by Shawn Brasseaux
Exactly 235 years this Monday, on 4 July 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted here in the United States of America. It was on that day that our Founding Fathers declared independence from Great Britain. On that most important day of American history, the Thirteen Colonies were freed from the British Empire.
But, as members of the Church the Body of Christ, we declare and rejoice in a greater independence.
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THE YEAR OF JUBILEE IN TIME PAST
Every fiftieth year in Israel was referred to as the “Year of Jubilee.” Leviticus 25:8,9 explain why (the LORD speaking to Israel through Moses): “And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.”
Every seventh year Israel was to leave the land fallow. Jews were not to plant any crops during that sabbatical year. Israel was also to number seven sabbatical years, meaning a period of 49 years. On the fiftieth year, Israel was to celebrate the Year of Jubilee. Continue reading in the passage (verse 10): “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”
Later in Leviticus 25, we read that the Jubilee Year was also the year when Jewish slaves were released to their families (verse 10). We read in verses 53-55:
“53 And as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him: and the other shall not rule with rigour over him in thy sight.
54 And if he be not redeemed in these years, then he shall go out in the year of jubile, both he, and his children with him.
55 For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”
The nation Israel rejoiced 3,500 years ago when the LORD delivered her from Egyptian bondage—she still does so today every Passover! The LORD freed Israel from her horrible slavery in Egypt so that the Jews could serve Him.
“OUR LIBERTY WHICH WE HAVE IN CHRIST JESUS”
Like Israel, we too can rejoice in God delivering us from an even greater slavery than physical bondage. We are free in Christ Jesus. God has rescued us, just like He has rescued Israel. Let us rejoice in our spiritual freedom in this the Dispensation of Grace!
“And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage” (Galatians 2:4).
1. Free from Satan’s control and the power of darkness
The Bible says: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” (Ephesians 2:2). Before we trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, we were under Satan’s control, living in opposition to God’s purpose and plan for us. The good news is: “[God the Father] hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Colossians 1:13). Saints, ye are free from Satan’s control and the power of darkness!
2. Free from sin’s dominion over our lives
The Apostle Paul tells us: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:6-7). “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Romans 6: 22). Our identity in Adam died when the Lord Jesus Christ died on Calvary. He died not simply for us, but as us! We are dead to the old lifestyle. We have a new nature in Christ: “we are a new creature in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17). In Christ, we have a high calling! “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Romans 8:12,13).
3. Free from the condemnation of the Law
We are sinners by birth, but in Christ Jesus, the Mosaic Law does not condemn us because God has declared us innocent and without blame (1 Corinthians 1:8; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). Romans 8:1,2 explains: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” The indwelling Holy Spirit empowers us to live a life pleasing in God’s sight. When we walk after the Spirit, letting Him live in and through us, we will fulfill the righteousness that the Law of Moses demanded.
4. Free from religious bondage
Galatians 5:1 KJV says: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” The Galatian believers had been deceived by a false gospel. They were instructed to be physically circumcised and keep the Law of Moses in order to be saved (Acts 15:1-5; Galatians 5:2-5). The Apostle Paul had to correct their doctrinal errors by penning the Galatian epistle. Never let someone force you under some legalistic system!
5. Free from self-righteousness
Religion gives man the ability to boast (brag) in his performance. The Apostle Paul explains in Romans 4:1-3 KJV: “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Abraham could never brag of his salvation by works because Abraham was saved by faith alone (without works)! Ephesians 2:8,9 KJV say: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” We have no righteousness in ourselves! Our righteousness is that of God Himself (Romans 3:21; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
6. Free from hopeless and depression
Consider Romans 8:24,25 KJV: “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” We are waiting for the day when the Lord Jesus Christ will take us home to be with Him in glory! Our hope is in the day when we will receive new glorified physical bodies! Titus 2:13 says: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”
7. Free from the penalty of sin, the everlasting lake of fire!
The Lord Jesus Christ has freed us from the eternal penalty of sin—the everlasting lake of fire! “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:8,9). “The wages of sin is death [physical and spiritual death]; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Indeed, we have such liberty in Christ Jesus. We rejoice that this precious liberty is ours, not because we did anything, but because God has given them to us freely by His grace through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. We are free, eternally free. Proclaim liberty throughout all the land! Tell others about the wonderful salvation that is ours in Christ Jesus. Tell them that they too can be set free by simply trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in His shed blood for their forgiveness and His resurrection for their justification! And above all, never, ever let anyone rob you of your freedom in Christ by forcing you back under Israel’s performance-based acceptance system.