Happy Independence Day to all you American readers! Let freedom ring!
If you’re like me, you put a high value on the liberties we get to experience in our country. Not everyone in the world gets to live like this.
Today, I want to discuss the contrast between freedom in America and freedom in Christ. There are some similarities and some very big differences.
Similarities in Freedom
1. Free Will
2. Human Rights
This one doesn’t necessarily refer to freedom in Christ per se, but rather to the rights given to us by God when He put into us His own image. Because of that, we as God’s most prized possessions deserve respect, dignity, and freedom.
And I know that the human rights in America today are not necessarily viewed from a religious perspective, but the Founding Fathers used language which referred to our inherent rights which are given to us from God. Specifically, that all men are created equally.
3. Paid for in Blood
We must never forget the sacrifices made for us today that allow us our liberty. From an American standpoint, that means the soldiers who gave their lives so that all of us could live free. From a Christian perspective, it means that Christ died for our sins so that we would not have to receive the punishment for them.
Differences in Freedom
1. The Source of Freedom
In America, the source of our liberty is our will and ability to obtain and sustain our independence from other nations. As long as we can hold on to it, we can be free. But it is certainly not permanent and is dependent on a lot of external factors.
But in Christ, our freedom comes from His perfection and His sacrifice. It is permanent and it allows us the ability to love God freely.But in #Christ, our #freedom comes from His perfection and His sacrifice. Click To Tweet
2. The Purpose of the Freedom
I completely agree. But that is not actually how we apply it today in our practically secular society. We use it as a means to obtain happiness (or at least what we think will bring us happiness). Moreover, it’s used as a crutch to justify our own shortcomings and sins, e.g., “Don’t judge me for being/acting a certain way. I can choose to be how I want to be.”
But the purpose of freedom in Christ is not a license to do whatever we want (even from an American viewpoint, there are limits to what we’re free to do. There are certain things we will go to prison for if we act on our freedom to do them).
No, the purpose of being free in Christ is to be free of man-made laws which would otherwise condemn us from God. Therefore, the reason we have it is so that we can honor God better with our lives.
In other words, instead of using free lives to pursue hedonism, we use it to stand confident before God that we can approach Him and worship Him in the holy manner He requires.The purpose of #freedom in #Christ is not a license to do whatever we want Click To Tweet
3. To whom the Freedom is Available
Now, I know how elitist that might sound, but think about it like this –
If you refused freedom when the Founding Fathers offered it to the people of America, you could choose to go live somewhere else. But that is not the fault of the writers of the Declaration of Independence. They offered it, and you refused it. Your choice, not theirs.
Christ offers an even more comprehensive freedom than any government ever could – not only freedom from external oppression from those who would harm you, but also from internal oppression from your sins. You are free to accept it or reject it. But if you reject it, don’t judge God. His offer comes with no strings attached. All you have to do is believe he did, what hundreds of witnesses said He did – rose from the dead.
Also published on Medium.