I Want to Be Free

 “It is for freedom that Jesus Christ has set us free”

‘I want to be free’ is the cry reverberating around the world today, as anguished millions fight injustice, modern day slavery, authoritarian governments and other forms of political or religious extremism that inhibits, restricts and restrains individual liberty and often brings confinement, pain, prison and death.

Today, in our own nation, many people are reacting against what they see as the confusion of ill-judged, inappropriate and over-reaching action from our Government, which is trying to break the growing grip of Covid-19. The laws governing ‘the rule of 6’, self-isolation, social distancing, lockdown and quarantine have become more stringent with the imposition of increased restrictions on individual freedoms through the implementation of ‘Tiers 1, 2 and 3’. Which, perhaps for each of us, enhances our feelings of being locked-up, and of solitude, loss of liberty, exclusion, loneliness, helplessness and hopelessness.

We have all, to one degree or another, had to endure enforced separation and isolation from friends and families for months now. Jean and I have only seen our grandchildren on three occasions since March, and then only from a discreet distance with no hugs or close contact. Telephone and video calls are great but do not in any way replace physical contact. Personal liberties have been infringed to a great extent with restrictions on travel and the enforced closing of businesses, all of which has an untold effect upon our physical and mental health, but how many are aware of or concerned about their spiritual health?

God says clearly in the Bible, “A man is a slave to whatever controls him”.

Jesus Himself says, “I tell you the truth, everyone who goes on sinning is a slave to sin”.

One of God’s greatest gifts to us is free will, the freedom to choose. And whatever Government restrictions are in force, however much repressive regimes infringe on our liberty, our freewill remains, and our ultimate, eternal destiny reflects the choices that we make.

There are today, and have been down through the centuries, thousands upon thousands of Christians who have endured the most incredible loss of physical liberty, suffered unimaginable torture, pain, sickness and disease, even to death, but have known and enjoyed an amazing freedom in their hearts and spirits, knowing that their sin had been forgiven and removed.

They proved the truth of these words of Jesus:  “If the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free”.

In the Bible, there are accounts of the Lord’s servants being released from physical suffering and torture in prison. Knowing that their sin had been forgiven through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, they were deemed to be a threat to society as they preached the good news of salvation through Jesus alone, so were flogged and chained like common criminals and incarcerated in the town’s jails.

One of the best known and loved hymns written by Charles Wesley, which describes his thoughts when he first experienced the Lord’s forgiveness and cleansing of his own sin, is said to be inspired by one such passage where the Apostle Peter is delivered from prison through the intervention of an angel sent by the Lord. It contains these glorious, triumphant words:            

My chains fell off, my heart was free, 

I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.’

Locked-up … locked-down … isolated … miserable … lonely … suffering pain … apparently ignored, unloved, rejected and neglected … whatever your situation today, you too can know the reality of sin forgiven, peace with God and glorious freedom in your spirit, heart and mind through Jesus alone.

“If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”.              

Do you know true freedom, through Jesus alone?

Ron Brickman