In 1607, the first colony was founded at Jamestown, Virginia. Over time and the need to stand up against Great Britain, 12 more colonies were established. The colonists desired complete freedom from Great Britain because they had no vote or voice in government affairs. Furthermore, they were heavily taxed. Eventually, with tensions high, the American Revolutionary War began in 1775. The United States gained independence from Great Britain on July 4th, 1776. Ninety-one years later, on June 19th, 1865, freedom from oppression was made available to all people. On this day, the last enslaved people gained their independence after federal troops arrived in Texas to enforce the decree that all enslaved people be freed.
Freedom happens when we put our trust and hope in Jesus. Being free to live and enjoy life is a basic human desire that God implanted into our design. He wants us to experience freedom not through our own efforts but through Christ alone.
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6::22-23).
Freedom in Christ is the only true form of freedom because it is of God and goes beyond this life. The freedom that the world offers is the freedom to go and do whatever brings fleshly pleasure. Nothing holds them back. Worldly freedom turns from God’s eternal plan for our lives to a freedom that is fleeting and has disastrous eternal consequences. In Christ alone, we have eternal hope, peace, and lasting love without boundaries.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
“We now know the truth that sets us free as believers (John 8:32).
A person who has experienced true freedom in Christ is honored to live as His servant. God needs nothing, but His desire is for us to be with Him in all areas of our lives. Dying to our desires and walking with God as we love and serve others for His glory is what serving is all about. You cannot claim that you’re serving God if you are unwilling to help and care for others. With a grateful heart for all Christ has done for us, we choose to serve Christ by serving and helping others. We have been set free from the selfishness of our flesh to serve Christ. The freedom to love and serve others to God’s glory is beautiful!
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2: 5-11).
Those who find freedom in Christ also become His children.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:4-7)
The type of freedom that God wants us to enjoy is found by intentionally being in His presence. Praying and being in His Word is essential for hearing God’s voice as He directs us on how to serve Him. We cannot serve God faithfully without rejecting our human desires of self and choosing to follow His leading. Through this serving process, we become more and more transformed into His image.
In short, we experience true freedom in Christ by knowing Him, walking in His ways, and being open to engaging through the work of the Holy Spirit to bring about changes in our lives. This freedom transcends the human desire to be served by providing peace in this life and freedom with Christ forever.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:13,14).