Anne Graham Lotz: The Cross—Our Statue of Liberty

Anne Graham Lotz: The Cross—Our Statue of Liberty

This month we celebrated our nation’s birthday … July 4 … our national day of independence. I praise God that although our republic is under attack, we are still blessed to live in a free, democratic society. Whenever I have flown into New York City and observed the One World Trade Center that rises above the 9/11 memorial, I strain to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty in the harbor, lifting her torch as a beacon of freedom to the world. The sight never ceases to move me to once again thank God for this land of the free and home of the brave, while asking Him to continue to bless America!

There is another Statue of Liberty for which I thank God. Although I have never seen it with my physical eyes, it has impacted my life much more than the Lady in New York Harbor. It is the cross. And the vision of it never ceases to move me to thank God afresh for setting me free from bondage to self, sin and the power of Satan.

Read Romans 7 and 8. 

I. FREEDOM FROM SELF

Note: Self refers to the old nature we were born with—emotions, will and intellect—that is outside of Christ.

  • What other terms are used to describe this nature in the following verses: Romans 7:18; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:5? 
  • In Romans 8:1, what does therefore refer to? See Romans 7:21-25. Relate this to Galatians 5:1.
  • In what way have you either failed or been frustrated in your effort to live a life pleasing to God? Describe your experience.
  • Understanding that the “law of sin and death” in Romans 8:2 is the cycle of failure and frustration that often besets us, what three actions must we take to experience freedom from it? See Acts 2:38 with Romans 8:11; and Romans 8:4.
  • What does it mean to “not live according to the sinful nature,” in Romans 8:4? Romans 8:7? 
  • What does it mean to “live according to the Spirit”? See Romans 8:5 with Galatians 5:16-18; Colossians 3:2; Philippians 2:1-11; 4:8. 
  • Is living according to the Spirit optional in the Christian life? See Romans 8:8.
  • According to 1 Peter 4:2, what is the focus of our “self”? 
  • What does our “self” produce according to 1 Peter 4:3? Galatians 5:19-21? Colossians 3:5-9?
  • How does Romans 6:12, 16, 20-21 describe a life lived according to our “self” or old nature? How dangerous is this deliberate lifestyle, according to Galatians 5:21? Hebrews 10:26-31? Revelation 21:8 with 21:27?
  • How do John 3:3 and 3:16 relate to 2 Corinthians 5:17?
  • Have you been born again? If so, you now have a new “self.” Describe the details of your experience.  

II. FREEDOM FROM SIN

  • Give phrases from the following verses that describe the defensive action we need to take in order to experience freedom from sin: 1 John 1:8-9 and 2:1; Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5, 7; Galatians 5:24; Ephesians 4:22-23.
  • Give phrases from the following verses that describe the offensive action: Galatians 5:1, 13, 16; Ephesians 4:24; Romans 6:11-13. 
  • What are we encouraged to give thanks for regarding freedom from sin, in Romans 6:17-18? 
  • From the following verses, make a list of other things to be thankful for regarding freedom from the power of sin: 1 John 1:7, 9; Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:22-23; Romans 8:1-3; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; Revelation 1:5. 
  • Write out Romans 6:5-7 in your own words; then claim these verses for yourself. 

III. FREEDOM FROM SATAN

  • Who is Satan? Compare Luke 10:18 with Isaiah 14:12-15. 
  • Is Satan a created being? See Colossians 1:12-16.
  • Under whose authority does he operate? See Luke 4:33-36; Ephesians 1:19-22.
  • Who is Satan in regard to the believer, according to Ephesians 6:11-12 and 1 Peter 5:8? 
  • Do you think he has an advantage if you refuse to acknowledge that he exists?
  • Did Jesus believe Satan exists? See Luke 4:1-13.
  • From the following verses, how do we experience freedom from Satan: 1 Peter 5:9; Ephesians 4:27; 6:10-18; James 4:7; Revelation 12:11?
  • What unique power did Satan hold that has been broken by the power of the cross, according to Hebrews 2:14? 1 John 3:8?
  • What is Satan’s ultimate fate, according to Revelation 20:10?

Would you join with me in praising God for His Statue of Liberty? In gratitude for the cross, what will you do to live in the freedom Jesus died to give you? ©2022 Anne Graham Lotz

 

This article is adapted from a study originally published in July-August 2004.

Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her newest book, which she co-authored with her daughter Rachel-Ruth Wright is “Jesus Followers: Real-Life Lessons for Igniting Faith in the Next Generation.” It is available from major booksellers online.

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