“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”” - John 8:36
When the believing sinner accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour, there are numerous things that happen as a result. One of the very first things that occurs is that the believer is baptized into Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27). This supernatural union results in the believer being referred to as a “new creature (creation)” (II Cor. 5:17).
Our Union With Christ
As a result of our becoming one with Christ, we are seen by God as being in Him at the moment of His death on Calvary. Therefore, we are crucified with Christ, buried with Christ, raised up with Him to live in Him, and strengthened by a brand-new power source, which is the person of the Holy Spirit. According to the teaching of the apostle Paul, Christ’s work on Calvary and our union with Him at salvation sets every believer free from the sin nature, the law, the flesh, the world, and the Devil. This freedom, while being won for believers through what Christ did for us at the Cross, can only be experienced and maintained in this present age by proper faith and God’s grace. It is incumbent upon every believer to appropriate Christ’s victory in these five areas on a daily basis.
Freedom From The Sin Nature
The sin nature is the default nature of the human race. It bends the mind, the heart, and the entire inward man toward ungodliness and selfishness. Romans 6:2 tells us that every believer begins his walk with God separated from the power of the sin nature and its reign over him. In Romans 6:3, we are told that that freedom is the result of our being baptized into Christ and being baptized into His death. As long as the believer evidences faith in Christ and the Cross, the sin nature will be unable to dominate his life as it once did. Because of the Cross, we are to recognize ourselves as “dead indeed unto sin (the sin nature), but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11).
Freedom From The Law
As a result of our union with Christ, the believer has become dead to the law (Rom. 7:4). Notice that as in the case of the sin nature, we are dead to the law because of our being joined to Christ. This takes place at salvation and is a benefit of being born again. The righteousness of the born-again believer is an imputed righteousness, granted by God as a result of simple faith. Since no flesh could ever be justified by the deeds of the law, true righteousness must come from God outside of the effort of man. While the believer is forever responsible to uphold moral code, which is described in God’s written Word and reinforced by the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, he and she will never be declared righteous because of what they do. We have been set free from the law as the means of righteousness (Rom. 10:4). Therefore, it is our responsibility to recognize that the Cross brought to us the righteousness of Christ, and that there is no higher righteousness that can be achieved.
Freedom From The Flesh
Some see the flesh and the sin nature as one and the same. I see them as two separate entities. The sin nature is defined by the Greek word hamartia. The flesh is defined by the Greek word sarx. The flesh is simply that which is indicative of man. Man was created after the image of God but, yet, encased in the form of flesh. When sin entered the world and fallen man received a sin nature, that nature corrupted the creation of God, that is, all that was indicative of man. This included the heart, the mind, the soul, the will, etc. The flesh, then, was corrupted by the entrance of the sin nature and its insidious work (Eph. 4:22; Rom. 7:8). To the dismay of the believer, even with the sin nature dormant, the flesh can still desire things that the new creation man and the Holy Spirit within him do not want. However, we are to deal with the flesh in the same manner that we deal with the other two entities already mentioned. I am to believe that my union with Christ has set me free from the pulls of the flesh. Galatians 5:24 says, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” As I trust in what Christ did for me at the Cross, the ungodly designs of the flesh will fail in their effort to dominate me or steer me to an action of sin.
Freedom From The World
We are surrounded by a society of people who are dominated by the sin nature. They attempt to educate us to their way of sin through their music, their movies, their books, their lack of stance for things righteous, and by their opposition to the ways of the Bible. Christians are called to separate out from these influences and to dwell instead in the presence of the Lord. We are to seek after things above, not things of the earth. However, the pull of the world exists and is experienced by all Christians. We overcome this pull by faith in the fact that our union with Christ has already set us free from the world’s grasp. Again, the answer to this opposing force is the Cross of Christ. Galatians 6:14 says, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
Freedom From The Devil
The Bible is clear that what Christ accomplished on the Cross of Calvary included the defeat of the Devil and all principalities and powers that might aid his nefarious schemes (Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14). So, once again the believer is called upon to walk by faith in what Christ has done, and to resist the attack of our adversary by faith in the knowledge of his defeat at Calvary. Thank God for Christ and the Cross! I Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”