Every Fourth of July we Americans celebrate our independence from England. Yet, we all know that signing the Declaration of Independence did not ensure America’s freedom. The Revolutionary War had to be fought before we were independent from the tyranny of King George III. To preserve her blood-bought liberty, America must guard her freedom from her enemies within and without. Similarly, Christians must diligently protect the freedom we gained through Christ’s shed blood.
To help celebrate and protect our freedom in Christ, consider these questions.
From what did Christ free us?
Christ’s death freed us from the penalty of sin; His life daily liberates us from the power of sin.
In other words, among other things, we have been delivered from:
- Eternal death and present condemnation (Romans 8:1; 1 John 5:11,12).
- Our fears, tempers, cravings, bad habits and unpleasant moods (Romans 6:2, 6,7,11,14; 2 Timothy 1:7).
- Pleasing people and following religious rules (Galatians 1:10; 3:10-14; Colossians 2:20-23; 1 Peter 3:14).
What threatens our freedom?
We become slaves to what we obey (Romans 6:16). If you give into your bad mood, that mood becomes your master. If you submit to an intimidating or manipulative person, that person rules you. If you feed your cravings, you become their slave. If you obey your fears, your fears and worries will dominate you. Before you know it, you are in bondage to the one you obeyed.
How do we maintain our liberty?
Set Christ apart as Lord in your heart (1 Peter 3:15). As Adam and Eve gave up their place in Eden when they listened to the serpent, so too I lose my liberties when I make anyone or anything my lord besides the Lord Jesus. We choose the one we will obey (Romans 6:13,19). When we comply to anyone or anything we shouldn’t, we weaken Christ’s reign in our lives (Romans 14:13).
When I give in to intimidation, bitterness or wrong desires, I give them power to control me. It becomes harder and harder to be the person I want to be. On the other hand, when I believe what the Bible tells me, I acknowledge those feelings have no power over me. I am free to forgive, love, set boundaries, say no—whatever appropriate response I should give. Because of Christ’s life within me, I am free to be the person I was made to be!
Every July we remember the blood shed to secure America’s national freedom. At communion we remember the blood Christ shed for our spiritual freedom. Both liberties are only preserved through diligence. It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).
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