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Jesus often spoke about liberty and freedom. For instance, He said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (Jn. 8:32) and "if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (Jn 8:36). There are many different vantage points from which we can look at the work of Christ for us, but this week, let's look at that work in terms of the freedom He made possible for us. Jesus Christ came to set us free from the bondage of sin.
The gospel of Christ is essentially a message of deliverance and rescue. On one occasion in the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus quoted from the prophecy of Isaiah and applied the passage to Himself. Listen to these verses and think about what they mean: "And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.' And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, 'Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing'" (Lk. 4:17-21). According to this text, then, why did Jesus come to earth? To proclaim liberty to the captives.
Like many of the Jews to whom Jesus proclaimed the liberty of His gospel (Jn. 8:31-38), we often do not see how desperately we need to be set free. We are willfully ignorant of how tightly the chains of Satan are wrapped around us. But Jesus would say the same thing to us that He said to them: "Everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin" (Jn. 8:34). Only when we have been set free in Christ can we look back and see what slaves we used to be.
As we study and pray this week, let's be reminded of the price that had to be paid for us to be "set free . . . and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Rom. 8:21). It is a glorious freedom that we experience, and it is right for us to enjoy it -- but each Lord's Day when we remember our Savior's death on the cross, let's be humbled by the reminder that our freedom was purchased at a high price, paid by our Father.
Monday: Acts 26:15-18
Key Idea: Through Christ, we are delivered from the dominion of Satan.
Questions for Family Growth: In proclaiming the gospel of Christ, Paul would be turning people away from what? To what would they then be turned? According to Col. 1:13, what have we been delivered from?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:4.
Tuesday: Acts 2:37-39
Key Idea: Through Christ, we are set free from the guilt of our past sins.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean that these people were "cut to the heart"? What were they seeking when they asked, "What shall we do?" What were they told to do in order to receive the forgiveness of their sins?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:5.
Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 10:12,13
Key Idea: Through Christ, we are given the strength to resist temptation.
Questions for Family Growth: In v.13, what can we be sure of based on the fact that "God is faithful"? When we are tempted, what does God always make possible for us? Is it ever true to say that we had no choice but to sin?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:6-8.
Thursday: 1 John 5:18
Key Idea: Through Christ, we are liberated from the habitual practice of sin.
Questions for Family Growth: What is meant when this verse tells us that the child of God "does not sin" (NKJV)? Consider 1 Jn. 2:1,2. According to Tit. 2;14, what did Christ die to redeem us from? Should we sin more infrequently as time goes along?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:9.
Friday: Hebrews 2:14,15
Key Idea: Through Christ, we are released from the fear of death.
Questions for Family Growth: Whom did Christ destroy by His own death? According to v.15, what is the result of what Christ has done for us? What is the victory Paul speaks of in 1 Cor. 15:56,57?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:10,11.