Can We Truly Be Free?

America! Prophecy foretold that this country would be established, a place where the ideal of freedom could exist. Freedom: the “power or right to act, speak or think” what you believe. It is the absence of subjection to a foreign or oppressive government, the state of not being a slave, but instead being unrestricted in what you believe, where and how you worship, what you love, where you work, basically to engage in any activity that does not violate the laws of the land. These rights are guaranteed to us as citizens by the Constitution of the United States.

The Constitution also provides for the establishment of justice, common defense, the promotion of the general welfare, to insure domestic tranquility and secure the blessings of liberty. The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal under God and given certain rights by Him including the assurance of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

I think, though, we can agree that this hasn’t always happened. One has only to look around today to see the hatred, distrust, abuse, unfairness and violence, all in the name of freedom. People everywhere ask why is it this way? Why can we not find a way to live together in harmony? I’m not going to wax political here, but let’s talk about why this country and the world are the way they are.

I want to talk about spiritual freedom because without that, we truly are not free. We find this additional definition of freedom in the dictionary as “the power of self-determination attributed to the will.” The Bible also talks about the exercise of the will.

Sin is what keeps us from being free. And if we do not exercise our will to do what is right, then we condemn ourselves to be slaves of sin. Isn’t it interesting that as bad as things have been in this world for its entire history, and they get worse day by day, many will still choose to continue in sin.

“Sin has degraded and corrupted the human family, but Christ did not leave men to perish in their degradation. …” Pamphlet PH078, 54

The Bible tell us there is only one way to be truly free. This can be found in many Scriptures, John 8:32: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Romans 8:2: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Also “And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts” (Psalm 119:45).

Martin Luther said to John Eck, “Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.” Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland H. Bainton.

To be truly free, I must submit my will, my desires, all of myself to God. If I do not, then I remain a slave to my own nature, a slave to the one who then has power over me.

“The tempter has no power to control the will or to force the soul to sin.” The Faith I Live By, 327.

“In no case can Satan obtain dominion over the thoughts, words, and actions, unless we voluntarily open the door and invite him to enter.” The Adventist Home, 202.

“The tempter can never compel us to do evil. He cannot control minds unless they are yielded to his control.” The Desire of Ages, 125.

“Christ is our tower of strength, and Satan can have no power over the soul that walks with God in humility of mind. The promise, ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me’ (Isaiah 27:5). In Christ there is perfect and complete help for every tempted soul.” My Life Today, 316.

“Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own.  He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from every soul. ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed’ (John 8:36). ‘The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets us free from the law of sin and death’ (Romans 8:22).

“In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan’s control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.

The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 466.

I have written elsewhere that the reason the world is as it is and has been for so long is because mankind and the universe ultimately must see the heinousness of sin so that no one will want to sin anymore. That is true, but more importantly, sin and the terrible condition of the world has gone on for so long because God is preparing a people. Anyone who will accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour, who will submit fully to Him will be a part of this people. He has given and continues to give to every man, woman and child in every generation the opportunity to choose to turn away from sinning to become one with Him.

Stand fast in the liberty which Christ has made possible for us and do not entangle yourself in the yoke of sin any longer (Galatians 5:1). Instead rejoice in this freedom, having been set free from sin, “and having becomes slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life” (Romans 6:22).

“Spiritual freedom will come to those who consecrate themselves unreservedly. … The saving influence of truth will sanctify the soul of the receiver.” Letter 108, March 18, 1907, to “Our Brethren in Graysville, Tennessee.”

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). [All emphasis supplied.]