If you have the desire to do something, and the ability to do it, and the opportunity to do it, but it destroys you in the end, you are not entirely free — not free indeed — when you do it.

Only Christians are genuinely free.

When we are born, all we know is that we are needy and seek satisfaction and relief from pain and discomfort.

As we grow, we learn what works and what doesn’t and choose our own way of reacting to situations.

Over time, as our personalities develop, our desires become more sophisticated.

When we want to do something, we do it. We make our own decisions about what is right and wrong based on observed and practiced laws that we recognize playing out around us.

From the moment we take our first breath, we become slaves to our desires.

We have no choice but to follow them wherever they lead, even to destructive ends.

When we do something that negatively impacts our plans, we must live with the consequences. We are trapped.

Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, all we do will ultimately turn for our good. It is God who works in us for our good and His glory.

Jesus’ sacrifice frees us from bearing ultimate responsibility for our choices and minimizes the impact of what we do.

The Bible teaches that God made us for eternity, not the world here and now. Our world is merely a life development staging area before the main event begins.

The Bible teaches us that we are all born with a sin nature.

None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one…
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
-Romans 3:10-12, 23

What is sin?

Many misunderstand sin entirely. It is more than unlawful actions we undertake. We sin any time we choose our way of doing things instead of following God’s commands and living according to His principles in Scripture.

Sin is open rebellion against God, even though often very subtle. Most of us have not murdered or broken laws that render a criminal verdict in a court of law. But we are all guilty of breaking God’s moral law and living our way instead of His. We are all born with this mentality until God opens our hearts to the truth in His word, and we gain spiritual and eternal awareness. Sometimes, sinning isn’t what we do at all but what we don’t do.

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him, it is sin.
-James 4:17

Sin separates us from God, the source of life. Because God is morally just, His untainted morality cannot overlook sin.

As long as our sin remains, the eventual death of our physical bodies renders our souls eternally separated from God and in unceasing torment and pain.

But God is merciful. He knew the direction mankind would take and the inevitable defilement of the human heart before He created the world or anything or anyone in it, that all of His creation would turn against him.

But being compassionate and not wanting anyone to die, He planned to include the means of salvation in Jesus Christ. Jesus, God Incarnate, fully-God and fully-man, entered the human race.

He is the only one who could entirely fulfill the law of God.

He lived a life free of sin and paid the ultimate sacrifice for the world’s redemption, thus satisfying God’s moral obligation over sin.

Because Jesus died in our place, we can live in Him.

Because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, we are fully free.

I still battle temptation, but because of Jesus, I do not have to succumb. I do not have to follow my sinful desires but can instead choose life.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 6:23

But it is not enough to know that Jesus died and rose again. You must believe it. If you genuinely believe, the evidence will reveal your true character.

Scripture teaches that those who believe have become a new creation. For those who believe, Jesus is not just Savior but Lord.

God saves us by faith alone, but works accompany true faith, actions that reveal to the world that we are His children, forgiven by the blood of Jesus and adopted into His family.

Without Christ, we are slaves to sin. Only Christ Jesus can set us free.

Because of Jesus, we can be fully free indeed!

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.