There is liberty and there is victory, which one do you prefer? Yes, it is a matter of choice. Many people prefer to win than to be free, and some prefer to be free than to win. Both are good for us depending on what we are liberated from and what we are victorious in. We can win the money, we can win the prize. We can win first place, even second place. Oh, it is certainly good to win the argument or the battle. Those are all decent winnings; everyone need to win sometimes because continuous defeat is discouraging. But I declare that liberty is far superior. Not just any liberty, but the spiritual liberty of Romans 7 surpasses earthly victory.
It is this liberty that brings the victory necessary for the spiritual walk, no victory can bring this liberty. This is not complicated philosophy. It’s the simple truth of the cross. After reading Romans 7 particularly verse 25, during my early morning devotion, “Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done, by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free,” (Romans 7: 25, TLB), I rejoiced in my heart and lifted my Hallelujahs to heaven, singing, I am free! I am free! But what does that mean for humanity?
It means Jesus’ Birth represented the dawn of Spiritual liberty: Being divine and being the Liberator, Jesus Christ was born with the liberty of heaven. That means, in order to taste of this liberty, we must be reborn in Christ (John 3: 1- 21).
It means Jesus’ Life represented the victory available to be drawn out from this Liberty: His experience in the wilderness was not to prove His victory, it was to demonstrate His liberty. Being already liberated, he didn’t need to be Pharisaical, nor submit to Pharisean laws and rules. Being empowered by the Holy Spirit at His Baptism, Jesus lived in that liberty and was therefore victorious over EVERY sin. That means, by being reborn in Christ, this rebirth empowers us to live a victorious life over sin (1Cor 10: 13; 1 John 5: 14).
It means Jesus’ Death represented His submission to this liberty: Jesus didn’t prefer to die, He knew it was God’s will and He submitted to the will of His heavenly Father. That means, this is the hard part for humanity. There are two aspects, one is that physical death is an inescapable part of our heritage. The other aspect is that spiritual death to the self-will, must precede spiritual liberty (Hebrews 9:27 -28).
It means Jesus’ Resurrection represented the power in this liberty: In the eyes of the onlookers, even the disciples, all seemed lost. But Jesus knew that all is yet to be gained. That means, this is the ultimatum of liberty in Jesus Christ; it gives us eternal liberty. It is our ticket out of the grave of a sin cursed earth, to live forever, in a sinless heaven (1 John 5: 13).
So we can go ahead and win; seek all the earthly victories and winnings, but the real treasure is in spiritual liberty. The book of Romans tells us that this liberty is available because, “It has been done, by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free,” (Romans 7: 25, TLB). We’re free to live righteously. Oh Sweet Liberty! Liberty to be nice, to be kind, to love, to obey, to die, to live as Jesus Christ lived. This liberty comes with death to self, but it is the only liberty that brings eternal life.
Jesus is the true Liberator, hence He was victorious over the power of death. Physical death is enslavement and finality, victory does not liberate. It is the liberty of Jesus Christ that releases the victory. An abused woman tastes liberty before she is victorious. A slave encounters liberty before he is freed. It is the scent of liberty that attracts the victory. Romans chapter 7 is flavored with the fragrance of liberty through Jesus Christ. For those of us who inhale the scent, we will want to taste it, and those of us who taste it, will then receive victory over EVERY sin. This is the sweetest, the surest, and the safest liberty, because it leads us into heaven. Oh taste and see!
And when we do, we will realize that in essence, spiritual liberty = spiritual victory. Through these lens, all we have to do then is choose spiritual liberty. It’s that simple!