Friday, July 4, 2014

“Real Freedom”

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:36 KJV)

“Real Freedom” was the title of Pastor’s Sunday morning sermon. It had nothing to do with the 4th of July, but everything to do with the freedom Christ offers. Funny, isn’t it, to think of the cross when discussing freedom. Being on a cross certainly curtailed freedom! Except for Christ.

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. (John 12:32-33 KJV)

Just as today, the people who heard Him did not believe, did not understand and had the same question that rings out today:

The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? (John 12:34 KJV)

They understood that Jesus was understood to be the Christ – the promised Messiah – but they did not understand about death. The greatest proof of His divinity was the Resurrection. There was more for us than dying. Even in our sinfulness, He brought proof there was more, then gave it to us. Along with some instructions:

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. (Galatians 5:13-15 KJV)

No – that’s not the only verse of instructions. There are many more across the New Testament. But this one has a good message. We are called to liberty, but not to use it in error. We are called to love. If we use our liberty to damage others, we will be damaged ourselves.

In another chapter God inspired Paul to share, he wrote of the veil that Moses wore (Exodus 34:33) most likely because the light was too intense. Jesus, as the light of the world, offers no veil but liberty:

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18 KJV)

A Christian's liberty is not offered, condoned or restricted by any national means. Our liberty is eternal, given by one whose purpose included life, abundantly:

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b KJV)

I sorta doubt Pastor would recognize my ramblings as being connected to his sermon – I do tend to roam a bit more in my thoughts. But I’m certain we’d both agree with Paul’s comment on God’s gift to mankind:

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV)

Oh, yes - thinking about yesterday's post. We're not free from earthly consequences. Keep that in mind!

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