During the month of July, the United States celebrates FREEDOM.  But before you can celebrate “freedom”, you must first know what it is.  Freedom is defined as: “the power to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint, the absence of subjection, and the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.” Well, everyone wants to be free, right?  But whose freedoms are being taken away by us exercising OUR freedom?

Do we really want to consider that part?  In other words, by doing what WE want, are we preventing someone else to be free?  Let’s look into that today.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were truly free to do anything they wanted to do, anytime. There was only ONE restriction, the LORD told them they could not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  That’s it, just one rule.  But Satan came to Eve in the form of a serpent and talked her into taking and eating the forbidden fruit, which she gave to Adam, and he ate also.  That first wrong choice cost them and everyone else on the face of the earth dearly.  In fact, that’s when mankind lost their freedom.  People never seem to appreciate what they have until it’s gone.  From that point on, Adam and Eve struggled to eke out a living, for the earth was cursed now for their sakes.

Because Eve made that fateful choice that day, she destroyed freedom for everyone else.  In other words, she did what she chose to do with absolutely no regard for the effect it would have on anyone else.  We know what a mess that made of things, all in the name of “freedom”:  HER freedom of choice, that is.  Eve messed up because she was lied to, but Adam, for whatever reason, chose to disobey God even though he knew better.  Perhaps it was because Eve deceived him, for she learned deception from the very father of lies himself. Or  maybe it was because he didn’t want to displease her, but for whatever reason, we know he chose to disobey God.

Moving forward through the ages, Eve’s choice messed up not only people, but the earth itself, for the earth became cursed and from that day forward has brought forth pestilence, sickness, drought, fires, earthquakes, all kinds of vermin like mosquitos, chiggers, ticks, poisonous snakes and spiders and reptiles, and animals that turn on each other and devour one another.  In the beginning, it wasn’t like that; all the animals got along.  So much for Eve’s choice.  Soon, animals were being sacrificed to God to pay for sin, so we see freedom isn’t free.  Those animals were being deprived of their freedom and their very lives.  And they have no voice to disagree or plead for mercy, and the choices of people take their freedom away.

When the Lord Jesus came to earth in the form of a man, He was sent by His heavenly Father to pay the debt for sin that mankind had run up.  He was the only one without sin that was worthy to redeem us from sin and by His sacrifice in our behalf, He redeemed us, that is, bought us back our freedom.  Was our freedom free to Him?  No, it cost Him his life.  It cost us nothing, somewhat like a chicken and a pig deciding to give Farmer Jones his breakfast: the chicken laid an egg, and the pig provided the bacon.  The chicken was involved, but the pig was committed to the cost of his life.  And being it was not US that died on that cross, we don’t fully appreciate what it cost Jesus to buy our freedom back.  I think it’s time we do, though, don’t you?

When a gift cost you nothing, you never fully appreciate its value.  But in this case, God isn’t expecting us to go to the cross to pay for our sins, because Jesus paid that bill already.  He made that payment once and for all, and it will never have to be made again.  Let’s have a look at what is written in Hebrews 10:15-31 about that payment:

15  Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
16  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
19  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
21  And having an high priest over the house of God;
22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
26  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28  He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Notice back in verse 18, it says, Now where remission of these is, there is no more sacrifice for sin. That is telling us that if we neglect the sacrifice of Jesus, we have absolutely NO POSSIBILITY to be saved.  We cannot earn salvation, buy it, find it in any other religion, or get into the Kingdom of God by any other means whatsoever.  If we stand apart from God by refusing the sacrifice Jesus made, it’s all over for us.  There is no other way.  One day the Lord Jesus asked me a question: Jerry, if something happens I cannot save you, do you have a backup plan for salvation? I replied, No, LORD, if You don’t save me, I’m lost.  There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved.  Mohammed can’t save me, neither can Krishna, Buddha, my own works, or anyone else.

Why is that?  Because nobody else but Christ Jesus was perfect and sinless and gave their life as payment for our sins.  Mohammed wasn’t without sin, and he didn’t sacrifice himself for us anyway, and neither was Buddha or anyone else.  The didn’t die for us, only Christ Jesus did.  He gave up not only His freedom to make us free, He gave up His life as well.  And He took stripes on His body to purchase our freedom from sickness and disease, and “by His stripes we are healed”.  You see, Christ Jesus knows the awful price that sin costs, because HE PAID IT!  Not for His own sins, for He had none, but for OUR sins.

Before you neglect so great a salvation, think about this: you may have loved ones or people who care about you, but which of them has stepped up and said, I will take the punishment for your sins.  I will die so you may live, I will pay it all so you may go free.  NOBODY but Jesus?  Then who really loves you?  There is only one possible answer: Christ Jesus.  He paid the price for YOUR freedom, and justice has been done.  The heavenly Father has seen the sacrifice of Christ Jesus and the awful agony He went through,  and His shed blood satisfied that your sin debt is paid in full.  You’re free to go if you receive His sacrifice in your behalf, because FREEDOM ISN’T FREE….somebody has to pay.  It’s either YOU or Christ Jesus.  Well, if you’re smart, you’ll love the One who loved you more than His own life, and turn to Him with your whole heart and be His disciple from this day forward.