Free at Last!

O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all His people, In the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord! —Psalm 116:16-19

It’s encouraging to read about someone who keeps his promises, but we don’t hear of it very often. The author of our verses today is making a public statement before the people and the Lord that he will stand by his commitment. Verse 16 tells us that the Lord has loosed his bonds. Through Isaiah, God said to the people, “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry . . . bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh. Then your light shall spring forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am . . . ’” (Isaiah 58:6-11).

We know that Jesus is same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). God doesn’t change (Mal 3:6). Through Isaiah, the Lord spoke of loosing the bonds of wickedness, breaking bondage of every kind. And Jesus died for our sins, our wickedness, the things that held us in bondage—not so that we could live for ourselves but so that we could live for Him! He released us from our heavy burden of sin so that we could do the same for others. He shared with us the bread of life so that we could offer it to others. He clothed us in His righteousness so that we could bring others under His covering. He healed us by His stripes so that others could hear and see for themselves His healing power.

The Passover Lamb that allowed the Death Angel to pass over the house of those who had applied the blood was pointing to the ultimate sacrificial lamb who would die to take away the sins of the world. And it wasn’t just any lamb, but it was the Lamb of God in the person of the Son of God! One of the marvelous end results of the cross of Christ and the second death having passed over us is that now we’re able to live with power over the things that used to have power over us! People today talk a lot about not being able to help their sinfulness because they were “born that way,” and they “can’t help it.” I agree—to a point. They were born sinners, and there’s nothing they can do to change that. It doesn’t matter what the manifestation of the sin in their lives is. All sin requires someone greater than us to effect change in our lives and obtain freedom from bondage—all bondage.

The cross of Christ says that you don’t have to remain in your sin. Some people speak of wanting to break free of their bondage, but they don’t go to the source of Power to do that. By His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ makes that power accessible to you! And unless you come to Him, the only One who can set you free, you’ll remain in your sin. What kind of sins are we talking about? How about adultery, fornication, impurity, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries—these are all things that people naturally do because they are born with a nature bent toward sin.

Only God, through Christ, is able to effect the kind of change we need, and it’s only because it cost so much for Christ to go to that cross in our place so that we can be truly free,if we’ll only avail ourselves of that provision. Choose this day if you will grasp the end result of the death and resurrection of Christ, which is the saving of our soul, and you can be free at last!

Excerpt from “Beside Still Waters” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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