The Fourth of July is a holiday that commemorates the drafting of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The document asserted that the thirteen colonies of the United States were free from the rule of the British monarchy. As Christians, we have a dual reason to celebrate freedom. Not only do we live in a country that guarantees a certain level of free living, but we have a gospel that secures spiritual liberty as well. Jesus regularly preached this truth. He once said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Do you have spiritual freedom? Are you aware of your liberty in Christ? Consider three forms of Christian freedom.
Freedom from Lifeless Religion
Some argue that all world religions are the same. The assertion is false. Wherein most religions focus on what man must do for God, Christianity focuses on what God has done for man. Other religions are all about rules, rituals, regulations, and requirements; Christianity is about a relationship. Christ-followers have been set free from dead and empty religion. They have been liberated and brought into a vibrant and vivacious relationship with the living God. James spoke of this when he referenced “the law of freedom” (James 1:25 and 2:12). He applied the title to the Great Commandment – Jesus’ command concerning the way in which we are to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-40). According to Jesus and James, believers don’t live under a mandate of manmade rules. They have a relationship with God. We have been set free! Enjoy your relationship with God and let Him make you into all that He wants you to be!
Freedom from Sin
Most of humanity lives according to the demands of a cruel taskmaster — sin! They are forced to submit to its depraved desires, putrid passions, and tainted thoughts. They seem unable to break free from bad attitudes, life dominating addictions, faulty patterns of thinking, and insatiable greed. Though many desire to change, they can’t. Paul spoke of his struggle with this predicament, saying, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). Fortunately, Paul learned the truth of salvation. With the gospel he experienced freedom from sin (Romans 6:18 and 22). If you are born again, you don’t have to live under the dominion of sin. It is no longer your master. You can change. There is no attitude or addiction, no temptation or entanglement, and no hurt or hangup the gospel cannot overcome! You are new, and you are free!
Freedom from Death
In God’s economy, all sin deserves death — eternal alienation from God. In Christ, however, the consequences of sin are reversed. Those who have trusted in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for salvation are free from the penalty of sin. Though they may physically die, they will never die spiritually. The Bible says, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). If you are a Christian, you will one day live forever with God in a perfect place. In His presence, there will be no remnants of the corruption and confusion of this world. You will enjoy God and His new creation forever! Rejoice in your freedom!
Dr. Patrick Latham