The Emancipation Proclamation is an interesting piece of American history. It was a decree passed not by the parliament, but proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln as a declaration. He had the authority to do so. It is especially interesting because it came in two parts – the first in September of 1862, and the second on January 1, 1863. The second part was a reminder and reiteration of the first: a decree had been given that slavery was to be abolished, but people were still living as slaves. Certain states had not yet freed their slaves, and they were now commanded to do so. Finally in 1865 slavery was abolished with the introduction of the 13th amendment.
The Christian life can sometimes be like this. When we become Christians, we have been set free from the bondage of slavery to the sinful nature. Yet so many Christians act like they are still in slavery. It is like they need a second (and third, and fourth….) reminder that they are really free.
The Bible gives an emancipation proclamation in Galatians 5:1: “It was for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery;” and in Romans 6:16-18: “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
One day we will be set free from these mortal bodies and be in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ. But we are free NOW. Listen to the Word of the Lord. Believe it for what it says. And walk in it to the full. You are free from the power of the sinful nature if you are in Christ Jesus. You’re free! Do not walk as if you are still a slave.