Libertine: One devoid of most moral restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behavior sanctified by the larger society. Libertines place value on physical pleasures, meaning those experienced through the senses. “Libertine” is defined today as “a dissolute person; usually a person who is morally unrestrained.”
Liberty: The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views: “The Bill of Rights was intended to secure basic civil liberties”; the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
Which freedom would you choose?
Christ offers liberty for man — spiritual, mental and physical ... not the unacceptable “libertine” or even the acceptable “libertarian,” but the pure liberty of the believer in Christ.
As told in the Gospel of Luke, He stands up in the temple and reads the prophecy from Isaiah and declares His fulfillment: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” (Luke 4:18 KJV).
“... to set at liberty them that are bruised” is such a wonderful promise.
There are many who are “bruised” — held captive by hurts, enslaved and bound with chains of doubt or guilt, criticism or attitudes. Even to Christians, these hurts are very real and painful, and can keep them enslaved.
But Jesus said He came to “set at liberty” those who are in bondage. He doesn’t mean for his children to go through life in a bruised state. To be imprisoned in hurts hinders our worship of God, it takes away effectiveness of prayer and it destroys the strength of fellowship and trust. We are not at our best for the Lord when we are shrouded with hurts and covered in bruises.
I love the thought in the song, “You Raise Me Up,” written by Josh Groban: “You raise me up ... to be more than I can be.”
There is no way to be all we can be without God. No matter what enslaves us, He is able to deliver — to “set at liberty them that are bruised.”
What is our part? Choose forgiveness. Unforgiveness of hurts is too much baggage to carry around. Believe 1 Peter 5:7 (KJV): “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
The psalmist wrote: “In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and stregthenedst me with strength in my soul” (Psalm 138:3 KJV). When he talked about the captivity of Zion, he praised God ... “hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south, They that sow in tears shall reap in joy” (Psalm 125: 3-5 KJV).
“What a fellowship; what a joy divine ... Leaning on the everlasting arms.”