“I have a dream!”
That was the title of the most famous speech of civil rights leader, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., which he delivered in August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., USA. King spoke about his longing for freedom from prejudice.
Freedom! Such is our need for it that Patrick Henry in 1775 even cried out, “Give me liberty or give me death!”
Freedom! In the movie Braveheart, that was the last word uttered by the Scottish hero, Sir William Wallace, at his execution.
But our Lord Jesus Christ already died in order to give us freedom. And He spelled it out for us how to enjoy it: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32, NIV) To obey is to know the truth. Only then can we experience freedom. There are three things we can glean from these verses.
First, obedience reveals who we really are. “If you keep on obeying what I have said, you truly are my disciples.” (Contemporary English Version) A true disciple obeys his Master. Thus only His disciples experience true freedom. That’s why in the Great Commission, the Lord commanded us to “make disciples... [by] teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:29-20)
Second, obedience requires our entire person. In the New King James Version, John 8:31 goes like this: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” To abide means to continue, live and remain. It’s not an once-in-a-lifetime, once-in-a-while or once-in-a-blue-moon thing. It refers to an ongoing, intimate relationship. Abiding requires from us a commitment to obey.
Lastly, obedience releases us. Some people thought that freedom is doing whatever you want. They thought it’s a license to sin. But Jesus warned, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34) True freedom is doing what God wants us to do. Obeying Him does not enslave us but actually sets us free. And He promised, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (v. 36)
Thus, I encourage you to enjoy your freedom by obeying God. This morning, in our English Worship Service, my message is on “Making the Most of Your Freedom.” It is my prayer that we would be free indeed!
Brethren, it’s no longer a dream. As King ended his speech, “Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”