The Cross: Our Statue of Liberty
July 1, 2004
by Anne Graham Lotz
As terrorists seem to grow more bold and blatant; as wars seem to rumble and reproduce; as desert dictators spread long and tenacious tentacles; I praise God for the blessing of living in a free, democratic society!
Whenever I fly around New York City, so aware of the vacancy in the skyline where the World Trade Center towers once stood, I strain to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty in the harbor, lifting her torch as a beacon of freedom to the world.
The sight never ceases to move me to thank God and ask Him to continue to bless this nation.
There is another "Statue of Liberty" for which I thank God. Although I have never seen it with my physical eyes, it has affected my life much more than the Lady in New York Harbor. It is the Cross. And the vision of it never ceases to move me to thank God afresh for setting me free from self, sin and the power of Satan ...
Read Romans 7-8
Freedom From Self
- "Self" is our old nature—emotions, will, and intellect—that is outside of Christ. What other terms are used to describe this nature, in Romans 7:18; Ephesians 4:22 and Colossians 3:5?
- In Romans 8:1, what does the "therefore" refer to? See Romans 7:21-25. Relate this to Galatians 5:1.
- In what way have you either failed or been frustrated in your effort to live a life pleasing to God? Describe your experience.
- Understanding that the "law of sin and death" in Romans 8:2 is the cycle of failure and frustration that often besets us, what three actions must we take to experience freedom from it? See Acts 2:38 with Romans 8:11; Romans 8:4.
- What does it mean to "not live according to the sinful nature" in Romans 8:4? See Romans 8:7.
- What does it mean to "live according to the Spirit?" See Romans 8:5, Galatians 5:16-18, Colossians 3:2, and Philippians 2:1-11 and 4:8. Is this optional for the Christian's life? See Romans 8:8.
Freedom From Sin
- According to 1 Peter 4:2, what is the focus of our "self"? What does it produce, according to 1 Peter 4:3? Galatians 5:19-21? Colossians 3:5-9?
- How does Romans 6:12,16, 20-21 describe a life lived according to our "self" or old nature? How dangerous is this deliberately sinful lifestyle, according to Galatians 5:21? Hebrews 10:26-31? Revelation 21:8 and 21:27?
- Give phrases from the following verses that describe the defensive action we need to take in order to experience freedom from sin: 1 John 1:8-9 and 2:1; Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5, 7; Galatians 5:24; Ephesians 4:22-23. Describe the offensive action: Galatians 5:1, 13, 16; Ephesians 4:24, Romans 6:11-13.
- For what are we encouraged to give thanks, according to Romans 6:17-18?
- From the following verses, make a list of other things to be thankful for regarding freedom from the power of sin: 1 John 1:7, 9; Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:22-23; Romans 8:1-3; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; Revelation 1:5.
Freedom From Satan
- Who is Satan? Compare Luke 10:18 with Isaiah 14:12-15.
- Is Satan a created being? See Colossians 1:15-16.
- Under whose authority does he operate? See Luke 4:33-36; Ephesians 1:19-22.
- Who is Satan in regard to the believer, according to Ephesians 6:11-12 and 1 Peter 5:8?
- Do you think he has the advantage if you refuse to acknowledge that he exists? Did Jesus believe Satan exists? See Luke 4:1-13.
- From the following verses, how do we experience freedom from Satan? See 1 Peter 5:9; Ephesians 4:27; 6:10-18; James 4:7; Revelation 12:11.
- What has been made possible for us, now that Satan's power has been broken by the Cross, according to 1 John 3:7-8, Hebrews 2:14-15, 1 Corinthians 15:54-57?
- What is Satan's ultimate fate, according to Revelation 20:10?
- Until the day Satan is destroyed, how do the following verses encourage you? See 2 Kings 6:8-23 and 1 John 4:4.
- What can you do now to experience freedom from Satan, according to James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:8-9, Ephesians 6:11-18?
In Celebration of Freedom ...
What will you do to set your mind on the things of the Spirit?
What sin will you put off so that you can put on the counterpart that is a characteristic of Christ?
Will you maintain your weapons of daily prayer and Bible reading, as well as your armor, so that you can live in the "freedom for which Christ has set us free?"
Praise God for the liberty that is ours through the work of Christ on the Cross!