Getting ready to celebrate a little freedom? With the Fourth of July (American Independence Day) coming up next week, this verse seem apropos for the occasion. So what is freedom?

For some, freedom is the ability to exercise and carry out your own will, to do whatever you desire. It is the ability exercise your will upon the world around you, such as the freedom to build, freedom to explore, or as the picture suggests, go out in the woods anytime you wish. What limits freedom? Really, the free ability of others to do as they please. Your freedom stops where theirs begins and vice versa. We are not free to take away someone else’s freedom, so we are not free to kill, steal, or take another man’s wife. We are free to tell the truth (for lying binds us) and we are free to own property without the fear of someone taking it from it. We are free to exercise these freedoms as often as we like. But as you might have noticed, freedom must be free, or it ends up in bondage.

If you choose to exercise your freedom to take someone else’s life, you will be arrested, charged for murder, and put in prison, or executed. That doesn’t sound so nice, does it? If you use your freedom to tell whatever “truth” you feel like, you will be bound by that “truth” until you come clean. For example, if you were with another woman, but come home to tell your wife you were working late, you are bound by the lie. You have to prove you were “working late” if you do it too often. Also, you are now bound in a relationship that is served by lies. Should your wife ever find you’ve been lying, your marriage is in jeopardy, so you have to work to not only conceal the illicit relationship, but figure out how to reinforce the lie.

Using freedom to sin only leads to greater bondage. With the Spirit of the Lord, who is holiness and truth, there is real freedom. Freedom from deception, bondage, and guilt is worth more than all the sin in the world.

If you have found you are in bondage, you can find freedom in Jesus. Embrace Him in faith, be baptized into a local community of believers and be saved from your sin and strife, receive the Holy Spirit, and you will be truly free.

Lord Jesus, by myself, I have been led astray far too many times. I know that only in You will I find freedom. Will You accept me as Your own? I pray my repentance over my many sins, and pray that I might finally find peace in You. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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