FIRST-PERSON: Finding freedom in Christ

I had the opportunity to visit the Holy Land in Israel in 2018. What an experience that was of learning, experiencing and walking where Jesus walked. I learned much about biblical sites which made the Bible come alive. But I also learned about the current Israeli culture. I will never forget the day our tour guide said, “You Americans often talk about your freedom. We have no idea what that even means. We have never experienced freedom.” This is the only life they have ever known.

Those words impacted me in such a way that I realized how blessed we are in America with the freedom we enjoy. I cannot imagine living every day in fear. I cannot imagine living every day wondering what persecution may happen at any moment. I am forever grateful for the men and women who have fought to protect the freedom we enjoy in America.

As I watch our fallen world today, there are many people who are living in bondage and fear. Many people have no idea what true freedom is because they have never experienced it. The life they are living is the only life they have ever known.

This freedom of which I write is our spiritual freedom found only through Jesus Christ. It seems so many people continue in the life they know because they don’t know how to find this freedom. They are spiritually blind and cannot find their way. So how will they know? I am glad you asked.

We, as believers, must be on a mission to tell them. We have a mission, or more importantly, a commission to go into all the world and share about the freedom found only through Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). Going is not an option for the believer in Christ.

I want to submit five things that we must do to effectively be on mission to share about the freedom we find through Jesus Christ:

We Must Pray 

Get prayed up. Acts 1:8 reminds us that we will “receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…” If we are not prayed up, we will have no power to share the hope that is within us.

We Must Prepare 

Get studied up. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God…rightly dividing the word of truth.” You cannot share something you know nothing about. Be prepared to share the truth. Be prepared to tell others about the hope and freedom found through Jesus Christ.

We Must Position 

Get positioned up. We cannot share about Christ if we are not in a position to meet people who need to hear about Christ. The Great Commission tells us to “GO.” It is not a come and see gospel, but a go-and-tell gospel. Position yourself to be on mission. When opportunity presents itself, say yes to the opportunity.

We Must Proclaim 

Get polished up. Be prepared to share the hope that is within you. Paul said in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” Never hesitate when we have an opportunity to tell others about the truth of the scripture. When asked to speak, stop the excuses and speak. When asked to give a testimony, share it with passion. Proclaim the truth of God’s holy word!

We must Present 

Get boldly up. In other words, know how to share your faith. Your personal testimony is a powerful way to share how you have experienced the freedom found through Jesus Christ. Following the model of Paul, tell about what your life was like before you found Jesus, how you came to know Jesus and how Jesus has changed your life. We must present the gospel and ask if they, too, want to experience the freedom found in Christ.

But we must be on mission. Where is your mission field? Maybe it is in Walmart! Maybe a short-term mission trip. Maybe through disaster relief. Maybe in your local community. Maybe across the ocean. Wherever God leads you is your mission field.

May we be faithful to go and tell — that others, too, may find freedom in Christ.

(EDITOR’ NOTE — Ron Crow is the director of Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief.)

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