Real Freedom

            Seventy-one years ago today on January 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the State of the Union Address where he articulated “The Four Freedoms” that he saw as a goal not only for the United States, but the world.  The four fundamental freedoms “that people everywhere ought to enjoy”, according to Roosevelt, are freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

          While many feel that our basic freedoms are eroding, twelve Presidents later, we continue to hear about these four freedoms. Indeed people “yearn to breathe free.”  That fundamental belief has prompted our country to fight for freedom around the world.  Yet, there is another freedom that is more important than political freedom.

          In John 8:32 Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  His Jewish audience disputed Jesus’ claim by saying, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

          Jesus response was, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.  And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. “

          Real freedom is not political, social or financial.  Real Freedom is spiritual.  One may throw off the shackles of a tyrannical dictator, but be shackled to sin, in the clutches of the that spiritual tyrant, the devil.

          How many people who live in America, find themselves addicted to some habit that is sapping their mental, emotional and physical strength?

          How many people who enjoy financial freedom, are enslaved to Satan’s allurements of pleasure, power or prestige?

          How many people who advance the cause of political freedom, find they are  slaves of their own private lusts?

          How many are in bondage to guilt? To shame? To feelings of insecurity?  Inadequacy?  Worthlessness?  Resentment?  Anger?  Or an illicit relationship they wish they could sever?

          Real freedom is release from sin’s shackles. Bill Hybels once wrote, “We are all tethered to the stake of our sin.”  When the Son makes us free we can shake loose from the bondage, blame and burden of sin’s curse.

          Real freedom is peace produced by God’s saving grace.  When we accept God’s unmerited favor we enjoy “the peace that surpasses understanding.” Peace, however, is not the absence of pain, problems or pressures of daily living, but the assurance that Jesus is there with us, for us, and in us.

          Real freedom is joy found in the Faith. In Philippians 1:25 Paul speaks of “the joy of faith.”  There is an inner joy that we experience when we accept the faith and live  in harmony with the faith.

          Real freedom comes from Christ.  Jesus affirmed, “If the Son makes you free you shall be free indeed.”  Living a liberating life is all about our relationship with Jesus. 

          “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1)

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Freedom

4 responses to “Real Freedom

  1. Johnny L. Johnson

    Thanks so much for the encouragement, the exortation and comfort in these scriptures. Well said!

  2. Ila King

    When I viewed Norman Rockwell’s paintings of the Four Freedoms, I was reminded of the sacrifice of my daddy’s generation. When I view the emblems of the communion, I am reminded of our Lord’s sacrifice for me to give me freedom from sin. Thanks, Ken, for the reminder!

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