A Call To The Remnant

Scottish Warriors for Christ- http://www.facebook.com/acalltotheremnant

True Freedom

Posted by appolus on July 2, 2010

You see, true freedom has nothing to do with anything political. Many Christians are confused with the notions of freedom and have their political freedoms all mixed up with the freedom that was gained for them on Calvary. Jesus is our victory, in Jesus our Lord we find true Freedom. The Scriptures say that He who the Son sets free is free indeed. This majestic freedom rises high above all earthly gained freedom. If men could attain freedom by their own efforts then Christ died in vain.

 

TRUE FREEDOM

 

 What does it mean to be free? The world has some very strong ideas on the meaning of freedom. This has been a subject that has been discussed for thousands of years. One of the most famous freedom fighters in history was Sparticus. Here was this former Roman soldier, now a slave and reduced to fighting for his life in the arena. He decided to thow of his shackles of slavery and escaped with a small band of men which eventually grew in hundreds of thousands of runaway slave who struck fear into the very hear of Rome. They won victory and victory until their own greed and pride eventually finished them of. Another famous group of freedom fighters were my own people, the Scots, who in 1314 took on a vastly superior force in the English and won a famous battle that secured freedom. Sometimes the Scottish can be synonymous with fighting for freedom and for a long time I avoided the notion that my own love of freedom had anything to do with the fact that I was born and bred in a country who were known, rightfully of wrongly as a people who would rather die than live in slavery. There is this romantic notion of warriors who rise up against injustice and , despite overwhelming odds, would rather die on a battle-filed fighting for freedom than to live in slavery. It is an extremely powerful emotion. It stirs the heart and has often been uses as a rallying cry, a call to arms amongst men down through the ages. America herself will celebrate, in just a short while, Independence day. A day that rejoices in the defeat of tyranny and the rise of freedom. A day that celebrates a small band of people overcoming overwhelming odds and rising up against a large tyrannical force and defeating them.

 
Yet is any of this freedom? Is any of this the freedom that Jesus came and wrought for us? Before I came to Christ I was a brokenhearted man. Life had crushed me. The child of a violent alcoholic, who became a drunk myself, constantly drugged, had lost a child, had another child burned 60%. Had become suicidal. And yet Jesus stood up in the temple and pronounces this……..
 
Luk 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; because of this He has anointed Me to proclaim the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and new sight to the blind, to set at liberty those having been crushed,
Luk 4:19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Luk 4:20 And rolling up the book, returning it to the attendant, He sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on Him.
Luk 4:21 And He began to say to them, Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears.
 
He healed my broken heart, praise the Lord. He rescued me from my spiritual poverty. He freed me from my cell of destruction, he took that which was totally broken and He put it back together again and He set me free. Not some vague theological notion, not some mental construct, not some psychological crutch, actual freedom. He came into my cell of death when He heard my cry and he He opened the doors of my slavery.
 
Many years after coming to Christ I had this vision. Now in 20 years I could count on one hand the number of visions that I have had. And they have all left their mark on me. Let me read to you my vision………….
 
I felt the rush of air rising, catching my wings as I ascended higher and higher
through the clouds. Suddenly the mountain top appeared, rising majestically,
resting on a sea of gray.The mountain trembled and the thunder clapped and the “Rock,” said, ” go.” I flapped my wings and soon the mountain was far behind as I flew over rivers and  valley’s and great forests of pine. Then I came across a great assembly of men gathered together on a bleak and desolate moor as the rain began to fall and the wind howled in anguished anticipation. Words of freedom echoed up to the sky above. Will a man die for freedom? How many men have spilled their blood and hastened their souls to eternal damnation for that which is not even a shadow. And the men fought and died not knowing that it is not in the winning or the losing, neither can that which they seek be attained by knife or sword. I flapped my wings and suddenly the mists of time rolled back, back, back unto the dawning of a different age. Below me, another assembly of men, angry men. These men were not fighting for freedom, they were seeking to destroy it. They shouted,”crucify Him, crucify Him,” and freedom hung in the balance. And all of hell’s fury cheered as the sky grew dark and the lightening flashed and the earth stood still in utter dismay. Would the sun ever rise in the sky again, or had darkness won the day? Then after three days and three nights, from a sea of darkness and gloom, rose majestically, a pure white standard that shattered the darkness forever. Now the white flag signifies surrender, when we surrender our life’s to Jesus, we gain victory from the jaws of defeat and the darkness is destroyed forever.
 
