America is immortalized in our National Anthem as “The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”. But we are living in an era when it seems that our freedoms are under assault not only from outside forces, but also from our own government. Politicians are demonstrating a careless disregard for our freedoms. The Constitution is under attack, and its erosion is leading directly to diminishing personal freedom.
In light of the developments noted above, how should we live in times like these? We can, as always, find right instruction in Scripture. Peter’s instruction to first-century Christians gives directions that are still applicable to this day. Peter tells believers, many who were slaves, to “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as an excuse to do evil (1 Pet. 2:16).” How could slaves live as free people? The answer is to understand the meaning of real freedom.
Real freedom is not political, social, or physical freedom. Those who are able to exercise power over us can, unfortunately, take that kind of freedom away. True freedom is spiritual freedom:
- This freedom is marked by freedom from sin. Where once our lives had been controlled by sin, now we experience “having been set free from sin (Rom.6:18).” Jesus said, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you are free indeed (John 8:36).”
- This freedom brings freedom from guilt. Psychiatrists tell us problems with mental illness can often be traced to feelings of guilt. Guilt often drives tormented souls toward tragic consequences. “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear (Psalm 38:4 NIV).” The answer to guilt is given in Psalm 32:5, “I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’ – and you (He) forgave the guilt of my sin.”
- This freedom gives freedom from anxiety. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6&7).”
Let me share words of wisdom found in Gal. 5:12, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made you free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
LET US LIVE AS FREE PEOPLE