Be Free or be a Slave

Jesus says in John 8; “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” No one wants to be a slave to anyone or anything and yet that is exactly what so many of us are. Slaves to addictions, unfaithfulness, fear and control, to un-forgiveness, to striving for acceptance, to insecurity and so on…

Now time for the good news – the Son of God sets us free. Immediately on trusting our lives to Jesus we are deemed forgiven and children of God. We then spend our lives working out that freedom with his presence powerfully working in us. And our place in his family is permanent – we don’t get thrown out depending on our own goodness, because God is faithful and loving. Of course the prodigal son is welcomed home – he has a permanent place in the family!

Jesus life and ministry was about bringing us into the full freedom of being sons and daughters of the living God. Once we begin to follow Jesus we have that assurance of the belonging to our heavenly Father – as Galatians 4 describes; “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child.” It is that presence of God in us that we all felt last night at Manly Life – the Spirit in our hearts (this time during worship) that was crying out “You are loved”, “You are loved”, “You are loved”…

That is the starting place to understand ourselves, our true identity. Not as slaves, not as orphans, not as outsider, but as fully loved children of God. The time for sin has passed, the time for striving and insecurity is gone. Rest in the peace of being part of the family!

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