You see, true freedom has nothing to do with anything political. Many Christians are confused with the notions of freedom and have their political freedoms all mixed up with the freedom that was gained for them on Calvary. Jesus is our victory, in Jesus our Lord we find true Freedom. The Scriptures say that He who the Son sets free is free indeed. This majestic freedom rises high above all earthly gained freedom. If men could attain freedom by their own efforts then Christ died in vain. How free was our brother the Apostle Paul when he languished in the deep?
What about Peter and John as the lashes tore the skin from their back? What about our brother Stephen as the cruel stones destroyed his earthly body? I say that they were as free as the birds in the sky, no, so much freer than they. For the birds are as free as the sky in which they fly, our freedom ascends to the very throne of the Almighty God. In the deepest darkest dungeons, chained to the walls, we are the light that penetrates and destroys the darkness, we are the salt of the earth. If true freedom could be granted or taken away by men then it would not be the freedom of
Calvary. The gentiles busy themselves with earthly things, buying and selling, gaining and losing and for needs sakes we too must walk amongst them. And yet, we are a brotherhood, a Royal Priesthood sent to shine that light of Calvary’s freedom into every corner of the earth. We are called to be a counter culture, not a sub-culture.
 
Now there is another group of Christians who are not confused at all about political freedom. They know that it has nothing to do with politics or accident of birth. They know that they owe everything to Jesus. Yet, they do not walk in freedom. They see themselves as vile worms. They make virtue out of the fact that they are struggling sinners, in fact you will rarely if ever hear them call themselves saints. Isn’t it interesting that this is what Paul and Peter refer to the children of God in the Scriptures, they address them as saints. We must understand who we are in Christ if we are to walk in Victory. We must understand that we walk in His righteousness, He has made us righteous. We do not walk in condemnation, we do not walk and cry out “Oh wretched man that I am.” This is not the cry of the saint. The saint does not cry out “Who will deliver me from this body of death.” This is the cry of the man who is trying to attain his own righteousness, and the tragedy for the genuine Christian who gets caught up in this is that they deny the one who did deliver them from their body of death. He has given them new life, they are new creatures in Christ, behold all things are new. None of this is theory or theology, its actuality. Yet you must reckon it to be so, you must lay a hold of the freedom that was wrought for you on the bloody battle-field of Calvary. This body of death phrase was gleaned from an ancient practice. In those days, if one committed murder, often the penalty would be that the corpse of the one one murdered was chained to the one who did the murdered. It was a horrific penalty that would eventually kill the person that was chained to the corpse. Brothers and sisters, do you know someone who is chained to the old man? Who drags this stinking rotting carcass of that which was killed. Who walk around and wail ..”Who will deliver me from this body of death?” What a tragedy for the those in the Body of Christ who have been delivered, who were captives in their jail cells, and were set free by Christ Himself with the blood of Calvary, and yet remain in the jail cells. The door has been unlocked, you now have been released, all you have to do is push the door open that Jesus opened for you and walk on through out of darkness into His marvelous light, yet you stay in the cell, with a piece of paper telling you that your free, but you never take hold of your freedom and remain in your cell, remain in Romans 7 and never walk into the freedom of Romans 8. Listen to what Matthew Henry says about Romans 8……………..
 
