Independence Day

Fireworks, parades, backyard BBQ’s . To most of us these mean the same thing; 4th of July. As we celebrate our nations independence day (and we do it up big), I want to talk a little about another independence day. This one isn’t a federal holiday, or celebrated on the same day by everyone. I celebrate mine on March 20th. I am talking about the day I gave my life to Christ.
In Galatians 5:1 it says “Christ has set us free to live a free life.” Now in America freedom has a pretty broad definition I would basically define it as:

“the ability to do, go, believe and speak whatever you want, wherever you want, whenever you want.”

This has become our right, and we are obsessed with rights in this country.

This is not the freedom that Paul wrote about in Galatians. We as Christians have adopted our “American” freedom in place of the freedom we have in Christ. It’s shown in the fact that there is very little lifestyle evidence of us living separate and holy lives. I see Christians who drink, who smoke, who curse, who tell dirty jokes… that really doesn’t sound any different than the last office Christmas party I went to.

Jesus did not give His life so that we could do whatever we want. He came to set us free from the bondage of sin. This freedom is not so we can do, but so we don’t have to do. Struggle with alcohol? Christ set you free. Struggle with drugs? Christ set you free. Struggle with pornography? Christ set you free. Depression, fear, lying, stealing… I could go on forever, but it doesn’t matter what chains are on your life. Christ has set you free.

In the years following the Civil War, may freed slaves had no idea what to do with their new found freedom. They had spent their whole lives up to that point in the chains of slavery. Some learned new skills, moved on. But others went back to their old masters and plantations to work. Many Christians today are living their lives in the same manner.

We accept Christ, and are free. But we don’t know how to live this new life. So we go back to our old haunts and friends. back to our old master, the sins that dominated our lives. The second part of Galatians 5:1 reads “Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” Its the responsibility of all believers to disciple and “raise up” those who are new in the faith. We all gravitate to what we know, if new believers are not shown  the way their new life, they will find the path back to the old life.

Now most of this has been directed at those of us who already have accepted Jesus as our saviour. Now a note for those who haven’t.Sin will take you further than you want to go, and cost you more than you want to give. But do not despair! The freedom that comes through Christ is available to all, at any time. John 8:36 says “So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.” So this 4th of July, make this your Independence Day.

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