This week we continue the season of Advent, which is the Christian season of preparation for Christmas. Our theme this year is “Hope of the Nations,” and we are thinking on the world-wide hope found in Jesus Christ. We’re meditating on the ideas of light, life, liberty, love, and Lord.
Our focus this week is on liberty. We read in John 8:31-36:
31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.
35 “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.
36 “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
This week we light the CANDLE OF LIBERTY. One of the worst realities in the world has to be the reality of being a slave—being held under physical bondage by another such that we must do against our will what we are commanded to do. The Bible talks a lot about bondage, not just physical bondage but also the more harmful spiritual bondage. The Bible makes clear in Romans 7:14 that as sinners we are born sold into spiritual bondage to sin. Here in the John passage that we just read, we read that everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. There are physically free people walking around everywhere who are spiritually enslaved, and to make matters worse, they don’t even realize it!
Jesus came promising freedom, liberty. Jesus said, “Be my student so that you will know the truth, and that truth will set you spiritually free.” That same promise is still offered today, and it’s offered to all of the world—China, Norway, Canada, Peru, Australia, India, Iran, the United States of America, and every other nation in between. All who will turn from sin and believe on Jesus will know the fullness of spiritual liberty, but all who do not will remain a slave.
God the Son who is Jesus the Christ took on flesh and dwelt among us so that we might be emancipated. This Christmas, may every person in the world experience freedom in Jesus, but especially you here today, may Jesus the Liberator make you free indeed.