First Baptist Church Marshallville
Monday, November 18, 2019
Rooted in the Past -- Growing Into Our Future

From the Under Shepherd July 6, 2014

    Freedom is a precious word to Americans.
 
    During a trip to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 2008 my grandson and I visited the USS Arizona Memorial.  As we walked above the deck of the USS Arizona, I was reminded of the death of thousands on December 7, 1941; over 900 of those who died lie interred within the rusting hull of the USS Arizona.  We also visited the little known USS Utah site on the other side of Ford Island, where you can see the rusting hulk of the once proud battleship lying where she sank over 70 years ago.  There is a cost to freedom; our nation continues to pay that price today as we deploy our armed forces in combat zones in Afghanistan and places we are not aware of.
 
    But there is a greater freedom that we as Christians enjoy.  It is the freedom that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Like the freedoms of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," there is a cost to this freedom.  This freedom cost God the death of his Son.
 
    Paul passionately argues for this freedom as he writes a brief letter to the Christians in Galatia.  Judaizers seemed to follow Paul where he went in Asia Minor, coming into town as he left.  Whereas Paul taught that believers are free in Christ, the Judaizers taught that to be saved one must not only believe in Christ but also keep the Mosaic Law.  Paul vehemently disagreed.  Law, Paul argued, shows us where we have gone wrong.  But Law has no power to help us do the right.  It is only through God's grace that we are given power over sin.
 
    So, as we have celebrated our freedom as a nation, let us be reminded that we enjoy an ever greater freedom in Christ Jesus.  Let us celebrate that freedom each day, living joyfully in the amazing grace of a wonderful and faithful God!