“The best things in life are free.” I believe that many people have heard this phrase, and many of us have probably heard this one, too: “Nothing in life is for free.” Well, both of these sayings are true; yet, they do not contradict one another when the topic concerns the salvation of Jesus Christ
for all mankind. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Have you ever wondered how many people are unaware that Jesus “coined” this phrase? If He said it, then surely it holds much significance.
This article will answer two questions: (1) What is this truth? and (2) What is this freedom that is a result of knowing the truth?
To what truth was Jesus referring? The truth comes from God the Father alone. So since Jesus came from the Father (John 16:28), He is the truth and so is His message (John 14:10 ; John 17:17). Jesus’ message is that He came to save us from being a slave to sin.
What is true freedom? This is the freedom mentioned above. But this “freedom isn’t free”; it is bought with a price. That price was the blood Jesus shed for the remission of our sins (Matt. 26:28). The liberty that comes from being a Christian isn’t a liberty to sin, but the liberty of not having to worry about the bad consequences of our actions (Gal. 5:13). When we live a life of sin (i.e., being enslaved to unrighteousness which leads to death), we are not concerned with the long term consequences because we are blinded by the instant gratification of our worldly desires. Remember that “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24).
This brings to mind the point made by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:16 when he said, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey ; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Jesus said, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34 ). This means that we either give ourselves to serve Satan, which leads to death, or we give ourselves to Christ, which leads to eternal life. Serving Christ requires us to deny ourselves, and take up our cross daily, and follow Him (Luke 9:23).
Denying self means to put our wants and needs last and living the life of a disciple of Christ first. If we are unwilling to humble ourselves, there is no way we will submit to the authority of Christ, which is God’s authority today (Matt. 28:18). God had a plan for us to escape from being in the bondage of sin. We read of this plan in Genesis 3:14-15: “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This meant that though Satan would kill Jesus physically, God would not allow Christ to remain dead. He arose from the chains of death, because He did not deserve to be there in the first place (Acts 2:24). As powerful as the influence of Satan can be, his powers could not prevent Christ from overpowering nature by overcoming death, and thus to become the Savior of all mankind and to sit on the right hand of God.
We must avail ourselves of the love and mercy that has been bestowed upon us. This comes from a sacrifice of our own, but we do not have to die the death that Christ did. However, we do need to give up those things that separate us from God. Since Jesus is the mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5), we must acknowledge Him by doing His will in order to obtain that salvation. No one can come to the Father except through Christ (John14:6) When we refuse to obey God,
we are in a sense “selling our souls to the devil.”
Ask yourselves this question: Is the life of bondage that comes from living in sin worth going to hell? God desires for every soul to enter heaven. He is not a dictator, rather He allows us to make our own decisions. We should therefore give serious consideration to our decisions, as they affect our eternity. Freedom from sin is free, actually, and it is the best “free” in life.