Free Indeed

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Glorious Freedom

by Haldor Lillenas

Once I was bound by sin’s galling fetters,
Chained like a slave, I struggled in vain;
But I received a glorious freedom,
When Jesus broke my fetters in twain.

* Refrain:
Glorious freedom, wonderful freedom,
No more in chains of sin I repine!
Jesus the glorious Emancipator,
Now and forever He shall be mine.

Freedom from all the carnal affections,
Freedom from envy, hatred and strife;
Freedom from vain and worldly ambitions,
Freedom from all that saddened my life.

Freedom from pride and all sinful follies,
Freedom from love and glitter of gold;
Freedom from evil, temper, and anger,
Glorious freedom, rapture untold.

Freedom from fear with all of its torments,
Freedom from care with all of its pain;
Freedom in Christ, my blessed Redeemer,
He who has rent my fetters in twain.

John 8:32, 3: 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.

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

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31 Days With Elisabeth Elliot: Freedom and Discipline

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This is taken from a chapter titled “How to Be Free” from Elisabeth’s book All That Was Ever Ours. After discussing a friend of her daughter’s who was having trouble at home and believed “freedom meant doing what she wanted to do,” Elisabeth wrote:

…True freedom is not to be found in throwing off personal responsibility. The man who runs away from the truth will never be a free man, for it is the truth alone, sought within the circle of his commitments, which will make him free.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a man who epitomized true freedom in his acceptance, for God’s sake, of the prison cell and death, wrote: “If you set out to seek freedom, then learn above all things to govern your soul and your senses. . . . Only through discipline may a man learn to be free.”

Freedom and discipline have come to be regarded as mutually exclusive, when in fact freedom is not at all the opposite, but the final reward, of discipline. It is to be bought with a high price, not merely claimed. The world thrills to watch the grace of Peggy Fleming on the ice, or the marvelously controlled speed and strength of a racehorse. But the skater and horse are free to perform as they do only because they have been subjected to countless hours of grueling work, rigidly prescribed, faithfully carried out. Men are free to soar into space because they have willingly confined themselves in a tiny capsule designed and produced by highly trained scientists and craftsmen, have meticulously followed instructions and submitted themselves to rules which others defined.

Then Elisabeth wrote of her time in the jungle with the Auca (now known as Waorani Indians), where she “enjoyed a kind of freedom which even hippies might envy. But I was free only because the Indians worked. My freedom was contingent upon their acceptance of me as a liability and, incidentally, upon my own willingness to confine myself to a forest clearing where all I heard was a foreign language.”

…meaning in life…can be found only in God’s purpose, I believe, in what he originally meant when he made us. “If you are faithful to what I have said, you are truly my disciples (those who are being disciplined),” Jesus said. “And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

There is one kind of freedom that Jesus was talking about in John 8:36: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Spiritually we’re set free from sin and its penalty the moment we repent and believe on Jesus Christ as our Savior, and there is nothing we can do to “earn” it. But it would not have been possible without His setting Himself under the discipline of the cross. However,  in our sanctification, in our growing day by day in the Lord, it’s one of those paradoxical things that the more we submit to His discipline, the freer we become.

See all the posts in this series here.

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Happy Independence Day!

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I discovered the following on the back of a church bulletin in a box I was cleaning out. It was written by a former pastor of our family’s, Jesse L. Boyd, for whom our son, Jesse, was named.

Are Your Free?

One of the frequent cries of our day is, “I want to be free.” Well, what is freedom? It is not the living of life without restraints of law.

It is not licentiousness or immorality, because their slimy arms can soon wrap us up in their dark and dismal prison-house of suffering.

It is not the lack of government, but rather the privilege of having the right of freely enjoying one’s own government.

It is true Americanism: founded on the Holy Bible, bequeathed to us by our forefathers, and symbolized in Old Glory — The Star-Spangled Banner — “Oh, long may it wave o’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”

It is the privilege of spending one’s treasure, of spilling one’s blood, and of being prompted by the spirit of liberty to stand against despotism and tyranny.

It is liberty and loyalty combined.

It is the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty.

It is the title to justice.

It is living as one should; no wicked man lives as he should, therefore, he is never free.

It is having full mastery over all matter.

Freedom ends where tyranny begins.

It comes by mastering one’s self.

It comes through knowing the truth. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

It comes through receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1, NAS). “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Freedom is that which one receives from God in the new birth. Man cannot govern himself, because, when all restraints are taken away, then evil dethrones him. He can only find rest (soul rest; freedom) in the arms of Jesus Christ. Are you free?