As we come together this holiday weekend to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy as a nation, and as
individuals, we would do well to remember that despite the disagreements that exist between us, we
live in the freest country on earth. We enjoy the freedom to speak our minds, to question our leaders,
to practice our religion, and to vote our conscience. Our system is not perfect, but it is superior to that
of the rest of the world. We should also be aware that even in the freest of societies, we are never
truly free because the freedoms we enjoy are only temporary. As valuable as they are, they can, and
might possibly be taken away from us at some point. For true and permanent freedom, we must look
elsewhere. In John 8:31-37, the Bible tells us what it means to be truly free.
True freedom comes from a person not a political movement. Jesus said that the truth is what sets
people free (Jn. 8:32). In a postmodern society such as ours, truth is a subjective idea, open to the
interpretation of every individual which is what leads to the development of the various political
factions we see in society. Objective truth on the other hand, that which is true with respect to God,
supersedes individual opinion and presents one person under which to unite. Jesus said, “I am the
way, the truth, and the life,” indicating that he is the embodiment of truth itself. The pages of Scripture
reveal and testify to this truth; all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23),
thereby earning the penalty of death and eternal separation from God (Rom. 6:23), but while we were
yet sinners Christ took that penalty and died in our place (Rom. 5:8), and that by repenting of our sins
(Acts 3:19), and confessing Jesus as Lord we can be set free (Rom. 10:9). True freedom is not the
freedom to have my way politically, it is to be free from the sin that corrupts my present relationships
and circumstances, and condemns my eternal destiny. This truth only comes in the person of Jesus,
not a political movement.
True freedom is complete and cannot be taken away. The freedoms we experience today, as
wonderful as they are, are incomplete and temporary. A legislative act, a court decision, or simple
apathy of the people can erase our freedoms in a moment. The freedom that Jesus gives is
permanent and so complete that it blots out our past sin and causes God to see us as if we had never
sinned at all. Look at some of the benefits of the freedom only Jesus can offer. We have been set free
from the power of sin in our lives (Rom. 6:13-14). We have been set free from the guilt of past sins
(Rom. 8:1). We have been set free from the penalty of death (Jn. 5:24). And we have been set free to
live life abundantly (Jn. 10:10). Only in Jesus do we find complete and permanent freedom.
True freedom carries a cost, it is not free. Millions of men and women have given their lives over the
last two and a half centuries to gain and preserve the political and societal freedoms we enjoy as
Americans and those sacrifices should never be forgotten. Our spiritual freedom was purchased with
the blood of Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice. It cost God his only Son so that we might live (Jn. 3:16). It
cost Jesus his life so that we might be free (Is. 53:5). It will cost us when we heed Jesus’ words to
take up our cross and die daily in order to follow him (Lk. 9:23), so that others might learn the truth.
True freedom carries a cost, it is not free.