Galatians 5:1 says “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” But what are we supposed to do with this freedom? It is one thing to be free but now what?
I recently read a study that says that about 52% of prisoners released from jail return to prison. Even worse is that 67% were arrested for a crime. Forget for a second that we are talking about jail what is your rate of recidivism? We can look at those numbers and pass judgment (and there are things we should judge about that) but can we look at our own life and judge?
Paul says here that Christ set us free to be free and that we should not return to slavery, so why do we? Why do we return to sin, or our own new white-labeled version of the Law, or another Gospel? Why do we not walk in the Freedom Christ has given us? Why do we forsake the Freedom given us?
I think a large part of it has to do with not understanding the Freedom we have. Jesus says in John 8:32 & 36 that when you know the Truth that the Son has set you free you will be free (ever read it like that?). We need to understand our freedom, we need to try and comprehend it. But first you need to understand your captivity. You cannot ever understand what Freedom is until you understand what captivity is. If you think that salvation is just some prayer, some event you attended, some one time thank you Jesus moment then you don’t understand it.
It took the most innocent and perfect man receiving punishment to give you freedom. It took innocent blood to clean dirty sins. It took the perfect Son laying down His life for you to have Freedom. You were sentenced to an eternal separation from God. You would spend not a life time or a thousand lifetimes away from Him but forever. I know in polite society we are not supposed to talk about Hell, but anyone who knows me knows I am not a part of polite society. I do not talk about Hell lightly, and I do not mention it in passing. I love you, because God loves you. The Father gave His Son so you could live. I believe that and have no problem telling you that without Jesus you go to Hell.
I don’t like that, and I am not OK with that. I won’t force it on it you but I also won’t ignore it. If you were about to crash I would tell you, if you were about to fall off a cliff I would tell you. I would not be all “it’s their life, not my business.” There is a great quote from Penn Jillette that I won’t get into but here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owZc3Xq8obk. He is an atheist and says the same thing. So there is that.
Anyway that was not the point. If you understand your captivity then when you are free you rejoice and understand the Freedom. I think some inmates return because they don’t think jail was that bad, some just thought they were smart enough to not get caught now. Both are wrong.
When you understand your captivity you better understand your Freedom. You better understand what it is to be free and you want to do everything you can to stay away from ever being a slave again.
I am by no means perfect but I am going to do everything I can to stay away from being a slave again. So what am I to do when I sin, or create a new Law? I am to remember it is for Freedom I was set free, and I walk in that Freedom. I say what have I done, RUN!!! Never again will I be captive!
Just a thought,