"Possessed by Sin and Bound by Death"
Do you think that you are free? After all you live in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Our age champions personal liberty, interpreted to mean, you can do or become anything you please-perhaps with proviso that you don’t hurt anybody or interfere with their freedom. Autonomy (literally, a law to oneself) has become one of the watchwords of our public vocabulary, especially in the area of ethics. So sexual permissiveness, abortion and euthanasia are claimed as options in the increasingly unbounded arena of personal freedoms.
Are you free? Not really. Werner Elert, a Lutheran theologian of the last century spoken of autonomy as an unfulfilled illusion.
But you are free, for the Son of God Himself has freed you from the curse of the law, the darkness of death, and condemnation of Satan. You are free-you need no longer live in enslavement to self. An old hymn has us sing “Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free.” And that is the wonder of our freedom in Christ. Freedom is not to be found in living as though God did not exist so that we can be who and what we will to be. Freedom is found only in Christ. Shortly before his death, Luther scribbled a few words on a scrap of paper found in his vest pocket after he died. The note read, in part: “We are beggars. It is true.” The tired, worn-out old man knew the truth that before God we can stand only as beggars, but beggars set free to live by faith in the gracious promises of a merciful God. Freedom is found only in Jesus’ words. “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”