A Modern Woman's Perspective Of The Kingdom of God on Earth


March 30, 2019

He Came To Set The Captives Free

     I recently gave a talk on "Freedom In Christ", and as sometimes happens, all my careful planning went out the window when it came time to speak. The Holy Spirit did exactly as I had prayed ... let my words be His words, and my speech was an abbreviated version of the original manuscript. Here is what I planned on saying, in its entirety. I hope some or all of it will speak to you.

     
     So what IS “FREEDOM IN CHRIST” and HOW do we achieve it?  In John 8:31-32, Jesus says to His followers, If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. I will tell you that when I decided to get serious about studying the Word, the Lord began teaching my spirit and unfolding His truth at an exhilarating pace!     We’ve all been taught the Truth that “in Him is Life”, and that Life was the Light to Men, and the Way to the Father. And we know the Truth that Jesus came to die for our sins and deliver us from the penalty of eternal Death.  That’s the ultimate Freedom! But in between this moment (right now!) and when we die, we have a lot of living to do. So how do we walk out, [for the rest of our lives], the Freedom that He died to give us?
     Because God desires that we glorify Him with our lives, He gives us different freedoms:
     1.  We have the freedom to make our own choices in this life – and among the most important is whether to sin or not.  And I will tell you that before I knew Jesus, I made a lot of bad choices; choices I’m not proud of.  And I will tell you that it is by the grace of God that I escaped those years unscathed. And it is by His grace that we can learn from the choices we make, and allow God to train us up in righteousness. WE ARE NOT ROBOTS … we all have choices in our lives to do right or wrong … So we need to use that freedom of choice wisely.
     
     2.  We have the freedom to change as we grow in the understanding of our Identity and how to participate with God in bringing Him glory in our lives. We don’t have to stay the same person as we start out as – or that we were yesterday! The freedom to change is God’s Grace, and while Grace is certainly “unmerited favor” … it is also the power of the Holy Spirit [in you] to help you do something you can’t do on your own. I used to have such a spirit of Worry about finances. My husband is a professional artist and we are self-employed. When he decided to pursue an art career, we went from two paychecks to one. Five years later he told me if he was going to advance in his career, he needed me to handle the business side, so I gave up my paycheck to work with him. I’m going to be honest… it was a struggle to trust the Lord for His provision, but 25 years later, He continues to prove His faithfulness. But I want you know that you have the Freedom to change, too, because your Relationship with the Lord is a Journey! It’s a Process!  It’s a lifetime of being purified by the Holy Spirit as we are brought into full freedom in Christ.
     
     3. We have freedom from the consequences of sin. We know that the ultimate freedom in Christ comes from His sacrificial death on the Cross. We are no longer subject to an eternal Death, separated from our God, but are brought into a relationship that promises Eternal Life with our Father in Heaven. So we definitely have freedom in Christ through our Salvation. But there is so much more to this concept of Freedom in Christ! It is more than just knowing you are Saved and going to heaven! And finally ....
    
     4. We have freedom from the harassment and torment of Satan. When Jesus begins His earthly ministry, He stands up in the Temple and opens the scrolls of the ancient prophet Isaiah, and reads from them. He proclaims, in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, and He has anointed Me to be hope for the poor, freedom for the brokenhearted, and new eyes for the blind, and to preach to prisoners, ‘You are set free!’ “  He literally says, I came to set the captives free!!!

      We don’t have to listen to the devil's lies and accusations about all kinds of things that we’ve done in the past or that were done to us. We are free to exercise our power and authority [in Christ] to resist the devil and crush him under our feetI have seen this Freedom come to a group of men in my living room, who surrendered the pain of childhood molestation to their Savior, covered by His blood. And I have witnessed a drug addict of 35 years [the last 5 years on Meth] be instantly freed from the sins of his past that had kept him in bondage to the drugs. I wept with him as he wept, thanking Jesus for his freedom. That man is now witnessing to other drug users – and his own drug dealers – that Jesus set him free! 
      So the truth of the Bible is that Jesus came to set the captives free. But also note what Paul says in Galatians 5:1 ...“Let me be clear, Jesus, [the Anointed One] has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free!” It has been accomplished! It’s a Done Deal! Paul goes on to say, “We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.  He’s warning us to not stay stuck in the sins of our past! So, here is Paul talking about another Truth … the truth that Jesus has already set us wonderfully and completely free! What does that look like? Here are some Truths that will set our spirits free:
     
