Christ Has Set Us Free
As you might remember from history class, the Civil War was one of the most crucial times in America’s history. Abraham Lincoln was the President, and he is still considered one of the greatest leaders this world has ever had.
Lincoln had a deep-seated conviction against slavery and felt it was both degrading and unconstitutional. His disgust was revealed in a letter he wrote in 1855: “As a nation we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’” 1
Lincoln’s legacy is in many ways defined by the Civil War and the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which essentially freed all slaves not under the control of the Union. More than three million slaves in the confederate territory were freed. Of course, this decision was unwelcome by many Southern slave owners. As the news of the proclamation spread, even among the slaves, slave masters lied in order to keep their slaves working. Slaves were told that that the proclamation was a lie and that just as their mothers and fathers had been slaves, they were slaves and always would be. Believing the lie, many slaves returned to the field giving up their granted freedom.
Possibly the most tragic state of existence is to be free and yet live in bondage. If you deny yourself the opportunity to live free once you have been made free in Christ, you are actually denying the power of the cross of Christ. My life managed in my own hands, or in the hands of religion, is a disaster. But my life in the hands of Jesus is beautiful. Our great privilege is to have our position in this life transformed from bondage to freedom by the only One who has the authority to do so.
In Galatians 5, the apostle Paul provides some of the single greatest statements concerning freedom in Christ. In fact, the first verse is considered the Magna Carta of Christian freedom: “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” The grace of God and the freedom it offers seems too good to be true. The chains that once enslaved us have been taken off and we’ve been made free! Don’t go back to bondage. The slaves during the 1860s had been set free by someone who had authority to do so, yet they were told a lie and had no reason not to believe the lie. God has proven Himself in Jesus, and we have no reason to be in bondage to any lie from Satan.
What are you waiting for? Go and live the life of freedom that is granted to you through Jesus Christ!
1 Abraham Lincoln, His Essential Wisdom (New York, NY: Barnes &Noble Inc., 2007), 25.