“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
July 4th, 1776
For over 200 years, July 4th has been synonymous with freedom for Americans. We wave our American Flags, launch fireworks, cook BBQ, and honor the sacrifice of those who fought and died for our freedom. Last month as I was celebrating this day, I sat down and asked myself a few questions-
What is freedom? What principles define freedom?
Freedom is defined as “Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.”
When I think about the freedom I have as an American, I can’t help but consider the tremendous price that was paid to secure this freedom. As I think about it more, I consider the freedom I possess as a Christian. There are some principles of freedom that apply in both circumstances.
Freedom Is Not Free…it requires sacrifice
Have you ever stopped to really consider the statement “Freedom isn’t free”.
Its one of those statements that is so abused and overused that it is now cliche. Its one of those feel good statements that we say on a holiday or when we hear that soldiers have died overseas.
If freedom isn’t free, then what is it?
Have you ever stopped and really considered the cost of freedom? Sure, the cost of freedom can be measured by wars, money, and lives. But I believe it can be summed up in one word: Everything. The cost for complete freedom is everything. Consider what it cost Christ to set us free? Everything.
Freedom Only Lasts… as long as you are willing to fight for it
As Christians, we know all too well the bondage of sin in our lives. There is a misunderstanding that goes something like this: I am saved now, so I wont have to deal with sin.
We still fight our sin nature, even after we enter into a relationship with Jesus.
Notice what Paul says here
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
I know this is a confusing passage, but this is what I gather from this- We battle against our sin nature on a daily basis. We know what is good and what is not. We seek to do good, but our sin nature prevents this sometimes. We are slaves to our sin nature.
Our sin nature is still there. And, our sin nature is at war against our Spirit. We must engage in this battle daily while also resting in the grace that Christ provides.
Freedom only lasts as long as we are willing to fight for it.
And perhaps the most important principle of freedom..
As Free Individuals…we are obligated to free others
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 1 Corinthians 9:19
We weren’t set free just to be complacent and do nothing. We were set free to free others by introducing them to Jesus Christ.
In closing I encourage you to consider your freedom.
And in light of your freedom, I encourage you to stand.
To pursue those around you.
To give everything… so that they might be free.