“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you FREE”. John 8:32 The verb “free”, eleutheroo, is used in the secular Greek of freeing slaves. Paul used the word to specify that from which one is set free: “from sin”.
Romans. 6:18, 22, “But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made FREE from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness…..”But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me FREE from the law of sin and death.”Romans 8:2 “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered (FREE) from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:21 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you FREE, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
In the Greek mind there were only two understandings of “freedom”: political and philosophical. The political concept of freedom included freedom from slavery as well as the social freedom enjoyed because of a government and its laws. The philosophical ideal of freedom particularly that expressed in Stoicism meant freedom of the individual “set apart from others under the law of his own nature or of human nature generally.” It can readily be seen that these two concepts would collide. One sees freedom in the context of the community, because he is apart of a group, the other views freedom as the attainment of autonomy based his own likes and dislikes owing nothing to no other being (this is the view of many today in the “freedom movements”).
In Galatians 4:22-31 we have the allegory of Sarah and Hagar. Paul concludes: “So then, brethren, we are not of the bondwoman, but of the FREE.” Paul particularly pictured the “freedom in Christ” as a prize which the Law of Moses could not even conceive. OF WHAT ARE WE FREE? We have lost the meaning of what the Spirit inspired the apostle to write if we do not understand we are NOT free when we are “bound” by something beyond our ability to gain release. Under the Law of Moses, those who had sinned were bound, could not be released, and had no hope of escaping from its grasp..NO SACRIFICE under the law could ALLOW God to remove sin so man could again be His. Paul would cry out; “Oh wretched man that I am! who (what sacrifice) shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:24 The answer came in the next verse–: “I thank God (it is) through (the sacrifice) of Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Like “becoming” and “being” a child of God “being made free” and “remaining free to serve” as a child are not the same thing!! One “becomes” a child of God by repenting and being baptized FOR the remission of sins. One “remains free” by two gifts Christ gives to all who have “become”: the Word of God and the Spirit of God!! If I have not been ‘born again’ I cannot receive the ‘gift of the Holy Spirit’. In this position I must remain a “slave” of my father, the Devil. I cannot break his binding neither could I continue “free” IF it had been broken!! Jesus knew that some of the Jews had believed in Him; therefore He built on that faith. “As you now believe (obey My commandments), one day you shall be able to remain “free” and the devil cannot overtake you!!” True disciples are those who continue in the Word, but if that were all we had, we would fall back into the clutches of Satan, Christ gives us MORE!!