by Emily Conrad

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1, NET

Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Who would willingly become a slave?

Someone who’s been deceived or persuaded by the wrong party, that’s who.

Though Paul was arguing against following the old requirement of circumcision in this section of Scripture, what he writes also applies to other areas.

In Jesus, we are free to choose new actions and thought patterns. Yet, we surrender often to that which should no longer have a hold on us.

This Independence Day, I’m celebrating the freedoms my country affords me, but I’m also out to reflect on and embrace the freedoms I have in Jesus.

We are free from the ultimate penalty of sin, because Christ died for us on the cross and paid the penalty for all who believe.

“For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16, NET

We are free to choose righteous actions, because His Spirit prompts and enables us.

But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16, NET

We are free to live without envy, because we have all we need in Christ.

I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13, NET

We are free to live without worry, because God will never leave or forsake His children.

I repeat, be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.” Joshua 1:9, NET

We are free to love, because God first loved us.

“I give you a new commandment – to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34, NET
We love because he loved us first. 1 John 4:19, NET

We are free to live without fear, because God gives us a better Spirit.

For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7, NET

We are free to live without grudges and quests for revenge, because God will right every wrong.

Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. Romans 12:19-20, NET

We are free to live without legalism, because we’re saved through faith.

For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9, NET

We are free to learn, because we have the Holy Spirit to teach us.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you. John 14:26, NET

We are free to live without despair, because Christ has overcome.

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage – I have conquered the world.” John 16:33, NET

We are free to be courageous, because our God goes with us.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you!
Don’t be frightened, for I am your God!
I strengthen you –
yes, I help you –
yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand!

Isaiah 41:10, NET

We are free to hope, because the Lord has promised us an eternal home with Him.

“And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” John 14:3-4, NET

We are free to pray, because God cares for us.

And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7, NET

We are free to call God Father, because we are adopted into His family through the blood of Christ.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:14-15, NET

We are free to be joyful, because He is working all things for His glory and the good of His children.

And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:28-28, NET

We are free to have peace, because Christ gave it to us.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.” John 14:27, NET

You may have noticed, as I did while gathering Scripture for this post, that some of these things I call freedoms are actually things we’re admonished to live by. It’s not only that we can but that we should put these into practice. How much better, more peaceful, and pleasing to God our lives will be when we live the way He wants us to. This is why I call them freedoms.

Yet freedom, as the saying goes, is not free. Living as God wants us to is a battle, but thankfully, it’s not a battle we fight alone. Christ has overcome. He died on the cross for us and intercedes on our behalf before the Father. He is ready to help us grow into the people He made us to become.

Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help. Hebrews 4:16, NET

So let’s come to Him, submitting to no master but Jesus, no yoke but the one He has placed on our shoulders. Let’s not waste another moment in bondage.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be really free.”
John 8:36, NET

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13, NET

The list I’ve come up with is, I’m sure, imperfect and incomplete. What would you add?

In #Jesus, we are free to choose new actions and thought patterns. Yet, we surrender often to that which should no longer have a hold on us. Let’s choose #freedom! via @emilyrconrad
This #IndependenceDay, I’m celebrating the freedoms my country affords me, but I’m also out to reflect on and embrace the freedoms I have in #Jesus. via @emilyrconrad

We are free to live without #worry, because God will never leave or forsake His children. Celebrating this and other freedoms we have in #Jesus via @emilyrconrad

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Outdoor birdcages photo by Chris Fuller on Unsplash
Parakeet in birdcage photo by Charles Postiaux on Unsplash

Two sparrows photo by Somin Khanna on Unsplash
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