Freedom is something we all love and long for. But the bible says there is a freedom that we need and others need, more than freedom from slavery and oppression, more than freedom of speech, more than financial freedom, more than the freedom you are probably longing for when you hit 18 and leave school. Because if we have it, we don’t just get some temporary freedom fix, but the true freedom we need for all eternity.
In John 8, Jesus shows us this freedom that we need, who gets it, how we get and why we need it. In this chapter, Jesus has just said to this group of Jews that they need to be set free. Then in verse 33 they say, “We have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” And you may be the same thinking, “I’m not a slave, so why do you say I need to be set free”.
If Jesus is saying that freedom is needed, that means we are bound and we aren’t free.
What are we bound to?
John 8:34 Jesus says “I tell you the truth everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” We are slaves to sin in the sense that we are bound to it. How? We are bound in two ways:
1. Bound to doing sin
Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We all sin and run to it. We love running our own lives and ignoring God. You know this about yourself. You feel guilt for it! You know how you hurt people and reject God!
2. Bound to the consequences of sin
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We are bound to death, punishment, God’s anger and what sin deserves because God is just. He must do what is right!
But you may be thinking, are we really bound to sin, is it really our default? Yes, it is!!! If I leave my two kids on their own and they will fight and hurt each other. I don’t need to teach them to do wrong. And we all know we are the same. We are bound to sin and run to it again and again. None of us would want every thought, word or action of ours to be put up on a screen for everyone to see.
We desperately need freedom. We need to be set free because we are slaves to sin, dead in sin, and have the penalty of death and punishment over us.
Slavery is a horrid thing that I hate and I feel sick as I think about it! But slavery to sin is far worse and far more destructive than physical slavery. And we are all slaves to sin.
So how can we be free from slavery to sin?
John 8:35-36 says “A slave has no permanent pace in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
The Son, Jesus Christ, can set us free.
How does Jesus set us free?
Well, sin and the price and penalty for it is on us. But the bible says that Christians are bought at a price (1 Cor 6:20). The price for our freedom is death and facing all the consequences that our sin deserves. And Jesus in his death paid that price, setting us free and giving us salvation. He took on our sin and gives us all that we need to have eternal life with God.
Who gets this freedom? True Christians
In John 8:31-32, Jesus says “If you hold to my teaching, you are TRULY my disciples. THEN you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
This verse shows us how there are disciples and real disciples. Those who claim to be Christians and those who really are. Who are the real ones who are free from sin and what it deserves? Jesus says it’s those who hold to his teaching and the truth.
What’s the truth? It’s the truth of how Jesus takes our sin and all it deserves. We need to trust in him for this. Colossians 2:13-15 shows what we need to trust in. It says this, “you were dead in your sins… but God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the debt that was against us. He took it away nailing it to the cross.”
The Bible says you are either bound to sin and all its consequences or you have freedom when Jesus takes all of that to get us freedom. It’s just like for someone in jail for a small crime. For them to gain freedom, they either need to wait there until they do the time for what they deserve or someone else needs to bail them out.
The Bible says that either you pay for your sin, or Christ does. You can’t gain freedom from sin by your efforts or works. Only what Jesus Christ has done on the cross can set us free from sin. So, rely on him to be set free from slavery to sin!