by Simon Deeks

The glorious truth of the freedom that is ours, as those who are now ‘in Christ,’ is one that runs through much of the book of Romans. For many people today, when they hear the word ‘freedom’, they often think of being free to do whatever they like. However, the picture Paul presents here is a much greater freedom than this, based primarily on the wonder of what happened when we became Christians. We might summarise this freedom as being both FREEDOM FROM the power of sin and FREEDOM TO serve Christ. True freedom, as Paul explains, is not the liberty to do as we please, but the empowerment to live righteously under God's grace.

In the earlier chapters of Romans, Paul makes it clear that this life of freedom is only possible because of all that Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. This is why he writes in Romans 6:22, "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life." Here is the wonderful invitation not only into forgiveness for all we have done wrong, but also freedom from guilt, shame and condemnation, and an ongoing journey of becoming more and more like Jesus, where we receive more peace, hope, joy, love, and a sense of purpose. This, he underlines in Romans 15:13, ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’

Now that’s what freedom is!

But the key question is, how do we step into these new levels of freedom? Maybe, like Paul (check out Romans 7:16-24), at times, you have found this to be a frustrating journey as it feels like you take two steps forward and then one step back. But there is good news here: we don’t have to stay stuck. In essence, Paul gives us two keys.

First, we need to change the way we think about our relationship with sin by looking back to what Jesus has done for us and by choosing to identify ourselves fully with Him in His death, burial and resurrection. In Romans 6:6, we read, ‘For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. If you’re a Christian, the key way Paul describes this is that you are now ‘In Christ’ – so what happened to Jesus physically has now happened to you spiritually. That’s why he says in Romans 6:11, ‘count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.’ So, the next time you feel that temptation, learn to remind yourself, ‘I have a choice! I am not a slave to sin but I am alive to God.’

Second, we need to grow in learning how to express this new life in our everyday lives. In Romans 6:12-13, Paul says, ‘Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.’ Notice that what we do with our physical bodies is especially important – what comes out of our mouths, what we feast our eyes on, how we relate to others, and so on really matters.

As we meditate on the theme of freedom in Romans, let us remember that our freedom in Christ is a precious gift that comes with the responsibility to live for God’s glory. It is a freedom that calls us to shed the old life of sin and embrace a new life of righteousness, transformation, and intimate relationship with God. May we continually seek to live out this freedom, not for our selfish desires, but as a testimony of God's redeeming love and grace at work within us.



The freedom that Paul speaks of in Romans is a freedom from the tyranny of the law and the oppressive burden of sin. It is a glorious liberty, for it means that we are no longer slaves, but sons and daughters of God, heirs of His promises, and free to live in the Spirit.

– John Calvin


Prayer points

  • Take some time to meditate on these amazing truths of all that Jesus has done for you. Repent of any sin the Spirit draws your attention to. Ask the Father to give you a greater revelation of what it means that you have ‘died with Christ’ and ask for grace to break off any sinful patterns in your life.
  • Pray for the Touching Heaven gathering this week in your campus – especially for a break-out of freedom; for many to experience new levels of freedom from guilt, shame and condemnation, fear, anxiety and a greater experience of peace, joy, hope and love.
  • Pray that our gift of freedom would be so evident to those around us that people would be drawn to know more about what makes us different and that we would be able to share this incredible gift from Jesus with others.
  • Pray for our political leaders, that we may retain the legal right to share the good news of Jesus in word and deed – and for boldness to share it as the opportunity arises.

call to action

  • If you haven’t already done so, complete the Next Steps course, including the section on ‘Living in Freedom’
  • Listen to Dave’s great message on Freedom from the ALIVE series
  • Sign up to our next Freedom Day on Saturday 23 November
  • If you’ve not been baptised in water as a believer, sign up for our next Explore Baptism class