Freedom

What is the meaning of Freedom?  As we celebrate the Fourth of July, or as it is known America as Independence day I wanted to shed light on the meaning of Freedom.  In the United States of America, we are blessed to have what is known as Freedom to this day.  Whether it is the same kind of Freedom our Founding Fathers were looking for is debatable.  But we know that Christ has given us some types of Freedom.

According to the etymology of the word, “free”, which came from “freo” in Old English, it means no longer being in bondage.  Other meanings are related to love, and also NOT being under “foreign rule and despotism” (Online Etymology Dictionary).

When talking about the first meaning of the word, Freedom – Christ has made us free from a bondage to sin and death.  Death here is not talking about physical death, but spiritual death, which is the suffering one must go through if he or she chooses not to accept Christ.

He gave us a Free will so that we can choose whether to love and accept Him or not.  Morgan Freeman, no pun intended, said in Bruce Almighty, while he was playing God in the role said to Bruce when he was asked how to make someone love someone else without affecting free will,  said, “When you find that one out, let me know?”  I thought about this even though it was a movie.  I came to realize that God loves us so much, and He even loved lucifer so much to give him the free will. He gave us the power to choose whether to love Him or not, which brings up an interesting point when discussing Romans.  Paul says that we are “slaves to Christ”, and that He has “chosen us”.  But this concept of being a slave brings up an interesting question – does being a slave negate your ability to have a free will?  Can it stop you from running away at any time?  No you still have the choice, and you have to live with consequences.  We are slaves to Christ, but He does not treat us like slaves or servants, He treats us like friends.   For people that went through slavery in this nation, sometimes the consequence was very painful, or even death.  As long as your mind is correctly working and you have the mental aptitude to make a choice then you have a free will.  If you are mentally insane, or have a disease like Alzheimer’s or Dementia, then you may not have free will or choice in what you think or believe or act.  In that case God is taking care of you, and He knows what is in your heart.

So going back to the concept of being free- another meaning of free is without cost.  But we were not free, we were very expensive so to say that we are slaves to Christ is not that accurate because He bought us with a very special price.  When He created the Earth and knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb, He went out and specifically chose us to see which of us were worth the price, and then we were given the special option of getting to choose who’s going to be our owner, God, or satan.  When I am thinking about this I get the image of Toy Story.  The Father is like the original owner of Woody in Toy Story 1, the boy who bought and loved Woody with all his heart.  By the time Toy Story 3 comes around, (sorry for spoiler), Woody and the toys belong to a new owner and that is a little girl, which could represent Jesus.  Theologically this doesn’t make that much sense and is a loose interpretation, but it gives the example of being bought with a price.  In Toy Story 3, Woody actually chooses to be with the girl.  The Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are by all means superior to the characters in Toy Story, so I want to emphasize that this was a metaphor to illustrate a point – that we essentially are not cheap, but we were bought with a price and we have the capability to choose our Master.  We were bought with a price so we could choose to be Kings and Preists for the Kingdom of God.

Christ also established us as free from the law.  What this really means is free from the consequences of not following the law legalistically and ritualistically, but we as Christians have to follow the Ten Commandments, or we have to face the consequences of not repenting from those sins.  In Galatians, it says that the Law was actually like a teacher, and once we have been taught, we don’t need them any more and what they have taught us should be written our hearts and minds.

In America we are blessed to have Freedom up to this point, which is essentially free from foreign rule or despotism, but even that was bought with a price.  Many people had to die so that we could experience the Freedom that we have today.  When God is going to do something great, there is usually some kind of cost, or trade off.  In Economics, we call this an Opportunity Cost,( the sacrifice related to the second best choice available to someone who has picked among several mutually exclusive choices) [Wikipedia].    I’m sure God has done His cost and benefit analysis when coming to terms with the Freedom He gave us as Americans, and also as He gave us as Christians.

