How To Experience True Freedom In Christ

Pastors preach on it, the Apostle Paul wrote about it in the New Testament, and books are written about it. But true freedom in Christ is something that can hardly be fathomed unless it is experienced. 

Each time that I really ponder the work of Christ Jesus on the cross, just for me, I find myself in awe all over again. I can go for months on end, even years, just knowing in my head what it is.

But it is when I consider the meaning of what the Gospel of Jesus Christ does for me, that it penetrates my heart, all over again. 

true freedom in Christ

You and I may be well aware of what our salvation really means, but a fresh thought of the freedom Christ has offered us is well worth the time it takes to examine what it is that makes all the difference. 

Christ’s Sacrifice – His Free Gift

When Jesus willingly allowed Himself to be violently tortured on a cross in Jerusalem, He was giving us the gift of forgiveness. This free gift of God is good news in more than one way. 

Not only did Christ give each of us a free pass out of the bondage of sin, but He did it Himself, as a gift, a 100% off coupon. He did this not in return for any good behavior or good works from us. He did it while we were still rotten to the core, while each and every one of us was still a sinner. 

We no longer live by the intricate and complicated set of laws that were set up for the Israelites to follow. His life for ours took away the need for those old laws. Rule-following won’t get us anywhere with God.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ESV)

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (ESV)

All we have to do is believe. Yes. Believe that He truly bought our freedom with His holy life. Believe that He cleaned us up, washed us pure, saved us from eternal death, and will never change His mind. And believe that there is nothing more required of us but to truly believe. 

True Freedom In Christ - salvation not based on performance

God’s Unconditional Love 

This claim that God’s love is unconditional is debated by reliable teachers of the Bible, so stick with me and I will explain in as few words as possible. The Bible tells us that God is love. Love is His very nature, His whole being. And the love of God is unconditional – to an extent. 

We were deeply loved by God when He created us. And when we heard the gospel, we had a decision to make: 1) accept the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as full payment for your sinful nature, which we all have, or 2) reject the message and go our own way without God.

Our sin nature dooms us to eternal death and separation from God because He doesn’t tolerate sin. So – every one of us deserved death but if and when we accepted Jesus’ sacrifice, we were saved from the wrath of God and destruction, welcomed into the family of God as his children, loved unconditionally, and promised a home in heaven when we die. 

Ephesians 2:4-5

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love the He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! (HCSB)

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son the God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (ESV)

Those who turn their back on Him, rejecting His mercy, are doomed to Hell when they die(there’s no gentle way to put it). Every person is special to God, so He waits patiently all of our earthly days for us to choose to believe and be with Him. 

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (ESV)

But everyone has the right to make or not make that particular decision since God created us all with free will and won’t force us to love Him back. 

So, here it is again, in a nutshell. Even when we were full of sin and unable to save ourselves, God loved us enough to make this amazing plan to save us all. He sent His Son to be murdered and conquer death by coming back to life – just for us so that we sinners could be given a pure heart and be saved from eternal death by accepting the gift of His sacrifice. This is the salvation that is in God’s plan for all of humanity, although many will turn their backs on it, missing out on the amazing love and mercy of God. 

That God’s love is unconditional means several things:

  • Everyone has been chosen for God’s own from the beginning of time (Ephesians 1:4) to become holy and blameless. However, every person will not accept the offer. 
  • Every believer gets the same amount of God’s love – all of it. 
  • We can’t earn this love by any kind of works or by being good.  Nothing a child of God can do will increase or decrease it. 
  • Accepting God’s free gift of love and grace means that we will inevitably be changed as we grow in the knowledge, the power, and the love of Christ Jesus.
true freedom in Christ

No Longer Any Condemnation

Before accepting Jesus Christ as Savior, we were all under a heavy yoke of slavery – slaves to sin. Sinning is our natural default and it has a price and that price is eternal damnation. That’s what “the wages of sin is death” means. We are enslaved to sin because there is a certain power of sin that holds us captive and won’t release us. 

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ESV)

Romans 8:1-2

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (ESV)

The blood of Jesus, however, relieves us of our sin and covers us with righteousness – not our own, but Christ’s! We are given a whole new nature and the guilt of sin is removed, so that we are no longer condemned to eternal death in Hell. It is in that very moment that we are no longer under condemnation but forgiven, and made worthy. 

Once we receive salvation, we are free from the hold sin had on us. We will start to bear fruit as we grow in the Lord and become mature Christians. It is then that we can experience what true freedom in Christ feels like: God’s anger averted, the promise of desires of the flesh healed, and our past sins covered with Jesus’ blood that he gave for us. 

