The Gospel Is . . . Day 4 – The Gospel Is Liberating
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36, ESV)
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16, ESV)
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1, ESV)
The beautiful white-tailed buck was gracefully running through the pasture, enjoying his freedom on that beautiful winter morning. As I watched from the porch while enjoying my morning coffee, I saw this magnificent animal become ensnared in a fence on the north side of the neighbor’s property. I rose, trying to get a better look at his situation, and I could clearly see that the right side of his eight-pointer rack was caught in the fence. The more he struggled, the more entangled he became.
Running into the house, I searched for something to help free the poor buck. Scissors wouldn’t work, and so I ran out to the utility shed and found some metal cutters. As I approached him, he became more terrified, as he was unable to flee from what he figured was an enemy. It took quite a bit of effort and many attempts, but eventually I was able to approach from the right side, and cut away the tangled chain link until the buck was freed. Immediately, he took off without so much as a “thank you” and disappeared out of sight—free at last.
When we think of the moments prior to salvation, we were much like that buck, caught and tangled and simply stuck. Our sin had us bound and unable to experience freedom—true freedom that is only found in Christ. We might think freedom isn’t possible as Christians, because we have a new set of “rules” to follow that might seem restrictive. But when we come to Christ, receive salvation, and have a desire to walk in a manner that pleases Him (and we should desire this), we see these “rules” as a measure of God’s loving protection. God doesn’t restrict us in order to deny us; He does so in order to protect us from heartache and pain.
The gospel of Christ is liberating because He is able to remove our chains of sin and set us free. Sin is enslaving—we find ourselves repeating the things that indulge our flesh. As much as we try to break free from this cycle, we are simply unable to apart from the Lord. And as much as we try to fill the ache of longing within us by indulging our flesh, we always end up feeling empty in the end and needing a refill. Far too often, we don’t recognize that the only way to satisfy our soul’s deepest longing is through the saving work of Jesus.
There is nothing sweeter than the moment of conversion. When we came to Christ, acknowledging our need of rescue, our sins were heavy upon us—a burden too heavy for us to carry ourselves. But when we accept the truth of the gospel—that Jesus died and paid the price for our sin so that we don’t have to—we experience a liberation from our burden of sin and a feeling of relief. Just as that buck dashed off with renewed vigor, so too can we. We were dead in our sins, but in a moment we are alive in Christ. If that isn’t freedom, then nothing is.