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     It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Gal. 5:1

Dear Lord Jesus, it’s the Fourth of July—a holiday set aside to remember and revel in the freedom we enjoy as citizens of America. Two things immediately come to mind as I think of the Fourth. I thank you for our country, as broken as she is, and for the liberties and privileges we enjoy as citizens of the United States.

But, l that for which I’m most grateful, as I think of the Fourth, is the quintessential freedom we enjoy as citizens of heaven—members of the “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession… called out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9). There’s no freedom like the freedom we have in you, Lord Jesus.

To be set free by you is to be “free indeed” (John 8:36). Free from the guilt of our sin, for you took our place on the cross, exhausting the judgment we deserve. Free from the power of sin, for you’ve broken sin’s dominion in our lives. Free from the fear of death, for you removed its sting and robbed the grave of its victory. Free from the fear of life, for now, “to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

By the gospel, you’ve set us free to obey God from our hearts, and not out of pride, pragmatics, or pretense. By your life, death and resurrection, you’ve given us freedom to come boldly to the throne of grace—into the very Holy of Holies. Repentance is now a joyful and liberating experience; for you’ve borne our shame, and we don’t have to pretend or pose anymore.

We’ve been set free to risk new things; for life is no longer about performance or the fear of failure, but about your praise and glory. We now boast in our weakness, instead of bemoaning our weakness, all because of what you’ve done for us. Suffering isn’t something to be avoided at all costs, but embraced through the sufficiency of your grace. Oh, the difference the gospel makes!

Lord Jesus, by the power of the gospel, I will seek to stand firm in these and the many more freedoms you’ve won for us. I never want to fall back into the old ways of legalism and moralism, grace-less performance and fearful living. Hallelujah, what a Savior you are! Hallelujah, what a salvation you freely give us! So very Amen I pray, in your holy and loving name.



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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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