Freedom for nations and individuals. The Jews lost their political liberty from 586 BCE when the Babylonians overthrew the state. Independence was recovered during the Maccabean period and then lost again until the emergence of the modern state of Israel in 1948 CE. For some, the hope of a Messianic kingdom was a hope for political independence. Individuals were sometimes released from slavery as in the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25: 8–17) and in NT times (Acts 12: 7–11; Heb. 13: 23) imprisoned Christians sometimes had their liberty restored.

Liberty is an important concept in the NT as a description of one aspect of salvation in Christ (John 8: 32). ‘Enemies’ from which Christ liberates believers are listed as sin (alienation from God), law (a system of salvation by works), Satan (the power of darkness, Col. 1: 13), and death (a power of extinction and corruption). Thus liberated, believers can respond in joy and give themselves in love and service to God and neighbour (Gal. 5: 13–14, 22); the new freedom is so complete that Paul can paradoxically describe this state as a new bondage (to righteousness; Rom. 6: 18–22) leading to abundant life, in the Spirit (2 Cor. 3: 17).