Freedom. This is a word that we are hearing a lot recently. But what does freedom mean for us as believers? There are lots of thoughts and opinions out there about this one. So let’s take a look at what the Bible says about freedom.
When thinking about freedom there are some important thoughts and questions that we need to consider.
- How does the Bible describe freedom?
- What does Jesus set us free from?
- What is the meaning of spiritual freedom?
- Spiritual freedom vs. physical freedom
What Does the Bible Say About Freedom?
The Bible has a lot to say about this topic. This will not be a detailed overview of all the different bible verses on freedom, but rather a summary of the main principles.
If you would like to do your own in-depth study make sure to get your free copy of the Bible reading plan that has multiple scriptures on freedom and liberty.
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How Does the Bible Describe Freedom?
There is a popular verse about freedom that was spoken by the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord anointed me to bring good news to the humble; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to captives and freedom to prisoners. – Isaiah 61:1 NASB
He was speaking about the year of Jubilee that the Israelites were to celebrate every 7 years (read more about this in Leviticus 25:7). However, years after Isaiah made this proclamation, we also see Jesus refer back to it and apply it to himself.
And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to Him. And He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:16
This verse in Isaiah was a prophecy about the freedom that we have in Christ.
What Does Jesus Set us Free From?
Now that we have established that Christ is the one who sets us free, let’s learn a bit more about what He sets us free from.
Bible Verses About Freedom From the Chains of Sin
Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. – Romans 8:1-4 NASB
Before Jesus died on the cross, the people of God were under the Old Covenant – the Law.
The Law, in a nutshell, stated that God’s people had to atone for their sins with the blood of animals. The priests would offer, time and time again, animal sacrifices for the sins of the people. The problem with this is that the blood of animals never completely took away sins. If it did, the priests would not have had to continue offering animal sacrifices. In this way, the Law was weak.
However, when Jesus came and offered Himself as a sacrifice, He took our sins away!
Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God – Hebrews 10:11-12
Those who believe in the work that Jesus accomplished on the cross have been set free from their sins.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. – John 3:16
The Meaning of Spiritual Freedom
Christ has set us free for two main reasons. The first one we have already discussed.
- To save us from our sins and restore us to a right relationship with God
- To give us the freedom to display His love to others
Bible Verses About Our Freedom to Love Others
Another reason Christ has set us free from our sins and the requirements of the Law, was to give us the ability to love others.
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
In these verses, we see that Paul uses his freedom as a means to love others and spread the gospel. The purpose of his freedom was to win others to Christ – not to indulge in his own fleshly desires.
Spiritual Freedom vs. Physical Freedom
The main difference between spiritual freedom and physical freedom is that the physical can be stripped away from us. Our spiritual freedom is securely established in Christ.
As Christians, I believe that we need to be praying for both the spiritual and physical freedoms within our generation and culture.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:2-4
A nation and a generation that embraces freedom are ones where peace and godliness are able to thrive. It allows the gospel to go forth unhindered.
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