Now I am free

Now I am free

You will seek me and and me
when you seek me with all
your heart. I will be found by
you, declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 29:13–14

There are many who would like to be saved from their sins. There are some who desperately want to be saved from their sins. The difference between these two attitudes is very great indeed. There are many people who would like to stop certain sins, especially those that destroy their bodies or depress their minds. But they find it impossible to do so. Why is this? Because they do not seek the Lord Jesus with all their heart, as the above text declares. Jesus says also in Luke 14:33: “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”

I myself sought help for many years and found no answer. Why didn’t I? Simply because I did not seek God with all my heart. Many a time I wept and many a time I made up my mind to change my life, but it was all in vain, I could not change myself.

I was hooked to gambling and smoking. On many occasions I resolved I would stop. I even burnt the playing cards and threw away my pipe. But soon afterwards, I bought new ones, because in reality, I was still a slave to those sins. When my conscience hurt me, I decided again to live differently, but the result was always the same – defeat. This went on year after year, and I began to espair and feared my body and soul would be doomed to ruin. Then I started to pray, “Lord Jesus, please help me! I can’t do it alone!”

I prayed like this again and again. It is by the grace of God that eventually, when I was gambling in an inn on 11 February 1899, at about 11 p.m., His blessed power touched me. At that very moment I decided to believe the Bible and to be willing to obey it in all matters.

Before, victory had seemed impossible for me. But now I had received real power and I knew that I had played cards for the last time. I went home with a deep inner peace. I began to see how true God’s Word is, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” I started to live for the Lord Jesus and serve Him with gladness. God’s commandments became a real joy to me. I read in the Bible, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due to him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2nd Corinthians 5:10). By this I was so convinced that I confessed my sins and paid back what I had stolen. God says,

“If the wicked turns away from his sin and does what is just and right – if he gives back what he took in pledge for a loan, returns what he has stolen, follows the decrees that give life, and does no evil, he will surely live; he will not die” (Ezekiel 33:14-15). Immediatly, I began to urge those who cursed or sinned in other ways, to seek the Lord Jesus, telling them how I had found genuine peace when I truly believed in the grace of Jesus Christ, who sets men free. The word of 2nd Corinthians 5:17 became true for me, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” The peace and happiness which I received were beyond description. Oh, how true is the precious Word of God!

How many people today say that they believe in Jesus Christ, but they have not really experienced liberty from sin. In Acts 13:39 we read, “Through Jesus everyone who believes is justifed from everything.” In 1st John 3:7 we read, “He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.” But who is able to do what is right, if he does not believe in the power of Christ over sin? If we will not believe indeed taken away all sins, not just some of them. Read Isaiah 53 very carefully. If you believe this, then you are freed from sin. Whoever believes in Him is made right in his relationship with God, he is no longer under condemnation, but is forgiven and is freed from sin and guilt, and this right now. He will not be forgiven at some time in the future, perhaps only after death. No, God says, “Everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:15); that means he is forgiven at that very moment. Do not listen to the Devil or to your own understanding. Believe in the Word of God in all its truth and authority, and you will receive the Holy Spirit. You will receive personal assurance, and you will be able to confess, “Now I know, and I am sure that my sins are forgiven.”

The penalty can only be paid by Jesus Christ and not by our own good works. “No one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law”, says God in Romans 3:20. That means that you cannot stand guiltless before God, just because you lived a good life. You are only forgiven through the death of the Lord Jesus on the Cross and by His resurrection. You will not even be forgiven because of your church attendance. The Gospel of the Cross is your only hope. This Gospel tells us, “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood?…” (Revelation 1:5). Notice the past tense, “He loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.”

God’s Word is the truth. Thank Him that you have been washed whiter than snow from all your sin by the blood of Jesus Christ and believe this truth. Begin to give thanks to God that Jesus Christ has paid the penalty of your sin. You do not need to pray constantly, “Forgive, forgive.” Believe that He has already forgiven and paid your debts. He has died even for you! Believe on the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour right now and begin to praise Him for all He has done for you.

Fritz Berger (1868–1950)