“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36 ESV)
July 4th is a special holiday for Americans. Independence Day reminds us that freedom is precious and we are greatly blessed to possess the freedoms offered in this country.
But there is a better freedom for Christians. This freedom came to us on a greater Independence Day.
When we were born again we gained a greater freedom than we have as Americans. Our great Independence Day is the day we believed in Christ as Savior and Lord. For that is the day that the Son set us free.
What is this freedom? In John 8:31-34, Jesus told His believers that they will know the truth and the truth will set them free. Those listening asked Jesus what was meant by His saying that they will become free. Jesus explained that whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. Thus Jesus is speaking of freedom from sin.
Jesus says that “the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever” (v. 35). The image here is of a Roman household of Jesus’ time. Within the house there would often be slaves and the owner’s own children. The slave had no rights within the household and could be sent away; but the son had full rights in the house and always remained.
From this image we see that we are the slaves and Jesus is the Son. We are without freedom and without rights in the Father’s house because of our sin. But Jesus has full rights and full authority as the Son who always remains in the Father’s house. As the Son of God, He has the power to free us from our slavery to sin and unto adoption into the family of God.
On the cross the Son died to set us free from sin. His substitutionary atonement freed us from the punishment for our sin: He stood condemned in our place, bearing the wrath of God which our sin deserved. He also freed us from the power of sin: He has won God’s complete forgiveness for sinners and the grace to break sin’s domination in one’s life.
So when we believe in the truth about Jesus, we appropriate His cross-work by faith and God grants us the freedom from sin we so desperately need. We are freed positionally with a new standing as justified children of God. We are freed practically in that sin’s power has been broken and we can live for Christ.
If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed. When you are saved you can be certain that Jesus has freed you from the condemnation and power of sin in your life. The day this freedom comes is every Christian’s great Independence Day – for this freedom is forever.
From Chris Tomlin’s version of “Amazing Grace”:
My chains are gone, I’ve been set free. My God, my Savior has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy reigns, Unending love, amazing grace.