If you’ve never been to a small-town 4th of July celebration, I highly recommend Ouray, CO. The mountain town that was my home for several years as a kid still holds great memories for me. Whenever visit on the 4th, it’s like a mini-homecoming. It’s very patriotic; red, white and blue, everywhere you look. You’re filled with a sense of pride for the USA. What great freedoms we have here! Free to speak your mind. Free to worship as you choose. Free to “have it your way”. Free to keep to yourself. Free to…
Paul encouraged the Galatians to live the life of freedom that Christ granted, not for themselves only, but for others.
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Galations 5:13 NLT
It was interesting to me that in the King James Version, freedom is translated as liberty. A note in the Oxford American Dictionary described some subtle differences regarding these two words.
“Freedom implies an absence of restraint or compulsion, while liberty implies the power to choose among alternatives rather than merely being unrestrained. Freedom can also apply to many different types of oppressive influences, while liberty often connotes deliverance or release.”
Isn’t that exactly what happens when we receive Christ? We’re no longer restrained by our sin; but can now choose “Godly” good that benefits all, not just ourselves. We’re delivered from the oppression of being a slave to sin; and of course delivered from the death that sin deserves. Praise God!
The Oxford American Dictionary goes on to describe license:
“License often refers to an abuse of liberty or the power to do whatever one pleases.” That is exactly what Paul rhetorically asks in Romans, chapter six. Since we are free from the law, do we have license to sin? No way! We were freed by the power of sin, not by ourselves but only by the power of God.
So are you free?
“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36 NLT