Observations on life; particularly spiritual

Freedom from lockdown

Milo, the dogAfter 106 days in lockdown, COVID-19 restrictions have eased today in Sydney, Australia, for those who are fully vaccinated. Cafes, restaurants, clubs, pubs, retail businesses and churches can reopen, 10 people are allowed to visit a home and the caps on numbers at weddings and funerals have increased dramatically. Stay at home rules and 5-kilometer travel restrictions have ended. The state now has 90.3 per cent of people aged over 16 who have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 73.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Today I visited family on the central coast, including Milo (the dog). They showed me things they had been doing during the lockdown including: starting an online business, art work and building with lego.

This physical freedom and liberation reminds me of our need for spiritual freedom and liberation.

Bella's online businessWho sets us free?

God can set us free spiritually. Paul tells believers, “Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching [from God] we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living” (Rom. 6:17-18NLT).

From what do we need to be set free?

We need to be set free from the consequences of ignoring and rebelling against God. “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Rom. 3:23). The consequences of this include disease, suffering, death, and God’s condemnation.

Paul said, “So now there is no condemnation [before God] for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death” (Rom 8:1-2).

Sophia's artHow are we set free?

Jesus is the answer to the problems of humanity including poverty, sorrow, bondage, suffering and oppression (Isa. 61:1-2; Lk. 4:18-19). The good news is that through Jesus we can have peace (with God), pardon (from sin) and the promise of eternal life (with God).

God can set us free through Christ’s work of salvation, “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So, if the Son [Jesus] sets you free, you are truly free” (Jn. 8:34-36).

Paul said, “They [false believers] sneaked in to spy on us and take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations” (Gal. 2:4). And, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law” (Gal. 5:1). “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

Tom's legoWhen are we set free?

Our circumstances and destiny change when we realize our sinfulness and confess our sins to God and trust that Jesus took our punishment when He was crucified. That frees us from the penalty of sin and the fear of death. Then we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who can protect us from the power of sin – we can be freed from anything that enslaves us (Jn. 8:31-32) and empowered to follow Jesus.

Then because death is the doorway to heaven, it frees us from the presence of sin.

Finally at the resurrection, our bodies are freed from the impact of sin. All creation is waiting for the second coming of Christ, “the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay” (Rom. 8:21). That’s when creation will be restored to its original state.

Steve GraceLove and liberty

Steve Grace sings “Long live your dreams”, on his 1994 album “Liberty Road”, and on his 2018 album “Eternity”,

I will stand by you, in troubled times
And all we go through, all the years of our lives
So don’t give up when hope is gone
By the grace of God we will carry on
And pray His kingdom will come

Long live your dreams
That your life will one day be
Like the visions that you see
For love and liberty
Long live your dreams
That the world will one day be
Like the visions that you see
For love and liberty 

I will love you as I live, I will love you till I die
I will give all I can give, I will never say goodbye
So don’t give up when hope is gone
By the grace of God we will carry on
And pray His kingdom will come

Long live your dreams
That your life will one day be
Like the visions that you see
For love and liberty
Long live your dreams
That the world will one day be
Like the visions that you see
For love and liberty 

The only reason I am free
Is that Jesus died for me
On that cross of Calvary
For love and liberty

Long live your dreams
That your life will one day be
Like the visions that you see
For love and liberty
Long live your dreams
That the world will one day be
Like the visions that you see
For love and liberty 

Jemima's art Freedom guaranteed

Because vaccinations are not 100% effective, the government can’t guarantee that there will be no more lockdowns to control the spread of COVID-19.

But because Christ’s sacrificial death was a perfect solution (it’s 100% effective) to our slavery to sinful ways, God guarantees the believer freedom from sin and its impact.

Conclusions

Let’s remember our need for spiritual freedom and liberation and do something about it today. Let’s choose to follow Jesus and experience true freedom.

Let’s thank God for the freedom and liberation He offers through Jesus Christ (Ps. 116:16-17). This salvation is more effective and endures longer than COVID-19 vaccinations! The vaccinations give temporary freedom and liberty, while Jesus gives eternal freedom and liberty.

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