Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Complete Freedom

Romans 8:21
John 8:31-36
Matthew 13:44
After the U.S. Civil War the former slaves had their freedom but rarely did they have anything besides. As valuable as their freedom was, it took more than another century for their legal and social rights to be anything close to equal to those of their white neighbors. Being white myself I underestimate how much that struggle is still continuing today. While freedom was better than slavery, their position was still insecure and their liberty incomplete for many, many years after the war. I'm sure some of the former slaves who had been particularly well treated by their former owners felt discouraged by the change, not seeing the value of the freedom for its own sake or for the potential benefits for their future, but only the burden of providing their own food and clothing with no immediate means to do so.
The freedom that Christ offers us is complete. It is not halfhearted, written on an official paper but torn apart by the problems of discrimination. Furthermore, He offers us a purpose for our freedom. He offers freedom from the death of sin and for the joys of Heaven. We struggle on this earth, fighting the sin that tries to enslave us again, but knowing that at the moment we leave this earth our freedom will be complete and our former owner will no longer be able to harm us in any way.
At the same time, we have been given only the smallest glimpse of what the fullness of our freedom will look like. We've been offered only enough to let our imagination run wild, but whatever our future in Christ will look like, we know that it will be wonderful. Imagine a new world (Rev 21:1) with no suffering (Rev 21:4), no sin, and with every joy imaginable. As important and wonderful as the freedom that emerged after the Civil War was, Christ's freedom is far greater, far more wonderful, far more complete.

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