Key Texts: 2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Being July 4th, I feel compelled to say a word or two about freedom.

As I thought about this, I considered all I might write about.

Should I say something about law and grace?

Should I comment on recent issues in the news that raise questions about personal and religious liberty?

Should I remind you, dear reader, about the founding of the United States of America or the Declaration of Independence and try and say something that has yet to be said about such weighty matters?

Or should I just post a poem about Lady Liberty and leave it at that?

I decided to do none of the above.

Instead, I was simply led to post this one, powerful bit of Scripture from the writings of the apostle Paul.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Much is being said these days about religious and political and social and cultural and personal freedom: what such freedoms are all about, how they are defined, how we protect them, and so on.

But for me, this one bit of scripture speaks more powerfully and eloquently than most things I have read or heard lately.

Where God is – there is freedom.

It isn’t the freedom to abuse or hurt others. It isn’t the freedom to be free in a reckless, irresponsible way. It is, though, the freedom that we speak about when we use the word grace.

No one is perfect, no one can judge others with the same righteousness and justice that God alone can use for His divine purposes.

We must be careful when we fling around terms like liberty, freedom, justice, and grace and tell others what they mean.

We should also cherish these things: freedom, justice, and grace – for all people.

Grace, I believe, especially – it is this for which we should be most grateful – because it is the source of the greatest freedom of all – the freedom from the wages of sin and death.

So, on this Fourth of July, let the fireworks and celebration rock on.

But I invite people of faith to especially celebrate the freedom that comes from grace – the ultimate, spiritual freedom – that comes from God and God alone.


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