It Is For Freedom!

Next week we will celebrate the 241st birthday of the United States of America. Even with all our problems, our country is still the shining city on a hill serving as a beacon for liberty and freedom in the world. Around the world, people oppressed by despotic leaders or crushing economic conditions long for the freedoms we enjoy in our country.

One of the most important freedoms we enjoy is that of religious freedom. Our country was founded on the principle that God alone is the Lord of the conscience, not the state. As long as our practice of worship does not physically harm another person, we can believe and worship in the way that God has revealed to us free from the interference of the state.

Now, while our 1st Amendment religious freedoms are invaluable, the freedom that is most precious is the freedom we have in Jesus Christ. This freedom has nothing to do with politics or governments, but rather is a gift from our loving God.

Paul writes that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). We have all been burdened down by the weight of sin. We all have had chains that prevented us from becoming all that God created us to be. We have all been locked up in prisons - some of our own making, others forced upon us.

But the good news of Jesus Christ is that he “gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age” (Galatians 1:4). In Christ, God did not hold our sins against us. In his death and resurrection, Christ destroyed the power of sin and death setting us free to live without condemnation.

The struggle many people have, however, is that while Christ has set them free through forgiveness, they have not forgiven themselves. Sometimes they stay in the prison even though Jesus has broken open the prison doors and loosed the chains around them.

If this describes you, I encourage you to meditate on the words in Galatians that state it is “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”(5:1). Christ has set you free. Pray that you would fully experience this truth in your life.

On this 4th of July holiday, take a moment in your celebrations to say a word of thanks to the God who loves you and wants you to live fully in the freedom he has given you in Jesus Christ.

Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee