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Brighton Church of Christ
Freedom, Part 2
by Constant Coulibaly
Sin has the potential to reduce people to a state of moral slavery. But the Son of God has the power, ultimately, to redeem them.
In Great Britain, we have the NHS, private clinics and non-government organizations that work on helping people with alcohol, cigarette, drug or gambling addiction, but to no avail in scores of cases.
Real power capable of freeing people from sin lies with Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “If the Son of God shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” There is freedom available through the truth of the gospel of Christ.
The gospel informs us that God has provided the world with a way out of sin. The way is Christ, who left the glory of the throne of God, “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). John also said that “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11).
Although the word “own” here refers to the Jews primarily, it also is an allusion to any person who rejects Christ, and would likely have abused Him the way the Jews did had he been His contemporary.
Jesus suffered verbal abuse, ridicule, physical torture and trauma at the hands of the Jews. His suffering culminated in His death. Paul said, “[He] was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8).
Christ’s death was the fulfilment of God’s plan of salvation from sin. God willed that His Son paid the price for sin in His death, as the Bible teaches that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
God chose to let His innocent Son bear the consequences of sin committed by mankind (Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 2:24). Let me quickly say, though, that only those who have been baptized into Christ benefit from the substitutionary atonement of His death (Romans 6:1-4).
Now, if it is untrue that Christ died for sin, then we “shall all die in [our] sins,” as Jesus told the Jews (John 8:24), because we would still be in our sins!
And sin, inevitably, leads to death, according to the affirmation of Romans 6:23. If we were then still in our sins and nothing could be done about our trespasses, we would be in a terrible situation!
Dear reader, sin is a reality. Listen to God’s declaration, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Let me back up that statement with verse 10 of chapter 3 from the same book of Romans, which says, “There is no one righteous, no, not one.”
Either you believe God’s testimonies, or you deny them and thus make God a liar. I don’t know of any more serious sin than that of accusing a holy God of lying.
But the truth is, God has liberated us from sin and its terrible consequences through the death of Christ. He has spared us an eternal existence away from Him.
And this freedom has brought to our hearts feelings of joy, hope and peace of mind, because we are no longer under God’s condemnation (Romans 8:1). No condemnation for those who are “in” Christ. Are you in Christ? Have you been baptized into Christ?
While it takes the grace of God to enjoy joy, hope, peace of mind and other wonderful blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us because of the fact that we belong to Christ (Ephesians 1:3), it also necessitates an effort on our part.
We need to act upon God’s offer of grace (cf. Acts 16). The Philippian jailor, in Acts 16, asked Paul and his fellow preacher Silas, “What must I do to be saved” (v. 30)?
Implied in this question is action to be undertaken. Paul’s reply means that the jailor needed to accept the deity of Christ, but he also had to trust what He said.
That explains why he, together with Silas, “spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house” (v. 32).
And they must have told him that Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:16). After the jailor obeyed Christ’s command to be baptized, and was indeed baptized, he rejoiced (Acts 16:34).
If you will obey Christ and submit to His command to be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) you, too, will enjoy the joy of freedom in Christ.
If, as a child of God, you are in the habit of smoking, drinking or abusing drug, we lovingly remind you that the Lord said, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).
Also, bear in mind that, while men may not see you habitually enjoy your cigarette, joint or glass of alcohol in the secret of your hiding place, God sees you (Hebrews 4:13).
We sincerely plead with you, as we pray for you, to consider this in the light of the judgment (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Hebrews 9:27) and eternity that face each one of us (Matthew 25:46).
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