Freedom means many different things to many different people. For a great majority of South Africans it means freedom from the injustice of apartheid. For some it might mean freedom from an unhappy marriage, freedom from a prison sentence, freedom from some kind of responsibility. The possibilities are endless.
In Cape Town there are six different streets named Freedom Way/ Road/ Drive/Lane/Square etc.
But Jesus said the truth will set us free. What did he mean?
“Jesus said to the people who believed in him, ‘you are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). Those same people protested that they were children of Abraham and had never been slaves to anyone. But, said Jesus, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23) so does that mean we are all slaves? We would certainly be if it were not for Jesus’ indescribable offer of freedom.
“I tell you the truth,” he said many times in the gospel of John.
As a denomination and as individuals, GCI has experienced this fabulous sense of release.. Once we understood that we could throw off that yoke of legalism, it was like a breath of fresh air. We are no longer bound by days, months, seasons and years. We don’t have to stand in the checkout queue at the supermarket and pray fervently that we will have paid for our purchases before the sun sets on a Friday evening. If we are invited to someone’s home for dinner, we don’t have to feel guilty about the time, place or menu (perhaps we have eaten something ‘unclean’)?
The law, which God gave to ancient Israel for their own good, has been replaced by the incomparable gift of the Holy spirit – the Christian’s guide to expressing God’s love in all that we do or say. Of course we don’t do it perfectly. Christ did it for us. Now that’s real freedom.