Jesus said, John 8:36 “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” I like that verse, don’t you? But if we are free, then why do we still struggle with addictions, negative emotions, besetting sins and other issues that make us feel like slaves?
The answer to this question can be understood in light of a 150+ year old document in Washington D.C. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed The Emancipation Proclamation. With a single stroke of his pen, he changed the legal status of 3 million slaves…
One minute they were slaves. The next minute they were free.
Boom! Just like that!
Let’s make the connection like this: The moment before Jesus died, humanity was enslaved. The moment Jesus resurrected, humanity was free!
Boom! Just like that!
But what was true about the slaves in America is also true about us. What is legal is not always experiential. We know that for most of the slaves in the South, nothing changed when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Although legally free, they remained experientially in bondage.
They were restrained by two things: Ignorance and fear. These two things are especially effective in keeping a person under someone else’s control.
This is exactly how Satan keeps us under his thumb. He manipulates us with ignorance and fear. These are the chains that bind us. These are the restraints that hold us back. These are the whips that torment us. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment (1 John 4:18 emphasis mine).”
Ignorance and fear are the enemies of faith and love. The battle that rages in your life and mine is between the forces of ignorance and fear vs. faith and love.
Satan is called the Prince of this World. The Greek word for Prince is archon. This word describes a ruler, a leader or a governor with command authority over people in a particular jurisdiction. His rule WAS a legal fact because of the sin of Adam and Eve…
…until Jesus came to earth!
Jesus came to undo the works of the devil; to adjudicate humanity’s case against him; to legally take back dominion; to make His case and bring judgment against the Prince of this World. I John 3:8 confirms this purpose: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
Jesus’ entire life was the trial of Lucifer’s rule. After thousands of years of reigning on earth, Jesus came to prosecute him. Jesus’ life was a legal challenge to Satan’s dominion and Israel was the courtroom. Witnesses were called before the Judge of the Universe and were found to be healed, fed, set free and raised form the dead. The evidence was overwhelming. This is why Jesus said confidently in John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
The final proof of Christ’s indictment against Satan was the crucifixion. Jesus said in John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. The final arguments of humanity’s court case had begun. The final verdict for Christ as the legal last Adam was fully confirmed in His resurrection from the dead. Jesus was found innocent and Satan was found guilty. The decision was made. The outcome was sealed. The legislation was enacted. Jesus was victorious and Satan was defeated.
Like Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation, when Jesus died and rose again, Satan’s rule was legally over. But every form of legislation needs something – law enforcement. That’s why the Civil War was fought. Legislation and law enforcement depend on each other. Legislation without enforcement is useless. Enforcement without legislation is baseless. But when legislation and enforcement work in tandem, things can change.
The legislation of Christ’s rule of the earth is recorded in the Bible. In effect, our Emancipation Proclamation. However, this legislation needs our enforcement. So the war is raging right now in your life and in the lives of your loved ones. This war is to enforce God’s judgment against Satan’s rule in your life. This has been going on for 2,000 years and is not over yet.
The good news is that the law is on our side!
And the victory will be won by faith and love.
FAITH: By this I mean that we know the Bible and believe it so completely that we allow it to form our worldview. We let its precepts become our guidebook for life. We become one with the Word and the Word becomes one with us. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith (1 John 5:4).”
LOVE: By love I mean that all fear of life, death and the hereafter are gone. So is our fear of God and of man. Again, 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
Without the chains of ignorance and fear wrapped around our hearts, we will begin to experience the freedom that Christ’s death legally gives us.
The Bible: The Ultimate Emancipation Proclamation!
You: The Ultimate in Law Enforcement!
©2017 Mark W. Pfeifer / http://www.somafamily.com