 
“I. The apostle here begins with one signal privilege of true Christians, and describes the character of those to whom it belongs: There is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus, Rom_8:1. This is his triumph after that melancholy complaint and conflict in the foregoing chapter – sin remaining, disturbing, vexing, but, blessed be God, not ruining. The complaint he takes to himself, but humbly transfers the comfort with himself to all true believers, who are all interested in it. 1. It is the unspeakable privilege and comfort of all those that are in Christ Jesus that there is therefore now no condemnation to them. He does not say, “There is no accusation against them,” for this there is; but the accusation is thrown out, and the indictment quashed. He does not say, “There is nothing in them that deserves condemnation,” for this there is, and they see it, and own it, and mourn over it, and condemn themselves for it; but it shall not be their ruin. He does not say, “There is no cross, no affliction to them or no displeasure in the affliction,” for this there may be; but no condemnation. They may be chastened of the Lord, but not condemned with the world. Now this arises from their being in Christ Jesus; by virtue of their union with him through faith they are thus secured. They are in Christ Jesus, as in their city of refuge, and so are protected from the avenger of blood. He is their advocate, and brings them off. There is therefore no condemnation, because they are interested in the satisfaction that Christ by dying , made to the law. In Christ, God does not only not condemn them, but is well pleased with them, Mat_17:5. 2. It is the undoubted character of all those who are so in Christ Jesus as to be freed from condemnation that they walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. Observe, The character is given from their walk, not from any one particular act, but from their course and way. And the great question is this, What is the principle of the walk, the flesh or the spirit, the old or the new nature, corruption or grace? Which of these do we mind, for which of these do we make provision, by which of these are we governed, which of these do we take part with? “…………
 
So brothers and sisters, by which of these are we governed? By which of these do we walk in? Do we walk in the path of grace? Or do we continue to walk in the path of condemnation? We are free men indeed. This army of prayer warriors that Christ is raising up is not an army of slaves to sin, but an army of freed slaves. Freed from the power of sin. Freed from the destruction of corruption. We are free to sing the glories of the Living God in a world that is dying. Just as the slaves that threw of their shackles and followed Spartacus and struck terror into the heart of the Roman Empire, we are so much more than them, for we did not throw of our own shackles, they were taken from us. And by no mere man, but the man Christ Jesus. He delivered us by the bloody battle field of Calvary.
 
Yes brothers and sisters, we must stand before the cross and look up. Up there is the victory, up there is the triumph up there my God and yours blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.Having stripped rulers and authorities, He made a show of them publicly, triumphing over them in it. (col 2:14-15) As we look up there, we turn from our own sin, we do not run from it. We look up and see our sin upon the cross in the form of Jesus. And as we gaze up, we see our sin defeated as our Saviour cries out “Father , Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And as we look up, we hear the final death blow and destruction of our sin “It is finished.”
 
If we will be warriors and march in that glorious army of the redeemed ,then brothers and sisters, come away from “Oh wretched man that I am.” Come away and walk in the glorious light of Calvary, of freedom. We look at our sin and in our audacity we struggle to overcome it and this becomes the thrust of our lives. And amazingly we are often proud of this, proud to be missing in action. Proud to be absent without official leave. Proud that we live in an eternal struggle against sin, proud that we are not like the wicked world. Proud that we have a conscience and do not sleep well at night. We choose to dwell under condemnation, we choose to allow the enemy to control our lives , we choose to remain silent because the accuser of the brethren whispers in our ears “you are nothing but a wretched man, look at yourself, look in the mirror, cast your eyes upon your sin and see that you are worthless in this battle.” No brothers and sisters, look to Jesus, not to yourself. Look up, look up, look up and see your freedom. If we listen to the enemy of our souls, the accuser , the condemner, then we nullify Calvary in our lives and take ourselves out of the battle.
 
The Lord says “Look to me, I am the author and the finisher of your faith.” Shall we begin in the Spirit and attempt to finish this journey in the flesh? Brothers and sisters, if you would join this ancient army, this army that was and is and is to come, if you would march in lockstep with Gideon and with David and with Joshua, if you would run towards Goliath, if you would take on ten thousand and slay them all, if you would kneel down in the arena of life as the lions approach, if you would take your place with the heroes of faith then it is high time that we take our eyes of of ourselves and look up. There is an old Hymn that goes like this……………………
 
 
Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
ye soldiers of the cross;
lift high his royal banner,
it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory
his army shall he lead,
till every foe is vanquished,
and Christ is Lord indeed.

2. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the trumpet call obey;
forth to the mighty conflict,
in this his glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve him
against unnumbered foes;
let courage rise with danger,
and strength to strength oppose.

3. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in his strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armor,
each piece put on with prayer;
where duty calls or danger,
be never wanting there.

4. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the strife will not be long;
this day the noise of battle,
the next the victor’s song.
To those who vanquish evil
a crown of life shall be;
they with the King of Glory
shall reign eternally.

