Freedom #1: A study of the Epistle to the Galatians
As we approach the Epistle to the Galatians, we begin a study of Freedom vs Legalism.
Freedom is perhaps the one over-powering desire above all desires that characterized our founding fathers. It was not security and it was certainly not the desire for the control of big government nor a state religion over us that has drawn us together as immigrants from around the world for the past four centuries; but the burning desire for freedom from governmental and ecclesiastical tyranny to pursue our dreams and happiness.
The Revolutionary War brought an end to British domination and taxation without representation and freed us to set up our own Republic with our own God-inspired Constitution. It is a masterpiece for sinners, complete with all its checks and balances.
It was not long before we awoke to the fact that as long as some of our citizens were slaves, we were not truly a free nation. It took the awful, bloody Civil War of brother fighting against brother to bring an end to slavery. Of course, that did not bring an end to racial intolerance. That has been the battle of the past century. Though the laws are now in place to ban racial discrimination, the only complete and permanent solution to this curse is a heart changed by the power of God. Notice, I did not say religion. Religion is a major cause of bondage and intolerance. However, when one meets Jesus Christ and is overwhelmed by His love for us, it spills out to others in genuine love and acceptance, regardless of whether if it is reciprocated.
Though our Constitution’s Bill of Rights declares our freedoms, the search for true freedom continues. Through the past 150 years, women have sought for and found their freedom to be equal with men, as they should be. In spite of the gains that they made in that struggle, many have lost a freedom and respect and joy that they once had being full-time wives and mothers, the most influential position in all the world.
“Free Love” “Flower Power”
The ’60’s was a decade of tremendous change in America. It was a decade when America was exchanging beauty for ugliness and law and order for anarchy. The Hippie movement clamored for freedom from The Establishment. They sought to change the world with “flower power” and “free love”. The abortionists fought and won their freedom to kill unwanted babies.
At the same time that hippies were seeking their freedom from the establishment, a movement for academic freedom was stirring among teachers. Over the years this so called “academic freedom” has been misused by some to force their far-out liberal agenda on unsuspecting students who want to prepare for life in the real world.
Certainly, as a pastor, I value the freedom to preach whatever I believe God leads me to preach from His Word. I loathe the thought of a preacher giving the people what he believes they want to hear. As an American citizen I value my freedom infinitely more than the financial security government provides me as a senior citizen. Lions and bears are secure in zoos, but they have no freedom to be what God created them to be.
It’s interesting, but sad, that though men boast about their freedom, most have never known nor experienced true freedom. In the articles to follow in this series, we will show from Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians that true freedom is found only in Christ Jesus.
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