In December 1745, Charles Wesley published a two-verse prayer that has become a beloved Christmas hymn:
Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free,
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in thee.
For Wesley, Jesus was born for this purpose. As these beautiful words rang out through our congregation during Sunday worship, ‘my heart was strangely warmed’. My mind held on to the the phrase, “born to set thy people free”. I thought, Here is the true reason for the season. He came to set us free!
Oh, how the human heart longs for freedom. This great country was founded on a human quest for freedom. Our forefathers were seeking religious and political liberty when they framed our Constitution and Bill of Rights. No other country on earth has provided the degree of political freedom and personal choice as has the U.S.A. Our national anthem proclaims that America is the “Land of the Free”.
How ironic it is that so many use this freedom to dress themselves in the chains of sin. Multitudes of people combine their God given ‘free will’ with the freedom our government provides and engage in destructive lifestyles. Rather than independence, they find themselves in bondage. In many ways, the bondage to sin is far worse than the iron chains and bars of a physical oppressor. The headlong pursuit of self-pleasing brings fetters of addiction to drugs, alcohol, gross sexual misconduct, dishonesty, etc. The misguided search for this faux-freedom has reached epidemic proportions. God’s word says, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
We need to hear the Apostle Paul’s words to the Church in Rome, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness” (Romans 6:12-18). God’s word proclaims, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). Jesus was born to set us free. Hallelujah!
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”
~ Brother Roy