Freedom From Self
Before faith: We are prisoners of self. We are prisoners of selfishness. We are in prisons of our own making. We are in prisons that we have chosen. We are prisoners of what is within us. We are prisoners of our minds. We are prisoners of our hearts. We are prisoners of our circumstances. We are prisoners of sin. We are prisoners of Satan. We are prisoners of our bodies. We ourselves are our own prison. We are in prisons created for us by other people. We are too weak to escape these prisons. Sometimes we cannot even see the freedom beyond the prison walls.
Adam and Eve were captivated by one tree. They could have chosen the freedom of thousands or millions of other trees.
God gives us a wonderful choice. He permits us to choose what kind of prison we occupy. When we trust Him He promises to free us from all those prisons. Salvation is like a jail-break. Salvation is a full pardon. Salvation is a commutation of sentence. He frees us from most of our prisons the moment we trust Him. He will free us from all of them the moment Christ returns for us.
God has a Kingdom. During this discussion I will call it a prison. Some unbelievers think of it as that anyway. When we trust Him we are freed from all the evil prisons. We are then trapped in the prison of His good. When we surrender to Him we become beloved prisoners. We become prisoners of the good that He showers upon us. The walls of God*s prison protect us from evil. The prison outside of God*s walls is the evil one. The prison that is outside of God*s walls is the real and dangerous one. Freedom is within the walls of God*s prison. Captivity is outside of God*s prison.
As believers we often don*t recognize the freedoms we have. We still behave as if we are prisoners of the former things. We ignorantly remain in those prisons even though the doors have been unlocked. As we grow as Christians we recognize more fully our freedom and are then able to enjoy it. As we grow we understand better how wonderful is our freedom in Christ. Christians can be a little like animals that spend years in a zoo. When they are released into their natural habitat they have trouble. It can take us a long time to adjust to our freedom.
We often misunderstand Biblical freedom. We in America have had so much freedom we don*t understand the evil that oppresses many other people. Many of those other people do not understand the freedom that we have. Unbelievers have no chance to understand the freedom that we Christians have. Believers find it hard to understand why lost people are willing to stay in their prisons.
Unbelievers are captives of death and they are barred from spiritual life (relationship with God). Believers are captives of life and they are barred from spiritual death (separation from God).
John 8:36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
John 8:32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
2 Timothy 2:26: And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Jeremiah 13:17: But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD*S flock is carried away captive.
Romans 6:14: For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:18: Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Romans 6:22: But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Romans 8:2: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
James 1:25: But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
James 2:12: So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
Isaiah 61:1: The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isaiah 42:7: To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
Luke 4:18: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Galatians 5:1: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.