Friday, July 3, 2009

True Independence Day

This weekend there will be lots of talk about Independence Day. And isn't it great that we live in a free country? Praise God for all that has happened to give us the freedoms we enjoy in this great nation. However, there is an even greater freedom that comes only through Jesus Christ.

Here are some of the many freedoms one can have through Jesus:

1. Freedom from the penalty of sin. Jesus fully paid the penalty for us when He died and rose again. Therefore, the Holy God of the universe can accept Jesus' payment and clear our account from the huge debt we owe. In Christ, we can have eternal freedom from the penalty of sin! "God made Him who knew no sin to become sin on our behave, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Cor. 5:21

2. Freedom from the power of sin. Not only did Jesus' death and resurrection win the victory over the penalty of sin, but it also won the victory over the power of sin. In other words, through the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells us, we can now live a life of victory over sin. We do not have to sin. We can resist through God's power. "How shall we who died to sin still live in?" Rom. 6:1

3. Freedom to be real. God loves and accepts us in Christ with an unconditional love. This doesn't mean our behavior is irrelevant, but it does mean that we do not obey to earn God's love but rather because of His love. Therefore, we can be real. We can be honest. We can admit our weaknesses and failures, and come to God just like we are. We can even be real with others, which is how we grow the most. Let's take off our mask and be real.

4. Freedom from Satan. Though Satan is more powerful than we are in our flesh, he is not more powerful than the God who lives in us. "Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world" (1 Jn. 4:4). Because of Christ's death and resurrection, Satan lost his upper hand over us. We can submit to God, resist the Devil and he will flee (Jas. 4:7).

5. Freedom from condemnation. Satan loves to bring condemnation upon believers by reminding them of their past or current failures. However, we can bring those sins to the cross and claim the forgiveness of Christ. "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1). When Satan brings up your past, remind him of your righteousness in Christ. Also, remind him of his future!

6. Freedom to live "all out" for God. How cool that we can give our all for the One who gave His all for us. How cool that we can give our lives for something that matters for eternity. We are set free to live freely for our Master, Jesus. We do this because He has put a new song in our heart. We do this because He is working in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Phil. 2:12-13).

On this Independence Day weekend, let us give thanks to God for the freedoms we have in Christ!