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What It Means to Be Free
By Rick Warren

“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 (NIV)  

When people think about freedom, they often think about political or religious freedoms. But there is a freedom that goes far deeper: your spiritual freedom.

Most people aren’t living spiritually free lives. They’re all bound up inside. They’ve got stress, worry, fatigue, boredom, bitterness, guilt, regret, fear, and anxiety. They may live in a free country, but they’re not spiritually free. 

Jesus said in John 8:36, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (NIV).  Jesus is talking about himself here. He’s saying, “If I set you free, you’re going to be really, really free.”

This is what I call radical freedom. And over the next few days, we’re going to look at four great freedoms Jesus gives you when you put your trust in him as Savior.

The first great freedom of the Christian life is a clear conscience. It’s what happens when God forgives all your sins and wipes away all your guilt. He takes a giant eraser to everything you’ve ever done wrong or will do wrong. 

I once saw a sign on a gas station that read, “A clean engine gives more power.” That’s true with a conscience too. Guilt is one of the most destructive emotions. It will burden you and weigh you down. The reason so many people are worn out is because they’re carrying a garbage bag of guilt over their shoulders.

But the Bible tells you, “[God] purchased our freedom and forgave our sins” (Colossians 1:14 NLT). Jesus has purchased your freedom with his own life. His death wasn’t meant to make you religious but to set you free. 

Should a believer in Christ ever feel guilty? Yes—but for a nanosecond. In other words, the moment you do something wrong, confess it, and then don’t feel guilty about it. 

When you hold on to guilt, it’s actually an insult to Jesus. It’s like saying, “Jesus, what you did on the cross wasn’t enough. I need to punish myself too.” 

But imagine waking up each day and saying, “I don’t have to worry about that anymore. It’s all over. It’s paid for.” Jesus made doing that possible!

God’s will for your life is for you to no longer to carry a load of guilt. He wants you to be free. 

Radical freedom is a clear conscience. It doesn’t mean you’re perfect. But it does mean you’re forgiven. And that’s good news!

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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