Jesus came to set the captives free. He said, ‘If the Son sets you free you will be free indeed’ – that is to say you will be totally free with no hidden caveats and humbug. Many of those Jesus desired to set free imagined that they were already so. Yet they were imprisoned by their own ideas, the assumptions of their community and their inability to rise above themselves to achieve even their own ideals. BUT THERE IS A LIVING WAY TO FREEDOM. Paul said it well ‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’ 2 Cor 3.17 NIV.
So what is freedom? The liberation of the slaves and the Exodus was a prequel to the coming freedom that would appear in Jesus Christ. Jesus liberates us from all that is not life to live in life itself – But life is not an it. Life is a Him. Life is God. For us life is being in God. Life to the full is you and I sharing in the life of the trinity. Having said that the best definition I have heard of freedom came from an African-American woman who had experienced the imprisonment of spirit that racism inflicts. She said, ‘Freedom is the opportunity for unlimited growth.’
In Jesus we have the life without limit. ‘Life’ here means the life of God that is ours in the presence of the Holy Family and the influence of the trinity in us. This is the life that is ours because we share in the womb of life.
In Christ our sins are annulled and we have this life within and around us. This is the gift of infinite life that has been graced us by the love of God. Grace is a life that is not ours that we are invited to appropriate as our own. It is the gift of eternal life bubbling up, not only in length of life but in life as an infinite, intoxicating breathing in of being a person who is a son/daughter of God.
Many people, even Christians, live a pedestrian life that never penetrates beneath the surface where the real issues and realities lie hidden like a treasure. Consequently they live in a kind of coma – not dead but not fully alive – floating dormant in the knowledge of good and evil like a passive letters in an alphabet soup. Yet all of us have the potential to glow with the spirit/ life of the trinity in us. The glory of Jesus was to reveal His Father and be His Son. Our glory is identical. It is ours because we have been made one God. Our infinite life is found in knowing God as He is and shining brightly as the sun as we live in the truth of who we were created to be. Gory is experienced in union with our Father.
‘Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear’ Matt 13.43 NIV.
In Jesus we are free to enjoy infinite growth. But we must choose life over pseudo-life and choose the spirit of sonship above law and performance.
Infinite growth cannot be ours in the law or in a mixture of Jesus and the law. Law is by nature restrictive. Its essence is limitation and its nature is separation – separation from God and who we really are as sons and daughters. Law is a product of the knowledge of good and evil and it promotes death by separation from God and our true self.
Law generates compartmentalisation, capturing us in boxes of contradiction and hypocrisy. Jesus spoke of ‘your law’ implying that law is the legacy of Adam. Paul said that same when he spoke of the law of sin and death. For Paul the law of THE SPIRIT OF LIFE is synonymous with Christ your life. When speaking of ‘your law’ Jesus mentioned hypocrisy – not because people were wilfully villainous - but because rules and laws are innately self-defeating and life-denying.
‘Freedom is the opportunity for unlimited growth.’
Living from the law we are sons notionally. But not in spirit and in truth. The law shrinks people. The spirit of sonship nurtures sons into their glory.
Christ your life is your door to infinite growth. The notion that Jesus lived from the law and upheld the law is at best a fiction and at worst a lie. Jesus had the spirit without limit because He had life without limit. Why? He and His Father were one. Today this union with God that Jesus had is yours. Right now you have Jesus’ relationship with Father and Holy Spirit.
Jesus liberates us from the knowledge of good and evil, its rules and humbug and places us in God where we live with Him in the Spirit. Here as sons multiply His spirit and life wherever we happen to be. We express the spirit of sonship because we are one with God and participants in the fellowship of the trinity.
‘Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV.