by Bishop Art Ferriol
A very basic and simple definition of freedom is liberation from slavery or imprisonment or restraint from undue arbitrary or despotic power & control of another. Freedom according to our constitution is an inalienable right of every human being and for that matter, of every living creature. Life without freedom is meaningless. No wonder the American patriot Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
With freedom as the absence of control of another, we will be able to speak of many kinds of freedom. We may speak of social freedom which is the absence of some control of the influence of other culture or economic freedom. We may observe a person or a nation cannot be free politically when it is dependent to other country economically. Political freedom is an empty boat as long as one is dependent economically on another person or country. But we are talking here of “true freedom”. One may be free from the above-mentioned kind of control, yet it could only be said that one is truly free until he is free in the spirit. For a man maybe shackled by chain or caged by thick wall or strong iron bars if the man’s spirit is free that is as free as a lark.
What enslaves the human spirit? The Bible says sin enslaves the spirit of man. The words of the Lord:
“…whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” – John 8:34
Sin has arbitrary and despotic control over man. In the word of the prophet Isaiah 64:6,
“…our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Or in the words of Apostle Paul,
“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”– Romans 7:19-20
Therefore, a person may be living in a free society if sin dwell within him, he remains object of slavery.
How then can a man be free? The word of Jesus Christ,
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”– John 8:32
What is the truth? It is the Word of God (John 17:17). It is the “power of God unto salvation.” It is the only power or worth that is potent enough to destroy sin in man’s heart. Notice the believers in the early Roman Church.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.”– Romans 6: 16-17
You can be truly free. Open your heart and in child-like faith, accept the Gospel and you will experience for the first time the freedom that only God can give.
“If the son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”