July 1, 2017
The month of July has come bringing the celebration of America’s Independence Day, July 4th! Much will be said about “freedom” and “liberty.” This compels me to say something as well. America our nation, the American homes, and the American church all seem to be plagued with the same curse: “Too Much Liberty and Too Little Freedom.”
Freedom is priceless and where it is present almost any kind of life is enjoyable. When it is absent life can never be enjoyed; it can only be endured!
Millions have died in freedom’s defense and praise is in everyone’s mouth (especially in July), but she has been tragically misunderstood by her advocates and sorely abused in the practice of her proponents. I think the difficulty lies with our failure to distinguish freedom from liberty, which are indeed sisters but not identical twins!
Freedom is “liberty within bounds”: liberty to obey holy laws, liberty to keep the righteous commandments of Christ, liberty to serve mankind, liberty to develop to the fullest extent all the immense possibilities our redeemed souls hold within them. True Christian liberty never sets us free to indulge our lusts or to follow the impulses of our fallen, sinful desires!!!
The desire for “unqualified” freedom caused the fall of Lucifer (cf. Isaiah 14:12-15) and wrought the destruction of all the angels that sinned (cf. 2 Peter 1:4; Jude 1:6). These sought the freedom to do as they willed, and to get it they threw away the beautiful liberty that meant freedom to do the will of God. Sadly, and tragically, the human race followed them in their horrible moral blunder!!!
Listen very carefully to what the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:13, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Freedom in Christ is not for the purpose of indulging the flesh, but to lovingly serve one another. Indulging the flesh only leads to enslavement to it—loss of true freedom and liberty. How we exercise our freedom in Christ will either propel our growth in Christ forward or seriously impede it and hold it back!!!
As we, Christians, contemplate the ideas of “freedom” and “liberty”, may we all be led to pray to our loving Heavenly Father, “Thank You, Lord, for freedom from the chains of sinful habits and freedom to serve You in serving Your people.”
Remember the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:22: “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”
That, my brothers and sisters, is what true “freedom” and “liberty” found in Christ are all about. So, may we be able to say in our homes, churches, and land, “Let freedom ring”!!!
In His Loving Service,