33. Being Transformed Equals True Freedom!

Let’s return to Jesus’ declaration of Freedom:

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
(John 8:31-36 ESV)

We can clearly see that Freedom is a result of a well defined process. And we can see that this process includes our adoption; without adoption we remain slaves and slaves have no permanency. To permanently belong to the Father’s family you and I must be transformed from slaves of sin (humans) into children, and ONLY the SON can do that for each of us. A state of permanent freedom is a requirement for each and all of God’s children. The great news is that Jesus, the firstborn son, came specifically to make this resulting freedom available for us and that it is HE who produces it in each of us!
Please pay particular attention to WHO DOES WHAT in this all important declaration Jesus makes.

We ended our last episode with a breakdown of the process Jesus uncovered as the path to true freedom:

1. If You abide in my word = If You choose to hear and receive and keep hearing and receiving my word,
2. You are truly my disciples = You are really letting me teach you the truth about who you are and who my Father is,
3. And you will know the truth = I will make you live this truth so that it becomes your reality This is how you will know the truth because it will be your reality!
4. And the truth will set you FREE! = When you discover this reality in your own existence, you will never see yourself as a slave again!

Let’s work a little bit deeper into the practical application of these steps to practical, everyday, eternal freedom.

Do you recall that everything about our adoption started with the Word? The Living Word that was in the beginning with God and it was God? Well, this is the very Word that Jesus is referring to in this statement: “If you abide in My Word”
To properly understand what is being said to us we must also remember that as adopted children we can no longer listen to God’s Word with human understanding. Human understanding interprets everything as requirements and demands without provision. Children on the other hand, listen to what their Father says as his commitment. Everything our Father’s Word says comes with the provision to enable us to DO or experience what he is telling us. The capacity or power to “ABIDE” in his Word comes in the very word He gives us!
What does it mean then to ABIDE?
ABIDING for us is the action of a continual receiving. We choose to receive our Father’s Word; His Word is alive! It empowers us to become God’s children. The only way we loose that power is if we choose to stop receiving his Word! The instant we choose not to receive His word, the power to be God’s child stops working in us.
Think of electricity as an example: Any electrical appliance, such as a computer, phone, food blender, etc. can only operate if it is connected to a power source such as en electrical outlet or a battery. Both of these supply electricity to the appliance so that it can work. Disconnect it from it’s power source and it instantly stops working! No electricity, no power; no power, no capacity to operate!
In the very same manner, the only way for us to have the power to BE God’s children in our daily lives is to be continually connected to His Word. Who controls that? We do! Each of us has the power to choose to receive His Word or not. No one can force you to receive or reject His Word; this is something you have absolute control over.
Why is it that way? Because FREEDOM demands it. Just like Israel in our last episode, we are used to slavery. We know what is is to be driven by passions and addictions; by other’s influences and demands. But to be truly free is to not be subject to any of those old slaveries. We are to be in charge of our choices: Freedom gives each of us and no one else the authority and responsibility over our choices.
That is exactly what we can see in Jesus! He chose to come and deliver the living message to us; he chose to give his life in payment for our forgiveness; he chose to be the minister of Freedom to each and all of us! Being made into his sister or brother means we have to learn from Him to be responsible for our choices!

What we are saying here is that the power to truly exist as a child of God is only present in God’s Living Word. This all powerful Word has been given to us, but it can only function IN us if individually we choose to receive it and choose to remain receiving it no matter what comes before us! This is what Jesus was referring to when he faced the temptation in the desert (Mathew 4) He was truly starving to death as he had not eaten any food or drank any liquid for 40 days and 40 nights. The tempter challenged him to prove he was God’s son by transforming stones into bread. What did Jesus answer? “Man will not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”! Do you see it? Jesus himself operated his existence by choosing to receive and stay receiving his Father’s Word! As a result he did not die of starvation and angels were sent to serve him!

Abiding is not an action of effort to do, but a decision to remain receiving the Living Word that provides the power to be God’s child!
Abiding is the ONLY action required from each of us to posses eternal freedom! The supply is ever present and it is inexhaustible, so there is never an instant where we can fear an accidental disconnect!
Abiding is the only thing no one but I control! What happens if others try to force me to disconnect? Your Father will not allow it! That is precisely why He has put His Spirit within you! And that is how He instantly knows when you are making the decision to abide in his Word; the instant you do, All of God’s power and resources are made available to aid you and enable you to stand firm in your choice. No outside force can ever disconnect you from Him. Listen to His Word in this regard:

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 GW)

Is that enough of a guarantee to you? It certainly is! Nothing in creation will be able to separate you or me from the love of God, ever! Only I can decide to separate and when I do, God respects my decision and waits until I choose to reconnect with His Word.

Let’s move on to the consequence of Abiding.
The immediate result is that Jesus as my brother can teach me and I as his sister or brother can learn by experience the truth about my adoption, about my Father and about my brother! As I experience or prove the reality of His Word in me, I am made free from all the deceptions and slaveries that controlled my existence as a human; this is the process by which I am made TRULY FREE! There is a single, amazing and powerful consequence of abiding is ETERNAL FREEDOM! And it is there for you to choose!

It has been absolutely important that you know this and that you put it to the test. Because as we enter into the bolts and nuts of the transformation process you can not be confused about what makes it work in your life. NO MORE DEAD WORKS! No more efforts to become what a human can never be. We learn to receive and abide in our Father’s Word and IT DOES IN US WHAT IT WAS SENT TO DO, PERIOD!

Well, we are now ready to begin our journey into the factory that our Father has setup for our transformation! Are you ready?

See you in our next episode!

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