by Dr. Charles Stanley
Thursday September 1, 2005
Prisons aren't always physical buildings. People can create jails for themselves out of many kinds of wrongs. But for believers, liberty was purchased at the cross.
When Christians think about the cross, some limit salvation's effect to a one-time release from sin's hold. As a result, people pray repeatedly to receive Jesus, hoping they will finally be good enough to avoid wrongdoing. Salvation is not a get-out-of-hell-free card, good only until we make another mistake; instead, the forgiveness of Christ covers past, present, and future sins. In addition, we receive a full measure of His Spirit to dwell inside us.
Paul explains the idea this way: "The world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (v. 14). The daily enticements to do wrong that at one time seemed so alluring hold little interest for the Spirit-filled believer. We are liberated to pursue God's purpose and the joy that comes from serving Him.
Spiritual liberty is a choice. Our sins are wiped away at salvation, but temptation is not erased. Instead, a believer consistently decides to be crucified to wrongdoing, or as Jesus says, to "take up his cross daily and follow Me" (Luke ). The cross is not a burden, but rather a symbol that we are free and forgiven followers of Christ.
The freedom available through salvation is not a secret to be kept. The Lord gave His followers the Great Commission of reaching others because His is the only message that can transform a slave into a liberated, heaven-bound soul. The cross is our only hope for spiritual liberty.
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