“… for I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility
against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
– Thomas Jefferson
Whatever party or ideology is in control, I want always to be counted – openly, clearly, loudly – with those fighting for freedom.
Especially those freedoms so openly endangered today. Freedom of speech. Freedom of conscience. Freedom of religion. Freedom of enterprise.
If we who are faithful to Jefferson’s hostility ever become the losing side, so be it. I still need to know I stood with those who stood for liberty, and against those who would limit it.
Yet there are, thank God, freedoms in Christ transcending all natural laws, liberties that can’t be limited, touched, or threatened. This weekend, celebrating freedom, I’m thinking each one of these over:
Freedom from the Curse of the Law and from Judgment
In Christ, we’re released from the curse and the condemnation of the judgment waiting for anyone unable to keep God’s perfect and holy law, meaning, of course, everyone trying to make it on their own. As Paul said:
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.”(Galatians 3:13)
Freedom from the power of sin
I have plenty of sinful tendencies (sure do get sick of them, by the way!) but while they are present, they are no longer powerful. There’s an awfully comforting verse in Romans along these lines:
“For sin shall not have dominion over you.” (Romans 6:14)
Freedom from condemnation
God, the Judge who will someday condemn the unrighteous who’ve rejected His Son, longed to be my Father, not my Condemner.
He still longs to be Father to all and ultimate Judge of none, since He wants all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. (I Timothy 2:4) To everyone who wants freedom from it, He Himself promises:
“There is now therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
Freedom from legalism and efforts to make ourselves righteous
I would have made such a good Pharisee! I love scoring points, checking off lists, working hard to make this old sinner a better old sinner, leaving him still, of course, nothing but an old sinner.
What an exhausting treadmill that can be, and what a blessed rest there is for believers who relax in the One who prefects them apart from any efforts of their own. (Galatians 3:3)
No wonder Paul was so adamant about this freedom:
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)
Freedom from the fear of man
I admitted publicly in an online conference a couple weeks ago that deep down, I’m still a needy kid wanting everyone to hold up a sign saying Joe Dallas Is A Very Good Boy.
Pathetic, huh? But that’s how the fear of man, something we should vigorously try to scrub ourselves of, can be such a prison.
There’s no way to fully serve Him and fear Them, whoever the “Them” may be.
The fear of man, as Proverbs reminds us, brings a snare. (Proverbs 29:25) To which we can and should celebrate our independence:
“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Hebrews 13:6)
Freedom that is genuine, complete and everlasting
There is nothing part way about God or His promises, so the freedom He offers is the whole shebang. Total. Eternal.
Oh, and let’s not forget joyful. Amazingly, buoyantly joyful. Not just free, but indeed free, no qualifiers. So said Jesus:
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
As an American, I am more grateful than ever for freedoms good men and women have fought and bled for.
I’m also more fearful than ever when I consider how easily those freedoms can be lost if not well guarded.
But there’s no vote, decision, or statute that can touch our freedoms in Christ, and for that I am rejoicing today. Hope you are too.
So Happy Freedoms, both eternal and temporal.
God bless and keep America, and God bless you this 4th of July Weekend.