Today is Freedom Day in South Africa. It commemorates our first democratic elections in 1994. At last all South Africans could vote. One would have thought that after twenty six years we would now have a free society but that is not so. We are not free from crime, we are not free from corruption, we are not free from greed, selfishness, xenophobia, inequality or evil.
What is freedom? The Oxford dictionary gives us two choices.
- The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants.
- The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
According to these definitions, are any of us really free? Ask Israel Folau.
What about drug addicts, alcoholics or those addicted to porn. Are they free?
According to the Bible, God has given us one main freedom and He will never revoke that. That is the freedom of choice. Right at the beginning, humanity could choose whether to obey God or not. Later Joshua spelled it out for the Israelites.
And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served …….or the gods of the Amorites, but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Josh 24:15 NKJV)
Because of the choice early humanity made, we are all under the dominion of sin. Hardly free! Even Paul, that great apostle, said,
“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:18 and 19.)
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can certainly relate. How many times have I told myself not to treat my adult children as if they were still children instead of the independent adults they now are? I try but how many times have I failed? We are all slaves, therefore not free at all.
For this very purpose Jesus came to die. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galations 5:1 NIV)
In our virtual sermon yesterday, we remembered that …we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Rom 8:37 NIV) and that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (verse 38)
May we all appropriate the freedom Christ has won for us. Happy Freedom Day!