How to Live the Bible — Who Will Make Me Free?

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This is the one-hundred-seventy-fifth lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.

“I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.” Exodus 6:6

Photograph of a woman breaking free from her chains with upraised arms

Redemption is one of the great truths in Scripture. Let that word turn around and around in your mind. Redemption means to be freed by someone able to purchase your freedom. This is what God has done for us. He goes way beyond a simple declaration of freedom by making it happen. So if you need freedom from guilt, from shame, from an obsession, from addiction—whatever you need freedom from—God has made it a reality by buying you out of that bondage.

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Picture yourself back in 1800 in the Deep South. Many a slave stood on an auction block hearing bids cast about, determining who would be his or her next owner. Imagine that. Standing in humiliation and degradation. Being evaluated on how strong your muscles were and how much toil someone could get out of you. Now imagine a mysterious bidder at the back of the crowd who keeps raising the price. You get the sense that this buyer will not be outbid, that there is no price too high for this bidder to put forward. And in a battle of wills, a malevolent and resentful bidder (a Dark Lord doing his best to snatch and abuse you) only causes the good man at the back to offer more and more. And the good man wins. He has more resources than anyone else can put forth.

And then your new owner does this remarkable thing. He takes you into his household not as a slave, but as a son or daughter. He provides your food, clothing, shelter, and even makes you a legal heir.

This is what the Bible says about God the Redeemer. His name is Lord Almighty and what he does is redeem. We are freed by someone able to purchase our freedom. “Our Redeemer—the LORD Almighty is his name—is the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 47:4).

There is a Redeemer; Jesus, God’s own Son,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One.
Thank you, O My Father, for giving us your Son
And leaving your Spirit, ’til your work on earth is done.
    (There Is a Redeemer by Keith and Melody Green, 1982)

APPLICATION

List two things you are grateful for that God has freed you from. This could be past shame, an addiction, an oppressive relationship, etc. Pray out loud, “Thank you, Lord, for freeing me from…”
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[If you believe this series will be helpful, this is the perfect time to forward this to a friend, a group, or a congregation, and tell them they too may sign up for the weekly emails here]

Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s teaching pastor. He has a PhD in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel’s many books include Spiritual Leadership Today: Having Deep Influence in Every Walk of Life (Zondervan, 2016). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.

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