We Are Free

John looked out over the Agean Sea from the high hills of Patmos, as he no doubt often did, and saw islands tantalizingly close. One wonders how difficult it must have been for the apostle in exile. He speaks of his temporary island in Revelation 1:9. Used to a busy life, it must have been suffocating to be confined to this lonely place surrounded by endless water. He longed to be with his brethren.

In his book he speaks of Jesus Christ “who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood” (1:9). For a prisoner, the word “released” is all-important. John looked forward to the day when he would be released and free again. What made his exile tolerable was the fact he had been released from his sins. No matter his surroundings, he was free.

“Released” in Greek is very close to the word “washed,” which is the way the King James Version translates it. Here we have our cherished phrase, “washed in His blood.” Freedom from sin is the result, so our modern versions translate it “released” or “freed.” His blood washes away our sins and grants us freedom. The tense of the verb “released” indicates a one-time action in the past that still affects us today. John is reminding us that Jesus did all that was needed to free us from sin when he gave His blood on the cross. It reaches down through the centuries and frees us today.

I find it remarkable that John felt free even while confined. Paul expressed similar thoughts in 2 Tim.2:9, “I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.” Freedom from sin’s penalty and practice grants us a tremendous new life inside, even if life seems outwardly shackled in some way. We are free indeed!

– Tim Johnson


Joan of Arcs houseJim McGuiggan* (author and member of the church) tells the story of the small French village of Domremy. In 1429, Charles VII gave this village exemption from taxes. Think of it – no property taxes!! West of the town, in Paris, historical ledgers are kept which record taxes paid by towns and villages dotted all over the country. In Domremy’s case you can look up 1429 and you’ll find written across the whole page in red ink: “FREE, BECAUSE OF THE MAID.” The maid was Joan of Arc. She had requested tax freedom for her home town because she felt taxes exploited her villagers. (How true!). Her wish was honored for 350 years, but then taxes resumed after the French revolution. The town still exists today(population 155), including Joan of Arc’s house.

“Across the lives of all those who have become identified with the Christ is written in blood: ‘Free, because of THE MAN.’” Continue reading