2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
A new life in Jesus Christ is all about freedom. Freedom from the chains of sin, the bondage of addiction, as well as guilt and shame over your past. And a new life in Jesus Christ grants freedom from condemnation; “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)
Faith transforms a person; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Faith in His Word provides the strength to walk in His way; “. . . for we walk by faith, not by sight” (1 Corinthians 5:7). When you walk in obedience to Jesus and His Word no one can accuse you of still being the ‘old’ person you were. If they do they are liars and want to keep you in the bondage of your past.
Jesus voiced His contempt for such hypocrites; “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” (Matthew 23:13-15)
The only way for a new creation to go forward is to walk after the Spirit. What does that mean? The Bible tells us; “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” (Galatians 5:16,17) Freedom isn’t doing what ever you want. Freedom is being able to choose the right thing when you lust after what you know is the wrong thing.
Don’t let anyone deceive you. Some will tell you that if you don’t do as they tell you, you are doing the ‘wrong thing’. If you are a Christian, doing the wrong thing is going against Scripture. You don’t need a ‘prophet’ to tell you what the wrong things are. The Bible tells you plainly; “the acts of the flesh are obvious; sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
How do you know if you are walking after the Spirit? Again, you don’t need to follow the demands of anyone who accuses you of being out of God’s will because you going against their will. The Bible tells us plainly what walking after the Spirit looks like; “. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-25)
In a world that idolizes the flesh walking after the Spirit can be a challenge. In a world filled with little false ‘prophets’ who self-righteously demand ‘their way or the highway’ it can get hard to hear God’s voice. That’s why it is so important to read His Word. When you move towards God by going to your Bible for guidance and solace, His Spirit comes to you; “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
No man’s words will ever wash you clean. Only His Word will; “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3) If you’ve been beat up by a self-righteous bully and you’re hurting go to the Bible for His truth. Jesus tells us plainly that He has come to set us free; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised . . .” (Luke 4:18)
Praise the Lord!