What is true freedom? Is it living in America as we celebrate Independence Day every 4th of July? Is it having a document like the Constitution, which guarantees our civil liberties such as freedom to practice religion and freedom of speech? Is true freedom living without any responsibilities in a world of chaos where everyone just does what seems right in their own eyes? What is true freedom?
If there is one passage of Scripture that we as Americans need to hear it is the words of 1 Peter 2:16: “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” True freedom comes in the assurance that our sins have been forgiven by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and that we are no longer objects of God’s justice because of our rebellion against Him. Anyone who does not submit to Christ alone as Savior and Lord is in spiritual bondage and will die without the hope of eternal life with Him in heaven. Jesus said this in John 8:34, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” True freedom comes when Christ liberates you from your slavery to sin and grants you amazing grace and life with Him.
At one on point in our lives before Christ, we were in Satan’s kingdom of darkness, but through salvation, we experience a new birth. Colossians 1:13–14 says, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. “ Again, true freedom is being delivered from bondage to redemption through Christ.
Therefore, as those who have experienced this freedom, how should we live our lives? Should we just bank on God’s forgiveness and keep sinning our hearts out because after all, “I love sinning and God loves forgiving, so this is a wonderful arrangement?” Do we use our freedom as Christians who have forgiveness as an excuse to engage in evil? Absolutely not! Romans 6:1–2 answers this question with these words: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
As those liberated from spiritual bondage, we have died to sin and we are no longer its slave. Through the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can now be empowered to say “no” to ungodliness and not abuse the freedom we have in Christ as a “cover-up for evil”. Titus 2:11-12 says, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It (God’s grace) teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”
So true freedom is living a life of holiness and godliness in where we passionately obey Jesus as our Sovereign Lord. We submit to His leadership in our lives and we know that we are His unique possession. We don’t use our freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as a way to gladly respond back to God with joyful obedience. As we think about freedom this Fourth of July, let us thank God that we still live in a free country and that we experience many tremendous blessings as Americans. Let us also thank God that He has given us true freedom through Christ and that we have our sins forgiven, a new identity, the joy of the Lord, and a home in heaven. May we get more excited about these truths than we do about fireworks, hotdogs, and even, dare I say, the American Constitution?