“The essence of Christianity is that God is the supreme value in the universe, that we do not honor him as supremely valuable, that we are therefore guilty of sin and under his omnipotent wrath, and he alone can rescue us from his own condemnation, which he has done through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ, for everyone who is in Christ.”

John Piper, Desiring God
True Freedom In Christ - uncondemned

God Is The One In Control

When we have put our hope and trust in Jesus, we have received the Holy Spirit and we can let go of the control of our own life, entrusting our lives to God. He is truly the One in control – the only One. 

We all know someone who we might jokingly call a control freak. Some of these people leave no room for God in their lives but have been tricked by the devil to think that they have all-knowing power to decide what’s best for them and others around them.

It all started when Satan convinced Eve to do the first sin, in the Garden of Eden. The evil one is always looking for an opportunity to ruin God’s children by causing them to choose sin over freedom.  

We can have true spiritual freedom only when we give God full control over our lives. This doesn’t mean He controls our thoughts and makes us go through life like a robot. It does mean that we can trust Him to always do what’s best for us and to guide us through life by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Psalm 115:3

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. (ESV)

Isaiah 46:9(b)-10

I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ (ESV)

Daniel 4:35

…all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’ (ESV)

This freedom in Christ comes when we have given our lives to Him, let go of the control over our lives, and fully trust Him to do and give us exactly what we need. It’s hard to imagine how much I would mess up if I really were the one in control. 

Children of God will still have problems but knowing God is watching over us and that He goes with us through every single difficulty, will get us through them with faith and hope.  

John 16:33

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (NLT)

True Freedom In Christ - God is in control

No Such Thing As “Try Harder”

So far we’ve read much about the way to be saved from God’s anger and be adopted into His heart and family. That is to fully trust and accept the gift He gave us – the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His Son, who conquered eternal death by rising from the dead. 

Our culture would like to lead us to believe that we can make our own path, control our own lives, manifest success, and work our way to heaven. This kind of thinking is a lie. 

There is nothing you can do to gain your salvation in any other way. Accepting the sacrifice of Jesus as full payment is the only payment that God will accept, the only way that we can be saved. The. Only. Way.

Acts 4:12

Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us. (GNT)

It’s so easy to start thinking mistakenly that we can win God’s approval by doing good things. And it’s just as easy to be duped into thinking that we’ve lost God’s love and approval because we messed up, didn’t follow the Bible ‘to a T’, or spoke sharply one too many times to a family member. 

Truly there is no such thing as a DIY method of Christianity. No amount of good works anyone can do to save themselves, no amount of twisting Scripture, no amount of rule-keeping or controlling or trying harder.

There is one way and only one – and that is by a loving and holy Father who can heal us from our sins and take away every sorrow if only we confess what we’ve done wrong to Him and ask His forgiveness. He promises He will make us as pure as new fallen snow. 

True Freedom In Christ - Salvation is not DIY
Forgiving Others Bible Reading Plan

True Freedom In Christ Never Gets Old

Once you have this true freedom in Christ, the peace it brings is beatiful and wonderfully overwhelming. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it and you’ll be well aware if anyone or anything is trying to steal it away. 

There are many times in your life that you may need to remind yourself of the joy of your salvation or of God’s true love. Satan can use conflict to wear us down, and spiritual battles can leave us weak and weary, making us susceptible to taking on false accusations that the devil throws at us. 

When we find ourselves starting to fall for the lies that can bring us down, we need to run to the Bible for the reassurance and instructions that God has for us there.

After asking the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and convict us of any guilt, and then confessing and repenting of any sin he shows us, and then forgiving any offenses we are suffering, we can rest in God’s Word and allow Him to guide us to peace through it.  

I love exploring the Bible and rediscovering things that the world may have convinced me to forget for a time. It’s wonderful to experience the wonder and newness of His grace and mercy all over again as I bask in this precious gift of my freedom in Christ. 

Remember that Christ died for you even while you were still sinning. The transformation from slaves of sin to children of God is only one breath away. When you believe and sincerely accept Jesus, asking Him to forgive you of all your sins, He will do it. You will be relieved of your burdens as you learn to allow Him to carry them for you. 

Experiencing this true freedom in Christ will be a bright spot in your life that you can treasure and remember as you go through the inevitable trials that we believers suffer. Just knowing and holding close the reassurance of who you are and who you belong to will equip you with strength and abundant life. 

For further reading on being in close relationship with God…

The Peace Of God (includes a free Bible reading plan)

Walking With God Quotes And Bible Verses

Made New: Examples Of New Beginnings In The Bible

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