What is freedom?
We define freedom as the state of being free; the state where one can do whatever we want to, go wherever we want to, and say whatever we want to.
We associate freedom with the notion of not being in prison nor in any form of bondage.
We associate the lack of freedom with the notion of restrictions and entanglement.
But, as “free people” living on the planet, are we truly free?
Apostle Paul wrote that we are all slaves to something (Ref: Romans 6: 15-23). And in the truest sense of the word, we are under the bondage of that that we obey.
According to Paul, we are either slaves to sin — which leads us to our death, or be slaves to righteousness — which will reap for us, holiness and thus leading us to eternal life.
In essence, we will be under the bondage of something, whatever it is.
Whether we choose right or wrong, we will still not be “free” according to our understanding of the word. Therefore, it begs the question:
Are our definition of “freedom”, wrong?
Building on the concept of slavery to sin, Jesus taught us the following:
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:32, NIV)
In context, it appears that Jesus was giving His audience the option: to be enslaved to sin, or to be granted “freedom” by departing from the slavery of sin.
That said, how can we be truly be “free” and still be “enslaved” to Jesus?
Unless, of course, Jesus Himself sets us free.
The apparent oxymoronic description of freedom now seem to show us that there is no right way to “freedom” as humanly defined. It appears that we will never truly be free in the sense of how we expect. As we face with this contradicting definition of “freedom”, the next question we should be asking:
What is the definition of “freedom” that Jesus had in mind?
I think that the definition of “freedom” that Jesus had in mind can be traced back to Jesus’ identity as the legitimate “Son of God” who came from Heaven. (Ref: John 8:12-30)
Jesus told us that God is His Father and that He is from above while we are from below. We are of this world while He is not from this world.
As Christians, because we put our faith in Christ, we therefore have become heirs by faith to God. And, as the Apostle Paul explains, if we are heirs of God, then we are co-heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:17). And as heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, we are connected as One with the Creator of the Universe.
In the prayer of Jesus Christ, He told God the Father that He “has given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be One as We are One— I in them and You in Me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.” (John 17:22-23, NIV)
Let us ponder on the implications of this declaration for a while. If the Creator of the Universe, the Originator of all things seen and unseen, invites you to be One with Him, doesn’t it mean that All Things that were created in Him, through Him, and for Him (Ref: Romans 11:36, Colossians 1:16), were also created In Us, through Us, and for Us? And if we are One with the Creator of the Universe, then doesn’t that mean that All Things, seen and unseen are at our disposal?
Just as the Apostle Paul explained to us in such simple words, “All things are yours”. Indeed, all things in the Created Universe and beyond, are ours. All things that belonged to God, are ours. He wrote, “All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” (1 Corinthians 3:21-23, NIV).
Having been entrusted with such a great inheritance, we need to be fully aware about our newfound identity.
As the Apostle Paul continued to explain, “Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you!” (1 Corinthians 4:8, NIV) We already have all that we want. In life, in death, in things seen and unseen. We are rich beyond human measure. However, we are not rich in the eyes of humanity, but we are rich in the eyes of the Creator who entrusted us with all things.
This is the freedom that Jesus aims to give to us — The knowledge and the assurance that we are made complete in Him. Regardless of our earthly livelihood, regardless of our situation, as long as we are One with the Creator of the Universe, we will be able to travel to the farthest reaches of the Universe while being confined to our prison cell. As long as we are One with the Creator of the Universe, we can uncover the rich wisdom of the Universe without having to leave our room. As long as we are One with the Creator, we can love without growing weary. As long as we are One with the Creator, we can soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
This is the “secret” the Paul was speaking about when he wrote that he had learned to be content, whatever the circumstances. (Philippians 4:11-13).
This is the True Freedom that God has intended for us.
This is also the Freedom that the Ancients were trying to share with us.
Do you want True Freedom?
Let me close with a quote from Lao Tzu:
“不出户知天下；不闚牖见天道。其出弥远，其知弥少。是以圣人不行而知，不见而名，不为而成。” — 老子，道德经，47章。
“Without going out of the door, you can know the ways of the world. Without peeping through your window, you can see the Way of Heaven. The farther you go, the less you know. Thus, the Sage knows without travelling, sees without looking, and achieves without ado”. — Lao Tzi, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 47, Wu Translation.
May God grant all of you, True Freedom. God bless all.Image by Jackson David from Pixabay
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