A Fresh Look at Faith and Freedom

  • Tuesday, July 6, 2010
  • Our faith and freedom are very personal concepts to us. From our perspective in the United States, faith is focused on the Lord and His Son Jesus. Freedom is related to our country's way of life based on the tenants of democracy. Faith and freedom converged in our message this week as our country celebrated it's birthday. But we looked at faith and freedom from a different perspective, through the eyes of missionary Darryl Racey who has lived in the Middle East for many years.

    The story of the original sin in Genesis 3 was the basis of our study as we took a fresh look at faith and freedom. It's a familiar story about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They ate the forbidden fruit, suddenly saw things they hadn't noticed before, and ultimately tried to hide from the Lord. As a result, they were sent from the Garden. They felt guilt, fear, shame, and ultimately were separated from the Lord as a result. But the Lord has provided freedom as this look at Genesis 3 illustrates.

    Adam and Eve experienced guilt. After eating the forbidden fruit, we're told in Genesis 3:7 that they both realized they were naked, and they attempted to cover themselves with leaves. The act of eating the forbidden fruit brought the guilt.

    Adam and Eve also experienced fear. They heard the Lord walking in the Garden, and they hid from Him. They were afraid. Genesis 3:8 notes that they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord.

    Adam and Eve felt shame. In Genesis 2:25 we're told that they were naked and not ashamed. However, once they broke the law of the Lord by eating the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked, they felt shame. Genesis 3:7.

    Adam and Eve experienced separation from the Lord, or spiritual death. He sent them out of the Garden and posted guards. Genesis 3:23-24 tells us He stationed cherubim and the flaming sword to keep them from the Garden.

    The good news is that the Lord has provided freedom from guilt, fear, and shame. He has also made it possible for us to enjoy freedom from spiritual death. Looking first at our guilt, we're told throughout Scripture that our guilt has been removed by Christ. There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

    He also gives us freedom from our fear. Adam and Eve hid from the Lord in fear. Yet we're told many times in Scripture that He has acted to remove that fear. And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it...and they shall see His face...the Lord God shall illumine them. (Revelation 22:3-4)

    We're given freedom from the shame of our sin. That feeling of shame is a natural result of doing wrong. Yet, even in the Garden, the Lord provided a sacrifice of innocent animals so their shame would be covered. And the Lord made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)

    Finally, spiritual death is our greatest enemy. It's inevitable that we will all die physically, but the Lord has provided a way so that we don't need to die spiritually. Even when we were dead in our transgressions, He made us alive together with Christ. (Ephesians 2:5)

    Do you feel guilty because of your wrong doings? Do you fear the Lord because of what you have done? Do you struggle with shame because of your actions? Do you fear eternal separation from the Lord as a result of your decisions? Place your faith in Christ and you'll experience a personal freedom which He has provided.

    Because of a tree, we all died.
    Because of His tree, we may live.
    His Cross is our banner of freedom.


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