This is quite a different Fourth of July for me. It’s just me and baby girl(s) this weekend while Jonah is away with dad. This 4th looks a lot like last year’s . . . torrential rain, but so, so much has changed.
Despite the holiday, I have been thinking on the concept of freedom a lot lately. It sure means different things to different people . . . freedom to do what we want, freedom to say what we want, freedom to go where we want . . . a lot of “we” and “want” in those phrases, huh?
When it gets down to it, I think that we often miss the point. Well, I know I have. The dictionary defines “freedom” this way: 1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous.
I think definition C really hits the nail on the head. Galatians 5:1 says “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” and then verse 13 of the same chapter adds, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
This instance of “freedom” that Paul is talking about is translated from the Greek as eleutheros (Strong’s Number: g1658 ) which basically means freedom from restraint and obligation, bondage or slavery. Freedom from sin, freedom from getting what we deserve, freedom from guilt and fear . . . and like any freedom, it wasn’t really free. This Greek translation also adds that this freedom is the kind that is bought.
1 Corinthians 6:20 “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” and 7:23 “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.” Greek: agorazo – “Figuratively Christ is spoken of as having bought His redeemed, making them His property at the price of His blood (i.e., His death through the shedding of His blood in expiation for their sins.”
When I consider freedom this way as a believer, freed up from enslavement to my own nature, to money, to people pleasing, to ladder climbing – I take a deep breath. No matter what my circumstance, yeah, I am free. It’s this kind of freedom that really does make me want to lift my hands and spin around, to love freely, to give and receive freely, to serve and to know Him more.
So, Happy Fourth of July everyone. “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36