Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Adbusting: Free?

I noticed a new advert on TV the other night for a new fragrance from Calvin Klein. CKFree purports to be the essence of true freedom. Here's what the actor says:

The best thing about getting lost is what you find along the way. Here, or there, I'm just going. Anywhere I end up. I'm just free.

So does freedom come from a bottle? Is being free just the absence of restraints, the ability to drive around a desert in a classic vintage car?

Freedom is what many of us long for. Teenage rebellion is a manifestation of the desire to be free from parents, school, authority and responsibility. We want to be free to set our own agenda, do things our way, in our time, according to our will.

The thing is, though, that often we fail to see that when we think we are free, we're actually in deeper bondage than we realise. In exercising our freedom, we're becoming slaves.

Going our own way sounds so respectable, yet it is the lie of the devil. It's what our first parents did, and what all of us do:

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned - every one - to his own way. (Isaiah 53:6)

So as we chart our own course, we think we're free and unique, yet it turns out everyone else is doing the same thing. Turning aside, out for Number One.

True freedom? Well, no. It turns out that as we seek to be free, we turn to sin, with devastating effects. Jesus said:

Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. (John 8:34)

Thinking we're free has led to a greater slavery, and we're trapped in the prison of sin, submitting to our master, the devil.

So how can we truly be free? Is there any hope for us of finding freedom?

If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free... So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31, 32, 36)

Our freedom comes in submitting to the Lord Jesus. Only through the word of his gospel, the forgiveness of sins, the glorious liberty of the children of God can be ours.

As the old collect reminds us: 'O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom...'

Are you free today? Truly free? Who is your master, the one you serve with all you have?

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