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For three months, Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer had been prisoners of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, accused along with other aid workers of trying to convert Afghans to Christianity. In October of 2001 their prison cells was shaken by the thunder of U. S. bombs falling on the city of Kabul. Weeks later, after a cold, sleepless night in a steel shipping container, the girls and their colleagues found themselves in a new prison south of Kabul, with rockets crashing down on the contested town they were in. Suddenly, men were banging on their prison doors. They believed that their Taliban captors were returning, and now their fate was really uncertain as the situation around them dissolved into chaos. Then, to their surprise, an anti-Taliban soldier came in with reams of ammunition around his neck. And he was just shouting two wonderful words – “You’re free! You’re free!”
Jesus gives a much greater call to freedom. The freedom Jesus offers is better than freedom from earthly bondage. “Freedom does not mean I am able to do whatever I want to do. That’s the worst kind of bondage. Freedom means I have been set free to become all that God wants me to be, to achieve all that God wants me to achieve, to enjoy all that God wants me to enjoy.” Warren W. Wiersbe
Jesus Calls us out of Bondage to Sin. Levi was in Bondage to Sin. We are all in bondage to sin. The quicker we come to realize and admit this reality, the sooner we may find mercy and grace from God through Jesus Christ.
The call to freedom included a call to leave, (He was called out of sin). We cannot follow Jesus and stay in sin. Jesus did not play, “Let’s make a deal” with Levi. Has your experience with Christ had the leaving element? If it has not, perhaps you are still yet lost. It then includes a call to believe. It is here implied, in that it is the other side of repentance. Much of the problem with our churches is the notion of easy-believism. That is, faith without repentance. Faith that does not lead to action. This is not biblical or saving faith.
ILL: Booker T. Washington describes an ex-slave from Va in Up from Slavery:
“I found that this man had made a contract with his master, two or three years previous to the Emancipation Proclamation, to the effect that the slave was to be permitted to buy himself, by paying so much per year for his body; and while he was paying for himself, he was to be permitted to labor where and for whom he pleased. “Finding that he could secure better wages in Ohio, he went there. When freedom came, he was still in debt to his master some three hundred dollars. Not withstanding that the Emancipation Proclamation freed him from any obligation to his master, this black man walked the greater portion of the distance back to where his old master lived in Virginia, and placed the last dollar, with interest, in his hands.” Faith that leads us back to bondage or keeps us in bondage is not the faith God demands.
Finally, a call to follow, “A converted man will not wish to go to heaven alone.” J. C. Ryle in Holiness. The founding Fathers believed in the cause of freedom. Their belief led to action. Following is the activity of faith. Faith’s evidence is following.
C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity, page 37: “Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness. It has nothing (as far as I know) to say to people who do not know they have done anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need any forgiveness.”