I’m continuing the series on: How God Sees Us, which commenced here.
“If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:8).
God made us with the need to belong and he meets this need when we become a Christian. It’s a great comfort to know that we belong to God. We are people of worth and value because we belong to God. But we have to believe it to experience it.
“This is what the LORD says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1).
The world would tell us that belonging to God restricts our freedom. The world loves to promote freedom as doing our own thing, doing whatever is in our hearts regardless of the opinions of others. But is that really freedom?
Freedom isn’t freedom if we can’t stop doing it. People over the age of 18, are free to drink alcohol, but if they can’t stop drinking, they are in bondage to alcohol. A drug addict is in bondage to his drugs, a workaholic is in bondage to his job, someone who is obsessive compulsive is in bondage, whether it’s to washing their hands or cleaning their house or whatever. Anytime we can’t stop doing something we are in bondage to it, even if it’s a good thing. If we can’t stop helping someone, we may be co-dependent and in bondage to them. There seems to be no limit to the things we can be in bondage to. Maybe it’s a TV show, a video game, Facebook, Instagram.
If you want to know if you are in bondage to something, just ask yourself if you can stop. Maybe take a break for a couple of days and see if you can really stop. Recently I had a massage because I get a stiff neck from looking at my computer screen. The masseur asked me if I could give up my mobile phone for one day a week and I said that would be easy. But then he asked me if I could give up my computer for a day a week?
I thought about that, yes, I could do it. But I don’t like to because I get so many emails that if I don’t check them often it gets a little overwhelming. But I’m not addicted to my computer or to my email, I know I can stop.
God gives us real freedom. The freedom to stop doing things that are harmful. When we belong to God we experience freedom in three ways:
First we are free from the law: “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Galatians 5:18
If we are driven by the need to obey the law, or if we are worried about whether we are obeying all of God’s requirements, or if we ever wonder whether we have done enough to please God then, then we are not free. This is not how God intends for us to live. Instead he wants us to be motivated by his Spirit within us and his Spirit brings liberty.
Second we are free from our pasts: “You are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir” (Galatians 4:6-8).
Slavery was abolished in America on 18th December 1865. How many slaves were there on 19th December?
There should have been none, but many continued to live like slaves because they weren’t told they were free. And even of those who knew they were free continued to live as slaves, because it was all they have ever known. Then there were those who thought they might be free but told themselves, “I’m still living like a slave, doing the same things that I have always done. My experience tells me that I must be a slave.”
If we want to experience the freedom that God offers, we have to believe God’s Word that tells us we are no longer slaves to our past life. We are sons and daughters of God. Our past no longer dictates our future. We are new creations in Christ and free to live in newness of life.
Third, we are free from guilt: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).
We are free from the reminders of our past sin, we are free from guilt. Jesus died to free us from sin and as we accept his forgiveness into our lives, we live free from guilt.