being around people who will communicate and help reinforce God’s truth in every area of life. It is real fiends who will tell us what we need to hear not just what we want to hear. Eph 4:14-15 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; (15) but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, (Zechariah 8:1-16).
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