By Paul Bawden
The recent Congressional baseball shooting, and the terrorist attacks in England, remind us that our freedoms are very fragile.
These violent and evil assaults, along with others, are a wake-up call that we must not take our freedoms for granted, and we must never forget the source of the freedoms we experience on a daily basis.
In the month of July when the United States celebrates its independence, the great document of the Declaration of Independence reminds us 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 tell us that freedom is not found in ourselves. Rather, our freedom comes from our Creator, who 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, resulting in life turning into that which destroys life, liberty becoming bondage, and happiness replaced by 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, and even in other parts of the world, it becomes crystal clear that is the fast track our nation is on. 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 battlefield, and are being given on the battlefield today for our freedom? Could it be that some who ignore the high cost of freedom are using their freedom in the United States 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 that 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, 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 in our place to pay our penalty for breaking God’s law, which is death. He was buried, and then He rose bodily from the grave to provide for us His forgiveness and eternal life. 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 life-changing freedom He won for you be evident in every area of your life.
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 GotQuestions.org. 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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