Tomorrow is the 4th of July, a day when the United States of America celebrates their independence. We will fill up the coolers, fire up the grills and set off countless fireworks in the name FREEDOM - a concept near and dear to our hearts. FREEDOM was an idea also precious to the Apostle Paul.
“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 NIV
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines FREEDOM as -
1. the quality or state of being free: as
a. the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
b. liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence
c. the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous
The Greek word used is Eleutheria and it means -
1. liberty to do or to omit things having no relationship to salvation
2. true liberty is living as we should not as we please
Paul understood the price that Christ had paid to purchase our FREEDOM. He also recognized that the promise without the proper application is wasted. See the church in Galatia was trading their FREEDOM for empty religious tradition. On the other side of the spectrum the church in Corinth used their FREEDOM as a license to sin. Both missed the point and more importantly the power of God operating in their lives. See Jesus calls us into a relationship with him, founded on faith rather than rules, regulations and rituals. At the same time that relationship calls us (and empowers us) to live the life we were created to live, not to settle for something less - aka SIN.
The truth is that most people know very little about true FREEDOM. They may consider themselves free but in truth are slaves to debt, slaves to dysfunction in their relationships, slaves to sickness, slaves to empty religious exercises and slaves to sin. Paul said the promise is there but the key is in our hands - “…do not let…” As we pass the burgers and watch the night sky light up with colorful displays let’s remember that we are FREE. Not just in theory but in practice. Not just in the sweet by and by but right here, right now. God has greater things in store for us!
So I leave you with this question - In what area of your life has Jesus given you FREEDOM that you are currently not experiencing and what do you plan to do about it?
DREAM ON! (Acts 2:17-18)