Jesus stood in front of a group of Jews and promised them freedom, and they responded like an America holding a box of bottle rockets on the 4th of July, “Freedom? We have never been enslaved to anyone!” After all, these men were sons of Abraham, they were the people of God, they were free; right?
This weekend we will eat BBQ and light up the sky with fireworks to celebrate our freedom. But what if our freedom is actually an illusion, and in reality we are unknowingly slaves of our own doing? After all what is freedom? Is freedom simply doing whatever we want to do? If so, then we are becoming freer and freer by the minute.
But what if that version of freedom is actual slavery? In Jesus’ conversation with the Jews He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” How’s that for freedom? According to Jesus, if you practice sin you are actually not free at all, but shackled by your own desires and unable to break free and walk in righteousness.
So what if freedom is something altogether different than merely doing whatever you want to do. What if true freedom is living instep with who God created you to be? As Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” In the same way a fish is only free in water, as image bearers of God we are only truly free when we are living under God’s rule and reign.
This weekend millions of America’s will celebrate our country’s freedom (which they should), while believing themselves to be completely free individuals. Free to do whatever they want to do, because that sure feels like freedom. Yet in reality they are lighting fireworks with shackles on their wrist, because they cannot shake off their slave master sin. And the more freely they sin, the more enslaved to it they become.
But now for the fireworks. Jesus came to set you free! Match, wick, kaboom! He died for the sin you love and are enslaved to, and was resurrected from the grave victorious over sin and death. So that if you turn from your slavary of sin and embrace Him as Lord, you can experience true freedom in Him. Not freedom to do whatever you want, but freedom to obey God and live out who He created you to be. So in light of what Jesus has done for you, don’t settle for the illusion of freedom, but rather come to the Son and experience the real thing. Match, wick, kaboom!
(Scripture comes from John 8:31-38)