Freedom isn’t free. Everything costs someone something. Free samples at the grocery store costs the store something to entice you to try new products. Buy one get one free costs the store, and you still have to buy one, but it may attract you to shop there again. Free healthcare and free college is a loss both to the hospital and the college, as they still have to pay staff to provide a service. People rarely work for free.
Your salvation in Christ is also free. No money changes hands when you offer yourself to Jesus and are baptized. But you know that the transaction was paid for at the cross. Your salvation, free to you, was paid in blood.
Paul calls attention to another freedom in us. He says we have been called to be free. We are called by God to be free. But this freedom isn’t for indulging the whims if the flesh, but for serving one another. You were not made free to “do whatever you want”. That is an improper and selfish kind of freedom, and it usually leads to bondage. No, we have been called to be free, free from our sins and our ever present anxiety of death, to use our hands and help, our eyes and ears, our hearts and minds to help one another.
That may not sound much like American Freedom, but remember we threw off the tyranny of an English King in the hope that we could govern ourselves as individual citizens. Which means we would become educated on the issues and do right by our neighbor. We would elect sound men of good character to run the government. We would be faithful to interact in our communities. We would give our loyalty to our own country and be willing to die for her because we believe in her ideals. That is freedom.
As Christians we have the freedom to be educated in the Bible. To love and pray for our neighbors. We have the freedom to jump in and help when help is needed. We are called to be free. Let us use it, for we were not called to huddle in our churches.
God bless you on this Independence Day!