Relationship with God is the source of true freedom and lasting joy. David describes his deep relationship with God in Psalm 16, and prophesies of the Messiah, “Your Holy One” who would die and then be risen from the dead:
Psalm 16 (NKJV)
7 I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
Jesus began his public ministry by reading in the local synagogue a prophecy from Isaiah 61 describing the mission of the Messiah, and then announcing:
“Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Luke 4 (NKJV)
16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
To those who believe in Him, Jesus promised that if we abide in His word, we will know the truth and the truth will make us free.
John 8 (NKJV)
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
We enter into true and abiding liberty through a life union with God. Jesus describes this relationship in John 15:
John 15 (NKJV)
15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
Jesus Christ, Yeshua the Messiah, is raising up believers who will together be His Bride. John describes his vision of the Bride in Revelation 19:
Revelation 19 (NKJV)
6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Every believer is called to be part of Christ’s Bride. Pastor Joshua Ryan Butler describes this essential decision we all will make:
“To say yes to the wedding proposal is to enter into union with the very life of Jesus. And to enter into union means our old life lived alone must die. “Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25) To let Jesus fill us with his Spirit is to abandon our freedom from God and be filled with his freedom for God.”
“God redeems the world from sin, so we must face the reality of which we prefer: God or sin. Freedom from God or freedom for God.”
(Butler, Joshua Ryan. The Skeletons in God’s Closet: The Mercy of Hell, the Surprise of Judgment, the Hope of Holy War (pp. 144-145, 308), Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.)
David prayed in Psalm 16:11, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” With equal confidence, Paul writes of “the glory which shall be revealed in us”, and how even “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God”.
Romans 8 (NKJV)
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
David Krause, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://compellinglove.net/ 1/15/2017