The Freedom Declaration
Version 3 of the "Who Are We?" story, the biblical story of the world
In this version we see ourselves in Christ as activists for the new era of freedom that Jesus declared
Prototype story by Stan Nussbaum
Rephrase or rewrite as needed for your situation
Mini--story: The Freedom Declaration
The story of the world is a story about freedom.
God created humans to be free, but they abused their freedom and lost it. He is giving it back to them. He started by freeing his people from slavery in Egypt and giving them a homeland where they could be free. They lost that freedom, too.
Jesus came to bring a new era of freedom to the world. He gave up his own freedom and was unjustly executed. Then God the Father set him free from death. Now his followers call others to be part of the Freedom Era.
Expanded version: The Freedom Declaration
God, the Real GOD, creates a beautiful world with life everywhere. He gives the first humans, Adam and Eve, freedom to enjoy it all, except for the fruit of one tree.
An enemy of God cons them into thinking they should be free to eat that fruit, and they do. Instantly they lose their freedom--freedom to hold their heads high, to enjoy life without working, to give birth without pain, to live forever, and to have face-to-face visits with God. From there things go downhill for generations—each generation seeking to regain freedom, none able to find it.
So starting with Abraham, God launches his own freedom restoration plan. Abraham’s descendants, the Freedom Tribe, will bless the world with the freedom known by people who trust God like Abraham did. Sorry to say, the Freedom Tribe soon gets enslaved and oppressed in Egypt. They can’t free anybody, even themselves.
So God frees them his way. Through Moses he sends so many plagues on Egypt that the ruler (Pharaoh) finally decides the whole Freedom Tribe is a curse. He frees them just to get rid of them.
God gives them victory over other tribes that were living in the land of their destiny, polluting it with vile customs like child sacrifice. For centuries the Freedom Tribe lives there, but their trust in God does not last. They are carried off as captives to Babylon, and God has to free them again, bringing them back to their land after 70 years.
Do you know what keeps them going through all their ups and downs? Their prophets who tell them that one day God will send the Freedom King, the Liberator, the “Messiah,” to deliver them. He will be a descendant of their most famous king, David, and he will be born in David’s hometown, Bethlehem.
In God’s time, it finally happens. The Messiah, Jesus, arrives and issues the Freedom Declaration: “This is it! God is setting us free now! Follow me and see what I mean.”
Many people assume he is hinting at starting a revolution against the Roman Empire, which ruled over the Freedom Tribe at that time. The crowds love him, but the leaders do not trust him. They arrange with the Roman governor to have him executed for blasphemy and treason.
Instead of rallying his many followers to rescue him, Jesus sacrifices his freedom to win ours. And, oh, how he wins it! His death as a willing sacrifice frees us from our sin debt to God, and on the third day, God frees him from his tomb!
Then Jesus takes his liberating mission to a new level. He shows himself alive and well several times before ascending to take his throne in heaven as the Freedom King. Soon he sends his Spirit down into his followers, breaking all their chains and fears. They are so thrilled that they eagerly get to work as freedom activists all over the world, and they back up their cause by living freely and graciously.
Some people welcome their freedom message, but others, often the powerful people, keep pressuring these activists to tone things down. They threaten some, jail some, and kill some. It has been the same ever since, but the freedom activists do not give up or shut up. They are able to show the mercy and courage of Jesus because his Spirit lives in them.
They also know the secret. Unannounced, the Freedom King will suddenly come back to earth in person to complete the freedom mission. His cause cannot fail.
So that’s our story. That’s why we live the way we live and tell this story to anybody who will listen. Who are we? We are activists for the new era of freedom in Christ. His cause is our cause. We will do anything, anywhere, any time, at any price to draw more people to pledge their loyalty to the Freedom King and become free citizens of his kingdom.
Reflections on SYNCing with the story, The Freedom Declaration
If you have already said, “I’m in. SYNC me! Sign me up for the Freedom Tribe,” Jesus Christ has set you free from all kinds of things and turned you into a freedom activist. So let’s get the party started, celebrating with a huge “Yes” to all five of these things:
Yes, God is the great promoter of human freedom, not the great restrictor. He is proactively working his freedom restoration plan.
Yes, God’s whole plan revolves around Jesus, who issued the Freedom Declaration and sent all his followers to keep declaring it and showing what it looks like.
Yes, Jesus puts his Spirit, life, and power into us, deputizing us as his activists, not to create the new era but to announce that he already created it by his Freedom Declaration.
Yes, I will live the freedom I talk about. When people wrong me, I’m not going to say, “You’ll pay for that!” I’m going to let them go free, and I’ll pray that forgiveness transforms them like Jesus’ freedom transformed me.
Yes, I will trust Jesus and his Spirit to get me through any loss of freedom I may suffer because powerful people don’t want to hear the Freedom Declaration.
If you have not yet said, “I’m in. SYNC me!” what else would you like to discuss about this story before you would say yes to these things?
Jesus won’t force you in, but once you say yes, he brings you in. He makes you a free person and gives you a role in his freedom restoration plan. That is what the rest of your life will be about—finding out what Jesus meant when he said, “God is setting us free now!”
You won’t get to run your own life or build your own kingdom any more, but you will be both freer and better connected than you have ever been, and you will know why the name Jesus means, “The Real GOD sets free.”
More about what it means to say, SYNC me!