     1.  He forgives our sins and covers them. (Psalm 32:1, How happy and fulfilled are those
whose rebellion has been forgiven, those whose sins are covered by blood.
) For me, there is Freedom and Joy in knowing that my rebellious past is covered by His blood.
     2.  He not only covers our sins, but He doesn’t count our sins against us and removes them from us. (Psalm 103:12, As far as the east is from the west, that’s how far You’ve removed our guilt from us).  Don’t you love that picture of Freedom in Christ? Again, it’s finished!
     3.  He washes away our guilt and cleanses us from our sin. (1 John 1:9, But if we freely admit our sins [when His light uncovers them], He will be faithful to forgive us every time. God is just  to forgive our sins [because of Christ], and He will continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness).
     4.  He remembers our sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12, For I will demonstrate my mercy to them
 and will forgive their evil deeds, and never remember again their sins
). I praise Jesus for the Freedom He has given me in both of these last two Truths!
     
     So, I have a question for you …. If Jesus has done all that for us, and as Paul says, “He has set us free”, why do so many of us still not feel free? Let me give you a clue …. Jesus, Himself, tells us in John 10:10 that we are subjected to bondage by an Enemy called the devil who comes to steal, kill and destroy. But if we are free in Christ through accepting Him as our Savior and Deliverer from Death, and all our sins are covered by His blood and forgotten forever, then how can we still be in bondage to the devil? Do you see that part of Galatians 5:1 that says to stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past? 
     Our Enemy, the devil, comes to steal, kill, and destroy not only our peace and our joy, but our confidence in our Identity and who we are; the closeness of our relationship with God; and our freedom in Christ. He does that by getting us to focus on our sins of the past, or the sins that have been committed against us – by enticing us to look back at the bondage of our past – exactly what Paul warns us against! How does he do that? By causing us to entertain (for example) spirits of Anger, Fear, Unforgiveness, Worry or Anxiety, Doubt or Unbelief, Shame, Guilt, Rejection, Abandonment, Lust, Pride, and a whole host of other kinds of spiritual pain that the Bible tells us are sins  …. He also torments our minds with Lies and Deceptions that Jesus couldn’t really forgive us for that, whatever it might be.  The devil tries to convince us that we aren’t really cleansed by the blood of the Lamb and that we will never really be free, because deep down inside we think we are unlovable and unforgiveable and unworthy. 
     But I’m here to tell you that THAT is a Lie from the pit of hell! Jesus died for our Freedom AND He has nailed our sins to the Cross! Scripture tells us that our past sins are forgiven, never counted against us, forgotten by God, and that we are cleansed from them! HIS DEATH SET US FREE! 
      But remember what Jesus chose to say in His first public ministry? He came to HEAL the brokenhearted and SET THE CAPTIVES FREE! He has made HEALING available in our Freedom!!! Yes, we have been set free from the penalty of Death for our sins, but as a mentor and teacher of mine, Dr. Charles Kraft, taught me, “Our churches are filled with wonderfully saved Christians, many of whom are still in spiritual torment and bondage to the devil”. BUT THEY DON’T HAVE TO REMAIN THERE! They can be completely and wonderfully free as Galatians 5 tells us we should be! The first step in our journey with Jesus IS  Salvation – and this is the beginning of that process of life I talked about -- but the next part of our journey is to receive our Freedom in Him!
     
