This year marks the 241st anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, when our founding fathers declared their freedom from the oppression of a dictator-king. And so as our country celebrates freedom, so can Christians celebrate freedom through Jesus Christ!
For many, the idea of Christianity and freedom do not go hand-in-hand. They wrongly assume Christianity is a limiting and restrictive “religious” practice, full of “thou shalt” dos and don’ts. They believe Christians aren’t allowed to have fun, and that going to church is designed to chastise and punish. Yet, the fact is, the truest form of freedom is only found through faith in Jesus Christ.
In Romans 6, the Apostle Paul speaks of being dead to sin, and alive in Christ. Verses 6–7 say, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.” (Emphasis mine.)
Because without Christ, we are slaves to sin.
When Adam and Eve first sinned, they created a perpetual disease of sin that has infected every person who ever lived… except one—Jesus Christ.
Just as cancer can eat away at the body, including the good and healthy cells, so can sin eat away at our lives. It doesn’t matter if we’re “good” people by the world’s standards. It’s against God’s standard that we need to measure ourselves. And the simple truth is—we don’t measure up. And we never will.
Enter Jesus Christ, who is God in human form. He came to earth to liberate us from the disease of sin. Galatians 5:1 states, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
It’s not that we’re never going to sin. Sin is always going to plague us; but when we accept Christ’s gift, we become more empowered to fight it. 1 John 3:6 says, “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” Because through Christ, we can live our lives more like Jesus! We can turn away from sin, whereas, without Him, we are helpless against sin. After accepting Him, He has promised that God will never allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to say no. He will always provide an escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). We won’t be perfect (no one is but Jesus), but we have the freedom of assurance that we can never lose our salvation (Romans 8:38-39).
And therein lies true freedom.
With all that said, Christianity isn’t a religion; is a relationship with God, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Unlike religions in which the believer seeks to prove love for, and devotion to, the supernatural being of his or her focus, Christianity is about accepting the love and devotion that Christ freely gave us through His death on the cross and resurrection. Instead of trying to figure out what we can do gain God’s love, He’s already proved His love for us by allowing His Son to be crucified!
He has freed us in order to redeem us.
And with that, let freedom ring in your life through the joyful and complete surrender to God’s will and purpose for you.