July 4. 2021

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1 ESV

According to Bible.org; The books of Galatians and Romans are the clearest expressions of the new covenant of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone! Galatians has been called “The Magna Carta of Christian Liberty.” This letter stirred the fires of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther said, “the little book of Galatians is my letter; I have betrothed myself to it; it is my wife.” John Wesley said he found lasting peace from a sermon on Galatians. In his Study Guide Commentary, p. 11, Curtis Vaughan wrote, “few books have more profoundly influenced the minds of men, have so significantly shaped the course of human history, or continued to speak with such relevance to the deepest needs of modern life.” It is interesting that in the study of World History similar things have been said by men about the founding documents of America, The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. This was a headline in the New York Times newspaper, February 24, 1936, “MANNING EXTOLS THE CONSTITUTION; Bishop Calls It the Greatest Document Ever Written by the Hand of Man. Terming the Constitution of the United States “the greatest document ever written by the hand of man, the foundation of our national life and the protector of our liberties,” Bishop William T. Manning, in a sermon yesterday morning urged loyalty to it and to every activity of human life. Most democracies last a little more than 200 years, and we see how America is faltering as we approach 250 years. America no longer has the freedoms that we have been so proud of. It seems like America is now tearing itself asunder in confusion about who we are, and why we are here, but most importantly- about, WHOSE we are.

Leader, In America today we have been told that the greatest threat to American Democracy is White Evangelicals. Might I suggest that the greatest threat to the freedom that one has in Christ is; Evangelicals who DO NOT KNOW, and DO NOT FOLLOW the Word of God. Hear the Word of the Lord; So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32) FEAR is used to CAPTIVATE people. Fear of speaking up with HIS WORD, fear of standing up for Jesus, fear of being considered hateful, bigoted, PHOBIC about issues that God said are sins, and abominations. FEAR is the ‘chains’ of today. We are in a time, the Time of the Gentiles, where the church and the world are being separated. We must remember our FREEDOM does not come from man, or government, our FREEDOM IS IN CHRIST. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us of our FREEDOM from FEAR. Hear the Word of the LORD; “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. We are called to remember not only WHO WE ARE, but also WHOSE we are! The Declaration of Independence speaks to ‘unalienable’ rights. According to the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are all considered unalienable rights that cannot be taken away by any government or monarch. The Founding Fathers directed these words to King George III as the colonies were attempting to establish their independence from Great Britain. However, Jesus Christ directed His words of FREEDOM to anyone who would believe IN HIM, and WALK WITH HIM as Lord, Savior and Messiah. In America, we are losing those rights, especially if we are EVANGELICAL. However, we can never lose those rights in Christ! O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Galatians 3:1-3) No matter who is in the White House, no matter how free America remains, we are FREE IN CHRIST!

Conduit, Paul in His letter to the Corinthians tells us of the expanse of our freedom in Christ. “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. (1 Corinthians 10:23) We seem to be all wrapped up in this freedom thing, that we never ask 2 important questions. 1- Freedom from what? 2- Freedom to do what? We were freed from the penalty of our sin, we were freed from eternal separation from God, and we were freed FROM SLAVERY TO SIN! Free to do what? The Book of Philemon is a book about slavery. The early church was made up of primarily slaves. Philemon was a slave owner and a follower of Jesus Christ. Onesimus was his slave who ran away and most likely, stole money for his journey. Paul led him to Christ and then sent him back to his slave owner, even though He could face death. Hear the Word of the Lord; I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. (Philemon 1:10-16) That is the purpose of freedom, to be FULL OF USE (useful), by God for our fellow man! Paul confirmed this to the church in Corinth, over and over. “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” (1 Corinthians 10:24) For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13) In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul gives us more understanding of real freedom to serve God and to bring others into a Saving relationship of freedom with Him! We are FREE from our past, from our flesh, and from our punishment. Now we must USE THAT FREEDOM to glorify God! I pray you remain FREE! “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. (1 Corinthians 7:17-24)


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