     You see, we must remember that there is a spiritual nature to our Christian faith. We are a three-part being: body, soul and spirit. We have an Invisible Enemy [in the spirit] that comes to steal, kill and destroy our joy and peace; our identity in Christ and our relationship with Him. And he can do it if we allow him to whisper his lies about our past sins, or the sins committed against us. For example…
     • If we hang on to anger we might have towards our parents or our spouse … then we are not  Wonderfully and Completely free.
     • If we keep focusing on some sin we did in our past – or a sin that was committed against us … then we are not Wonderfully and Completely free.
     • If we are unable to forgive ourselves, someone who has hurt us, or even God Himself for something in our past … then we are not Wonderfully and Completely free.
     • FINALLY, If we continue to believe the negative thoughts that tell us we’re a failure or unlovable or not as smart as others -- (whatever it is that steals your peace and joy, and your truth about your identity as a child of God and your intimate Relationship with our Father in Heaven) … then you are not Wonderfully and Completely free.
  
     But Jesus didn’t leave us defenseless against the attacks of the Enemy. THERE IS FREEDOM IN CHRIST!  If you’ve been carrying something around in your spiritual backpack that is weighing you down and keeping you from being wonderfully and completely free, you can release it to the Father and be cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. We have an Invisible, Spiritual Helper that works with our spirit. He lives inside us and intercedes, along with Jesus on His Throne, to help us defeat those strategies of the devil. The Lord has provided a way for us to enter that Complete Freedom He died for! 
     I have been so blessed to be called [by the Lord] into a ministry with my husband that allows me to participate with the Holy Spirit and Jesus; to work with Them to heal the broken-hearted and to help the children of God to walk in freedom. So, right now – in this moment -- I want you to hear me …. the Healing that leads to Freedom is found, not in the absence of pain (through drugs or alcohol or sex or food or whatever your choice of pain-killer is, or even by simply trying to ignore it. But Freedom is found in the presence of Jesus, … Immanuel … (God With Us). And I can authoritatively tell you … Jesus is with you right now and right where you are! He wants you free! Freedom In Christ is real!
     We need to understand and embrace that God has called us ALL to freedom in Christ! For whatever reason you decided to read this blog today today, I want you to know that Jesus didn’t die so that you could hang on to Unforgiveness or Anger or Fear or Worry – none of the things that robs you of your Freedom in Him. He didn’t die so the Enemy could destroy your relationship with God, and your identity as His Child and as a Daughter or Son of the King!
     Yes, Freedom in Christ gives us the freedom of choice, the freedom to change, freedom from the consequences of sin, and freedom from Eternal Death. There is Freedom in knowing our sins are covered by His blood and forgotten forever.  But He wants us to walk in COMPLETE  Freedom! HE CAME TO SET THE CAPTIVES FREE and He finished His assignment! You are meant to live in the FREEDOM AND VICTORY He accomplished on the Cross!!! You see, the Cross not only represents our Salvation in Christ, but our FREEDOM in Christ!  Now it’s time to walk in our Freedom!

     Finally, here’s what Jesus wants you to know: If you know Him as your Savior, your Salvation is secure. But He wants you to experience Freedom until you leave this earth. By knowing your Identity [and your power and authority to defeat the devil], and then participating with Jesus and the Holy Spirit in a consistent and real spiritual Relationship with Them, you can stand firm against the schemes and tactics of the Enemy to keep you from your Freedom and your joy and your peace. Don’t we all want to live like that?  He wants to heal us all from our pain and loss and torment! He is with us now, and the Bible tells us in John 8:36,  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!
      So, I want to finish by saying, It’s really this simple …. If you are Saved, then you are called to Freedom. Walk in the Freedom that is your inheritance as a child of God. Get free and then work with Jesus to set someone else free. Take it from me … once you’ve experienced that freedom yourself, and witnessed others having an encounter with Jesus and being set free, you want to share it. And I will tell you this … THE HARVEST IS GREAT AND THE LABORERS ARE FEW! And there is much fruit to be had in sharing the Gospel of Freedom in Christ! So it is my prayer that each of you experience the complete fullness of Freedom in Christ in your lives.

John 10:10     The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.



 


2 comments:

  1. Wonderful! Just Wonderful! You have such a beautiful gift in writing and sharing the greatest news! Thank you!!!

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    1. I give all the glory and praise to the Holy Spirit who inspires me with the knowledge of our Lord and Savior and the Father. I just try real hard to listen to what my spirit is hearing and share it. Thank you for the very nice and kind compliment.

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