I Say, Let Freedom Ring!

Happy 4th of July! I am thankful to live in the “land of the free and home the brave!” By God’s grace, I live in a land stained with the blood of patriots, which paved the way for me to possess the freedom to write this post. Thank you, Lord!

I love living in America. However, we have drifted away from you. In America, we are blinded by our unchecked individualism. We are known for our pull-ourselves-up-by-the-bootstrap mentality. We can do anything we put our minds too. The problem is our thoughts are corrupt. Like the men in Nimrod’s day, we long to erect a tower to make a name for ourselves. However, you call us to humility, if we are to enter the everlasting kingdom, which is coming. Have mercy on us, Lord.

We boast of our freedom as we dance in the shackles of sin. The clanging chains of hypocrisy can be heard around the globe. We claim to be a Christian nation, but we slaughter our unborn. We claim to be the example for others to follow and neglect the orphans and widows. Have mercy on us, Lord.

Once we stood united, but now we are polarized demonizing anyone that has a different perspective. What is wrong with us? Is it the economy? Undoubtedly, more money in our purses will make us a better nation, right? No! Then it must be education. Let’s overhaul the system streamlining it to as close to perfection. Only to have our new intellectual society, redefine our conundrum, but provide no answer.

What is wrong with us? Hear me clearly, fellow Americans. Many of you will reject my counsel, but I must share this burden with you. We are sinful. No, I am not speaking of mere mistakes. I declare we are sinners. We are a rebellious and stiff-necked people that have turned from the One that granted us freedom. We must return.  Have mercy on us, Lord.

Where is the Tower of Babel? It cannot be found. All monuments erected in vainglory will fall. This is our fate if we continue on this path.  Only what is done for Christ has eternal value. Am I calling a nation to repentance? Am I calling for the masses to call on the Lord? Yes, but it begins with you (and me.)

For far too long, we have smeared lipstick on a pig. We have tried to be respectable. Nevertheless, a pig delights in the mud and relishes the slop because it’s in its nature. Swine will act like a swine because it has the heart of a pig.  Our problem in America is not the economy or education, but our spiritual depravity.

We inherited this depravity long before the year 1776. It began in a garden of perfection. Humanity rebelled against the command of God, ate from a forbidden tree, and fell from their rightful place of dominion. We were made in the image of God, but the fall marred this image. We are innately corrupt. We cannot change ourselves. We are in bondage. Death reigns over us, because of our sin.

What is the answer? Simply put, Jesus. Jesus – God wrapped in human flesh – came to Earth to live without sin, so that his life could be substituted for ours. He took our sins by nailing them to cross. Jesus paid our debt. He purchased your freedom; true freedom.

How do you receive this freedom? Jesus told Nicodemus, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 (CSB)  To be born again, you must realize your sinfulness. The Apostle Paul writes, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 (CSB)  If you do not think you’re a sinner then review your life in light of the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:3-17). We are all sinful. However, there is a solution.

The Bible states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (CSB)  You deserve God’s wrath for your crimes against Him. But He has extended grace through Christ instead! Will you receive this gift of grace?

In Romans 10:9-10, Paul gives us instructions on how to receive Christ or be born again. He writes, “9 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. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10 (CSB)   Don’t harden your heart to His call. Again, will you accept his invitation? Will you place our faith in Christ’s substitution?  Real freedom comes through faith in Christ!

Look around you. If you want to change the culture, you must first change your heart. America is great, but God’s kingdom is greater. No politician can make America great again. Or at least, in the way that matters most.

Have mercy on us, Lord. Tear down our idols so we can be rebuilt anew. I am grateful for the sacrifice of patriots past and the political freedom I have as an American. However, let us never forget the origins of genuine freedom, YOU. I say, let freedom ring!

5 Feats of Christ’s Death

5 Feats of Christ’s Death

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.”

“Hosanna in the Highest!” echoed the crowd.

Some cast coats to pave the way for the miracle-worker. Others laid freshly cut palm branches to be tread on by the donkey that carried the healer named Jesus.

A “Who is this?” rippled through Jerusalem that day. Anticipation filled the air. What was happening? The entrance into Jerusalem was the beginning of the climax of the story of redemption. Jesus of Nazareth faced the Father’s will in obedience. His journey into the city would bring Him closer to fulfilling his destiny. He would give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

Holy Week serves a reminder of the pain in Christ’s passion. It is a reminder of the Gospel’s cost. It is a cue to consider the cross. We need reminders. For the enemy is a thief and will strive to make us forget the price of the Good News. We must remember the gospel and its price.

Have you ever considered the death of the Christ? Have you pondered the cross? Christ died. Christ died for us! The following is five feats Christ’s death accomplished for us.

  1. It removes our sin.

Christ’s death removed our sin. John the Evangelist writes, “The next day he [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” (NASB John 1:29). The removal of sin by Christ’s death is called expiation. Christ’s death removes our sin and guilt before God. The author of Hebrews writes, “…He [Jesus] has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (NASB Heb 9:26b).

In the Old Testament, the blood of sacrifices covered the sins of the people. Moses writes, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement” (NASB Lev 17:11). The Hebrew word for “atonement” is kaphar, which means to cover. The author of Hebrews says, “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (NASB Heb 10:4). However, Christ’s blood removes our sin!

Think about that! If you receive Christ’s atoning work, your sin has been removed! Also, Christ’s righteousness has been imputed or transferred to you! (see 2 Cor 5:21)

  1. It removes God’s wrath from us.

God is holy. Therefore, sin incurs the wrath of  God. Jesus took this wrath on Himself. In Romans, Paul writes,

“24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (NASB Rom 3:24-26)

Propitiation is the removal of God’s wrath from us. Hebrews states, “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (NASB Heb 2:17). Propitiation also has an element of satisfaction. The wrath of God is satisfied with the death of Christ. Finally, John writes, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

Can God’s wrath be on a world which He loves? Absolutely. For those who are parents, this idea is not too far from our imagination. We love our kids but sometimes they face our wrath, right?

  1. It removes our alienation from God.

Sinners are separated from God, but Christ’s death removes our alienation from God. Paul writes,

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (NASB Rom 5:10-11)

The death of Jesus reconciles is to God! We are no longer his enemy. We are his children. We call Him, Abba (Rom 8:15)!

  1. It removes the curse of the Law.

The Law held us hostage but we are free in Christ. Paul writes,

13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (NASB Gal 3:13-14).

In the Old Testament, God made a covenant with Israel, which’s stipulations are codified in the Ten Commandments. In Deuteronomy 28, God rehearsed the blessings if Israel could keep His commands and the curses if they failed to obey. Israel failed, but Christ succeed in obedience. Those in Him, receive the blessings of redemption! It is the precious blood of Christ that ransoms us (1 Pet 1:18-19).

  1. It removed the powers of Hell

In death, Christ defeated Satan and the forces of hell. Paul writes,

13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. (NASB Col 2:13-15)

There is not a devil in hell that has a tooth left! He may roar but Satan is defanged and dethrone! (1 Pet 5:8). Christ openly defeated death, hell, and the grave.

 

When Christ died, these five feats were accomplished!

Christ died. He was buried. BUT, He didn’t stay there! This is the Gospel. We must remember the gospel is the all-important message by which God will judge all men. John writes, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (NASB John 3:36)

If you have not received this message, the bad news is that:

  1. You are still in your sins.
  2. The wrath of God abides on You.
  3. You’re alienated from God.
  4. You are under the curse of the Law.
  5. The devil still controls you.

However, the Good News is “for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” (NASB Rom 10:13)

Have you considered Christ’s cross? Have you called on his name? If not, why are you waiting?

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