Patrick Henry is known for his speech in the Virginia House of Burgesses ending with the stirring words, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” An onlooker described it as “one of the most bold, vehement, and animated pieces of eloquence ever delivered.”
Freedom is worth being passionate about. Jesus reminded His followers of the bondage of sin and the freedom that comes only through believing in Him, and in this passage we learn several key ideas about spiritual freedom.
First, we can be set free when we believe that what Jesus claimed about Himself is true (v. 31). Jesus is the Messiah, the Light of the world, God Himself. Second, “everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (v. 34). When we disobey God and His will for our life, we become enslaved or controlled by our actions. But when we become children of God, we are freed from the eternal condemnation of spiritual bondage (v. 36). In Christ alone we find forgive-ness of sin and the freedom to follow Him well.
Third, Satan’s lies prevent us from understanding God’s truth and His plan for our lives. His distortion of truth can close our ears and hearts to understanding what He says (v. 44). Fourth, God frees us from the power of both sin and death: “Whoever obeys my word will never see death” (v. 51).
This shocked Jesus’ listeners. “Who do you think you are?” they exclaimed (v. 53). Jesus replied with unmistakable clarity: “Before Abraham was born, I am!” (v. 58). Jesus was God—He claimed both the divine attribute of eternal existence before Abraham and the divine personality of “i am” the God of Israel who delivers His people from bondage (see Ex. 3:14).
Thank God today for the freedom you have in Christ Jesus. He has given you victory over sin and has freed you to follow Him. You are free from the fear of death, because as one of God’s children, you have eternal life in Jesus Christ. If you do not know this freedom, it is yours for the asking. Accept His offer today.