As we celebrate this Independence Day, it will most likely be different from previous years. Firework celebrations are cancelled as are picnics and most large gatherings. But it is important to remember the freedom we have in this country to openly embrace our religious beliefs. For the Christian, true freedom is found in Christ. But with this freedom comes responsibility as noted in Galatians 5:13. The last part of this verse is often quoted, but the first part ignored. Yet, the beginning of the verse is a warning to use our freedom in a way that doesn’t destroy it.

Galatians 5:13 (MSG) It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.

The Apostle Paul warns us not to use our freedom to do whatever we want. In the Garden of Eden, the serpent told Eve-don’t follow God’s instructions, do what you think is best. Then Eve was deceived and ate the fruit. Satan got Eve to think and act independently from God and her husband — sin resulted! Satan himself acted independently from God and was cast out of heaven. He continues to push this message-do whatever you want.

The Bible teaches interdependence … we are not alone, and we don’t grow alone … we are built together as a Holy Temple, upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets. Nothing good happens spiritually with Christians who are not dependent on God … it is a contradiction in terms! There is no power in being independent.

Instead, we are to preserve freedom by following Christ and His example and serve one another in love. Freedom grows through service, not through self-satisfaction. Freedom is based on a dependence on God and an interdependence on each other. Enjoy your freedom this Fourth of July. Depend on God for your future and serve one another in love.

 

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