July is always a fun month and typically begins with a bang. In just three days the sky will be lit up with all kinds of color and smoke. Family and friends will gather around checkered tablecloths and homemade ice cream. As a nation, we celebrate our freedom and independence from the British empire. But are we really free?
Sunday, on the way to the brake shop, my husband, father, and father-in-law drove past some neighbors with an ambulance in their front yard. We would find out several hours later that the husband had a heart attack while driving around their property on the four-wheeler.
Monday, my husband and I went to the hospital to visit a church member’s brother who is in CCU. On the way out, a lady was leaving the CCU area with clenched fists and a sigh. Scott asked her if we could pray for her. She stopped and told us that her husband had just had a heart attack and she was in a state of disbelief.
Wednesday, Scott got a call from the daughter of a really close friend saying they were on their way to the hospital because he was having a heart attack.
What do these heart attacks have to do with freedom? The reminder that life is short and it is critical to know whether one has eternal freedom.
God’s word tells us: “If the Son sets you free, you really will be free” (John 8:36).
How does the Son set us free? Christ Jesus left heaven, came to this earth and lived a perfect life without sin. He then gave His life as a sacrifice for our sin so that we could be made right before God. Jesus was crucified, buried in a tomb for three days, rose again and now sits at God the Father’s right hand. To be eternally free, one must be set free by Christ. That means that each individual has to receive the gift that Christ gives to each of us. The book of Romans shows us how we can receive that gift.
Acknowledge You are a Sinner
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This verse tells us that ALL have sinned. There is not one person living, has lived, or will live a perfect life. We have all sinned and do not even come close to reaching God’s glory.
Acknowledge Your Sin Deserves Death
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life with Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Here God plainly tells us that the payment we receive for our sin is death. Separation from God forever. It might appear we are in a hopeless state, but the rest of that verse lets us know the gift God has given to us because He loves us so much. It is His Son, Jesus Christ.
Believe God Loves You and Christ Died for You
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8)
God loved us so much, that before we were even born, Christ died for us! This means that there was nothing that we did to earn His love or His sacrifice.
“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift–not from works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
It is by grace alone, receiving what we did not earn, through the faith God gives to us that we receive His gift. This prevents us from boasting that we were able to receive eternal freedom on our own merit.
Confess with Your Mouth Your Belief in Christ
“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
There is no special prayer or ritual one must go through to receive God’s gift of eternal freedom. You simply must cry out to God and acknowledge your sin. Acknowledge that because God loved you, He allowed His one and only Son to die on a cross for that sin. Tell God that you believe Christ died in your place and that He now sits at God’s right hand. Ask God to forgive you for your sins. Let Him know that you desire to have Him Lord and Savior of Your life. Thank Him for His love and His forgiveness.
There are different types of freedom we will consider this month, but without knowing for sure you are eternally free, you will never have freedom in any other area of your life. Receive the free gift of eternal life and be set free for eternity!!
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