Freedom in Christ
In the Bible, sinful human beings are likened to slaves who are in bondage to sin, Satan, the Law and death. When they receive God’s salvation, they are freed from this slavery. This is by virtue of God’s supreme grace that has as its basis the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although believers are free from the law to which the ancient Israelites were bound, they are not free to do as they like. (Read more: Christian Freedom). They have been saved by God’s grace so that they might be free from sin, not to that they might fall under sin’s power again.
Freedom from Sin
Romans chapter 6 speak of the death of Christ as the means by which we are freed from sin. We are forgiven for the purpose of making us hate our sins. We cannot be servants of sin and servants of Christ at the same time. We must choose one of the other. It is not possible to please Christ and continue to live in sin at the same time. This does not mean that we can entirely overcome all our sins and place ourselves beyond the need of His mercy. But it does mean that there are two essentially different ways of life: the way of Christ and the way of sin. In our heart we belong to one or the other, but not both.
Romans 6:20-23 states,
“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NKJV)
Sinful human beings feel no obligation to righteousness, but neither do they get any satisfaction from sin. They get only disappointment, bondage and death. Being a slave of God brings satisfaction and holiness in the present world, and the fullness of eternal life in the age to come.
The Truth Shall Set Us Free
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “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 8:32-36, NKJV)
Truth is one of the marks of Christ and Jesus is the personification of truth. But it will be for them knowledge to be learned by doing God’s will as stated in John 7:17. The freedom of which Jesus here speaks is freedom from the slavery of sin. Paul also said the same concept of freedom in Rom. 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (NKJV). This freedom is won alone by Christ and we are sanctified in truth.
In John 1:17, truth is mentioned with grace as one of the marks of the gospel through Christ. Freedom (intellectual, moral, spiritual) is only attainable when we are set free from darkness, sin, ignorance, superstition and let the Light of the World shine on us and in us.
Therefore, ‘truth’ here refers to Jesus Himself and His teachings recorded in the Gospels. Only Jesus, the Truth, can set us free and through his teachings we learn how to enjoy such freedom as servants or better yet, friends of Christ!
Halley, Henry H. Halley’s Bible Handbook. ePub Format. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2000.
MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.
Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999.