Today is our nation's Independence Day. 241 years ago today, our nation declared its independence from Britain. However, that independence did not come without a cost, nor did it endure without boundaries. Independence in this life is not without its cost. We enjoy the bountiful blessings of our freedoms today because of countless men and women who fought and died to secure and defend those freedoms. I am thankful for those who have given their lives for my freedom, and I am thankful for those who continue to serve in various ways to protect our freedom today.
Those freedoms are also not without boundaries. A true freedom is governed rightly, and enacts consequences for acting in a way that goes against the nature and intention of that freedom. When people act as if there should be no restraints under the guise of "freedom," then they have failed to understand what true freedom is.
Spiritually, these things are true as well.
In order for a person to be truly free from his own sinfulness, he must understand the cost of that freedom. Jesus Christ died as the greatest sacrifice, giving his life as a ransom for the many. True freedom from sin requires you to repent of your sin, and place your faith in the One who died on the cross for you, and who rose victoriously from the dead three days later. There can be no true freedom in this life without being rescued from the bondage of your sin. Be saved and set free today.
Salvation in Jesus Christ is not, however, without boundaries. We are not to use our freedom in Christ as a license to live however we want. We have a new and loving Master, who loves us and knows what is best for us. He will chasten us when we fight against our new position in Christ, seeking to go our own way. There are boundaries within Christianity that are designed for our welfare, not our misery.
Today, as you celebrate this great nation, be thankful for your national freedom. But more than that, reflect upon the spiritual freedom that you have in Christ, and thank him for all that he has done to secure it for you and to help you walk rightly in those freedoms.
Pray for our country. Pray for its leadership. Pray that they would govern with a fear of God in their eyes. George Washington is credited with saying, "It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible." O that our local and national leaders would understand and believe that.
But just as that is true about our country politically, it is true about our lives individually and spiritually. True freedom in this life is not found in the false sense of freedom in your own sinful lifestyle. True freedom is not giving in to the sinful tendencies and just "being yourself." True freedom is found through salvation in Jesus Christ, being ruled by him and his Word, and walking humbly before him every day of your life.
Enjoy the day celebrating our nation's birthday! But enjoy your salvation and freedom in Christ even more.