Freedom exists in many areas: religious, political, social. It is the ability to choose. Great choices make for great freedom. The ability to change one`s social standing, to rise from one segment of society to another without the hindrance of castes: that is freedom. The ability to learn, to gain an education without the hindrance of a part-religious and part-political suppression: that is freedom. Freedom is the ability to choose, the opportunity to make one`s own mistakes as one pieces together the elements that make up one`s life.
Simple things demonstrate the presence of freedom: the daily choices of faith or friends. Sane choices preserve freedom. A generation that is given the opportunity, the freedom, to apply themselves to that which is constructive can maintain and expand their freedom. Yet, the very freedom to choose life, and to place within that life those virtues and values that can maintain it, is also the same freedom that can squander its future.
Jesus said, "The truth shall make you free" [John 8:32]. I can apply his statement to other areas of life, as many have; or I can look at his topic, the reason why he made that statement, and find freedom of opportunity within his words.
"My words," Jesus told the crowd that day, "shall set you free." And what were those specific words? "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" [John 8:34].
The enemy of freedom is sin. That is true socially, politically and religiously. Our offenses limit our friends; our pettiness limits our power; and our disbelief limits our deliverance. The Lord came to set us free from man`s religious bondage. "The day is coming," the Lord declared, "when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father….But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" [John 4:21-24].
Know ye not, that to whom we yield ourselves servants to obey, his servants we are to whom we obey; whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness [Rom. 6:16]? But we can thank God that, though we all are sinners by birth and the servants of sin, we have opportunity to obey from the heart the doctrine Jesus has delivered. He has the power to forgive sins on earth [Matt. 9:6] and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [I John 1:9]. Jesus has the power to give us freedom.
The freedom Jesus offers gives us opportunity to turn from those things that make us ashamed: from those things whose ends are death, early death and eternal death. It gives us the opportunity to serve God, to have the fruit of our labors unto holiness and the end of our labors unto everlasting life by faith in Jesus Christ.
The freedom Jesus offers gives us opportunity to serve God in joy and peace and long life; but it also presents us with a danger. Within our liberty is the opportunity to be entangled again with the yoke of bondage from which Christ can set us free [Gal. 5:1].
Freedom means opportunity; and opportunity can be lost. Today is the day of salvation: it is the day to receive Christ for eternal redemption, and it is the day to cease from sin through Christ for endearing freedom. If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.