There is a great struggle between those who wish to maintain political freedoms such as the right of free speech and religious freedom, and those who seek to diminish them. As believers in Christ our freedom is of a higher order, a spiritual nature, because it is given by God. Your true freedom is not given by governments or corporations or men. Be encouraged that the Lord’s liberty is superior to governments. Your freedom is in the Lord and His rest. We can find rest, regeneration, and the courage to stand in the spiritual rights endowed by our Lord. The Bible says that God rested on the seventh day from all his work. It is called the Shabbat, and God also instituted this rest for mankind. Herein is a key to perfect liberty.
After bringing the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery, the Lord instituted appointed times called Shabbats for his people. In them, are a spiritual communion with God that embodies rest, health and liberty. It was in fact on a Shabbat that Christ proclaimed the fulfilment of the Isaiah 61 prophecy when he said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor;He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:18-21).”
We generally connect freeing the captives and liberty for the oppressed with freedom from sin. This liberty, however, is deeper than that. It is the spiritual freedom from sin, but also the physical freedom in Christ. We are neither slaves, nor oppressed in Christ. He said in John 8:32 that if you abide in His word, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” We are free spiritually and physically as citizens of the kingdom that has authority over all in heaven and earth. It is only by choice that we fall into slavery or lose our rights. Galatians 5:1 says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Even as slaves on earth, we are free in the kingdom of heaven by the authority of God Almighty in Christ Jesus who ransomed us with his blood.
Roman rule during the early church was far more oppressive than today’s America. But early Christ followers overcame that dark oppression with a clear understanding of their spiritual authority and Liberty. Peter and the Apostles exercised this spiritual authority when they were threatened with censorship and prison for preaching the gospel. In Acts 5:29, they responded: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” And so should we. The spiritual freedom from above is greater than political freedom granted by men. Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. Receive your rightful authority. Rest in the peace and freedom instituted by God’s Shabbat. As from the Shabbat of the Jubilee, which is engraved on the Liberty Bell, “proclaim liberty through all the land and unto the inhabitants thereof (Leviticus 25:10).”