Let Freedom Ring!

On April 19, 1775, the “shot heard round the world” reverberated from the battles of Lexington and Concord Massachusetts throughout the Colonies, across the ocean and to the very palace of the King of England.  The American Revolutionary War had begun!  Fourteen months later, the war would both conclude and give birth to a new nation with the adoption of the the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. 

From the phrase “The shot heard around the world” comes another phrase that actually became a line in a patriotic song written by a Baptist minister named Samuel Francis Smith in 1831 entitled; America (My Country, ‘Tis of Thee)

You see his intention in the first stanza.

My country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing; Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims’ pride, From ev’ry mountainside Let freedom ring!

What does the phrase, “Let Freedom Ring” mean?  It is = to make or cause to make a clear vibrating sound”.  To put forth a clear, lasting sound of independence, freedom from the control, influence or support of others or things. 

This declaration is the lifeblood of the United States of America.  It fuels the spirit of it’s citizens.  Yet, you can live in a free country and still not be free.  True freedom is found in Jesus Christ.  He alone can give the spirit, soul and body independence from the slavemaster of sin, shame and sorrow.   All over the world, no matter the governmental structure of the land, men women, boys and girls have found freedom in Christ.

The independence Christ offers is given when one places their trust in Him alone for their salvation and acceptance to God.  For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). At that moment, Romans 6: 6-7 teaches that our old nature, fallen from sin’s curse, is crucified with Christ and we are given a new life, freed from sins control.

Now, that does not mean that the old nature is gone.  There is a battle that rages within everyone of us between our old nature (flesh) and the new nature Christ gives (spirit). However, a follower of Christ is no longer under the dominion of the old nature.  We have a choice to whom we will obey. 

I love the words of the Apostle Paul as he wrote of this to the Christians in Galatia. 

I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2: 20

In the first century, people who were stricken with Leprosy were sadly treated and considered unclean and were forced to live away from the “normal” population as outcasts.  To add insult to their misery, they were forced to carry a bell and whenever someone came within so many feet of them, they had to ring their bell and cry out, “UNCLEAN!” You can imagine the shame associated with their situation.

We can all sympathize a little better with them since we have had to deal with COVID for the past year and half.  For the first time in many of our lives we were told to stand 6 ft away and not have physical touch.  We struggled as a society with those demands.  

Isaiah 59:2 tells us that our sins have separated us from God and the devil does a great job of reminding us of our failures and how unworthy we are to be in God’s presence.  The evil one speaks to our soul with words of accusation, condemnation and shame.  Whenever we want to get closer to our creator, worship, pray, serve others, he shouts to us to ring our sin bell and shout, “UNCLEAN!”

Speaking of Satan and his tactics, Jesus said, “he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8: 44). The Gospel of Jesus gives a different message than that of shame and disgrace.  Instead of ringing our sin and shame bell, those who follow Christ are to raise their freedom bell and shout “CLEAN!” “FORGIVEN!” “REDEEMED!” “FREE!”

Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8: 32

I believe it is important to remember that freedom is not free, it is given at a cost.  For our freedom from the tyranny of the evil one, Christ gave His life upon the cross.  Nor is freedom sustained without a cost.  Everyday the battle to take away our freedom and enslave us once again rages on.

So how can we live victoriously in the freedom that Christ has purchased?

The secret of independence is dependence on God.

You cannot be independent from the control of sin and independent from God at the same time.  Jesus taught that you cannot serve two masters, but you must serve one.  There is no middle ground. 

There is a battle going on to see to whom you will pledge your allegiance too.  Each day, a decision must be made, “Will I serve Christ today in my body, my mind, my devotion? Or will I serve myself and my own desires?”

True freedom is found when we yield control to Christ and follow His will.  In his letter to the church in Galatia, Paul encouraged the believers to take a stand and refuse to give themselves over to their old nature and the dominion of the evil one.

He wrote, For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). 

Let your freedom in Christ ring!

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