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Christian Liberty

One of the biggest words and the greatest subjects to engage the minds of men is Liberty. Our country has a unique form of government in the family of nations. Our national liberty, with its many privileges, came at the cost of much sacrifice, tears, toil, and trials. Each fourth of July is a special day for all Americans, for it commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. It was signed by our leaders and sealed with the blood of patriots. The historic document cut loose the colonies from the power and authority of England. The new nation was conceived in liberty and justice for all. It began at once to grow and flourish in the fertile soil of a government of and for the people. Founded on the indestructible Rock of Holy Scriptures, the new nation was guided and motivated by the unerring precepts of Truth. The cherished dream of liberty came true for our courageous and valiant forefathers. They bravely and daringly conquered a stormy sea. With unbending and unfaltering resolve, they faced the uncertainties and hazards of the new world; but they gained for themselves and their posterity, the objectives of liberty and peace. However, there is a far greater liberty than that of national honor and wellbeing. The liberty we have in Christ greatly surpasses our national privilege and glory as a river over a creek or the scintillating, noonday sun over a flickering candle. The Greek word for "liberty" is eleutheros, "freedom." The term was used in ancient times of being set free from slavery. The liberty the believer has in Christ is a special gift from God (John 8:32, 36). The promise of liberty from bondage of sin is deeply embedded in the Old Testament Scriptures. In Leviticus 25:19, we read about a great proclamation of liberty, "Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." The Lord wanted all His people to benefit from the message of liberty, from the people of the land to the highest person in government. Those words are memorialized on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The inscription is a testimony to all generations of the importance of the Bible in national life then and now. The message of the weeping prophet Jeremiah was bathed in holy concern and profound pathos for a wayward nation. He sounded forth the thrilling truth of liberty, saying, "This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after that Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem to proclaim liberty untothem" (Jer. 34:8). Ezekiel, the post-exilic prophet, who comforted Israel in a foreign land, also proclaimed liberty. "But if he gives a gift of his inheritance to all of His servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty..."(Ezek. 46:17). The Lord wanted His people to know of His concern and provision while they were in captivity in the land of Babylon. Moving on to the New Testament, we see the message of liberty of the Lord Jesus in the synagogue in Nazareth. He said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord" (Luke 4:18-19). In quoting from Isaiah 61:1-2, our Lord omitted a phrase from the last half of verse two, "And the day of vengeance of our God." The reason is because those words will be fulfilled at Christ's Second Coming. At that time, God will judge the unsaved (2 Thess. 1:7-9).

The Lord Jesus came to this earth the first time with the effective message of liberty and freedom. The people of Israel needed just such a message, since they were blinded and were groping in religious confusion. Today, Christ is the answer for every soul needing salvation. “And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’” Acts 16:31

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