Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. - 1 John 4:1

Is freedom free?

By Paul Bawden

July 4th is always a day of great celebration in the United States of America. It’s a time of celebrating the freedoms we have in this great county, freedoms, which were set forth in the publication of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

The Declaration of Independence encapsulated those freedoms when it stated that all of us are created equal and are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, which include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

These words remind us that freedom is not found in ourselves. Rather, our freedom comes from our Creator. He gives us these wonderful realities of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. At the same time, when we don’t make choices that display these realities, we find ourselves going down a different path. Life can turn into that which destroys life. Liberty can turn into bondage, and happiness can turn into sadness and hopelessness.

The result is a society that is filled with selfishness, hedonism, licentiousness, and lawlessness. As a person objectively observes what is happening in the United States, it becomes crystal clear that this is what is happening in the nation. But I ask, “Why so?“ Why do we live as if there is no Creator?

Could it be that we have forgotten that freedom isn‘t free? Could it be that we have forgotten that lives were given on the battle field and are being given today for our freedom? Could it be that some who ignore the high cost of freedom are using their freedom in this country to destroy the very freedom that they enjoy? Yes, and could it be that we have forgotten that true freedom is a spiritual issue rather than a physical/material matter?

Jesus Christ jarred the minds of the Pharisees when He told them that everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. Then He added, “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Our high tech minds tend to scoff at such words. In the process, we fail to realize that we are in bondage to our selfishness, pride, hedonism, licentiousness, and lawlessness, yes, our sin. We need true spiritual freedom.

But the cost is monumental. True spiritual freedom is not free. Christ died on the cross for you and me to pay our penalty for breaking God’s law, which is death, and then He rose bodily from the grave to provide for us His forgiveness and eternal life – actually, His eternal freedom.

Don’t pass Him by. Come to the Savior, and ask Him for His forgiveness and eternal life. He will make you a new person (II Corinthians 5:17). Then you will experience what it means to have true spiritual freedom – freedom to do God’s will, which is life at its best (Romans 15:13). If you know the Lord personally, may Christ’s high cost of freedom for you be evident in every area of your life (Galatians 5:16; 22-23).

Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.


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