Luke 4:18- “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…” NKJV
Every aspect of the ministry of Jesus focuses on people. What He did, and what He said, during His earthly ministry, testifies to that truth. But this ministry, the ministry to set the captives free, is the launching pad of all of His ministry. He came to “break every chain” and to make us free.
We can really get ourselves caught up in stuff. Drugs, alcoholism, sexual immorality, lying, stealing, hating, backbiting, and everything in between. Some of this stuff is of our own choosing, while some of it comes with the territory of our lives. And then there is that, which seems to have traveled through our bloodlines. So much baggage, so many chains, and Jesus came to free us from them all.
I love the words of the Savior in John 8:
John 8:36 -Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. NKJV
Yet, many believers are still walking around in the chains of their past, with sins weighing them down, as though they have never heard this declaration of the Savior.
Paul wrote in Galatians:
Galatians 5:1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. NIV
When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He died to set us free from the bondage of sin. When He set us free from the bondage of sin, it was that we could live a life of freedom, and still, there are chains in many people lives.
Let me clarify for you, I am not sitting in judgment and making light of the trials and struggles that we face in this life. However, the truth of the Word is that Jesus came to set the captives free, and if we are captive to anything in this life, He wants us free!
My daughter wrote a series called, “The Salis Plantation”. One of the things I truly love about the series, besides the fact that she wrote it, is the way she portrayed the slaves who ran for freedom. In her novels, these ex-slaves had to learn to be free. Although, they had escaped slavery, and was no longer bound in the physical sense, they had to become free in their spirits, their minds, and the way they lived.
It’s the same way in Christ Jesus. He sets us free from the bondage of sin when we are born again. It’s our spiritual liberation day and we become new creatures. Outwardly we look the same, and so does our environments; but inwardly we are not the same people. Therefore, we are not to do the same things we did before, or to live the same way.
It starts with the understanding of His message to the captives. We can be free. How is that even possible? Listen to what Jesus said:
John 8:31-32 – Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” NKJV
As we begin to read and study the word, we begin to abide in Him. As we begin to abide in Him, we learn of the truth of His power over sin and the evil one. As we learn to trust Him and His word, we realize that we can truly be free. Truth opens our eyes to the possibility of being free. When we embrace that truth, and can see ourselves free, it will happen for us! Chains are broken!
You say, “It’s not that simple!” I agree, for many, it is not! For others, when they are born of the Spirit of God, they are immediately set free from addictions, from hate, from guilt and shame. I don’t know the whys of it all, I just know that He came to make us free, and He is well able to do what He said that He would do!
The things that hold us in bondage are weighty chains. They affect every area of our lives. The alcoholic desperately wants to be free. The damage that comes into the family of an alcoholic can be pretty traumatic. The family of the drug addict cries for the freedom of their loved one, because the pain of watching a life self-destruct, is heartbreaking! (Remember yesterday’s post, He can heal that broken heart)! The point is, people need to be free, and only Jesus can truly set us free! He is just as anointed today to set the captive free, as He was when He walked this earth.
Matthew tells us of a couple men who needed to be set free. They were demon-possessed, and they hung out in the tombs. Matthew described them as being extremely fierce, and they were obviously very dangerous men, because he said no one could pass their way. But one day, Jesus did! And at His word, they were set free!
Every ministry that Jesus walked in, because He was anointed, is a ministry we are to walk in. I’m not saying that I have arrived, but I am saying that I need to know all that He did and expects of us as His body. Getting people free, is as much a part of our responsibilities, as Christians, as helping the poor, and the broken-hearted. But it’s not for the faint of heart or the individual who is not anointed.
All chains are not broken the same way. There are some great programs, started by believers, that are effectively assisting people in getting free. Here’s a truth I never want to stray away from:
Matthew 9:29 – “According to your faith let it be to you.” NKJV
What you believe about your situation and how you can be made free, or not, plays a significant role in getting free. Slaves who were afraid of running away to obtain freedom remained in bondage. Even after their freedom was secured nationally, some stayed in the yokes of slavery, as sharecroppers. Not being owned, but not being able to live a life much different then when they were slaves; still bowing to the plantation owners with next to nothing to call their own. Still afraid of upsetting them and making them mad, or of not showing up and working when they said. Working hard, like a slave, and being given pennies a day, while being charged dollars a minute for everything. Always in debt, (another bondage), and never a way to get out of it! A horrible lifestyle!
That’s what a believer, who Jesus came to set free, but who still lives in bondage is, a spiritual sharecropper. Living in bondage to the devil, as if there is no realization that freedom has been granted! Living as if the devil’s bondages are more powerful than Christ’s freedom! Living as though there is no hope for a different lifestyle, when the Savior has said we have become children of God and can be free!
Not criticizing! Just saying what Jesus said! He came that we might be free from the bondages of sin! He came so that, in obtaining freedom, we might actually live in that freedom. As we minister to people, it is our responsibility to tell them this is part of the gospel message: they can be free! Jesus said it, and didn’t change His mind; that whom He sets free, is free indeed.
If you or someone you know is yoked in spiritual sharecropping; free without the benefits of being free, it’s time to believe God for a change. The word of God says that you can be free and you should be free. As you study His word, even reading the truth in this blog, begin to see yourself free of every yoke. As you begin to see yourself free, ask God for a plan, or to lead you where you can learn more about being free. Go after it, and then dare to believe it can be yours! I’ll be praying for you or your loved one. And if you drop me a comment about a specific situation, I will add my faith and prayers to yours.
Jesus is anointed to set you free, and if you look, you will find one of His anointed servants, who can help you get free! Wonderful Jesus!