In this series we are looking at biblical freedom as through a magnifying glass; the freedom that Jesus promises us. This is not the freedom to do or say whatever we want, but freedom from sin, guilt, shame and legalism, but also the freedom to choose. This freedom is a gift from God, but it is our responsibility to hold on to that freedom. 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.
Stand firm, then! How do we do that? In the previous post I mentioned that holy living is an important key in order to maintain our freedom. Purposely choosing to obey the Holy Spirit and not our own will. If we practice this more and more, we will experience true freedom, because where the Spirit is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3;17). Another important key to keep our freedom is the receiving and giving of forgiveness and the confession of our sins.
Jesus has set us free from sin, guilt and shame, yet, we often feel burdened. We allow the enemy to enslave us again, sometimes without realizing this. Quite often our feelings of guilt or shame can grow so big that they become a real burden. This is the stick the enemy uses to hit us with, He wants to keep us feeling insignificant and guilty, so we are afraid to go to God. It is therefore very important that we absolutely know that we are forgiven. The next step is that we need to forgive others as well. If we refuse to do so we will be burdened again with a yoke of slavery. If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14-15).
Besides forgiveness there is also the confession of our sins, not necessarily to God, but to each other. Sin, forgiveness, healing, confession and deliverance... somehow they are all connected to each other. We don't need to understand everything in order to believe it. To be honest, I have enough questions of my own... But, let us take a closer look at James 5:14-16, Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
In these verses we can find wonderful keys that will enable us to stand firm, in order to keep our freedom. We can, yes, we must, forgive each other. And if we confess our sins to each other and pray... we will get well. Wow, that is awesome, who doesn't want that? I wonder why we don't practice this more often, in the church, but also in our small groups at home. We can take action today:
- Do you truly believe Jesus has totally forgiven you? Say it
- Are there people in your life you need to forgive? Give it
- Is there a person you can confess your sins to? Do it
- Pray together with that person. Ask it
PS: Is it truly possible to experience freedom from diseases and ailments and to stand firm? Did Jesus die for this too? We will talk about this in the next post.