 
Oh brothers and sisters look to Jesus, look to Jesus, let us take our eyes of of ourselves and praise the name of Jesus. Let us magnify Him, let us glorify Him , let us exalt Him, let us proclaim His marvelous truths. Let us say this day to all who would hear that their is victory in Jesus, our Saviour forever. Their is victory in His name. There is overcoming in His name, there is freedom in His name. Let us cry out to the captives, that this is the day of the Lord and this day He has come to set you free. Is your heart broken today, then He has come to heal the broken-hearted. Has life crushed you, do you need a doctor , can you see your need? Then cry out that name which is above every name. Cry out then name that makes the devil tremble. Exalt the name of Jesus, lift it high above everything in life, lift Him up, look up, lift your eyes unto the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Stand upon victory this day, stand before the cross, stand before the throne. For you are sons and daughters of the most High God. If you know the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords then you are saints today with the privileges that come with it. You can come before the throne of grace and cry holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, you can cry Father, for He is your Father this day and you are His child and He loves you with an everlasting love, if you doubt this then look to Calvary and see His precious Son hang upon the cross. Look to the heavens and see His Son at the right hand of glory. Do not let the accuser of the brethren whisper into your heart any longer, lift high the Royal banner and allow it not to suffer loss because every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed.
 

6 Responses to “True Freedom”

  1. Robert Taylor said

    Brother Frank….This article brings back vivid memories of when i was in the jail and prison ministry in the United States. The main point that i always focused on when i ministered in a county jail, or maxium security prison was the point that you have brought out here, “there is true freedom only in Jesus Christ”. The common denominator that any prison preacher will find when entering a correctional facility, is the hatered the inmates have for the people that have locked them up, and that are preventing them from returning to thier “Freedom”. I always approached this problem by telling them essentially the things that you have brought forth in your excellent article. I would tell them, “This prision is not what has you captive, and these guards are not what is preventing you from gaining your freedom. You can be free on the inside. You can be a free man inside this prison, but you must first become free from the shackels of sin that has had you captive all your life.” The message didn´t reach all of them, and the ones that didn´t get the message are still captive slaves of the devil whether they are still in prison, or on the street. However the message did reach many of them, and those ones are free men today wheather they are still behind the walls, or walking the street somewhere.
    You have written a very good message here brother Frank. I pray that the repeat offender that reads your article will listen to what you are saying. Not only the repeat offender, but the christian sitting in the pew that can´t seem to get the victory over the besetting sin in thier life. Keep up the good work brother. I know many are being touched.

    • appolus said

      Amen brother Robert, what better place to speak of freedom than in a prison. Of course in many ways this would seem like the worse place, but indeed, it offers a unique opportunity to speak of the freedom that is to be wrought in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. Just like giving the Gospel message at a funeral, speaking to men locked up about what it truly means to be free is the best possible backdrop for there is a slavery and a confinement much worse than any prison, it is the enslavement of the human heart. Just ask the man who climbs up onto the table and puts a noose around his neck, or who takes the gun and put a bullet in it and points it to his head or who drowns himself in drink or drugs or sex or money and all the time the harder he pulls, just like a man in quicksand, the deeper he descends into hell. If a man will cry out to Jesus in his desperation, then he can be plucked from the abyss, plucked from the bottomless pit of despair and lifted up and out and into a freedom that no money can buy, no drug can imitate , the freedom of Calvary……….brother Frank

  2. pete said

    Freedom: the condition of being allowed to think and say as I want without being controlled. We are at Spiritual war until He returns, freedom by it’s nature is conflict.

    I am allowed to sell alchol 24 hours a day 7 days a week, the alcholic is controlled by the success of my sales drive. We need to return to living by concent, not law. Gods Church needs to free itself from preaching and return to teaching. The walls have fallen down and the gates have been burned, they need to be rebuilt.

