Made Me Free Rom 8:2 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Rom 8:2, Paul said, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” In the prior broadcast we compared the phrase “make you free” in the King James Bible with the phrase “set you free” in the modern bibles in order to examine the significant differences in those two phrases.
In summary, we found that “set you free” implies that you are set free or delivered from sin when you get saved. Like a freed slave, you are the same person but now you no longer have sin for your master. You are free. This phrase is NOT true. A Christian is not set free from sin until he dies or Jesus returns at the rapture.
“Make you free,” on the other hand, indicates that you have become something that you weren’t before you were saved. This phrase is TRUE. When a person gets saved, he is a new creature in Christ. Sin still dwells in his body [Rom 7:17] but now he can have victory over sin because of Jesus Christ who resides inside of him [Col1:27]. When he reckons himself dead to sin [Rom 6:11] and yields his members servants to righteousness [Rom 6:19], sin shall not have dominion over him [Rom 6:14]. That’s because Christ has made him free from sin [Rom 6:22].
Today, we are going to further examine the differences between “made me free” and “set me free,” as in Rom 8:2, to show you some profound applications.
The phrase “set me free” gives a sinner the idea that he should expect immediate deliverance from sin [or at least some specific sin in his life] when he gets saved. There are a couple of problems with this. First, immediate deliverance from a particular sin is not salvation. If a person trusts this experience of “deliverance” as evidence that he is saved, he will wind up in hell, for sure. Salvation is trusting Jesus Christ, not an experience. Second, if a person truly trusts Christ but doesn’t see an immediate deliverance from a particular sin, he is going to doubt his salvation because he hasn’t been “set free.”
Another problem with the phrase “set me free” is that there are many Christians today who believe that after they got saved, they were freed from the penalty and presence of sin in their lives. So now, they are free to do as they please in the flesh because what they do is no longer sin. No kidding. I know of one preacher who became an adulterer and another who became a homosexual and both believed that they had the liberty to do these things because they had been “set free.”
The phrase “made me free” doesn’t imply an immediate deliverance but indicates a changed man. When you get saved, your spirit is born again [Jn 3:5-7]. God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit dwell in you [1 Jn 4:15, Jn 14:17-20] and God’s righteousness indwells you. Thus, you are “partakers of the divine nature,” [2 Pet 1:4]. And yet you still have sin that dwells in your flesh [Rom 7:17].
In order to keep sin from reigning in your mortal body, you must reckon yourself to be dead to sin, you must not yield “your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin,” but you must yield to God and “your members as instruments of righteousness unto God,” [Rom 6:12-13]. There is nothing immediate about yielding to God. This is something that you do on a daily basis, because you have been “made free” not “set free.” See Rom 6:18, 22.
When you understand that you are made free and not set free, it helps you to understand why you can get into the kind of sin you get into. Your flesh is just as capable of committing sins as it was before you were saved. Your new man cannot sin [1 Jn 3:9] because “he is born of God.” But that old man who came from Adam is just as wicked now as he was when you got saved. The reason that a saved sinner goes to heaven and a lost sinner goes to hell is that the former is a servant to righteousness and made free from sin [Rom 6:18] and the latter is a servant to sin, free from righteousness [Rom 6:20]. Nevertheless, they both sin. As a matter of fact, when a man gets saved and then gets entangled again in “the pollutions of the world” he is even worse off than before he was saved [2 Pet 2:19-21].
In order to help Christians live in righteousness, some men impose strict standards on them. I am not against standards. However, you have to be careful with standards so that they do not become a substitute for the work of the righteousness of Jesus Christ in a saved man. Look at Gal 5:1. Because Christ “hath made us free” we do not need a set of rules to keep in order to live righteously. We live righteously by yielding to the righteousness of Jesus Christ in us and no standard is higher than his righteousness.
Jesus said that the two things that would make you free are the truth [Jn 8:32] and the Son [Jn 8:36]. Notice the work of the truth in Rom 6:17. Notice the work of the Son in Gal 2:20. Our victory over sin is not from some one time deliverance when we were “set free.” Our victory is continual when our faith is in Jesus and in His words. And when you find yourself ensnared by the devil because of sin in your flesh, the way out of the snare is through acknowledging the truth, if God will peradventure give you repentance [2 Tim 2:25-26].
Conclusion: Don’t confuse being made free from sin with being set free from sin. These are significantly different doctrines producing extremely different results.