Did you know that you are meant to be free? As a Christian, it is your God given right to be free from the chains of bondage that imprison the world. Christ died to set us free, but although that freedom is free – it comes at a price. Let me use scripture to bring understanding.
Matthew 4:17 (NLT) From then on, Jesus began to preach, “Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
Jesus taught us that we need to repent to find Salvation. So, what does repent really mean? It is an act of asking forgiveness that requires a 180 degree turn from sin. That’s it right? Repent? Well, not quite. He also teaches this…
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
21Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
23“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.24When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’27And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
This tells us that we MUST forgive. Another passage of scripture says, “Forgive that you may be forgiven.” If we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us. I see scripture that teaches that plain as day. There’s no grey area there for me. So search your heart and find forgiveness for those who have wronged you. Then you will be forgiven. And the great news?
When we forgive, we find forgiveness which brings freedom! Galatians 5:1 says. “1It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”
That means that Jesus didn’t set us free to gain brownie points with Dad. He didn’t die for us to grow His church. He didn’t just want more money in the bucket as it passes by. He didn’t die for any other reason but to set us free! What happens when you get free? JOY!
What do you think the resounding emotion was for Paul when he was shackled in prison and suddenly found himself free? I’d say joy! When the chilean miners we freed after spending weeks cooped up underground, I’d be willing to bet that the number one feeling that engulfed those men’s hearts was Joy!
When we experience freedom from sin and bondage, we are to become joyful. If you are saved, inform your face… smile every now and then!!! Let people know that after forgiving others you opened up your own life to receive forgiveness and when you were forgiven you were set free, and when you became free you were filled with joy!