Friday, June 30, 2023

If the Son has Set you Free, You Are Truly Free Indeed

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him,
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, [32] and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [33] They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
[34] Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. [35] The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. [36] So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  (John 8:31–36 ESV)

Christian freedom and American Independence Day are interconnected ideas. Both celebrate liberty and independence. As Christians, we find spiritual freedom through faith in Christ, while Independence Day marks the birth of a nation founded on the principles of liberty and self-governance. 

Christian freedom is not merely the absence of physical constraints but a profound liberation from sin and its consequences. The Bible teaches that through Christ's sacrifice, believers are set free from the bondage of sin (Romans 6:18) and have the privilege of becoming children of God (Galatians 3:26). This freedom grants us access to God's grace, love, and eternal life.

The celebration of American freedom is our annual July 4th festivities that commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, which marked the birth of our country, though the longings of liberty burn in every man,  Our founders envisioned a nation built on the ideals of individual liberty, equality, and self-determination. American freedom grants its citizens the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, fostering a society where opportunity exists for all of its citizens.

 Despite the spiritual freedom we receive in Christ, various challenges can hinder our joy and fulfillment. Temptations, doubts, and fear of failure may attempt to erode our confidence in God's grace. Societal pressures, financial hardships, and even persecution may discourage us from standing firm in our faith. To maintain the joy of Christian freedom, we must remain rooted in God's Word and rely on His strength.

The blessings of American freedom also comes with its own set of challenges. Divisive politics, social unrest, and economic disparities can strain the unity envisioned by the nation's founders. Additionally, the misuse of freedom can lead to moral decay, as individuals prioritize personal interests over the common good. To preserve the joy of American freedom, we must actively engage in constructive dialogue, promote understanding, and pursue justice for all. As an American Christian, I need to understand that true liberty can only flourish among people who acknowledge and honor  the Lord. Gospel proclamation must continue from His people!

I want this July 4th to be a time of great gratitude for the blessings of our liberty as Americans and as people who understand the freedoms we have in Christ- this is essential in our journey of faith.

 Recognizing the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and understanding the magnitude of God's love instills a deep sense of thankfulness. This gratitude should manifest in a life that seeks to honor God and serve others. When we appreciate the freedom from sin and eternal life we have received, we can share this hope with others, extending the blessings of Christian freedom to those around us.

As Americans, expressing gratitude for our freedom involves appreciating the sacrifices made by those who fought for independence and defended it throughout history. Gratitude also means embracing others, working to see the good in our country, and defending the rights secured in our constitution. If we are truly free then we also have the right to speak freely, worship freely, and that means we have to suffer dissenting views as well without shout downs or violence.

In the last few years, the joy of our freedoms feels like they have eroded under the constant negative sirens of cable news, and our constant focus on the problems. And yes, those problems exist.

What we can't do is subject ourselves to a yoke of bondage as a solution to societal ills. There is no law or political solution to the major source of our issues- my prayer for America has not changed since I wrote my 1st blog post in 2004.

Dear God Our Father,
In this time of great division and danger, we ask that you help us. Not that we deserve it, but we want to continue to be a beacon of hope and a model of success. This life is a mixed bag and a temporary host. May you allow us to continue being a preservative of the natural entropy of order.
Lord, the churches are dark in the old land and selfishness reigns. Intellectual imperialism tickles the ears but salve no wounds. Our churches are flickering. Please revive us- give us soft hearts of love and united hearts of courage. We wimper in our prosperity and hoard our greed.
Be gracious to our leaders and heal our land.
In the name and example of Christ,

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