Hello TTW Family! Independence Day is around the corner, or as my British friends like to call it, Treason Day. Hope you all have a safe holiday—don’t forget the sunscreen!
Freedom in Christ
Independence Day. This week, Americans from all walks of life will be grilling burgers, lounging around the pool, heading to the lake, and lighting fireworks. For many Americans, July 4th has become something much bigger than just a day to celebrate the founding of a new nation. It has become a day where we celebrate our freedoms. Our freedom to vote. Our freedom of religion. Our freedom of speech.
But as we plan for our celebrations—as we buy our Sparklers and check our propane tanks—let us also stop for a moment and remember the freedom and liberties we have in Christ.
My family is going through the book of Romans in our morning devos, and we have been struck time and time again about the freedom we have in Christ.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2
“But know that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Romans 6:22
“Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24-25
We have been set free from the penalty of sin. We have been set free from the power of sin and death. We have freedom in Christ—freedom to follow him, to honor him, to obey him. What an amazing gift that God has given to us! Even when we didn’t deserve it, God loved us so much that he sent his only Son—to set us free.
And part of his mission on this earth was about other freedoms as well.
“[Jesus] went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:14-21
These verses have a dual meaning. Jesus came to set us free from sin and death and proclaim freedom for captives. To heal the hurt. To proclaim good news to the poor.
Throughout the Bible, we see cries for justice. Cries for liberty. Entire books are devoted to freedom being proclaimed. To setting captives free. Exodus. Judges. Ezra and Nehemiah. Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Philemon.
Throughout history, it has been Christians, following the commands of Scripture, that have fought for the freedom of others. It was Christians that led the abolitionist movement. It was Christians that sought to care for orphans and widows. Christians began movements to create hospitals and care for the sick.
And we should continue to be at the forefront of these movements today. Christians should continue to fight for the freedoms of others. For liberty and justice for all. The world is full of injustice, oppression, and slavery. Let us take up as a battle cry the words of Isaiah:
“Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17
God Bless, and Happy Independence Day!