We’ve all tasted the sweet relief that comes with a bit of freedom. But there is a world of difference between the temporary freedom of summer vacation and the eternal freedom we have in the kingdom of God. In the Gospel of John, Jesus proclaims that “if the Son sets you free, you really will be free” (John 8:36). Those listening to Him were undoubtedly confused. In offering freedom, Jesus was implying they were somehow slaves, but they weren’t enslaved to anyone, not legally or physically anyway. How can you be set free if you aren’t in chains?
Apart from Christ, we are bound to our sin. This was true of the people in Jesus’s day, and it’s true of us now. Scripture is saturated with references to what life apart from Christ looks like. We were once slaves to sin (John 8:34) and ruled by death (Romans 6:9). Sin reigned in our bodies (Romans 6:12), and we stood condemned (Romans 8:2). But Jesus went to battle for us against the powers of darkness and came out victorious. His promise of freedom is a timeless one meant for anyone who comes to Christ. It doesn’t elapse or depend on our own merit. If the Son frees you, then you are free.
Our invitation into God’s family is an invitation into an abundant life that is no longer bent low under the weight of sin. It’s an invitation into an eternal way of being, one where our sin is uprooted and cast as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). It is an invitation to freedom.