There is no bigger day in American history than the 4th of July. We celebrate it because it is a declaration of independence and that means FREEDOM. In the history of our country freedom was earned through the loss of many lives. In Colonial America we fought to leave from the foreign rule of the British. We sought to exit. Today Britain has decided to exit its European conglomerate via Brexit. This may seem ironic but sometimes the lessons of history are slow to be learned.
But for the Christian, freedom is not a commodity that is earned; it is not a status that is deserved. It is a gift that is granted by the glorious grace of God. Paul clarified the concept as he said in Acts 13:39,
“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.”
The word used by the Apostle Paul in this passage translated by “freedom” is the Greek term for “justified” found repeatedly in Romans 3-4. Being justified, declared righteous by having the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, is the only way we can be free from the penalty of sin.
It is not by works or my innate goodness. It is purely by His magnificent goodness and majestic glorious grace. As Lewis Sperry Chafer said,
“Grace, as used in the Bible in relation to divine salvation, represents the uncompromised, unrestricted, unrecompensed, and loving favor of God toward sinners. It is an unearned blessing. It is a gratuity…God saves sinners by grace. God keeps through grace those who are saved. Those who are saved, God teaches in grace how they should live and how they may live, to His eternal glory.”
Our freedom from the penalty of sin is a gift that came at a tremendous price. Marty Cauley captures this reality as he says, “He Who was infinite suffered finitely so that we who are finite might not suffer infinitely.”
Enjoy your country’s freedom. America earned it through the tremendous sacrifice of others. The Christian’s freedom was not earned by ourselves but by our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Pure grace is neither treating a person as he deserves,
nor treating a person better than he deserves,
but treating a person without the slightest reference
to what he deserves. Oh thank God it is true.”
~ Lewis Sperry Chafer
Amen to that.
Until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Grace Theology Press