Life in Christ is all about Christ in us and us in Christ because of what He did on the cross and through His resurrection. I will claim no institution of man, religious or otherwise. source
Of all the words that define what a Christian is supposed to be, few say it as well as the word FREE. But Christians have learned to be AFRAID of it! Speak of freedom and watch the red flags go up. It is a shame that we miss the freedom of being free because we are so afraid.
What if true freedom did not cause people to sin? What if being free actually allowed us to do what others only talk about? What if the absence of rules turned our hearts TOWARD God and not AWAY from Him?
Consider some scenarios where freedom comes into play:
What is freedom to the one who has been released from jail? Does it go beyond the simple reality of no longer being behind bars? After all, doesn't the same person emerge from the cell? While the immediate sense of this kind of freedom can be wonderful, as it fades away it is replaced by an underlying sense of fear that shows itself through caution in order to avoid another imprisonment. We know THIS freedom, don't we?
But how would you describe the freedom granted in a last minute Stay of Execution where FULL PARDON replaces death by electrocution? An event like this would change your life, wouldn't it? But what happens when gratitude wears off? The motivation of "It's the least I can do after what he's done for me!" starts off in exhilaration, but eventually becomes a chain around the neck. This is the kind of freedom that most Christians live under. :(
True freedom must be all-inclusive. If I am freed from the results of my evil doing without being released from the evil itself, then the most I have is probation ... and I would need a probation officer!
Here is a picture of true freedom. You are a death row inmate sitting in the Electric Chair as the final minutes of your life tick by. Just before the switch is pulled something happens. You are taken out of the chair and another takes your place! Sounds familiar, doesn't it? But don't stop there. For just before the switch is pulled the person in the chair reaches over, grabs your hand and says, "You can't understand what I am doing right now, but you will learn later!" And the current that rips through his body rips through yours ... and you die with him.
Freedom? I'll admit, it's not a very good altar call, but this is the Gospel! You say, "NO! I don't remember that!" and you are right, because the whole exchange took place outside our puny concept of reality! And GOD has the gall to tell us that we can only understand it by faith! Who does HE think HE is? Doesn't HE know that we need an explanation?
Listen, Jesus was raised to New Life, and He raised us with Him! This New Life has no relation to our sins! Instead, it only relates to GOD! By killing the people we were - who could do nothing but evil - HE raised us to New Life!! NOT the walking death that we have come to think of as life. Don't we know that we have died to sin? Don't we know that we now Live in relation to GOD? Don't we know that this is the meaning of true Freedom?
Until next time ..... scoopfully yours, the shovel (aka Jim)