by Paul Black
I hope that you had a wonderful July 4th yesterday. Cheryl and I have been like “busy bees” getting her Mom settled in her new “independent living” facility here in Lakeland, Fla. We so appreciate your love and prayers during this season. After a hard day of working, we ordered some “Kentucky Fried Chicken” (what’s more American than that?) and watched the fireworks from Washington DC.
I’ve been pondering this thing we call “Liberty” actually for the last several days. Good ‘ol Webster defines it in two ways:
1. “The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views.”
2. “The power or scope to act as one pleases.”
I’m not really satisfied with either of those definitions because those definitions could just as well define the term “lawlessness.” If you follow this definition for “liberty” it will end up in a state of lawlessness. For example, if my idea of freedom oppresses you, then it can never be seen as true “liberty.” It may be “freedom” for me but not for you. There is only one place that Liberty can truly be experienced; that is in the presence of God. It is in Him that we find true liberty. The Apostle Paul said this in 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NASB)
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
The Greek word for liberty is ἐλευθερία, pronounced, eleutheria. Its definition means “freedom, liberty, especially: a state of freedom from slavery.” That last phrase is key; “Being free from all slavery!” There is only one place where that is found... in Christ! Being in Him means freedom from sickness, hatred, sin, oppression, addiction, death, etc, etc. It means I am no longer compelled to live under the law of sin but live in the presence of Christ. No one else’s actions or beliefs can enslave or entrap me because I can choose to live in Christ. It actually enables me to “love my enemies and bless those who persecute me.” This understanding actually lifts me up from the perspective of the temporal into the realm of the eternal.
So, we can only have true freedom when we have absolutes that define that freedom. In America, we have the “constitution” which gives us a only a degree of freedom as long as we follow its statutes and don’t amend the power and authority out of it. However, the only state of true liberty is found when we choose to live in the person of Jesus Christ. He transcends all other liberties.
So enjoy the liberty you have in Jesus today! He gave it to you by His sacrifice.