Friday, March 16, 2012

REALIZE YOUR FREEDOM

Temptation is a strong delusion to believe a lie.  Illusions, sometimes of grandeur, are the tools used to aid temptation.  This keeps believers, as well as non-believers, blinded to the fact that Christ has paid for ALL of our "Chains of Illusions" - We Are Free!

From Rick Renner.......
"A friend of mine had a goat that he dearly loved.  Very late one night, he received a telephone call from the local police, who informed him that his goat had wandered away from home, had been hit by a car, and now lay dead in a ditch by the side of the road.


My friend was grieved and broken-hearted, but he knew he needed to retrieve the dead goat.  When he approached the ditch where the goat lay, he saw that the goat was very much alive!  Its legs were bound with rope, which let my friend know that someone had kidnapped the goat and then dumped it in the ditch on the side of the road.


Jubilantly, he leaped into the bottom of the ditch, pulled out his pocketknife, cut the ropes, slapped the goat on its backside, and said, 'Get up!'  But the goat just lay there with its legs still clinging to each other as if they were still bound with rope.  He hit her a second time, then a third time.  Then he yelled at her one last time, 'Get up!'


My friend mused to himself, Bless this dumb ol' goatIt's free and doesn't even know it!  He reached down and pulled apart the goat's legs; then he lifted it and set it on its feet.  Only then did the goat realize it wasn't bound anymore.


When I heard this story, it made me think about us as believers.  We don't need to get free - we are free!  Jesus' work on the Cross totally purchased our redemption and freedom.


Although Jesus broke the bonds of slavery and the devil has no legal hold on believers anymore, most believers still lay on their sides in the bottom of the ditch, wishing they could get free.  The chains that hold them are an illusion, because Jesus already paid the price for their release!

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.' " (Galatians 3:13)

Galatians 3:13 gives us a glorious picture of the redemption Jesus Christ purchased for us.  The word 'redeem' that Paul used in this verse is derived from the Greek word exagoridzo.  It is a compound of the words ex and agoidzo.  The word ex is a preposition that means out.  The word agoridzo was the Greek word most notably used to describe the slave market - a disgusting place where human beings were bought, sold, and traded like animals.

But when the words ex and agoridzo are compounded together, it pictures a buyer or redeemer who has gone to the slave market to purchase a slave for the solitary purpose of bringing him out of that place of slavery so he can be set free.  Therefore, this particular word for  'redeem' conveys the thought of permanent removal from captivity

Exagoridzo is the very word Paul used in Galatians 3:13, where he says, 'Christ hath redeemed us from  the curse of the law...'  Because this word is used in connection with Jesus redeeming us from the curse of the law, Paul is telling us plainly that Jesus' sacrificial death didn't only pay the penalty for our sin; His death removed us from living under the curse henceforth!

You're a purchased possession, bought out of bondage by the Son of God, never to be a slave to sin again.  So make a quality decision to walk in the reality of that marvelous fact!"
[Sparkling Gems From The Greek, pp. 121-122]

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law" - The "curse of the law" was that no one could ever fulfill all the rules and regulations laid out by God to justify a broken relationship with God, that we initiated, simply by following a set of instructions.  No amount of dotting your i's and crossing your t's could restore what was lost between humanity and God.  BUT Jesus made a way, a way of grace and mercy, that came from the same God that established The Law.  Jesus was prophesied to come before The Law was given (Genesis 3:15).  So it happened just as it was foretold - We rebelled against God, The Law was given, Jesus came and fulfilled The Law and provided the better and only way back from a broken relationship with God the Father.  

I know it does not seem that the bondages we face are illusions (like alcoholism, abuse of all kinds, pornography, smoking, cussing and cursing), but when we are tempted with these "chains" WE are the ones that put them on ourselves and manifest them in the physical.  As soon as some of the things like above present themselves WE, as Believers, CAN place it where it already is in reality and should be in our lives - defeated by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Bondages and habits from our past and present day temptations have no legitimate right to our mind, body, soul or spirit because of the victory Jesus purchased for us through the Cross and through His resurrection from the dead!


As Mr. Renner said, "I rejoice that God sent Jesus to buy me out of my slavery and place me in His family as His own child.  It is a done deal."  Now let us start living this out!