Faith, Freedom & Independence Day

Written by Wes Walker on July 5, 2013

What sort of slavery did Paul mean here? He goes on to explain it. On one hand, don’t be enslaved by a desire to earn the good favour of God. Instead, trust in Christ’s work to save you, not your own. Conversely, and just as important, don’t be enslaved by the sin that derails your life.

Galatians 5, verses 19-21: The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Jesus Christ — a person, not a religion — is “He whom we have believed”. It is repentance and turning to him (daily) that will gradually transform our lives into something new.

A living relationship with him will “bear fruit”. If you are grounded in Christ, rather than ego or what the Bible calls “worldliness”, a transformation will begin to take place. You will see growth in the other list he gives in this chapter. It includes love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

If those characteristics were to hit critical mass in any nation of people, they would become the fountainhead of those very freedoms and minimally-invasive government that were the basis of America’s founding documents.

This is why John Adams said, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

The source of Religious (and all other) freedoms is not a political document, but the Lord God whose image we bear.

Image: Title “Freedom of Speech”; Author Norman Rockwell (1894–1978); Current location National Archives and Records Administration, College Park; public domain

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