Looking ahead to the future, are we always going to have Freedom in America?  Maybe, maybe not, no one really knows, and it would be a sad thing to see if it ever did occur that America lost it’s Freedom.  As Christians in America look at how many of the Ten Commandments we have broken:  1) No other gods before The Lord, 2) Do not make or worship graven images 3) Do not take the Lord’s name in vain or entertain or associate with someone who takes the Lord’s name in vain 4) Remember and observe the Sabbath (Saturday – if you are not sure – think of Spanish for Saturday, SABADO, 5) Honor your Father and Mother 6) Do not murder 7) Do not commit adultery 8 ) Do not Steal 9) Do not lie 10) Do not covet or desire something that belongs to someone else.

How many of those do we follow in America?  How many of those do we follow as Christians?  Even look at our Law makers and see how many of them follow all these Commandments.  But fortunately, Jesus gave us two Commandments, known as the Great Commandments, “Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as you love yourself”.

1 Corinthians 13:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

If we really loved each other regardless of being Christian, or not being Christian, imagine what kind of revolution could take place.  But because there is an opponent out there trying to keep us from this kind of love in our lives, and it is only a love that can come from Christ and he wants to steal us of that love.

Let us celebrate that we have Freedom in America, and that we can enjoy the Freedom from the time being from severe persecution and slavery, and foreign rule and oppression as we take pride in the God that holds our nation together, and that is our Lord Jesus Christ.

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3 thoughts on “Freedom

  1. Great words of wisdom. We are truly a blessed people to enjoy the freedom we have. As you said, the freedom we enjoy was not free. Many have paid dearly, even making the ultimate sacrifice. But our greatest freedom, as you wonderfully stated comes through Jesus and the ultimate price He paid on the cross. Thanks for the inspiring words.

  2. I would like to say well done. And that I am commenting on the below part specificly:
    Christ also established us as free from the law.  What this really means is free from the consequences of not following the law legalistically and ritualistically, but we as Christians have to follow the Ten Commandments, or we have to face the consequences of not repenting from those sins.  In Galatians, it says that the Law was actually like a teacher, and once we have been taught, we don’t need them any more and what they have taught us should be written our hearts and minds.

    I agree in part with what you have said here. Christ has established us free from the law, however not just consequences but the whole thing. Romans 6 and 7 state that we are not under law. What I believe is that as we focus on Jesus, everyything He did as a finished work of the cross we get effotlessly. If we are following Jesus you. Will sin less, you will naturally walk in the Spirit and you will be righteous. And all this because Jesus did it all. Teach grace and peiple will sin less and not even want to sin (Titus 2).

    What do you believe the word repent means?

    I could not find that Scripture you mention in Galatians, can you tell me where it is please.

    I am keen to chat about these things and know to protect me from me I have made this open to my wife and will do with everything that is said.

    Thanks.

  3. Galatians 3:23-25

    Passage Galatians 3:23-24:
    23 Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed),
    24 So that the Law served [to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith.

    25 But now that the faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer (the guardian of our childhood).

    In this instance trainer can mean a teacher or tutor – something that guides you in the way you should develop.

    Romans 2:15

    15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.

    This is the part about the Law written in our hearts.

    Repent- According to the Online Etymology Dictionary – the word repent refers to the same meaning as “to regret ones crimes and sins”. But I think the Biblical aspect of repentance takes it one step further – where it asks you to Turn Around – or change from the sin, and to continue not to do it again. Let’s say your child puts crayon on the wall (just an example of disobedience) when you told him or her not to, so then you teach them to recognize what they have done is wrong, maybe not in the act of it themselves, but because they disobeyed you. The first time they did it you may not do anything but give them a warning, but if they keep on doing it again and again it becomes a sign of rebellion and disrespect so then you apply some chastening-maybe have them actually clean up the crayon on the wall. If the child gets it right the first time then they don’t have to go through the chastening. You are not chastening them because you haven’t forgiven them, or because you don’t love them, but because you are trying to teach them that they can’t have a meaningful relationship with you if they are constantly disobedient and to be responsible for the actions they have chosen and face the consequences. Jesus would probably clean the wall each time you have done it, but if it is keeping you from becoming who He wants you to be then it needs to be corrected.

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