Isaiah 61: 1

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners.

He whom the Son has set free is free indeed (paraphrase John 8: 36). Today is about personal freedom, and, as you can see from today’s verse, it is at the root of Jesus’ ministry. In him you can be truly free from all injuries and circumstances which have plagued you or held you back from intimacy with God and others. You can be truly free in every aspect of your life. You can (and should) be free from every encumbrance, every bondage. You only need one thing. The Son.

Today’s passage declares Jesus’ anointing. It is the passage that He read in the temple when He began His ministry (Luke 4: 18). Jesus was anointed to deliver the good news of the gospel. Here we see to whom this good word is intended. It is for anyone who is in any way afflicted. Now I want you to realize that means that the good news of God’s healing and restorative power is for every single person because almost everyone is afflicted with something whether it be guilt, hurt feelings, bondage to anger, a bad habit, etc. The list goes on and on, but the message is this, God’s good news was sent to you. Furthermore, Jesus was anointed to deliver it to you.

He has come to heal the brokenhearted. Is that you? Did something happen to you in childhood that you have carried into adulthood and continue to allow to color your actions and reactions? Does it still affect your relationships with other people? I want you to know that Jesus has come to relieve you of that. Ok, you can pretend to be “strong” and “fine”, but you and God know the truth. Guess what, most people recognize the truth too, but perhaps you won’t seek another person’s help. Fine. Let God be your counselor. Let Him set you free. God anointed Jesus with just the right anointing for that purpose.

Do you see above that Jesus is anointed to proclaim liberty to captives? He obviously isn’t talking about prisoners because the next statement is regarding prisoners. Even then, anyone can be a prisoner to something. Sometimes the prisons with the bars are not the worst kind. I implore you to allow Jesus to liberate you, heal you and set you free. No matter what hinders you, give it to Him and let Him deal with it. Why do you want to hold onto junk? Let Him rid you of that junk once and for all. Be free in the Spirit of the glorious Lord, our Jesus.

Made Alive

Romans 6: 6 – 7

Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

This is a wonderful bit of good news this morning. You have been freed from sin that once hampered you and, furthermore, your old self has died having been crucified on the cross with Jesus himself. If there is some habit, sin or condition that has plagued you for years, understand that you are dead to it as soon as you acknowledge that the old man who, was you, died on that cross. You were raised up as a new creature in Christ Jesus at Jesus’ resurrection. You are a full partaker of the resurrection.

If you died, then sin can no longer hold you. It was in the old man and the old man is dead. The new creature who was raised in Christ is the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Ok, does that mean that you never, ever sin or fall short of the mark? Not necessarily, but it does mean that you are no longer a slave to sin. Sin no longer owns you. You have been purchased with the precious blood of Jesus so that you are in the Kingdom of righteousness instead of the camp of the enemy. You are free from the bondage of sin, and it no longer has a hold on you. You just have to make sure that you no longer have a hold on it. Jesus has set you free, but you need to stand up and walk out of the prisoner of war camp. Don’t hang out there anymore. Your freedom has been purchased.

You have died to sin and are free of the torment that it brings. No matter what hold sin had on you, you are now dead to it. Don’t go to the grave and resurrect that which Jesus has freed you from. No matter what habit held you, know that Jesus took that to the cross with him so that you could participate in his resurrection as your new self; clean and washed in the blood of the lamb. Celebrate your new self today. You are a glorious new creature in Christ Jesus.

Stain and Stench

John 16: 11

I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

We are staying with the same Biblical text as the last two days but today examining what Jesus meant when he said the Holy Spirit would convict the world concerning judgment. This is another topic which we have turned on its head so let’s upright it.

Many people are concerned with judgment, especially people who do not understand the goodness of God. In this passage, Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit convicts the world concerning judgment because the ruler of this world has already been judged. So, we all know by now, that Jesus was referring to Satan. Satan will meet his final judgment after Jesus comes back but the truth is, he has already been judged. We already even know his sentence, so what is going on here?

Guess what, you have already been judged too. If not, then why did God send Jesus to earth? He would not have had to send Jesus to be the sacrificial lamb if there was not already sin condemning us to hell. Now, however, the judgment which is upon you is the judgement of righteousness. If you are in Christ and have been bathed with the blood of his martyrdom, then you are clean, and you are judged pure and holy in the sight of God. Hallelujah! Jesus’ blood has washed us clean from the stain and stench of sin.

