Give Me Liberty

Since it is the fourth of July weekend, you might have already finished the rest of that phrase in your mind: “or give me death.” Those defiant words of Patrick Henry helped shape a nation and its leaders. As much as we value liberty in our country, we are even more thankful for the liberty that God gives. In our study of the book of James both last week and this week, James mentions the “law of liberty.” God offers us freedom from sin and death, but that freedom was never intended to create an “anything goes” way of life. In the midst of that discussion of liberty, James emphasizes the importance of our actions matching our beliefs. He reminds us that our actions toward others are incredibly important in the eyes of the God who frees us.
In John 8:31-32, Jesus also talks about freedom when He says, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” If we want to live lives that are truly free of sin and death, we will choose in our freedom to follow Jesus and to recognize His truth. In our independence, we actually become dependent on the God who loves us and set us free.
Happy Dependence Day does not quite have the same ring to it, but it is something that followers of Jesus can celebrate every day. We depend on God. Paul captures that concept very well in 2 Corinthians 3:4-5, “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” We are not self-sufficient. We know that in His perfect love, God provides for us and also frees us. That is true freedom.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23

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