Who’s More Liberated? (Part 2 of 2) Read Part 1 for the beginning of the story…
The book of John in the New Testament is a wonderful book of truth. It is the story of Jesus’ life and Jesus’ message, as told from John’s perspective. In John 8:31-47, we see a story of Jesus getting into what amounts to an argument. And as arguments go, this one is most odd. Jesus is arguing with a group of Jews (God’s chosen people) who actually believe that Christ is who He says He is, and who actually want to listen to Him and hear what He has to say.
So how did Jesus see this bondage … or this slavery? He saw it as deception.
So how did Jesus see this bondage … or this slavery? He saw it as deception. In fact, it is here that we learn of one of the enemy’s (Satan) most basic forms of enslavement. It is here that we learn one of Satan’s most effective tools is to make people think they are free, when in fact they are slaves. They are in bondage to the vices of the world that they thought they were free to pursue. They’ve been deceived into believing that getting what you want, when you want it, is freedom. So if they get what they want when they want it, they conclude that they must be free indeed.
But Jesus defines freedom quite differently from the world’s standards. He says that our entire purpose in life is to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all of your mind.” (Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, & Luke 10:27) Similarly, we are to, “Love others as we would like to be loved.” (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 5:43, 19:19, 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, and James 2:8)
Our entire purpose in life is to love God and love others.
Have you ever created anything? Perhaps you bake bread, or build furniture or sew. Whatever it is you create … consider how it functions. If you baked bread, for example, would it be just as good serving as a door stop? Or if you sew a dress, would it be just as good functioning as a mop? Of course not. Each of the things created is at its best when it serves the purpose for which it was created. Even a birthday cake, for example, would struggle to function as a wedding dress – or vice versa. And the Creator defines the purpose of His creation. And in doing so, the Creator creates the definition of freedom or liberty for His creation.
Mankind was created by God. And our sole purpose is to serve God. We do that in two ways. First, we love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind. We devote everything to Him and live with Him as our clearest focus and highest priority. Secondly, we love others. And we love them in the same way that He loves us. We love others the way we would ourselves like to be loved. This is the sole purpose of mankind on this earth. As such, it is the sole definition of freedom or liberty for mankind.
The problem comes into play when we are deceived. Or it occurs when we are simply ignorant. We are deceived about our purpose. Or we are ignorant of our purpose. This deception and ignorance are the work of the devil. They are the product of the fallen world around us.
Who is more liberated … the Christian or the non-believer? The answer to that question is…
I started this article by asking the question, “Who is more liberated … the Christian or the non-believer?” The answer to that question is undeniably the Christian. When we grasp the true definition of what it means to be liberated … free and content, we understand that it means to live one’s own purpose. And the only people on earth who can do that are those who surrender their lives and submit themselves to God.
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) Being the obstinate character that I am, I can confess to having tested that. And through my own experiential learning, I’ve come to understand that there is no truth apart from Jesus Christ. Said differently, truth gets its character from Christ. He is the source of what is known as absolute truth.
Whether Atheists know it or believe it or not, they are not free. Only Jesus Christ can set them free.
So who is more liberated? The Christian or the non-believer? I said before that it is clearly the Christian. The closest that anyone will ever get to freedom outside of Christ is deception. The devil deceives non-believers with a counterfeit version of freedom. Make no mistake: the non-believer walks in total darkness – and in immense bondage. Whether they know it or believe it or not, they are not free. Only Jesus Christ can set them free.