Spotlight 2/2020: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty!

The battle for freedom is, above all, an inner battle, writes District Apostle Jürg Zbinden (Switzerland). What counts is to subject our own will under the will of God.

Cleopas, one of the two disciples whom Jesus joined on the road while they were on their way from Jerusalem to Emmaus, expressed that which the Jewish people had been expecting: “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24: 21). They had believed that Christ would liberate them from the yoke of the Romans—and they were disappointed.

When we think about our motto for this year—“Christ makes free”—we do not associate this with the hope that the Lord will liberate us from the burden of all daily cares, from societal constraints, or poor health. He has brought His sacrifice in order to deliver us from the mire of sin. He has paid for our freedom with His innocent life.

Adam and Eve were free for as long as they heeded the will of God. But it was precisely there that the serpent struck, suggesting to them that they would only be like God (in other words, truly free) once they disobeyed His commandment. And ever since then, man has always assumed that he would finally be free if only he could make all his decisions for himself, if only he did not have to subordinate himself, if only he could do—or refrain from doing—whatever he wanted. The Spirit of God has taught us that the liberty offered to us by Christ can only be attained if we subject our will to the will of God. Perhaps this triggers some internal struggles in one or the other of us because we then believe we are no longer really free. Nevertheless, the fact remains: freedom in Christ brings us victory over the power of the evil one!

How many wars have already been fought for the sake of peace and freedom! Time and again, oppressed peoples have decided that they no longer want to suffer and have thus risen up against dictators and their regimes. Countless sacrifices have been brought for the sake of freedom of expression and fundamental human rights. —And what about freedom in Christ? The sacrifice of Jesus is the foundation of this freedom. We give the Lord our hearts and follow Him to the end. That is our sacrifice.

From what do we wish to be liberated? — Is it not from our own (often incorrect) opinions and views, from prejudice and knowing better, from our irreconcilability and cravings, from deficiencies in faith or superficiality? Indeed: we wish to be freed from all that which separates us from God—namely sin—and from our imperfections.

Those who allow themselves to be liberated by Christ will walk in the liberty of the Spirit, in accordance with the words of Apostle Paul to the Corinthians: “…and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3: 17 b). For this reason we ask: “Lord, make us free, because we want to be in Your kingdom forever in glorious liberty with You and all the faithful!”

Photo: NAK Schweiz

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Jürg Zbinden