Whom the Son Sets Free
Apr 01, 2018 06:09AM
By Bonnie Lyn Smith
Luke 19:9-10, ESV
And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
This week, a message arrived in my work in-box from a lovely woman reaching out across the blogosphere to share her story with me. It was sorely needed for so many reasons, and because of what she shared and how much it paralleled my own life, it spoke directly to my heart. What began was a brief, but deep, interchange of stories where Christ wove His grace, mercy, healing, peace, and creative, unconditional love into the hearts of two women who have never met. I loved hearing how He sought what was lost in her, and it was my great delight to share how I was found by Him as well.
Jeremiah 29:14, ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile [emphasis mine].
In the process of this brief exchange of testimonies about God’s salvation, we discussed how we had wrestled with God, fighting against the healing He called us to, not initially receiving the answers He sent. How we made it all so much harder on ourselves for a while.
And there was a mutual nod across the cyber miles over this statement (made by me):
“The tire tracks on my heart left by my personal story could either be used for God to tell a greater one or be allowed to destroy me. Several rounds of depression and wrestling with God almost did. But He had greater plans.”
And isn’t that the truth of Christ?
He invites us in, He engages in the dialogue with us, and He lets us wrestle until we can accept
His gift of salvation is?
See, Jesus came to save us. He took our sins upon Himself and died for us so that we may live. In the process of this sacrifice, gift of salvation, and justification, He stands in front of us as the Judge looks at us, and we are clean because He made us so.
But that “s” word! Oh, that “s” word! The one my husband and I talk about in Sunday School with seventh through ninth grade students:
It’s a radical word. Want to know why?
It means we are still in-process of being sanctified until Christ comes again. We are yielding to how He shapes and prunes us. And that process can be so painful—but also so healing. It bears amazing fruit when we submit to Christ and what He wants to do in our lives.
As I wrote this article, a situation came up that was scraping at old wounds and irritations. I had to process it, silly as I felt, with a few godly friends. I needed to confess:
“This part is my own brokenness. I know that. I own it. But this other part…this trigger, this frustration…help me to put that under the yoke of Christ. Let me exercise self control in my response. Where there is no grace or compassion in me, let there now be so in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.”
How do we come into this freedom in Christ? How do we regard Him as Lord of our lives and live in a way that not only pleases Him but starts to resemble Him?
I had to bring the troubled and unholy pieces of my heart to Him and believe what Jesus said in His Holy Word was true.
How, then, do I know if Jesus is Lord of my life? Let’s look at these verses.
1) By the confession of my mouth and belief in my heart
Romans 10:9-13, ESV
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
2) By my repentance and confession of sins
1 John 1:9, ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3) If I abide in His Word
John 8:31-36, ESV
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (emphasis mine).
Then I will know the truth, and the truth will set me free.
That is what sanctification is: Being set free one glorious moment at a time until our final freedom in eternity with a holy, loving God.
Happy Easter (Resurrection Sunday) to you!
Will you take the free gift of salvation Christ offers you with His sacrifice? He is the only god to ever claim that…to die for your soul, to love you so much as to sacrifice Himself for you.
And the freedom it buys? It has past, present, and eternal value.
Hallelujah! Salvation has come! Whom the Son has set free is free indeed!
Author Bonnie Lyn Smith writes about mental health advocacy, special education, faith in the valleys of life, drawing healthy boundaries, relational healing, renewing our minds, walking with a Holy God, and much ado about grace. Join the conversation at Espressos of Faith.
She is the author of Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day and the founder and editor-in-chief of Ground Truth Press, a book publishing company.