'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Freedom! - from Israel, to American, to Martin Luther King, Jr., to the Cross, and to countless realities in between, the presence or absence of freedom pervades our conscience and subconscious.(Romans 8:21; Galatians 5:1,13; 1 Peter 2:16). Many in the world have known and are experiencing what it means to be in slavery. They are held in bondage to other people, organizations, governments. It is a slavery of the body and the mind so they can be manipulated for the purposes of others. This is a slavery from the outside. Others feel that they are free, and yet are held in bondage to various human shackles. But there is a slavery which relatively few understand or realize because it is a slavery from the inside. Even those who are "free" from the outside can be slaves to the inside.
Would you want to be "free" and in slavery - or a "slave" and be free?
This in one way sums up the whole of the Christian religion. Other religions hold their adherents in a vice of inner tyrannical compulsions, and never know inner freedom. The world is not "free", but it is in abject slavery to the world itself - a world of sin, of pride of life, what their eyes can see, the desires of the flesh (1 John 2:15-17) - a bondage from which no one in and of the world is exempt. We in and of ourselves, are internally driven by a master of monstrous methods to enslave. We do not realize this - perhaps mostly because we have learned to expect it of ourselves. In an odd sort of way, it is somehow comfortable being a slave. Especially since it feels good. It feels like freedom most of the time, so - it must be freedom!
At the same time that internal “witness”, the conscience afflicts them with guilt - recognized and unrecognized. Guilt of both types creates an enormous burden. In order to obtain relief, they seek after avenues of relief that paradoxically creates more guilt and increases the depths of the slavery. Aiding and abetting all this is the real master of enslavement (Ephesians 2:2). One of the worst slave masters is the tyranny of the lack of trust and trustworthiness. Sometimes it seems that there is absolutely no one to really trust. The world does not know trust - because it does not know the Author of trust (Romans 3:10-12). Those who truly know and are known of Him, always have someone they can trust, at all times, with all things.
We have all been "slaves" to something - whether it is the influence of society that seeks to "pull our chain" that they may use us as pawns for profit, or that which strokes our human weaknesses in order to control us for their self exaltation. There are myriads of ways we can be enslaved. Our natural and acquired inclinations and proclivities that drive us to think and act in ways that we often do not even notice, much less understand, that end in making us miserable. If persisted in it only leads to death (Proverbs 16:25).
It seems so difficult for the natural mind to conceive of freedom existing with slavery. When presented with the gospel, many (most) think first of what they must "give up": smoking, drinking, cursing, cheating on my wife/husband, and other sundry types. Mostly, it is the fear of giving up my way - whatever that may include. Blissfully it seems, they are totally clueless that they are already slaves, but would explain that if this is slavery, give me more! They do not believe there can be infinitely more to gain than they could ever loose. Their slavery leads to total oblivion eventually. But never mind...its the now that counts. Only the moment. And besides, "Tomorrow may never come." - "Let the devil take tomorrow". But it will - And he will.
This is the reason that so many even with the prompting of the Spirit, resist the Spirit in their conscience (see Archives) even when unable to justify their lack of response (Acts 6:10), which is dangerous of itself (Acts 7:51). Satan has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, but the Holy Spirit can overcome this, which puts responsibility on the individual. Many are called, few chosen (Matthew 22:14). Many hear, but some cannot respond. And some will not respond. Thus, personal accountability. Once the Light of Truth came, we have a choice (John 1:4-5,7-9). You and I have a choice. To make no choice is in itself a choice, since we already occupy one of the positions - slavery if we are not a slave to Jesus (Acts 17:26-31).
The whole earth is in slavery in a way. Much is made of the policy of Green Earth. Would you not like to be a part of the liberation of the entire earth from its bondage to corruption (Genesis 3:17; Revelation 22:3), and not only of the surface of the earth, but help rebuild the society of the earth during a thousand years of peace with perfect government, perfect justice, perfect harmony (Romans 8:19-22; 1Petr 2:16; Galatians 1:5,13)? If this were not enough for a priceless opportunity, would you not like to help eliminate sickness, disease, sorrows of death and unhappiness, not only for yourself, but untold millions of others? Would you not like to experience inner peace, even when there is inner conflict and turmoil? You can receive every inner freedom you can imagine - just by becoming a slave - a slave with many, many others involved with Jesus in all the good things just enumerated. You can have it all - by just giving up being a slave who is not a slave of Jesus Christ.
Are you being called by God to repentance toward Him, and faith in Jesus Christ to totally blot out the past, and seal you for eternal life by the Holy Spirit? If you understand this, you are being called and chosen for eternal life. This is your time within the times of your life. Just living in the world amounts to a kind bondage, brought upon us long ago (Romans 8:23), and there is something we must forsake and give up. God never asks us to give up anything that He will not replace - and replace with much more. There will be much more of life in your new life, and it will never end because you will have eternal life - now (1 John 5:13)! Why would you not give up a little now (it is a little by comparison), so that you may receive much more. Actually, you can receive everything right now. If you can actually possess eternal life right now, why would you not do it?
You have a gate in the shape of a cross, with a neon "EXIT' sign over it written in blood. You may excape from the slave camp of the world and the "my way". Give up your own “way” and do it God's way. It is called repentance. The way we all have traveled in the past is the hard way, regardless of what the song says. And it is the way that leads to nowhere. It will only end in death forever. What an incredible gift God is offering you and me! Why would you not accept it? Would you not accept an infinitely valuable gift from someone, who at the same time would release you from slavery - slavery to yourself and this world.
Yes! - you can...you can have all this and much more, in real freedom. But...you must give up being the slave we all have been. You are, and will be, a slave to something. Since you are bound to be a slave...
Why not be a free slave...serving Jesus? (1 Corinthians 7:22)
“If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." “We are descendants of Abraham,” they replied, “and have never been anyone’s slaves! How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the family forever, but the son remains forever. So if the son sets you free, you will be really free." - John 8:32-36 (NET)
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