Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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True Freedom 10.11.2015
Dear friend,

Do you/I like freedom? How would you/I define freedom?

It is defined as the ability to do as one desires, without the fear of outward restraint. The difficulty with freedom is that unless it is understood in its truth, freedom itself can be the greatest enemy of freedom. For freedom must first be won, it must be guarded through laws and it must be sustained. We can safely say that when inner righteousness leaves a nation, when moral absolutes are ejected and when the love for our neighbor is gone, soon destruction and desolation will come upon a person, upon a family, or upon a nation.

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, by which all slaves of the Confederacy were freed from slavery. Heralded as the savior of the Union, President Lincoln actually considered the Emancipation Proclamation to be the most important aspect of his legacy. “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper,” he declared. “If my name ever goes into history it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it."

From eternity there was another Emancipation Proclamation that was enacted, one that if understood, experienced and practiced, would have made the one signed in 1863 unneeded. For when freedom from self serving is understood as freedom for, we will love our neighbor as ourselves.

KJV Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

In both cases, freedom had been won, but the enacting of it and the sustaining of it was quite another matter, as history has shown to us. In our scripture that we want to spend a little time upon today, the all important aspect of freedom is front and center.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

In this portion and in the rest of the chapter, essentially what happens is that the Jews stay firmly grounded in their understanding of God from the Old Testament and refused to recognize that the One in front of them, Jesus, was the fulfilment of the Old Testament scriptures. He was the One who had come to set them free, but the problem was that they did not think that they were bound. They maintained vigorously that they had never been slaves and were certainly not slaves now. This Jesus was speaking lies to them on some other language.

From history we know that many slaves were treated very well and their living and working conditions were fine. But many were kept under slavery through very deliberate and calculated ways. Some years back I read a short account of the life and of the reflections of the life of some slaves, and through that which I read some distinctives remain imprinted in my mind. I believe the reason why they remain there is that they are the same methods that the devil (yes, the devil) uses to keep people under spiritual slavery.

There are three points that I recall which I will list here, from the testimony of slaves.

1. Our master continually keeps us from seeing what the outside world is like and tells us that life will never be any better than it is as a slave.

2. Our master keeps us in fear by threatening to beat us, take away our food or our family.

3. Our master, Frances Burton, took away our names and instead we are referred to as his property: For example, My name before was James Johnson, but now I am referred to as France's Burton's slave.

As we remember the Reformation during the month of October, we cannot help but think of the concept of freedom. The masses had been freed from under the control of traditions that kept the them bound up and under the power of man. When they came to taste of the freedom that was in the Gospel, many grabbed it and ran to tell their neighbors. Others took that freedom and used it for themselves, and not for the benefit of their neighbor.

The main lesson of the Reformation seems to be that once unleashed, the Gospel alone has the power to bring people into the True Freedom that is in Christ Jesus. We are granted freedom from the penalty of sin,we are not free from the bondage of sin and one day will be free from the presence of sin. We are not slaves to Satan, but we are slaves to Christ.

We must fight against the evil one in prayer and in standing for the Truth that is in Christ Jesus. We must launch great counterattacks against the devil who cannot change that which has been done by Christ for freedom's sake.. All he can do and boy he is working hard, is to lie to people about what freedom really is. He will try to convince us that freedom is freedom from constraints. We need to tell him that the Emancipation Proclamation has been signed and to tell people that they have been freed. Whether it is someone in a foreign country, whether it is someone in a church that is not living in the freedom of the Gospel, whether it is someone living in a relationship where freedom is not present, or whether it is someone living in the blindness of sin, the news must go out: You have been freed, rejoice in the freedom which Christ has purchased for you, and so much desires that you would swim in that marvelous grace that flows from heaven.

Dear friend, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Take Him at His Word and believe your sins forgiven today because of His atoning sacrifice on the cross. That is the only way that freedom can be experienced in our hearts, that is the only route by which our hearts will be cleansed from our penaly of sin, that is the only way by which the power of sin will be cut off so that love may fill out hearts which will then show itself in our relationships with one another.

Swim in the depths of God's grace today, my dear friend..

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 11 Oct 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns