One very rich NT theme is the freedom that Christ has gained for his people in his death and resurrection. In fact, because Paul talks about this freedom so frequently, he has been called “the apostle of freedom.” Here is Murray Harris’ summary of the NT’s teaching of the freedom that Christ has won for us:
1) Freedom from spiritual death (John 5:24, Eph. 2:1, Col. 2:13).
2) Freedom from ‘self-pleasing’ (2 Cor. 5:15).
3) Freedom from people-pleasing (Gal. 1:10, 1 Cor. 7:23, 9:19).
4) Freedom from slavery to sin (John 8:34, 36, Rom. 6:14-23).
5) Freedom from bondage to the Mosaic law, especially if observing it is seen as a way of gaining God’s approval (Rom. 7:6, Gal. 2:16, 3:10, 13).
6) Freedom from fear of physical death (Heb. 2:14-15).
7) Freedom from slavery to ‘the elemental spiritual forces of the universe” (Gal. 4:3, 8-9, Col. 2:8, 20).
Murray later writes,
“Only the person who has suffered under the rigors of slavery truly appreciates freedom. Indeed, the more intense one’s experience of servitude, the greater one’s appreciation of emancipation. The joy of freedom is in direct proportion to the pain of slavery. The person who is unaware of being enslaved neither longs for nor appreciates freedom. On the other hand, the person who is painfully aware of grinding slavery will pine after freedom and embrace it with enthusiastic relief when it comes.”
Murray Harris, Slave of Christ, p. 75-79. shane lems