Freedom for what?
Jesus is no longer physically on earth, but he has not left us alone. He sent his Holy Spirit to be with us. When his Spirit comes to live within us, he gives us a new freedom.
Freedom to know God
The things which we do wrong cause a barrier between us and God: ‘your iniquities have separated you from your God’ (Isaiah 59:2). When Jesus died on the cross, he removed the barrier that existed between us and God. As a result, he has made it possible for us to have a relationship with our Creator. We become his sons and daughters. The Spirit assures us of this relationship, and he helps us to get to know God better. He helps us to pray and to understand God’s word (the Bible).
Freedom to love
‘We love because he first loved us’ (1 John 4:19). As we look at the cross, we understand God’s love for us. When the Spirit of God comes to live within us, we experience that love. As we do so, we receive a new love for God and for other people. We are set free to live a life of love—a life centred around loving and serving Jesus and loving and serving other people rather than a life centred around ourselves.
Freedom to change
People sometimes say, ‘You are what you are. You can’t change.’ The good news is that with the help of the Spirit, we can change. The Holy Spirit gives us the freedom to live the sort of lives that deep down we have always wanted to live. St. Paul tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’ (Galatians 5:22-23). When we ask the Spirit of God to come and live within us, these wonderful characteristics begin to grow in our lives.