Happy Fourth of July! Even as our country grapples with COVID and other serious problems, we have reason to thank God for the many blessings He has given our nation, in particular, freedoms which millions of others around the world can only dream of. Imagine living in a country where your every move is monitored. If you go to the grocery store, it is noted by an official. When you gather for a family reunion, it goes on your record. Attending a church service in someone’s home may lead to questioning by the authorities. The freedom we enjoy is more the exception than the rule for nations in our world. But if we take it for granted and don’t work to preserve it, we could one day lose it.
The apostle Paul cherished freedom too. He wrote, “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” (Gal. 5:1). “Let freedom ring!” Paul says. But He is not talking about earthly and political freedom. There is freedom even more precious, the spiritual freedom Jesus won for us and all people. It is liberation from slavery to sin, death, and the devil. It was won at tremendous cost of life, not that of tens of thousands of troops, but the death of the very Son of God. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us” (2 Cor. 5:21).
Sin can’t condemn us. By faith we are clothed with Jesus’ righteousness. Death can’t hold us. We were buried with Christ by baptism and raised to new life. Because Jesus rose on Easter, we too will be raised when He returns. By faith Satan’s stranglehold has been broken. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Our eternal freedom has been won. It is a free gift of God’s grace. But if we take it for granted, we could lose it. If we neglect hearing the gospel of Christ, we become more susceptible to Satan’s lies that sin is not really that serious. If we take our eyes off Christ, the temporary pleasures of the world take on exaggerated importance. If we don’t listen to the Lord, the Old Adam is quick to speak up and tell us that as long as we do our best to be good, decent people, we are fine with God. All these things can drag us right back into the most oppressive slavery there is and the resulting eternal death.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. He died that we might be free, free to live in Him by faith, free to live with Him as we immerse ourselves in His Word, and free to live for Him in service, not because we have to, but because we want nothing more than to show our love for Him who first loved us.
Today let’s thank God for the freedoms of our nation, but even more so praise Him for our spiritual freedom in Christ. Let freedom ring!
Yours in Christ,
Tomorrow’s services are at 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated. Here is the link for signing up for July services: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040A4CA4AC2FABF49-church.