You Can Be Free

The Word was God
John 1:1-5 ESV

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

As we read further on down in this 1st chapter of the book of John, we come to realize that “the Word” John was talking about here is Jesus Christ, God the Son. Jesus Christ was in the beginning with God, and he is God, and he is our creator God. All things were made through him.

So, Jesus Christ existed before he ever was born as a baby to his mother Mary. He was in heaven with God the Father, but he left his throne in heaven, humbled himself, came to earth, and was born in the likeness of man. And eventually he gave up his life for us on a cross for our freedom.

But the freedom that he died for is not our freedom to continue living in sin without guilt. He died to deliver us from our slavery to sin that we might become slaves of his righteousness. He died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; 1 Pet 2:24).

He died on that cross for us, not just so we could escape hell and go to heaven when we die. He came to put our old lives to death, so that he might give us new lives in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. This is the life that he gives us, not like the old life (Eph 4:17-24).

When we have this new life in Christ Jesus, by God-ordained faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. The life we lived before is passe. For, we have been crucified with Christ and we (our flesh) no longer live, but Christ now lives his life in and through us when we submit to him.

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and he is the source of all life, and of that new life we have in him through faith in him. And he is the light to all people. And that light is truth, righteousness, and holiness, the wisdom of God, the gospel of our salvation, and the whole counsel of God.

And Jesus shines that light into the darkness (wickedness, evil, sin), but the darkness does not submit to the light. It does not conform to the light. It does not profit from the light. And people love the darkness and so they refuse to come into the light lest their evil deeds be exposed (Jn 3:19).

The Light of Men
John 1:9-11 ESV

“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.”

You know what? This is still true today. Even though Jesus Christ, the true light, came into the world, and gave out the truth of the light, and even though he is our creator God who made us, yet the people of the world who are still of the world do not know (recognize) him for who he is.

But even sadder than that is the fact that so many people today who profess faith in Jesus Christ don’t really recognize or know him, either. They know of him, and they have probably received false likenesses of him, but they do not know him intimately. His Spirit is not living within them.

And why is this true? Because many humans love (prefer) the darkness to the light and so they refuse to come into the light. They will accept “another Jesus” created in the minds of other human beings because this “another Jesus” doesn’t make any demands on them to have to change.

So, Jesus Christ could literally walk right into their gatherings and as soon as he began to speak, they would call him out for being legalistic, self-righteous, hyper-religious and judgmental. And they would try to persuade him to be more like them and to immerse himself in their culture.

They would say to him, “Stay in your own lane,” and “Don’t confront people in their sins because you might offend them.” And they would instruct him in the cultural way to “do church” these days, and if he did not conform, they would invite him to go somewhere else where he would be a “better fit.”

And this is because the church at large, at least here in America, has received a false image of who Jesus was/is, and they have received a diluted and half-truth gospel in place of the whole counsel of God. And they have their other “gods” that they worship in place of true worship of Christ, too.

To All Who Receive Him
John 1:12-14 ESV

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

So, what does it mean to “receive him”? It isn’t just words we repeat after someone else in a prayer to “receive Christ.” The word literally means to take hold of him, to aggressively be accepting what he has offered to us, to put it into practice in our lives, to take ownership of it.

And what is he offering? He is offering us death to sin and living to righteousness. He is offering us dying with him to slavery to sin so that we may be living to him and to his righteousness. He is offering a new life that puts away the old life of the flesh and walks now according to the Spirit.

For, if we are truly born of God, then it is on God’s terms, not our terms. Even the faith to believe in him comes from him and is not of ourselves lest we should boast (Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2). So, we can’t make it up ourselves. We must surrender our lives to him and obey his teachings.

For, if we continue living in sin, deliberately and habitually doing what we know is wrong, and what is harming and hurtful to others, as a matter of practice (habit, addiction), then Scripture teaches that we don’t know Jesus, he doesn’t know us, and we don’t have eternal life with him, no matter what we say we believe or what we have confessed with our lips.

So, please take this to heart.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 14:23-24; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14]

*The following is a secular song, but these words express God’s words to us, that we would let him be our freedom, that we would let him shelter us and be our light, and that we would find our hope, and our peace and safety in him and not in the things of this dark world. All he asks of us is that we love him, which means we submit to him as Lord, and we obey his commands.

All I Ask of You

by Andrew Lloyd Webber

No more talk of darkness,
Forget these wide-eyed fears;
I’m here, nothing can harm you,
My words will warm and calm you.
Let me be your freedom,
Let daylight dry your tears;
I’m here, with you, beside you,
To guard you and to guide you.

Let me be your shelter,
Let me be your light;
You’re safe, no one will find you,
Your fears are far behind you.

Love me, that’s all I ask of you

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