Serving the community since 1970

Pastor's Corner: Freedom in Christ

The founding fathers of the United States had strong beliefs about freedom. The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” They believed that their human rights were given to them by the Christian God of the Bible, not to be violated or taken away by government (Genesis 1:27).

Freedom is a human right on many different levels: political freedom, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, economic freedom, freedom of thought, freedom of self-determination and more. The Bible had a profound impact on the ideals of freedom that began our country.

The Old Testament gives powerful accounts of freedom. The freedom of the Israelites from slavery to the Egyptians highlights God’s power to deliver from oppression and bondage (Exodus). God said, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exodus 20:2; see 6:6). The psalmist writes, “He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free” (Psalms 146:7; see Jeremiah 34:8; Ezekiah 34:27). God seeks to help those who are oppressed and to set free those imprisoned, having all their freedom taken away. The Lord wants people to enjoy their personal freedom and property (1 Kings 4:25; Isaiah 65:21-22; Micah 4:4).

It was predicted that the Messiah, Jesus, would bring freedom and restoration from spiritual bondage. He would “proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1). This tremendous liberation was from empty religion, sin, and death. Jesus said, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Jesus offered freedom in salvation from sins for those who believed in His name (John 3:16). The apostle Paul explained, “Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2; also 6:18). Salvation means spiritual freedom from lies, man-made religion or rules, sin, death and Satan, with the power to defeat temptation by walking in the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16).

Freedom has never meant freedom from all restraints or standards; that would be very destructive. Instead, it is freedom to do what is right before God, not enslaved by temptations or impulses to sin. Galatians 5:13 says, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” In Christ, we are free from man-made rules and fleshly impulses to sin, but we must walk in this freedom and seek to serve and love others (1 Corinthians 10:29; 1 Peter 2:16).

As we celebrate Independence Day, we take a moment to remember that the freedoms we hold dear are intertwined with biblical principles of liberty, justice and self-responsibility. Patrick Henry said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Do you have this spiritual freedom this Independence Day? Repent and believe in Jesus Christ, and life and liberty are yours forever.

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17b)

 

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