#880. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom - 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (21/8/23)
Updated: Aug 24
Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional. For the near future, we put our Luke series on pause as we have some stand-alone summer devotionals. I hope you find them helpful.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
Lesson: The Holy Spirit gives us the freedom to know Jesus through faith and the freedom to become like Him as we adore Him.
What is freedom?
I think that we would all say that freedom is a great thing and we would all want more of it. However, I wonder how you might define freedom. Many feel that freedom is the right to do whatever we feel like doing whenever we want to. This, however, leads to slavery to deep unhappiness, poor health, mental illness, addictions… Paul tells us in our text:
‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.’
We are told that ‘the Spirit of the Lord’ gives us what real freedom is. Freedom is being rightly related to the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit is working in a person or church community, He gives freedom in at least 2 ways:
i. The Spirit gives the freedom to come to faith in Christ
Firstly, freedom is the Spirit-given ability to receive Jesus and the gospel. Here are 2 examples from the book of 1 Corinthians that teach us that our faith in the cross of Christ is a gift of the Spirit:
‘For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.’ (1 Corinthians 1:18)
‘What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.’ (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)
The Spirit gives freedom to honour and receive the cross of Christ! Freedom is knowing Christ and having ‘peace with God’ through Christ. Is this your idea of freedom?
ii. The Spirit gives the freedom is becoming more like Christ
Secondly, the freedom that the Spirit gives is the Spirit-given freedom to become more like Jesus. Our text reads:
‘And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.’ (V18).
Having received Jesus, we grow in sanctification throughout our lives. Sanctification begins at conversion. It’s seen in our initial repentance and faith; our relationship to everything changed at conversion because Jesus is now the Lord of our lives! You now love Jesus! You love the church! You change the way you speak! You change the way you have relationships… And all by the freedom that the Spirit gives.
The Holy Spirit gives us the freedom to know Jesus through faith and the freedom to become like Him as we adore Him.
Our first response is to protect our freedom in Christ, as Paul urges the Galatians to steer clear of legalism:
‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.’ (Galatians 5:1)
The freedom that the Spirit gives is the enjoyment of salvation and justification through faith alone! The free, unearned gift of God in Christ.
Secondly, Let’s ‘unveil’ our faces in adoration. Spend time in personal and corporate devotions because it’s in this context that the Holy Spirit changes us from glory to glory.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
Until September I'll not be producing a group study. However, if you meet with your group why not simply use one of the devotionals as a basis for your discussion together?