With this post I conclude a three part series on some thoughts concerning freedom. I have previously posted on the freedom of God and the freedom of Man.
First, I defined freedom according to what God has revealed about His nature. He acts unfettered by any outside force. We looked at His revealing of His freedom to Moses, namely His unconditional choice to have mercy upon whom He will have mercy. Second, I put forth the argument that, although each human being is free to do what he most loves to do, we are all trapped inside the desire to reach up seeking to be as free as God is.
I rehearsed the long litany of examples in the Bible that show this never-ending cycle of reaching for one’s own slice of divinity, to be gods ourselves, and how it ends in failure because all fall short of His perfect “God-ness.” We looked at Genesis chapter 5 and the bleakly concise record of generations who lived out their years, only to complete them with the words, “and he died.” The Old Testament is replete with examples of men who died, all the while vainly reaching up to be as God is.
The New Testament begins with the birth of Jesus. With Jesus, we see the promise of someone who will succeed where others have failed. He is the only man who had the ability to do what we cannot. He is fully God and fully Man…but He died.
However, He did not die like the millions before Him reaching up to be as God is. He died reaching down to those who will believe and trust in Him.
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)
He came as a man focused, not on making Himself equal with God because He already was, but focused on humbling Himself, voluntarily, to do the will of His Father and die.
Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'” (Hebrews 10:5-7)
The freedom of Christ is clearly displayed in that He willingly lived His life in humble submission to the Father and willingly laid down His life for His people. This raises a question. Why did Jesus need to live a full life on earth? Why not just come down as a grown man and do the cross and resurrection over a three-day period?
It is this: if you are in Christ, when God sees you, He sees the humble obedient life of Jesus Christ lived in His freedom. When He looks at Christ on the cross, He sees you paying the price for your life of reaching up to be as God is and robbing Him of His worth through your sin. In Christ, we are free to be what we were created to be by depending on Christ for our ability to be what He created us to be.
All of life boils down to two dominant motives: “I am the master of my fate” or “Behold, I have come to do your will, O God.” The first motive is based on a grand delusion. Jesus is Lord over all the world, even over those who reject Him. The second motive was lived on behalf of His people, freely.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17)
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
So many say, “I know I need to humble myself and receive Christ, but I will do it when the time is right.” Well, thirty minutes before you die, call me and I’ll come share Christ with you. None of us knows when we will die, but we all know that we will. There is no second chance once we slip into eternity. How free will you be then?
True freedom transcends the unfettered ability to choose. True freedom is knowing the Truth so completely that grasping for a false whisp of smoke is not even an option. That freedom is only found in Christ, because He used His freedom to set us free.
That freedom is only tasted here when we repent of grasping for our own god-ness and trust in the death and resurrection of the God-Man as the payment for the penalty we deserve. That freedom is perfected in eternity when we are finally restored and can see Him face to face.
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