What does it mean to be free? Merriam-Webster defines “free” as having the legal and political rights of a citizen or not subject to the control or domination of another. Living in the United States of America is supposed to afford us all the opportunity to realize what it means to be free. Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen have fought, bled, and died to secure and preserve the freedom which was intended to be enjoyed by all the citizens of this nation. We all should be thankful for the sacrifices of those who have gone before us and we should strive to make sure every citizen of this country has equal access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
There is, however, a more precious freedom available to us through the gospel of Jesus Christ. God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, sent His one and only Son to the earth in order to fulfill completely and perfectly the righteous requirements of God’s law. Jesus, the perfect Son of God, then willingly and obediently laid down His life on the cross of Calvary, rising again victoriously on the third day. He did this in order to purchase redemption and eternal life for all who would trust in Him alone by grace through faith. This is the good news of the gospel according to Scripture. At this point, we should ask ourselves a few questions: Are we sinners, totally lost and separated from God, and by nature deserving the full wrath of God? (See Ephesians 2:1-3) Are we unable to do anything at all to help ourselves, make ourselves better, or save ourselves from sin and death? (See Ephesians 2:8-9) Did Jesus Christ perfectly fulfill the righteous requirements of the law on our behalf by dying in our place for our sins on the cross? (See Romans 5:8, 6:23, & 8:1-4)
Now if you answered yes to all three of those questions (and I sincerely hope you did because they are all true), then there is only one appropriate response in light of these biblical truths. We should be humble and broken in the presence of Almighty God who has saved us from our sin by the shed blood of His perfect Son. There should be an overflow of gratitude and thanksgiving directed toward our loving Father who set us free when we were faced with eternal condemnation. This gratitude and thanksgiving should find expression in our actions as we strive to live in a manner “worthy of the calling [we] have received” (Ephesians 4:1). Our worship should overflow as well when we consider the beauty and the majesty of King Jesus. Ultimately, this should affect the way we treat others and the way we stand against injustice.
True freedom does not consist of doing whatever we want to do. True freedom is the ability to do what is right in the sight of God. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).