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What We Do With Liberty

Right now may not be the most convenient time to write about Liberty (for posterity's sake, this is during the COVID-19 Quarantines), but I have been thinking a lot about Liberty and what we do with it. Consider, for a minute, how you use your freedoms, and other parts of the world that desire it. In Hong Kong, for example, the people (until this outbreak) were waving American flags, protesting a communist Regime, while here where we have far more freedom, many were praising such regimes, even as the citizens of Hong Kong were dying, being arrested, and taken to prison for their insurrection. The point is we take freedom for granted. We think owning an 800 dollar cell phone is a basic human right, while holding personal accountability for nearly everything at low esteem. Christian, it gets worse for us. We have been set free in Christ, but we keep looking back at Egypt and thinking about all the "stuff" we used to get when we were captives. Jesus said to the Pharisees of His time “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.35The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8)

He was speaking to those still under the captivity of the Law and bound by tradition, who misunderstood why it was written to begin with. With our Freedom in Christ, we look so much like we did when we were captive in Sin, the rest of the world no longer pays any attention to us. We're Israel grumbling about our freedom, and longing for the days we were in Egypt. We need, then, not merely to divorce ourselves from the world, but to die to it. We need to crucify our flesh alongside Christ, and emerge from that lifestyle of death a New Creation, living the Resurrection lifestyle Here and Now! Beloved brother or sister, let us shed the "rights" to look like we want, act like we want, and do what we want, and instead seek to surrender and conform to the will of God. Let us put on Christ, and walk filled with the Holy Spirit. Now, in such a time as this, the World needs to see Jesus, and YOU are the one He has placed here! From John 8: 31So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

34Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slaveb to sin. 35The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

You Are of Your Father the Devil

39They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

Before Abraham Was, I Am

48The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’c 55But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”d 58Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. Footnotes:

a16Some manuscriptshe

b34For the contextual rendering of the Greek worddoulos, see>Preface; also verse 35

c54Some manuscriptsyour God

d57Some manuscriptshas Abraham seen you?

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