Tomorrow – here in the U.S.A. – we will celebrate a very special holiday: Our nation’s Independence Day. One of the freedoms we enjoy is freedom of religion. We may openly worship whoever – or whatever – we choose, without fear of personal or legal repercussion. We are free to gather together at church on Sundays and worship together. We can own and carry our Bibles without fear of being reported or arrested. If we do not share our family’s faith, we are not afraid of being disowned or killed. And while it is a standing joke that it is impolite to discuss age, politics, and religion….all those topics are openly discussed without fear of reprisal. Yet as Christians, we reject “freedom” and choose the life of a servant.
We reject the so-called “freedom” of a self-centered life and instead choose the life of a servant of God. It seems a paradox: We refuse to be slaves to sin, but by making Jesus Christ Lord of our life, we choose to serve God rather than ourselves. Indeed, the freedom we find in Christ actually fuels our desire to live according to God’s commands.
Why would anyone choose to become a servant? Because of the real freedom we experience when we surrender our lives to God! Here are just 3 examples:
- Freedom from the bondage of sin. Thanks to Adam and Eve’s choices all those years ago, we are all born with a sinful nature. We constantly fall prey to Satan’s attacks. He wants us to live in fear and doubt. He tempts us with addiction. He convinces us we are deficient and worthless. Most of all, he deceives us into believing our highest priority should always ourself, regardless of how that affects anyone else. But a life surrendered to God brings freedom from sin’s hold on us! Jesus’ death and resurrection was victory over sin and death, and it gives us the assurance of a better life! Jesus bring us peace and confidence. He gives us a Spirit of power. He infuses us with a real sense of worth because He loved us enough to die for us. And He gives us the assurance of eternal life in God’s Presence.
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. – Romans 6:22
2. Freedom of new life. When we accept Christ as Savior, sin’s death-grip on us is broken; we are alive – forever – in Jesus! We no longer have to be slaves to Satan’s influence. As servants of God, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us overcome our sinful desires. We no longer have to live in fear of not being able to be good enough. We’ll never be good enough in our own right, so we can let that idea go! Afterall, that’s why God sent Jesus to die for us….so that His grace (getting the good we don’t deserve) and mercy (not getting the bad we do) covers any failings we have in this life, and ushers us into an eternal life with Him.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been bought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. – Romans 6:11-14
3. The freedom of acceptance. As slaves to sin, we are alone; always at risk of rejection. But when we accept Jesus into our life, we immediately become a part of God’s family; heirs alongside Jesus to God’s Kingdom and all the freedom that includes! Freedom from death, mourning, crying, and pain (Revelation 21:4). God’s Son came that we might be free!
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:34-36
As we celebrate the many freedoms we enjoy in this wonderful country of ours, I hope you take time to thank God for the limitless freedoms He extended to us through His Son, Jesus. And out of gratitude for the multitude of blessings we have through Him, let us embrace our status as servant to the One True God. There is no higher honor. And remember….