Freedom. This word means something special to each of us. For many, especially on July 4th, we think about the freedoms we value in this great country, our history, and those who have worked to achieve the liberties we enjoy here in the United States. We are certainly blessed to live in this place and be free to speak our minds, to worship, and to pursue our dreams.
When I think about freedom today, I am so thankful for it! At the same time, I can’t help but remember that there are people in places where freedom is not something they experience in their daily lives. Politics are constantly changing, governments are unstable, issues divide, and freedom is not a guarantee in this life. If we spend even a few minutes on social media we can imagine a future that is more fearful than free.
In the midst of uncertainty there is one freedom that will never change, never fade away, and never be defeated; it is the freedom found in a life of true faith in Jesus Christ.
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:31-36 NIV
We sometimes think of freedom as the ability to do what we want when we want, with no one telling us how to live our lives. Our children often act that way, but as loving parents we know the foolishness of following every harmful desire, and we are there to protect them. The truth is, we are all servants to something. Either we serve sin, and our own flesh, which lead to death; or we serve the Lord, which leads to eternal life.
“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:20-23 NIV
As a mom of little ones, it is easy to witness how our drive to do what we want is born out of our sin nature and selfishness. But the false “freedom” that sin promises reaps no benefit, only slavery to evil desires, addictions, fear and worry, and ultimately destruction. But there is one who came to set the captives free. A life redeemed by Jesus does not mean a life without struggles or suffering, often the opposite. But it does mean freedom from the control of sin, and peace that passes understanding in the midst of trials. Freedom is to live for and with the one who has overcome sin and death forever.
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” Isaiah 42:6-7 NIV
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
Here are a few more wonderful things the Bible has to say about freedom.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 NKJV
“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39 NIV
“I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” Psalms 119:45 NLT
Jesus called Himself “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and said the “truth will set you free.” By knowing Him, we are free from sin, a cruel and unforgiving master who seeks only destruction and death. We are free to live forgiven and redeemed by the most loving God, with the hope of eternal life with him! So on this July 4th, and every day, let Christ reign in your hearts, and let freedom ring!