Welcome, everyone. Let’s chat about …
How free are you? I mean, really?
Are you free from pain? Discord? Disillusionment? Grief, heartache, trauma? How about illness, debt, or uncertainty?
Are you free from fear?
How about your values? Is your freedom to live according to the tenets you hold most dear tottering on the edge of a pit?
Welcome to our world, our nation, our communities, our homes. Ourselves.
Freedom in This World
Merriam-Webster defines freedom as “the quality or state of being free: such as the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. Do you live with necessity? Check your pantry. How about coercion? Check your tax return. Or constraint? Check highway signs.
The United States prides itself on its freedom, so much so that it’s engraved in our Bill of Rights. Check the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly. Why do you suppose those rights are enshrined in this document that’s known around the world as the guardian of freedom?
Because without it, neither you nor I could live according to our faith without fear of interference from the government. Nor could we count on expressing our opinions publicly, printing our thoughts in a public venue, petitioning authorities concerning our grievances, or assembling with others in a likeminded cause.
To safeguard those freedoms, guess what? We create laws to constrain the constrainers, coerce the coercers, and mandate provisions for our basic needs: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And our military, past and present, stands ready to protect us from tyrants who would impose, restrict, and coerce in every arena of life. Our freedom is fragile and requires a strong military and law enforcement officers to safeguard it.
Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to live under the U.S. Constitution?
Thank God for veterans who protect it.
But What About …
Pain, illness, and debilitation. Death, grief, and despair. Disappointment. Disillusionment. Destruction. Hatred. Rage. Turmoil. Violence. Gossip. Lying and deceit. Don’t they hold us down? And coerce us into lives unlike any we would choose to pursue?
My pursuit of happiness has nothing to do with any of these heinous behaviors. Does yours? Can someone please write a Bill of Rights for these? Matter of fact …
Freedom in Christ
Once upon a time, humankind was devoid of these traits, circumstances, and behaviors. All around was perfection. We can only imagine.
Then came spiritual fallenness, the worst of tyrants, and all the evil and brokenness such tyrants impose. We don’t have to imagine. Just look around.
God’s original law provided mercy to the spiritually fallen. Under certain circumstances. And according to strict instructions.
But then, an answer appeared—a real one. It’s called grace, an undeserved, unearned gift on top of the mercy.
He paid the debt. Took the sin. The punishment. The coercion, discord, and shame. Mine. And yours.
He provides freedom that can’t be impinged upon, reduced, redefined, or paid for. The debt is paid in full. Best of all, he’s preparing a haven of rest, a place devoid of fallenness, out of the riches of his grace. And no military has to guard and protect freedom in Christ because Jesus has sealed His promise, He cannot lie, and He cannot be defeated. Freedom in Christ is literally free to us. Forever.
Freedom in this world is tenuous at best. We must be vigilant, maintain armies and defense systems, strengthen police departments, create legislation, etc., etc., etc. But Jesus won believers’ freedom once and for all. Freedom in Christ is guaranteed. Nothing and no one can take it away. Jesus sealed it, and that seal can’t be broken by human beings. What a glorious promise.
Who in the world wouldn’t want to live under grace?
Thank God for Jesus who saves us.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1 NIV
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