July 04, 2023

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then…” Galatians 5:1

Today, we pause to celebrate our nation’s independence.

It’s a time to cherish the land of the free and the home of the brave.   

Amidst all the festivities, however, I sometimes find myself just going through the motions. I cruise through the day simply doing what I’ve done in years past, going to the pool, grilling out, fireworks, etc., without fully appreciating the freedom that makes it possible to have fun in the first place.  

I must not allow the blanket of freedom that covers our great nation to lull me asleep. The 4th of July is meant to serve as an annual wake-up call, a reminder to never take freedom for granted.

As wonderful as American freedom is, there’s another kind of freedom that’s even more liberating. Yet, we’re equally as prone to take it for granted.

It’s the freedom found in Jesus.  

As Americans, we tend to think of freedom as the ability to do whatever we please. That as long as our pursuit of life and liberty doesn’t harm anyone, we’re good to go. But this isn’t what Paul has in mind when he talks about freedom in Christ.  

Without a thorough understanding of the freedom Jesus provides, however, we won’t fully appreciate it. So, let’s take a quick refresher course.

There are two primary meanings of freedom in Galatians:


Before we know Christ, we walk around thinking we’re free, but we’re not. The Bible declares that “the whole world is a prisoner of sin” (Galatians 3:22). If that isn’t bad enough, we’re incapable of freeing ourselves, and there’s absolutely nothing we can do to earn our freedom. Without Christ, we’re locked up in a desperate, inescapable situation.  

Thankfully, Jesus paid the price of our freedom with three nails and an empty tomb. He offers it to us free of charge as an extraordinary gift of grace.  When we place our trust in Him, we are liberated from the power and penalty of sin. We come alive spiritually and experience inner freedom and joy, unlike anything we’ve ever known.

If Jesus has truly set me free,” you may wonder, “why do I still struggle with sin so much?” Author Jerry Bridges puts it like this – “Sin is like a defeated army that, instead of surrendering and laying down its arms, it fades into the countryside, from which it continues to wage a guerrilla war of harassment and sabotage against the prevailing government forces. Sin as a ‘reigning power’ in our life has been defeated – but it refuses to surrender!”


Because of Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection, we are set free from legalistic adherence to Old Testament laws. Christ has perfectly fulfilled the Father’s righteous demands. Consequently, it’s not about what we do. It’s about what Christ has already done on our behalf. This doesn’t mean that God’s ethical guidelines are unimportant. It means that they are not the basis of our salvation. Nor does it mean we have a license to sin or that we’re free to do whatever we want, throwing caution to the wind. Living that way would lead us back into the bondage of sin and reveal that we don’t fully comprehend the grace we’ve received.

So, what do we do with this life-changing freedom?

That’s easy…we “stand” in it. This isn’t a momentary, passive kind of standing as we do for the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem. No, this is ongoing, ‘plant your feet in the ground and refuse to be moved type of standing.’ We stand firmly in our freedom in Christ, not drifting back into the bondage of sin or the bondage of legalism.

Today and every day, stand for freedom. And by all means, don’t take it for granted.

Happy July 4th, and God Bless America!

Written by the RFTH team