    • appolus said

      Amen Pete. We are as a city without walls. Yet, praise God, He said that He would be a wall of fire to the city without walls. When all our walls are broken down, when all our gates are burned, when the Church looks around and sees that everything they have built by their own hands have come to nothing, then He will be a wall of fire to us. “Unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain.” …………brother Frank

  3. MCAall4J said

    Allow me to add to this important topic…

    Most of us would say, “It’s not hard to live the Christian life, it’s impossible.” And here we find the secret to real freedom, which is to completely surrender everything in life to Jesus.
    The world tries to convince us that freedom is independence, but this only leads to pride, when instead, real freedom is total dependence on God. This is the kind of freedom little children usually enjoy. As they completely depend on their parents, they do not worry about what to eat, what to wear, or where to sleep, and they never question their parents’ love.
    Let’s go back and ask why it is so impossible for us to live the Christian life; and what hinders us from overcoming personal problems, holding us back from doing a mighty, victorious work of God? It is our “self”, our flesh, our sinful nature. The fact that we are born into, and part of, a fallen world hinders us from becoming truly Christ-like. The things of Christ are not of this world, but we are. And our world and Christ’s world are absolutely incompatible. His world with its laws and holy values is a supernatural, spiritual world. Our world with its laws and unholy values is a natural, physical world. But since we are now part of both worlds, we are torn, divided and weak. All the things we have been exposed to and conditioned with, in this world, are not automatically gone when we receive our free ticket to Heaven. To quote David Jeremiah: “Just because we are Christians now doesn’t mean we have resigned from humanity.” When we make the commitment to become a follower of Jesus Christ, we are still flesh and part of this world, and it’s as if these two worlds within us begin to war against each other:
    “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit
    against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the
    other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye
    would”(Gal.5:17). Real Freedom – Life Under Grace

    That is one reason why so many Christians become discouraged. When they accept Christ, they think that all of their problems are gone now. Instead, the battle has just begun.
    For a lot of us, who became Christians later on in life, our fleshly nature had a huge head start. This means that all of these years we have been programmed and filled with the values, wisdom, and desires of this world; and we are still constantly contaminated by the things around us. Based on our fleshly nature, we now try to live the Christian life with our natural abilities. Therefore, the results of our “works in the flesh” are natural, weak and ineffective. Even though we have been saved by His grace and not of our own doing; our “doer” mentality and the fact that in our society we are conditioned to think that there are no free gifts of great value can easily cause us to try to earn God’s love through the things we do (*Eph.2:8,9). We feel we have to do something or pay to deserve what we get, while our flesh tries to pull us under the legalistic carpet of scheduled prayer and devotions, church dress code and acceptable style of worship. How terrible it is when we slip back under the law, nullifying His cross, and the very blood that saved us (**Gal.2:21). Anything we do in the flesh feeds into the self-righteous pride-part of our sinful nature, pulling us away from God.
    I believe the many obstacles we face in our Christian walk are there to constantly show us that we are weak, unable in our own strength, to live the life He calls us to live. It is our self-interest that hinders us from loving our neighbours the way we should, motivating us to try to impress others rather than to love them.
    *Eph.2:8,9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. **Gal.2:21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

    Only when we become free from our “self”, or our self-focus, will we be free to love others and to see someone else’s needs.
    In God’s Word, we find a strong indication of why it is essential for us to overcome our “flesh”. As Paul wrote to the Galatians:
    “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are
    these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lascivious
    ness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations,
    wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders,
    drunkenness, revellings, and such like”(Ga.5:19-21).

    The only way by which we can overcome our weaknesses, is through the help of the One who did overcome this world – Jesus Christ. Denying Himself, He went to the cross for the sin of the whole world:
    …but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.(Jn.16:33; Rev.3:21)
    This kind of genuine love can only grow in us when we become free from our “self”. It is usually when our poverty and bankruptcy before God stares us in the face that we realize, we cannot live this Christian life in our own strength.
    In Jesus we are free from self-consciousness, and from the insecurity and deception that causes us to feel that we have to earn or pay back what He has freely given. We are free from guilt and condemnation.
    *Rom.3:24: Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. **Ps.5:11: But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy.
    ***2 Sam. 6:14: And David danced before the LORD with all his might.
    It is the freedom from the passive position of our own captivity, that allows us to move into an active position, where we become free to be who God wants us to be.

    A practical illustration is when our freedom from greed is expressed in the freedom to give. Real freedom is the freedom from the prison of our “self”, our worldliness and the cravings of the flesh. Only when we let go and put God in charge can we become more and more Christlike. And when we live in His presence all our needs are met and we are truly free.
    (Excerpt: Awakening the Sleeping Giant)

    Blessings, and All for Jesus!
    Mario
    http://www.trafford.com/robots/03-0539.html

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