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Wednesday-The Fifth Freedom

 

But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written: “Be glad, barren woman, you who never bore a child; shout for joy and cry aloud, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.”

 

Galatians 4:26,27

 

Freedom is one of those words that’s used all over the place. It’s plastered on social media sites. Whether it’s blue or red, Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, they all talk about

 

But what is freedom? Here in America, the idea of freedom is deeply woven into the fabric of our country and culture. By it’s very name, the Declaration of Independence[1], talks about our rights and freedoms of equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that can’t be taken away.

 

And then there are the Four Freedoms[2] that President Franklyn Roosevelt spoke about, and that Norman Rockwell illustrated.

 

  • Freedom of Speech.

  • Freedom of Worship.

  • Freedom from Want.

  • Freedom from Fear.

 

Whether or not this is a complete list of freedoms or not is beside the point. The point is that we were made by God to be creatures of freedom. It’s hard-wired into us. We want freedom. We demand freedom. We cherish freedom.

 

Freedom is deeply buried in the foundation of who we are. That’s why we so violently struggle when it’s taken away. Why we’ll protest and march for it. Why we’ll fight and even die for it.

 

Laws, rules, regulations, policies, and guidelines were never intended to be the solution. The best that they can do is to show where the line is. The line between being inside and outside the law. That’s it.

 

Laws cannot tell us who we are. Why we were made. Laws cannot show us our purpose or give us meaning. They also can’t tell us why something is wrong or right.

 

Laws are a list and a placeholder. Period. That’s all they are. And once a list is made, then people can start yelling and screaming at one another about which list is the right list. What additional laws need to be added. How to get around certain laws. Or which laws are more important and what’s to be done to those who break the law.

 

Yes, laws show us exactly who we are, but they are very impersonal and cold. There is no love in laws. There is no kindness or grace in laws. Laws restrict and we feel the leash of the law tighten around our neck. And as we pull against laws, it only gets tighter and tighter.

 

In our hearts we somehow know that there is a better way than laws. Laws can’t be all there is. There must be something more. Laws highlight our need for someone else to lift us above the list of laws and set us free.

 

Paul understood that laws have their place, but that place is as a temporary placeholder. They are put in place until the final, the ultimate solution comes. And that final answering for laws is not more laws but a person[3].

 

And that person is Jesus. He is the fulfillment of all the laws[4]. The laws could only point out what’s right and wrong. They give no motivation to follow them. They give no power to obey then. Laws are a stick that beats us when we break them.

 

But in Jesus Christ, he paid for all our sins. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He paid the price we could never pay. And what’s our response? How are we to react?

 

Since we are now free from the pain and punishment of the law, our hearts burst with thanksgiving. Our forgiven spirit is filled with the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to desire and obey everything and anything that God asks of us.

 

This is the fifth freedom.

 

Our motivation moves from outside law to inside love. Instead of restricted lists, we’re empowered with resurrected love. We want to do whatever pleased him because he first loved us[5].

 

The fifth freedom makes all the difference in the world. The difference between law and God’s grace is completely mind-blowing. His fifth freedom releases us to be the people he created us to be.

 

Doesn’t it sound wonderful? It is!


[3] Galatians 3:19

[4] Matthew 5:17

[5] 1 John 4:19

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