Glorious Freedom

Grace For The Journey

graceforthejourneythemefor2017

20SeptWe talk a lot about freedom.  Everybody wants freedom, but not everybody experiences or enjoys it.  The Bible says that Jesus came to set the captives free, and if the Son has set you free you are free indeed (John 8:31-36)!  But did you ever consider what freedom really involves?

The Bible says in Romans 8:18-21, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

I think you would agree it is one thing to be set free, but it is another thing altogether to be given a freedom that overflows with the glory of God!  Because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross and the empty tomb . . .

We rest in our current freedom

While we wait with confident assurance

For the glorious freedom that is to come.

In our current freedom we live with the assurance that God has done infinitely more than “wipe our sin slate clean;” He has taken the slate away altogether!

The Bible says in Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.”

In saying that our transgressions have been removed “as far as the east is from the west,” God is telling us that every sin – past, present, and still to occur – has been erased from our ledger forever . . . But the Good News doesn’t end there . . . God has thrown the ledger away!

The Bible says in Colossians 2:13-14, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.  This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

It should have been me nailed to the cross, not the sinless Savior.  It should have been you pulling against those cruel spikes in order to draw in each agonized breath.  And yet in our current freedom, provided for us by the sinless life, substitutionary death, and glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, there is “now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1)!

We no longer have to work to please our God.  We work because our God is already pleased with us, regardless of the results of our work.  God not only sees us as sinless because of the righteousness of Christ, He sees us as having always done only that which is good, noble, and right.  Freedom is Jesus victory cry, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Our redemption is finished; our sin-debt has been paid in full by our Savior.

And, as good as our current freedom is, it will get even better on the other side of the grave.  When we are brought into the presence of Jesus for our eternal rest, it will be a “glorious freedom.”

This is a phrase which implies that the creation was also drastically affected by the fall. Therefore it is not at ‘liberty’ or ‘freedom’ from the curse of sin.  This need for liberty from the curse brings the words into a logical order. Freedom from the curse is to be obtained through restoration just like the church.  Even the creation (as beyond the church, i.e. nature) will be liberated by the resurrection of Christ, just as we are. Therefore, creation will one day be introduced into the same liberty and fullness of glory that shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).

Our glory is essentially one of freedom and fullness, for we will be restored into a pure and incorruptible relationship with God forever, as objects of His underserved favor and riches.

It will be a glorious freedom because there will be no more tears, sorrow, decay, broken promises, broken dreams, fear, doubt, frustration, disappointment, sin, or death.  As one person says, “We will sing and dance in the new heavens and new earth, because the Master’s melody will be woven completely into our souls.”

Freedom filled with God’s glory is truly too hard to comprehend on this side of the grave. We still doubt, disobey, and die in our current freedom.  In our current freedom, we still stumble into our old patterns of self-rule, self-absorption, and self-centeredness.  And yet, in spite of all of this mess, we are still loved completely and unconditionally by the One who purchased us with His precious blood and is working toward our complete freedom from sin and death.

Paul’s letter to the Romans exhorts us to regard our present sufferings as not worthy of comparing with the glorious freedom that is our divine destiny.  Is this your hope?  Is this your desire?  I pray that it is.  Because of the freedom we have in Christ, it is every blood-bought, born-again child of God’s promised future!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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