Consider this simple analogy. Let’s say I literally draw a line in the sand and tell you that everyone who steps across this line shall be considered innocent of all crime. Anyone who remains on the other side of the line shall be deemed to have committed a crime. Now, in truth the judgment has already been made. I judge that anyone who steps across this line is innocent and thus free. The judgment is in the law.

Okay, here is another example. You may be watching the winter Olympics. Let’s say that in a particular event, the rule is that you may not cross a specific line without incurring a penalty. The judgment is, “Whoever crosses this line will incur the penalty.” That is the judgment. All the judge does is collect the data. The person, who will decide what judgment you receive, is you. All the judge does is recognize your actions and then sentence you according to the previously determined penalty.

It is the rule which judges; it is the law which is judgmental. Thank God that Jesus freed us from the condemnation of the law. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death,” (Romans 8: 2). I think this is a clear statement. You have been set free from the law of sin and death and the inherent judgment which accompanied it. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, (Romans 8: 1). You have been set free from the curse of the law and the unfavorable judgment which was upon you.

There are three crucial words, however, in the two quotes from Romans. Those three words are, “in Christ Jesus.” Everyone who chooses to cross the line and live “in Christ” has a favorable judgment on them. The have been granted the keys to the Kingdom of God and eternal life with His Majesty. Your sentence has been levied. You are free. Christ has set you free and whom the Son has set free is free indeed, or as the Names of God translation says it, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be absolutely free,” (John 8: 36).

So, God has already judged you as His own righteousness in Christ Jesus (there is that crucial language again). You no longer need worry about judgment. Your only task is to step across the line and into Jesus. When you do, his blood is your judgment and his blood is perfect. You are redeemed and set free in the name and glory of Jesus.

Free Indeed

John 8:36

If therefore, the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

This is Jesus speaking here. He was speaking to a group of Jews. They had previously said to Jesus that they were of Abraham and had never been enslaved. So why did Jesus respond with our passage for today? Apparently he was speaking of a different kind of bondage.

The question, then, is what are you a slave to? Is there anything that keeps you under its control? Is there anything that exercises dominion over you? Are you a slave to your work, to a habit, to fear, memories, guilt? Let us each throw off the shackles that have bound us. Jesus’ has broken through our prisons and has set the captives free. “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.


2 Corinthians 3: 17

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Are we truly free? Better still, to what are we bound or what is it that prevents us from living in true liberty? There was an interesting discussion in the book of John, Chapter 8 beginning in verse 31:

“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” 

The Jews thought they were free but Jesus could see that was only a façade. And even though they were heirs of Abraham, Jesus could see the chains which bound them. I think it fair to say, then, that just being heirs of Jesus is not enough for us either. We must avail ourselves of those tools which Jesus has given us which cut through all chains.

Few people would disagree with the idea that sin keeps us in chains but I do not want to get hung up on the word “sin.” It is too loaded and thus we may completely miss the point that Jesus and Paul want to convey to us. Jesus told the Jews that his word had power to make them free. He told them to continue in his word. This implies that a one-time exposure to his word is not sufficient. When we give ourselves over to Jesus’ word then we will find truth constantly spoken into our spirits.

There are all kinds of things which keep us in bondage. Let’s think about a few. How about health challenges, anger, a critical spirit, depression, fear of rejection, all kinds of fear, legalism, judgmentalism, unforgiveness, etc.? I am sure you can add many more things to the list. Jesus said that he came to set us free (Luke 4: 18) but in truth I think few of us are really living free. Many of have allowed situations, past and present, to forge chains on our lives. There is, however, one who has the key and he is with you right now and well able to set each of us free from whatever binds us.

The Spirit of God was sent into the world to be our constant companion. When we live in that constant companionship we are always empowered with bondage breaking strength. There is nothing that Jesus and the Holy Spirit cannot break off of you.

What is required of us, you might ask. I believe victorious living requires a submissive approach. When we allow ourselves to live under the authority of the Lord Jesus while we abide in his presence then that companionship and contrition allow the Lord to speak into our lives. Every moment becomes a very present minute in which the Lord can breathe life and liberty into us. Humility is a great weapon in our fight for freedom as is a willing spirit. Jesus is always speaking freedom and victory into our hearts. We must only submit our wills to his and surrender that moment to pause and listen to him. Busyness is not only a lifestyle in the modern world. It is also a desert in which there is no living river of water flowing. The river of life is inside you right now. If you would be willing to turn inside and receive the ministry of the Lord Jesus he will free you from everything that inhibits you. He will set you free in every single area of life: health, wealth, relationships, spiritual, and occupational. Let him be Lord and be free.