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Today's Creation Moment

The Lord Came Down to See
Genesis 11:5
“And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.”
God was not pleased with the people of Babel when they wanted to build a city and a tower with its top in the heavens. This is because their aim of preventing their own dispersal throughout the world...

True Liberation is Only in Christ!

Pastor Paul A. Bartz

True Liberation is Only in Christ!

Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.

1.Freedom, or "liberation," is not a new idea. Man's history is filled with many definitions of "freedom" and ideas of what freedom is a "liberation" from. Needless to say, however, no human scheme for producing freedom has ever completely satisfied man's seeking for freedom.

In the 1960's the "free love" idea turned out to produce enough bondage that few failed to learn their lesson. Even in the United States, where political freedom is of highest value, people fail to find satisfaction in that freedom.

2.Read John 8:30-47. Here Jesus puts His finger on where true freedom - that freedom which completely satisfies - is to be found. What does Jesus indicate is the source of true freedom in verses 31 and 32?

Arrange this sequence in proper order: freedom; truth; Word. Which comes first, leading to what, resulting in what?

3.How does the Jews' response in verse 33 indicate their inadequate view of freedom?

In what sense were they thinking of freedom?

Is the concept of freedom promoted by "liberation theologians" more like the freedom Jesus was speaking of, or more like the freedom of which the Jews were thinking?

4.Note how earnestly Jesus seeks to correct their inadequate view of freedom in verse 34. What is it, according to Jesus, which really causes the enslavement from which man seeks freedom?

What are the signs of the Jews' enslavement which Jesus mentions in verses 37 through 47?

Which of these marks of servitude are acts of commission?

Which are acts of omission?

How, according to these verses, does spiritual blindness play a role in this enslavement?

5.Let's sum up another lesson from these verses. Is true freedom found by focusing on ourselves and our hopes and dreams for freedom?

Where must our focus be to find true freedom?

How does this fact prevent "liberation theology" from ever being able to deliver on its claims?

6.The same unsatisfying approach to freedom found in "liberation theology" is also common in many Western noncommunist countries. There is a common myth that there is freedom in personal financial independence - that the worst kind of slavery is financial dependence.

Jesus told a story about a man who believed such things in Luke 12:16-21. According to verse 19, what was the rich man's definition of freedom?

How does this compare with the goals sought by many rich and poor alike today?

How is this similar to what "liberation theology" and other forms of socialism promise to the poor?

7.What, according to the words of verse 20, did the rich man fail to take into account?

Did the rich man have what he needed to have peace when he faced God?

Does this suggest that he could have found real peace through his own plan if he had remained on this earth?

Where, in verse 21, does Jesus point His hearers for real peace?

Go back to John 8:31 and 32. What light does the more specific detailed sequence in John shed on what Jesus says here in Luke 12:21? (Remember our comments above)

8.Read Romans 6:17-23. Here again we see that true freedom is freedom from sin and its consequences. But note in verse 18 that true freedom is not a lawless, ungoverned thing. If we receive the freedom which sons have, according to what we read in Luke 12, what do we then serve?

If we are slaves of sin, where did we say that our focus was? But if we are true children of God, where is our focus?

Verse 20 tells us that there are really only two ultimate forms of servitude; what are they?

Verses 21 and 22 help us to see which form is better by spelling out the outcome of both forms of servitude. What is the ultimate result of servitude to sin? Note that two consequences are listed in verse 21, a temporal consequence and an eternal result. What are they?

But verse 22 presents the consequences of the freedom that is found in Christ. Here again, two results are listed, one temporal and one eternal. Which is the temporal consequence and what does it mean? Which is the eternal consequence? Note that the familiar verse 2-3 is a summary of the previous two verses.

Close this Bible study with a prayerful reading of Psalm 90.

Copyright © 1988 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839 Foley, MN 56329 800-422-4253