July 4, 2014
The Three Freedoms
By Skip Heitzig
In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave a State of the Union address that became known as the "Four Freedoms" speech. FDR said there are four basic freedoms that every person on earth should be able to enjoy: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
Great as those are, in John 8, Jesus gave three even more fundamental freedoms that every human being urgently needs: freedom from spiritual ignorance, freedom from sin, and freedom from death.
Freedom from spiritual ignorance. "As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free'" (John 8:30-32).
The statement "I know the truth" sounds foreign in our postmodern era. People are absolutely sure that you can't be absolutely sure about anything! But Jesus promised we would know the truth if we abide in His word.
One of the great facts of history is that God has spoken to mankind. "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son" (Heb. 1:1-2). And true liberty comes from having those elementary questions answered—the ones every human being struggles with: "Who am I? Why am I here? What happens when I die?"
Freedom from sin. Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:34-36). You can be free nationally and ethnically but still be in bondage morally and spiritually. Jesus promised freedom from the bondage, control, and domination of sin.
Freedom from death. In John 8:51, we read, "Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death." What a promise—what a freedom! Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die" (John 11:25-26). He also said, "In My Father's house are many mansions…. I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). So even in the face of death, believers have hope—the glorious promise that we will live forever with Christ.
I'm really glad to be a part of this country and to have the freedoms we have. But what we should really celebrate is that we know God personally because of what His Son, Jesus Christ, did for us on Calvary's cross.
If you're not free in Christ, make this your spiritual Fourth of July. Pray right now, asking Him to come into your heart and life, to forgive you of your sins, and to give you everlasting life. It's my prayer that as you hear the words of Jesus, you too will believe in Him and experience real freedom!
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