We have just celebrated our country’s birth: Independence Day – The Fourth of July. This day 245 years ago set us free from the tyranny and control of England. As our new nation was created citizens were empowered by this new freedom. They could buy, sell, trade, own land and more without having to pay taxes to a government thousands of miles and an ocean away. While we gained the freedom to worship and live as we chose through the American Revolution, we also gained a less desirable freedom, we had the freedom to choose to sin and do evil.
As with humans everywhere this baby country did not live peacefully in joyful freedom, but instead people, as sinful humankind will do, used their freedom as license to take what was not theirs, strike out in anger or retribution, enslave their brothers, and overall allow their freedom to lead to bondage. When men are free they have the right to choose, but they must be careful to choose wisely. Will they choose freedom from sin or freedom to sin?
We have that question before us every day of our life. Will we, will I, in my freedom chose to do evil, to sin? Or will I choose freedom from sin which requires me to self-govern and deny myself and choose to not do everything my heart desires, to reject the freedom to do evil?
Our society today is suffering. We are suffering from sin. People daily choose to do as they please regardless of the consequences. Regardless of whether it negatively affects others. Even regardless of the law. We as a nation are increasingly becoming a people who do what we want, when we want no matter the cost. How can we change our culture? How can we come back to a freedom that embraces honor and respect for others?
First, we must each individually choose freedom FROM sin. We must make it our goal to live self-less, not self-ish lives. We must wholeheartedly obey Jesus, seeking to live out the truths of scripture each day. We must put others first and self last as we are instructed in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” We must become individuals of integrity and character who are lighthouses to those passing by in this dark world.
Second, we must proclaim Jesus to everyone we meet. The only hope for a fallen, sinful society is Jesus. The book of John tells us, “Jesus said…, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…. Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. … if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'” (John 6:31-32, 34, 36) Real freedom comes through knowing the truth. Jesus is the truth. It is through knowing Jesus, the truth, and abiding in Him, making daily choices to live like Him, that we are set free from sin. And that is the only true freedom we will ever have.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John14:6