Rick Warren: Jesus Paid the Price You Couldn’t Pay (1 Timothy 2:6a NLT)
By Ella Chan
"He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone." (1 Timothy 2:6a NLT)
All of us are slaves of something. Maybe it's our peers. Maybe it's our lusts. Maybe it's money. The Bible says in 2 Peter 2:19, "You are a slave to whatever controls you" (NLT). Based on this definition alone, all of us are slaves to something.
We don't have to let anything enslave us, though. The Bible says Jesus bought our freedom: "He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone" (1 Timothy 2:6a NLT). The Greek word for redemption actually refers to slaves who were purchased in a marketplace. In a spiritual sense, all of us were slaves to sin until Jesus purchased us out of the slave market and set us free from sin's bondage.
Let me give you a picture of what Jesus' death on the cross did to purchase our freedom. Imagine you're in a busy marketplace with a lot of commerce going on. In the center of the marketplace, you're in the middle of an auction, where you are being bid on. As each successive bid is shouted out, you look in the eyes of those who are bidding on you and try to size them up. Are they kind or cruel? Just as the auction is winding down, a stranger from the crowd stands up and offers a bid a thousand times higher than anyone else's bid. There is no way anyone could ever match or beat that bid. As the auctioneer hastily accepts it, you look into that stranger's eyes and realize he isn't bidding on you to use you, like a slave. He's buying you in order to set you free.
That's just what Jesus did for you. He paid the price to set you free. The price for your freedom was so high you could never pay it. But he paid it for you.
Even if you're a follower of Jesus, you may not be living in that freedom. You may be subtly allowing yourself to be controlled by your desires, your relationships, your schedule, or your fears. Galatians 5:1 says, "Freedom is what we have - Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again" (GNT).
So many people spend their lives seeking significance and freedom on manmade dead-end passes. Yet, here's the amazing truth: "We can never redeem ourselves; we cannot pay God the price for our lives, because the payment for a human life is too great" (Psalm 49:7-8a).
The price for your freedom has already been paid. You've been bought. Are you living in that freedom?
Talk It Over
- In what ways do you let things other than God have mastery over your life?
- What kinds of activities have you seen people embrace in their search for spiritual freedom and wholeness?
- How does knowing and reflecting upon what Jesus went through to pay for your freedom change how you embrace that freedom?
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