Freedom is a truly American ideal. Our nation was founded on the idea of freedom and independence. We value freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and so much more. These are critical to our ordered liberty as Americans. However, there is freedom that surpasses our American freedoms. While our American freedoms are incredibly important today, our freedom in Christ is eternally important always. What are our freedoms in Christ? Galatians 5:1-26 may help us understand.
First, we have freedom to believe and persevere. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Paul goes on to say that running the race of faith is critical to the life of a believer. We can’t let anything get in the way of our faithfulness to Christ.
Second, we have freedom to love our neighbors. Galatians 5:14 says, “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one commandment: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” As believers in Christ we are free to the point that we are free to love others as ourselves. We must prioritize loving and caring for those around us.
Third, we have freedom to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). This means two things. We should flee from our sinful nature, and we should seek to bear the fruit of the Spirit. The sinful nature is marked by “obvious” things such as “sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and enby; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21a). Christ has set us free from those things and set us free to the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
We are so grateful for our American freedoms but we should be even more grateful for these Christian freedoms. We are free to believe in Christ and persevere in him. We are free to love our neighbors and not be completely self-absorbed. We are free to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To be set free from our spiritual death and given new life is the ultimate freedom. On this Independence Day, give thanks to the Lord for our nation but give him even more freedom for our eternal freedom in Christ.