You Are Free
Monday - April 26th
Scripture to Read Today: 2 Corinthians 3:12-18
Now the Lord is the Spirit,
and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17
Over the years, I have shared some great stories of the impact made on my life by the wonderful folks of my home church in Mishawaka, Indiana. During my formative years, the people who comprised the Twin Branch Bible Church blessed our family and me in so many incredible ways. One memory stands out as I think about today's Take5 Scripture reading found in 2 Corinthians.
When I was in high school, our church had a high school Bible quizzing team. We quizzed against churches locally, regionally, and nationally (if we qualified). These churches we quizzed against were a part of the affiliation of churches of which our church was a member. So, not only did we participate in quizzing, but we also got to make Christian teen friends from all over the country.
Each year we memorized one large or several smaller books of the New Testament. In my junior year of high school, we learned the books of James and Jude. The following year we worked hard to memorize 2 Corinthians. We could quote all 13 chapters and all 257 verses of the book word for word from the King James Version of the Bible. As you can imagine, that was a lot of work. To this day, I can quote large sections of the various books we memorized - especially 2 Corinthians.
Paul's second letter to the Christians in first-century Corinth stands out as my favorite book we put to memory. Chapter three of the book has remained one of my favorite chapters in all of the Bible. The Scripture reading passage listed at the top of today's devotional, 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, particularly grabbed my attention.
That paragraph of the New Testament looks back at how Moses went up to meet the Lord on Mount Sinai. After being in God's presence, Moses had to cover his face when he headed down the mountain to the people of Israel. Moses veiled his face because the glory of God caused his face to shine with such a brilliant glow that the people could not look at Moses' face. Over time, the reflection of the glory of God on his face dissipated.
The veil Moses wore, like the veil separating God's people from His presence in the holy of holies in the temple, reminded the Israelites that they were separated from God by their sin. 2 Corinthians 3:14 says that the veil was taken away in Christ - just like the veil in the temple was ripped when Jesus died on the cross. The finished work of Jesus gives us access to God. We are no longer separated from Him when we trust in His Son - the one who takes our sin away.
Verse seventeen reminds us that all who know Christ as Savior have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. While so much of the Old Testament pointed to our sin and separation from God, in Jesus, we are free. The presence of the Holy Spirit seals the promise of our liberty in Christ. We are released forever from our sin, self-centeredness, and self-righteousness. "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Corinthians 3:17). If you know Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit. If you have the Holy Spirit, you are free!
Satan tries to convince us that the shackles of our sin, guilt, and shame still exist. He wants us to believe we will never experience true freedom because of our past. He is a liar. God wants us to know we are free and can live in that freedom.
Take a few moments today to thank God for the liberty in Christ!
No sin, habit, or pattern in your life has an endless grip on you. You are free in Christ. His Spirit seals that promise!