Live in Freedom through Jesus Christ

The nineteenth chapter of the Gospel of John paints a portrait of the horrific details of the persecution Jesus Christ endured during his crucifixion. It was believed by many, even those with power, during the time that Jesus Christ walked the earth that death by crucifixion was too much torture and horror. It was a miserable and excruciating way to die, and no decent human living today would fathom this for even the very worse and despicably retched person. This is what Jesus Christ endured. He was beaten with a lead-tipped whip that ripped his flesh, and a crown of thorns pierced his scalp as it was placed on his head. There are no words that can convey what our Savior endured for our freedom from the realm of death and darkness. It was the utmost humiliation, and he paid the price to save us. Remembering the price that he paid with gratitude every day of our lives is the very least that we can do.

God commands us in Hebrews 12:1 to run with endurance the race of life that He has set before each of us. Hebrews 12:2-3(NLT) says, 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Keeping our eyes on Jesus is the great privilege of our existences. Most people don’t understand the depth and overwhelming love that Jesus Christ had for us when he died for the sins of the world, but if we are committed to keep our eyes on him, understanding why he gave so much love when he received hardly any is a task we all must undertake.

Galatians 1:4(NLT) says, “Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.” Those who do not know our Heavenly Father as well as they should might think that it is a bit harsh to call the world evil. Afterall, God is the One who created it. We try all kinds of rationales to disavow the condition of the world, but try as we might to avoid it, this world is indeed a wicked place, and humanity has made it that way.

Our Gracious and Loving Heavenly Father has given every person free-will, and Adam and Eve demonstrated for us that even if we turn from God, take satan’s word over God’s Word, and reject God’s sovereignty and love, He will not stop us or retaliate against us. He will not take back the gift of free-will, nor will He erase the damage we cause because of it. The laws that He ordained to govern the universe are immutable. Those laws dictate that there is a consequence for every action. So, although He forgives our sins when we ask Him, the consequence of our wrong do not evaporate into the thin air.

Evil spreads, and so does love. As we look at the condition of the world, we see the one (love or evil) that most of the world has chosen. The state of the world is a result of our collaborative negative actions and lack of love towards God and others. Our Heavenly Father has given humans dominion and authority to reign within this earth dimension, and He will not withdraw that dominion and authority. In very plain and literal terms, God has given us the power, and we have made a mess of it. We’ve not been good stewards of all that God has given us, and we have in many instances treated each other horribly. God has allowed it, but He has also provided a way for us to live abundantly on earth and escape the bondage of darkness that consumes much of the minds of those who refuse to follow Christ.

We shouldn’t bury our heads in the sand about current day issues. As it was in the past and still is today, evil is a problem in the world. Titus 2:12-13(NLT) tells us, “And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.” When we give our lives to Christ, we are transformed. God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, comes to live inside us as our Friend, Comforter, Teacher, and Guide. No longer are we trapped by sin and darkness, but we are freed by God through Christ to live a life that is pleasing to Him and fulfilling for us.

Our actions, behaviors, thoughts, conversations, and confessions convey whether we are following the example of Christ or not. They paint a portrait of our acceptance or denial of the freedom he won for us, and they bear out if we have chosen to be conformed in the image of this world or the image of Christ. If we see the world and all its pleasures and trappings as gain, we are still asleep. Jesus Christ warns tells us in Revelation 3:2 to wake up, and strengthen what little remains, because even what remains is almost dead.

We are commissioned by Christ to shine forth as lights in this dark and evil world, because we have received his light through the gift of salvation. We are in the world, but he commands us not to be of the world, because if we are, we are surely lost. People are walking in a daze. They don’t know who they are and feel like they have no purpose. Endless competition, put-downs, disappointment, and longing in life makes us feel defeated, but in Christ, there is hope. 1John 5:4(NLT) tells us, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.” Our faith in God will never disappoint.

He tells in 1Corinthians 4:20 that His Kingdom is not just a lot of talk; it is living by His power through the Holy Spirit! Our blessed Redeemer is the author and finisher of our faith. He endured the cross and disregarded the humiliation of it. Because of him we are victorious, and we should never give up but endure in faith. We must remember that before the work of our Savior, we were condemned to a life of darkness, but God rescued us! Through the life, sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He has given us freedom, and we need to celebrate this every day!■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. 

“Live in Freedom through Jesus Christ”, written by JMack,© 2024. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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