When we consider the word “freedom” and all it implies, many of us think of it in legal, political, or civil rights terms. These are facets of it, but they’re narrow definitions that leave out many other aspects of the word. We can be free physically, but in bondage spiritually. Contemplating the absolute freedom that God’s grace provides brings us to a whole new level.
We live in a world that is in spiritual bondage because it doesn’t know Jesus Christ, the true source of freedom. Learning about grace firsthand, through a personal relationship with Him, releases us from fear, negativity, insufficiency, financial lack, and anything else that isn’t His will for us. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free… If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:31, 32, 36). Grace is God’s unearned, undeserved favor that applies to every situation in our lives. Believing that God wants us to know the truth about His favor toward us positions us to receive it from Him.
There are many types of bondage, including the fear of others’ opinions, fear of failure, an inability to move forward from a painful past, or a belief that we’re not as good as others. They all paralyze us where we are and prevent us from growing, developing, and reaching our true potential. God sent us Jesus to break those chains. “…He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1). Jesus is grace; when He shows up, bonds on every level are broken. “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come” (Luke 4:18, 19, NLT).
God doesn’t want us to be in captivity to anything or anyone. When Paul and Silas were put in prison, they prayed and praised God; He responded by sending an earthquake that broke their chains and opened the doors of their jail cells (Acts 16:26). We can apply this to our lives in more than just the physical realm. God is willing to free us from whatever holds us in bondage, the way He did for Paul and Silas.
Before Jesus came, the children of Israel lived under the Law of Moses; they were required to follow long lists of rules to please God. Failure to do so meant punishment and death, which put everyone in bondage to fear. Everything changed when Jesus’ death and resurrection replaced the law with grace. We’re now free to approach God and talk to Him about anything that concerns us, without fear. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Once we realize how profoundly the freedoms we have in Christ affect every area of our lives, we must never go back to living under the law. We’ve been liberated from bondage. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1). Grace frees us in the truest sense of the word.