For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.                                                Romans 8:19-21


The glorious liberty of the children of God is not some­thing which waits for the last day.  It is already here.

- Liberty.

- Freedom.


What else did the Messiah come for but to set the captives free?


"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed...."            Luke 4:18


Every one of these blessings Jesus promises to bring us is freedom:


- Good news to the poor.


- The trouble with being poor is that you're limited in what you can do,

        what you can eat,

   where you can travel.

     You're strapped down.

- Good news to the poor is freedom.


- Release to the captives.

- Freedom.


- Recovery of sight to the blind.


- The trouble with being blind is you are limited in where you can go.

You can't run through the woods, jump on the rocks.

- Recovery of sight is freedom.


- Liberty to the oppressed.


- Freedom.


Jesus gives freedom to the blind,





    poor. And He gives it start­ing now, in this life. Jesus doesn't merely say to

             people whose lives are walled in,


"Never mind, some day you'll be in heaven and then you will be free."


"What do you want me to do for you?"


"Lord, that I might receive my sight."


"Receive your sight, your faith has made you whole."


"Lord, if you will, you can make me clean."


"I will - Be thou clean!"


The mark of every single person who was touched by Jesus in any way, was freedom. Obviously the behavior of the followers of Jesus was freer than that of the Pharisees.


- They walked through the grain field plucking grain on the Sabbath.


- They ate without ritually washing their hands.


- They asked the questions that came into their minds without shame.


They were having a lot more pleasure in God than the religious types of the day because they were free.


This is still true. The difference between a religious person and a person who has come into a living union with Jesus Christ is freedom.


- The religious person tends to be bound and inhibited.


- The lover of Jesus is free.


But there are two kinds of freedom: inner freedom and outer freedom. A rich man for instance has outer freedom.


- He is almost unlimited in where he can go in the world.

- He can eat where he likes and what he likes.


- His money gives him access to people of influence.

- Doors open to him that do not open to others.


But this same rich man, with all this outer freedom, may be inwardly a slave. His mind may be in bondage to vanity and his desires fixed on lust.


While Jesus gave the lame and the blind a certain outer freedom, these healings were signs of the real freedom He came to bring: inner freedom.


Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, 'You will be made free'?"

Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed...."                                John 8:31-36


"What do you mean we will be made free? We're sons of Abraham, we've never been slaves to any man."

"Outwardly perhaps ... but inwardly whoever continues in sin is a slave to sin."

Surely we're all aware that our real bondage is not the outer but the inner.


I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 

Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good.  So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.  For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.  So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.  For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members.  Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.  Romans 7:15-24


Who of us doesn't know exactly what Paul is talking about? But what most of us have not yet come to believe is that there is freedom from inner bondage in this life. We don't have to go on and on defeated by the corruption within us that makes a mockery of our desire to do good.


If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed....


                           - not hopefully free,

- not potentially free,

- really free!


Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.           


                           - Liberty as our portion,

                                             our dwelling place,

                                             our meat and drink,

                                             our daily joy.


Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

John 8:31-32


The freedom comes as we continue in Jesus' word which is Spirit and life. Continue in it! As we hold on to His word – watch over it, live it – we experience in this life, even in these bodies of flesh and blood, the glorious liberty of the children of God.


If you continue in my word.....


For instance,


1.  If you continue in my word of the cross you will know the truth....


....that you've been forgiven and you will be free from guilt.


Most of us have had flashes of insight about our forgiveness stretched between long seasons of darkness. We need to get to the point where those flashes of light become continuous unbroken day. We need to soak up the word of the cross until we absorb it into our nature.


The word of Jesus is not just something that came out of Hismouth; it was what Hedid. The most forceful word Jesus ever spoke was Hislaying down Hislife on the cross. Every time we behold the Lamb hanging on the cross, we hear Hisword saying to us,


- "Your sins are forgiven."

- "The evil within you is now conquered."

- "Your guilt is removed."

- "You are clean."


I continue in that word of the cross by fixing my heart on the cross of Jesus every day when I get up, seeing it as the center of my life, the source of my strength.


I also continue in the word of the cross by learning to joyfully deny myself for others.


- Take up my cross.


I constantly put my stubbornness on the altar and yield my will to God's way of mercy.


We need to continue in this word to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified,


            - until the power of the word of the cross literally sets us free from all guilt,

- releases us into a life ruled not by guilt but by endless thanksgiving to God.

- A life overflowing with mercy toward others.


Make no mistake, this is a life we can live. It is meant for every follower of Jesus. It was meant for us.


2. Continue in my word of promise and you will know the truth....


....that the Spirit has come and has set you free from the lust of the flesh,

lust of the eye, and the pride of life.


Notice how many of the words of Jesus are promises....


                 - "I will not leave you desolate..."

- "I will come to you."

- "I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice."

- "Whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give it to you."

- "Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you ... you shall be my witnesses..."


Every one of these promises is fulfilled as we receive the Holy Spirit into our lives. And He, the Holy Spirit, fulfills us as nothing, absolutely nothing in this world fulfills us.


All the fulfillment we sought through lust and pride – and which always disappointed us, left a bad aftertaste, ended in disillusionment – becomes ours as the Holy Spirit fills our lives with the glory of God.


Now we begin to taste what it's like to be able at last to get on top of lust and pride and enter into the freedom of a God-satisfied life. Only God-satisfied people are a free people. They alone have the freedom to live in praise to God and in generosity and forbearance toward those around them.


Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.           Philippians 4:4


3.  Continue in my call to faith and you will know the truth....


....that I am the resurrection and the life. That I have set you free from the fear of death.


Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to life­ long bondage.        Hebrews 2:l4-15


Jesus conquers death on the cross ... but He delivers us from the fear of death and the power of death by calling us to faith.


"He who believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."


"I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst."


Every morning when we get up Jesus calls us again to faith. "Believe in me...


Trust me...

Put your life in my hands... Take me at my word..."


And as we do, we literally step from death into life. We enter a divine walk here on earth, eternal fire burns within us, living water flows from our hearts into the needs around us, we're able to give ourselves to others because we're no longer scared of dying.


...because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.


For a short while longer the creation around us remains in bondage to decay. But the glorious liberty of the children of God is already here. It's an inner freedom each of us is meant to have now.


God help us to continue in the Master's word until we begin to know the truth and find that freedom.


- Continue in my word of the cross and you will have forgiveness.

- Continue in my word of promise and you will have the Holy Spirit.

- Continue in my call to faith and you will experience life that destroys death.