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Freedom – Unleashed for a New Master

by Stephen De La Vega on February 26, 2018

Freedom – Unleashed for a New Master

Patrick Henry had the right idea when he stood before the Virginia Convention and said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”  He wanted freedom, but not just freedom from British rule.  He wanted freedom to be an American, freedom for his countrymen to write their own history.  He knew that living under British rule was not really living at all.  The same was true for Coco…



A true story about a dog named Coco

In January 2013, 4-year-old Coco, a gray and white poodle, entered the doors of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  His coat was so severely matted that he couldn’t lift his head.  But even more shocking were 2 other problems:

  • A 6-foot long wire was wrapped around his entire body
  • His collar was embedded into his skin, including his name tag

He was brought immediately to the Society’s Angell Animal Medical Center.  His collar and name tag wrapped around the bones of his neck.  They were embedded so deeply that they could only be removed surgically.

Coco healed and recovered and was eventually put up for adoption, but before coming into the care of the animal medical center, he was on a path that would eventually lead to his death.  Even when he was off leash, the brand of his owner was so deep that he could not escape its demise.

Coco could do nothing to improve his situation or to save himself.  He needed help.



Like Coco, there was nothing we could do to save ourselves and to stand in the presence of God.  We were dead in sin and separated from Him.  It doesn’t matter how good we were.

Maybe we were really good.  Friendly.  Favored neighbors.  Loving.  Sacrificial.  Humanitarian.

But even the best of people, with their noblest attempts to live rightly, remain sin-ridden and cannot enjoy a relationship with God.


All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Isaiah 64:6


Coco was set free.  His former master no longer held claim to him.  He was to be adopted, tail wagging with the hope of new life and a new master – a compassionate master.  He would live as a poodle was supposed to live.

After surgery, however, I’m sure he also felt a nagging reminder of his former adversity.  Whenever he moved his body just so, the recesses that formerly wrapped around his collar and dog tag probably pinched or restricted him.  He may have even missed the discomfort that he had grown used to as part of his everyday life.


How often do we reclaim the pain of our sinful past?

Do we long sometimes for the leash of our old master,

that unpleasant tugging that somehow used to comfort us?


Freedom can feel unsettling or foreign at times.  Seeking God without keeping track of rights and wrongs just doesn’t feel right.  But freedom is freedom.  Our sin is no longer counted against us, so it doesn’t make sense that the deceptions of our former self beg us to pay for our freedom, to work for it.


God freely sacrificed His Son to cast away our sins, as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).  Jesus fulfilled God’s law on our behalf because we couldn’t do it ourselves.  Let’s not put Him back on a figurative cross by attempting to repay Him for our salvation.  He died once for our sins, and once is all it took (Hebrews 9:24-28).  Let’s thank God and worship Him for freedom.


[Stop reading for a moment and worship Him with thanksgiving.]



Does it feel like we owe God a response to our freedom?  I hope so.  Because, as we consider our freedom, we should live accordingly.  Having been released from the master of sin, we are free to live for God.

Patrick Henry longed for the “freedom to______.”  We can fill in our own blanks because God gave us individual lives, but they should coincide with our freedom to serve Him.


Think about that for a moment…


Because God removed the chains that bound us to sin, we are set free to give back to Him.  We are born into a new family and a new life, and we have the privilege to bear God’s family name with honor.  (See Romans 6:6-11ff and 1 John 2:3-6.)

We are free! – No longer compelled to conform to the world.  We are not bound by religious laws and traditions.  The shackles are loosed.  The bars no longer contain us.

What will we do with our freedom to live for God?



About Stephen De La Vega

Stephen came to Christ in the 80s and eventually held a variety of Bible teaching roles at his former church.  He and his family started attending 3Crosses in 2007.  He has been leading a 3Crosses small group since 2011 and a Bible study at his workplace since 2010.  He published a Bible study series in 2017 and plans to publish more, and also began blogging in the same year.

Stephen believes the study of God’s Word should be a priority for every person who trusts Jesus as Savior, and spiritual growth is utterly dependent on it.  So, God’s Word is central to everything he writes.

You can get to know Stephen and his wife by joining them in the Kollao Community on Sundays.  To read more of his blogs, visit his blog site.