2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
This passage brings us to some outstanding realizations. First, we see an affirmation of the Trinitarian God. The Lord is the Spirit. We see the the term “Lord” used in various contexts throughout the Scriptures referring to God the Father, God the Son(Jesus), and now God the Spirit. This is a perfect outworking of the harmony of the Godhead and the glorious work of salvation.
Second, this truth speaks to something that everyone that has ever walked on this planet desires: freedom. Everyone wants freedom. We live in a world surrounded by freedom. The United States in particular heralds the name “Home of the free and land of the brave.” Why was America started, “freedom”. If you look to culture you will see freedom heralded from the rooftops. Television, music, literature, and politics are all based on someone telling you that you can do whatever makes you feel good. Or you can do whatever is right for you. Or no one can tell you to do this or do that. If you don’t like something, you don’t have to do it anymore. If you don’t want to work for a living, then quit work and let the ones who do work and do pay taxes support you every month while you collect your check and food stamps sitting on your couch at home watching “Price is Right” and wearing sweatpants all day long. Our country is all about you doing whatever you want to do just because you want to do it.
Here’s the deal, no matter how much you think you can feel free in the things of this world or doing what you want to do, your are not free. You are in bondage. You are in chains. You are dead in your trespasses and sins, under the spell of the evil one as you are enslaved to a life of temporary pleasure and sin. Freedom comes through Christ. When you trust Christ, the Spirit of the living God indwells within you and it is the Spirit that brings regeneration to your heart and it is the Spirit of God in which freedom truly lies. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom and if the Spirit of the Lord is in you, there is freedom. Freedom to live life, freedom to enjoy life, freedom to take part in many things within this life that bring pleasure and joy. Freedom to love this life as you live it through Christ. Through Christ we can enjoy what we do here on this earth as it is a snapshot of the indescribable joy that awaits the believer in heaven.
Now quickly, do not think that as the Spirit of the living God indwells you and has brought you freedom that you are going to wake up peachy and perky every single day. This life is hard, this life brings hardships, and with this you will not always “feel” free. What many church cultures have done these days is make out Christianity to be all about feeling. You may say, “well I don’t feel God” or “I don’t feel the Spirit” or “I don’t feel saved” and on and on it could go. Just because you don’t “feel” the Spirit does not mean that the Spirit has not done a work in you and is continuing to do a work in you. There is a phrase from a prayer in The Valley of Vision entitled Election that says this: “It is not feeling the Spirit that proves my saved state but the truth of what Christ did perfectly for me.” Your freedom does not lie in a feeling, it lies in the finished and perfect work of Christ. Through Christ there is freedom as the Spirit brings it. Christ bough it, the Spirit wrought it. Enjoy your freedom in Christ. Do not live like a person that has been defeated, live like a person that has freedom through the Spirit of God. Amen.