Monday, July 3, 2006
“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin…But if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:34,36)
Our pastor gave a wonderful, personal illustration of how something that may look like freedom can, in reality, be just the opposite. He grew up on a farm in N. Dakota with several brothers who evidently were just as mischievous as he. One morning—a cold, below-zero, typical N. Dakota morning—he and his brothers were waiting for the school bus, and, for some reason only another young boy could explain, he decided he wanted to taste the snow on a nearby fence. After all, his parents were not around to step in and spoil his fun. So, he did it; and, as he explained, it wasn’t nearly as liberating as he thought it would be! In fact, he couldn’t get loose. And when he finally did get up the nerve to pull his tongue away from the frozen fence railing, he left part of said tongue behind. Needless to say, there was a lot of pain involved, too.
Sin presents the same invitation of freedom and with the same unpleasant results. “I’m my own boss”; It’s nobody’s business what I do”; “It only effects me.” That is not true when sin is involved. In that case, the devil is the boss, and we are his servants. When we are saved and our “business” defies our Father’s commandments, it’s His business; and, if we’re truly His, He’ll tend to it. And anyone who says sin is an individual sport is either naïve or, what is more likely, ensnared; and all the bluster is just to hide the desperation. But, one way or another, none of us lives to himself, says Paul (Rom.14:7); and that is especially true of sin.
The prodigal son provides another picture of a freedom seeker, and if a hog pen is your idea of free-wheeling, personally, I can’t get too excited about it. I have always found that doing the wrong thing did not take all that much expertise on my part; it’s standing true to God in the company of philosophical Bible rejecters, marching in lock-step with one other, that takes every bit of Spiritual gumption I can muster.
On this day when we celebrate our freedom as a nation, we should not forget to thank God for the freedom we have through His Son. He has made us free indeed and free “in deed.” We are free to do what is right without the ball and chain of an indomitable sin nature. It may be there, and I may cater to it from time to time, but it will never be because I do not have the power to do otherwise. Because, you see, I’m free. I’m free!