2 Corinthians 3:17, The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (ESV)
This verse comes at the end of a long treatise on the New Covenant or as the English Standard Version (ESV) translates it “New Agreement”. The gist of the verses that precede 17 is that the Old Agreement or Covenant led to death, but the New Covenant or Agreement leads to life. It’s a matter of the heart not what one does. Does one believe in Christ in their heart? Then they are passed from death to life. They are a new creature and participate in the New Agreement. Living in God’s Spirit produces life.
One of my favorite places to visit when I travel to Vinnitsa, Ukraine is the prison there. You go through a number of doors and into a courtyard and then through some more doors and into a room that would comfortably fit 10 people. Forty men will gather and sing songs to Christ and read poetry and hear a talk. These men have found freedom — not in their circumstances — in Christ! How do I know. I know that for two reasons. First, because of verses like the one we are considering today. What a great testimony to the freedom we have in God. Second, one time I went to that prison and the doors kept closing behind me and I kept getting deeper and deeper into that facility. I became a bit claustrophobic when I entered the little room with those forty men. I made the mistake of sharing with the translator we had with us that I was feeling a bit imprisoned. I was starting to feel what it must have been like to be a prisoner there. My translator shared it with an inmate who asked what I was talking about. When the translator shared with him a huge smile broke out on the man’s face. He stated, “Oh no you have it wrong. We’re not prisoners here. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. We are free men in this room!” This man was living a new life in Christ. He was experiencing freedom in that prison like many of us never feel in our daily lives.
Father God thank you for our freedom. I pray that we would live like free men and women today. Help us to take full advantage of the New Agreement You have made available to us. We pray this in the Freeing Name of Jesus, Amen!