The Author of Liberty
WHEN Adam and Eve sinned, they immediately forfeited
the liberty that had been theirs in the Garden of Eden, for sin brings men
and women to the bondage of Satan. Had it not been for sin, there would
have been no need for human governments, for man would have lived under
the perfect government of God throughout eternity. When man was created,
he was created with the freedom of choice and decision, the power to think
and to act. It was this quality of man that set him apart from the rest of
Godís creation. It was Godís purpose and plan that man should live
wholly in freedom; that there would never be the bondage of the will to
the dictates of another human being, or indeed any other being created by
God. But sin changed all that. It is Godís plan in the very near future
to redeem all those loyal to Him into the kingdom of eternity, so that
once again freedom might be the uninterrupted life of all His redeemed
ones. But even now the Lord wants to free His people. The greatest freedom
that man can have is the freedom from the guilt, the condemnation, and
bondage of sin. Christís mission to the world was to set man free.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath
anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the
brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of
sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. Luke 4:18
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord
hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to
bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the
opening of the prison to them that are bound. Isaiah 61:1
Jesus Himself declared what will truly make man free.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If
ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know
the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31, 32
For those who continue in a life of sin there is no
They answered him, We be Abrahamís seed, and were
never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus
answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is
the servant of sin. John 8:33, 34
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are
the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is
he brought in bondage. 2 Peter 2:19
In our natural, unconverted state, divorced from the
saving power of Christ, we, all the members of the human family, are in
bondage to sin.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of
God. Romans 3:23
Today, there are many proclaiming that, as long as we
have a relationship with Jesus, sin will not inhibit our salvation in the
kingdom of heaven. But there are two major problems with this dangerous
distortion of the gospel. The first is that sin brings guilt.
. . . because he hath sinned, and is guilty. Leviticus
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend
in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10
Guilt in itself is among the most debilitating and
psychologically destructive factors of life. There seems little doubt that
we could close a very large percentage of our psychiatric hospital beds if
it were not for the ravages of guilt. Thus even this side of the return of
Jesus, guilt has a devastating effect upon the life of every human being.
The second factor opposing the distorted belief that
the presence of sin in the life is not inimical to salvation, is that it
is an un-scriptural doctrinal position. Sin will indeed keep men and women
from the joys of eternal peace and harmony. Scripture declares that the
saved will be commandment keepers.
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to
make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God,
and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:17
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that
keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Revelation 14:12
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they
may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates
into the city. Revelation 22:14
God has stated emphatically that only those who obey
Godís commandments will be among the redeemed who will be in His
kingdom. The clear and undeniable truth is, that those who do not keep the
commandments will be excluded from the kingdom of heaven. Satan is the
author of sin.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your
father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in
the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he
speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. John 8:44
And therefore those who continue in sin have chosen the
arch-deceiver, the destroyer of the human race, as their master.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants
to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death,
or of obedience unto righteousness? Romans 6:16
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil
sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was
manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8
At the root of all sin is selfishness. The inordinate
love for that which we may in our carnal minds think to be profitable and
pleasurable to us is indeed the foundation of all the trouble there is in
the world. This selfishness leads to covetousness and egocentricity, which
lead to personal conflict and distress.
Under God all men are equal. One man has no more
inherent right than another. Christ set forth these principles with
emphatic words; thus no man, no matter what his ecclesiastic rank may be,
is regarded superior in Godís esteem.
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master,
even Christ; and all ye are brethren. Matthew 23:8
Every effort to detract from our fellow men or to take
a position of superiority over them is inimical to the principles of
heaven. Against the natural tendencies of our fallen nature, we are to
prefer others above ourselves.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly
love; in honour preferring one another. Romans 12:10
Even when our fellow men turn against us and do that
which is harmful to us, we still have a responsibility, under the guidance
of God, to treat them in the way we would want to be treated ourselves.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly
Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14, 15
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men
should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the
prophets. Matthew 7:12
These principles have very practical implications.
Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt
not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty:
but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. Thou shalt not go up
and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand
against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the Lord. Thou shalt not hate thy
brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and
not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge
against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:15Ė18
Further, these principles lead us to compassion and
service for our fellow man.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father
is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to
keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27
Only God can take away the selfishness that sin has
embedded within the heart of every human being.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is
none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John
Thus it is only God who can provide genuine freedom.
Once we are freed of the tyranny of sin, then no matter what men might
attempt to do to us, we have the assurance of the freedom of our lives and
our souls in Jesus Christ. That is how faithful Christians are able to
rejoice, in persecution, that they are accounted worthy of suffering
affliction as their Saviour did. It was in such a freedom that the martyrs
faced their terrible ordeals. It was in this ultimate sense that there can
be no tyranny for those who are totally freed by the saving power of Jesus
Christ. They are free indeed.