According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary the noun, freedom, is defined in one way as “the quality or state of being free: such as liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another: INDEPENDENCE.” That is a good definition of what we began celebrating Sunday evening, June 27th, with our Patriotic Celebration and continued through Sunday, July 4th. As citizens of the United States of America, we are ultimately celebrating”freedom.”
As great as it is to be free as Americans, there is an even greater freedom that we have as followers of Jesus Christ. In John 8:31, Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed in Him, “If you continue in My word then you are truly disciples of Mine…” True dedication to be a disciple of Christ is measured by ongoing obedient belief inHis Word. Jesus goes on to say in verse 32, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
True freedom results from continued study of the Scriptures and obedience to them. The Jews answered Jesus in verse33, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that you say, ‘You will become free?” (Of course, the truth was that historically, Israel had been enslaved many times – usually as a result of God’s judgment of their unfaithfulness and even at that time, were subservient to the Roman Empire.) Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin (verse 34) … so if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
I am very thankful for the freedom that I have as an American. But I am even more thankful for the freedom that I have in Christ Jesus and His Word.