For those of us that have always lived in America, we have pretty much taken our freedoms for granted. But those freedoms have been eroding for a very long time, little by little. Some of our politicians are very clever, changing things a bit at a time so that they are not noticed until it is too late. Frequently, things are buried in proposed bills that are pushed through at a rapid pace so that no normal human being could possibly have the time to read it and make an educated determination about how they should vote – then they just blindly vote thinking the “good” will outweigh the “bad”. Well, that has not turned out to be the case in too many instances.
Freedom…”the quality or state of being free: such as…liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another…INDEPENDENCE…and the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous.”*
Tomorrow, July 4, 2022, America will again be celebrating our freedom – our independence day. “The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.”**
However, regardless of what our political leaders do or say, there is a freedom that is much more important and greater than any freedom they can give us, or take away from us – and that is our freedom in Christ.
So what does freedom in Christ even mean? When we are truly honest with ourselves, we know that we are imperfect sinners. But Jesus Christ came from heaven to earth to live as a man, then die, taking the sins of all mankind onto Himself – in order to set us free – free from our sins – free from our guilt, free from the death penalty we were facing without Him. Does that mean when we accept Jesus as our Savior that we can then expect to be perfect and sinless? Of course not! But, if we are willing to repent and ask forgiveness then He does set us free. We no longer have to bear the weight of guilt. “If you belong to Christ Jesus, you won’t be punished. The Holy Spirit will give you life that comes from Christ Jesus and will set you free from sin and death. The Law of Moses cannot do this, because our selfish desires make the Law weak. But God set you free when he sent his own Son to be like us sinners and to be a sacrifice for our sin. God used Christ’s body to condemn sin. He did this, so that we would do what the Law commands by obeying the Spirit instead of our own desires.” (Romans 8:1-4 CEV)
We have an obligation to do our best to change our lifestyle and not continue to repeat the same sins over again. Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples said this (speaking about false teachers): “They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life.” (2 Peter 2:19-21 NLT) So if you habitually sin, knowing full well it is sin, but continue to live that lifestyle, you are not free at all and the outcome for you will be so much worse in the end.
One article I read talked about when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991 some of the first “freedoms” the people indulged in were pornography, prostititution, drug abuse and organized crime. That kind of “freedom” will put you on the road to hell. Paul says in Galatians 5:13 NLT: “…you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
Our true freedom, as Christians, comes from knowing Christ and knowing God’s Word. His Word – the Bible – teaches us the laws and the boundaries we need to set for ourselves in order to truly be set free. Wait, laws are going to give us freedom? I thought laws were to prevent us from doing things. Laws are guides to help us to know right from wrong and how to live and behave for the betterment of the majority. Psalm 119:44-45 CEV says: “I will keep obeying your Law forever and ever. I have gained perfect freedom by following your teachings.” James 1:25 CEV says: “But you must never stop looking at the perfect law that sets you free. God will bless you in everything you do, if you listen and obey, and don’t just hear and forget.”
But…our ultimate freedom will come when Christ returns at some point, in order to gather all His saints in His arms and live with them in heaven forever. Then we will be free of all the temptations, all the condemnation and guilt. John 8:36 TLB “So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free—.”
In the first paragraph I gave the definition of freedom – part of it was: “liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another”. So, true freedom is Christ liberating us from being slaves to sin and delivering us from the power of Satan. It also said: “and the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous.” Freedom in Christ also exempts us and releases us from the depths of hell (which is onerous, for sure). Before meeting Christ and committing our lives to Him, we were bound for hell, and I hope you are like me and are thankful for that deliverance – for that true freedom that only comes from God!
As you spend time celebrating the freedom of our nation tomorrow, think about the freedom that trumps all others – your freedom in Christ.
Written by Karran Martin – June 29, 2022
All emphasis is mine
**Quote from history.com