My dad had many sayings throughout his lifetime that were oft repeated. His word-picture definition of freedom was, “I have the freedom to walk down the street and swing my arms all I want, but if I happen to hit someone, my freedom ends where his nose begins.” Everyone wants freedom. Toddlers want to be free to whine and cry when then don’t get their way. Grade-schoolers want their freedom to play rather than complete their school work. Teens long for the day they will be out from under their parent’s authority, and in their minds, to be free at last!
Truth is, freedom comes by death—death to self. We think freedom comes when we get our own way. That is never the case. A toddler, a grade-schooler, a teen or anyone enjoys freedom when they die to self and come under authority placed over them.
Philippians 2:6-11 describes the ultimate, supreme display of freedom produced by death when Jesus Christ, under His Father’s authority, died for the sins of all men to ransom them for absolute, true freedom.
Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (HCS)
Christ left the glories of Heaven to take on the form of man, live a sinless life, respond perfectly to all the sinful acts of man against Him, and then be obedient to God the Father by dying the worst of deaths which included bearing our sins and enduring the forsaking of His Father. Christ did all this for every man to have the opportunity to be truly, genuinely set free. He died that we might live.
Today, I am enjoying freedom in the United States of America due to the thousands who have given their lives. I am enjoying freedom due to all those who set self aside to serve for a greater cause. For all who have or are currently serving in our military, you have died to self to maintain or give us our freedom. From my heart, I gladly and with utmost appreciation say, “Thank you!” And, what thrills my patriotic heart so much is to say, “Thanks, Dad, for you years in the Army, in Japan and Korea, and for serving in the Korean War. Also, a special thanks to my father-in-law who likewise served in the Army. Two heroes.”
Being that I have been a born again child of God since the age of five, I understand true freedom because Truth has set me free from sin, death and hell.
John 8:31-36 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Romans 3:23-25 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.
Therefore, I am most grateful for Christ’s death on the cross. But His life was not left on the battlefield of sin. He went into the tomb of death, conquered its grisly hold, led captivity captive and came out victorious! Now He lives to set men from free from sin, death and hell. “Thank You, Jesus, for dying so that we could be made eternally free!”
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11)
For freedom to be maintained in America, soldiers must continue to die to self and life. Christ died once. It is finished (John 19:30). He now lives forever, never to die again, to give every man who receives Him genuine, eternal freedom.