December 14, 2008
By Derick Parfan
[After Geri Gambala’s testimony] Former Army Captain Geri Gambala experienced not only freedom from prison but also from the bondage of sin. Now that freedom is surely his as Paul stated in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
There was once a time when we were free. God created the first man and woman with a freedom to worship and enjoy him, as they were created for. They can draw near to God without any hindrance or fear.
But a time came when all of us were put in prison and sentenced to die. What caused this to happen? Adam rebelled against God’s rule and authority. “Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (5:12). We are prisoners of our own sin and deserving to die, and be separated from God forever in everlasting punishment in hell. There is nothing we can do to free ourselves from this horrible situation – not our good works nor our religiosity.
What hope then do all of us have? What we can’t do, God did for us. He knows our miserable situation. More than 2,000 years ago, he sent someone named Jesus Christ to live among us and free us from the death penalty. How did he do that? As perfect God and perfect Man, his suffering and death on the cross in our place purchased the freedom we all long to have. On the third day he rose again from the grave to declare total victory over sin. Although “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” we are “justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (3:23-25). Christ died for sinners like you and me. We don’t deserve what he did for us. It is pure grace.
A time will come, when the freedom Christ purchased on the cross will be yours. When will that be? The moment you turn from your rebel ways and put your faith in him. By faith you accept God’s gift of pardon. For the pardon to take effect, you must sign it with your faith. Even if the prison cell is laid open for you, you need to take that step of faith to get out. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame'” (10:9-11). When you believe, you will be free to be with God forever in heaven.
The time to be free is now! It is unthinkable that a prisoner will refuse the offer of a pardon from the Maker of the universe. It is doubly unthinkable when that prisoner is only a day from his execution. Will you now accept God’s pardon available through faith in Christ? If you do, you will be assured that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If you don’t I am warning you that a time will come that the offer of pardon will expire and the prison cell will forever be closed.