Galatians 5:13-14 (ESV)
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
July 4th is also known as Independence Day. Independence means freedom. In our country we enjoy a lot of freedom. We are free to come to church and worship, we are free to choose what we want to be when we grow up, we are free to choose where we want to live, we are free to choose most of the things that affect our daily lives.
Now, this might come as a surprise to some of you, but did you know that freedom isn't free? That's right, someone had to pay the price for us to have the freedom that we enjoy. There are men and women right here in this room this morning who have helped to pay that price. Some have served in the Army, Navy, Marines, or Air Force. Many of them have fought in wars and some may have been wounded and some people paid the ultimate price for freedom. They gave their lives fighting for our freedom.
Yes, we have a lot of freedom, but the greatest freedom that we have is the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus. The Bible teaches that the penalty for sin is death, but you and I have been set free from this penalty. We have been set free because Jesus paid the penalty. The Bible tells us that Jesus died to set us free from the penalty of sin. Instead of death, we have been given eternal life. This freedom wasn't free, Jesus paid the price.
As we celebrate Independence Day, let us remember to stop and thank God for those who have paid the price for our freedom. But even more important, let us remember to thank God for Jesus, who has set us free from the penalty for sin, because he was willing to pay the price.
Dear Lord, we thank you for the freedom that we enjoy in our country. We are thankful for those who paid the price for that freedom, but even more important, we thank you for the freedom we have because laid down Your life to pay the penalty for our sin. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.