Good morning everyone:
“Freedom! Stand firm. Don’t let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” It sounds like a Fourth of July speech, doesn’t it? Every summer we are reminded of how precious our freedoms are and also of how quickly they can be lost if they are not defended.
Yet these powerful words about standing firm and defending freedom were written long before the founding of our country. The apostle Paul wrote them to the Galatian Christians who were being pressured to surrender a much greater freedom than that which we enjoy as citizens of the United States.
As Americans we prize our freedom, yet the reality is that by nature we are in spiritual slavery. Jesus says, “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (Jn. 8:34). Who of us would dare to say we never sin? We were born dead in trespasses and sins. “The sinful mind is hostile to God” (Rom. 8:7). We could never win our freedom, no matter what we might do.
But Jesus promises, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (Jn. 8:36). By keeping the Law in our place and paying the penalty for all sin, Jesus broke Satan’s iron grip on our hearts. The reinforced steel doors of death were flung wide open when Jesus rose from the tomb. The shackles preventing us from serving Him were unlocked by the Spirit’s coming to dwell within us and moving us to live for Christ not for self.
That is the greatest freedom we will ever experience. It is the freedom no dictator or any governmental control can take away. As we celebrate our national freedom this weekend, may we praise the Lord that we are also free citizens of His eternal kingdom and heirs of heaven.
In tomorrow’s sermon text (Luke 10:1-12, 16-20) Jesus impresses upon us the urgency and blessedness of our calling to serve Him as witnesses to His love which has won our freedom.
The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated at both services.
The new activity committee is asked to meet between services.
Yours in Christ,