In less than two months, we will celebrate Independence Day. Cities will shoot off fireworks. Towns will hold parades. Businesses will close for the day. And Lee Greenwood will serenade Americans.
We U.S.A.'ers LOVE our freedom. Our freedoms (speech, religion, voting, and more) are part of what makes the political experiment of America work.
Yet, if you are an American citizen, your political freedoms pale in comparison to the freedom Jesus-followers enjoy through Christ.
In the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul warned the Galatian church to not get trapped by religion. There were many people telling the Jesus-followers in Galatia that they had to obey many of the "old" rules of Judaism in order to follow Jesus. But Paul knew this concept took away from the power and meaning of the cross.
So as Paul works towards the pinnacle of his argument for freedom from religious rules, he "yells" this...
"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 (NASB)
Read that verse again. If you follow Jesus, why did Christ set you free from your sin? For freedom! You were set free to simply be free. Not only does God not want you enslaved to sin, He doesn't want you trapped by religious rules and regulations that make you think you have to "earn" God's favor either. He set you free so you could be free!
Now don't make the mistake some make. You were not set free from sin so you could sin more (Romans 6:1-2). You may be free - but you've been made free to be a slave to God (1 Corinthians 7:21-22). God has a life SO much greater than sin can ever offer you. So don't see your freedom as a license to do whatever you want. It is a license to enjoy God's grace and live in relationship with Him!
So today may not be July 4th, but I hope you'll take a moment to thank God for the deeply lasting and significant freedom He has given you through the Gospel.
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