What Is Freedom? — Filling Out the Passion 2012 Message

What Is Freedom? — Filling Out the Passion 2012 Message

Part of my message to Passion 2012 defined true Christian freedom. Here is a fuller statement of what that is taken from a sermon on John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

There are at least four kinds of freedom. And each one adds a crucial dimension of freedom to the last until we get to the full Christian freedom — "free indeed." Let me try to sum up these four kinds of freedom in one definition of full and complete freedom:

You are fully free — completely free, free indeed — when you have the (1) desire, (2) the ability, (3) and the opportunity to do (4) what will make you happy in a thousand years.

Or we could say, You are fully free when you have the (1) desire, (2) the ability, and (3) the opportunity to do (4) what will leave you no regrets forever.

  • If you don't have the desire to do a thing, you are not fully free to do it. Oh, you may muster the willpower to do what you don't want to do, but nobody calls that full freedom. It's not the way we want to live. There is a constraint and pressure on us that we don't want.
  • And if you have the desire to do something, but no ability to do it, you are not free to do it.
  • And if you have the desire and the ability to do something, but no opportunity to do it, you are not free to do it.
  • And if you have the desire to do something, and the ability to do it, and the opportunity to do it, but it destroys you in the end, you are not fully free — not free indeed.

To be fully free, we must have the desire, the ability, and the opportunity to do what will make us happy forever.

No regrets.

And only Jesus, the Son of God who died and rose for us, can make that possible.

To be happy forever, our sins must be forgiven and God's wrath removed and Christ must become our supreme Treasure. Only Jesus can do that. In fact, he has already done it. He died for our sins. He absorbed God's wrath. And he rose from the dead and is today therefore supremely precious. And he offers us that now as a free gift.

If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.

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John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.