“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.” (Galatians 5:1 NIV)
Greetings and wonderful blessings to the Household of Faith! The Lord has been so good to each of us and has showered us with His mercy! If it had not been for God’s mercy, where would we be? We need the Lord’s mercies daily and I can declare like the Psalmist, “O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good for his mercy endureth forever.” (Psalm 96:1)
Sixty-eight years ago, on July 4th, this church was officially launched as Bethel Pentecostal Church by the founder, Pastor Rosie Summers. In a couple of weeks we will be celebrating our church anniversary. But also tomorrow we celebrate Independence Day to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, when the thirteen colonies declared their independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. After voting for independence on July 2nd, 1776, Congress turned its attention to The Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision. After debating and making some revisions, Congress approved it on July 4th. Now we can thank God we live in America with the freedom to worship God in our churches as we so desire.
For us in the church though, our Independence Day was when we answered the call of God for salvation and believed Him! Up to that point, we were slaves to sin and a worldly kingdom. The word indicates, “…you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” (Ephesians 2:2 NIV) You had no control. You were a victim of sin, even when you didn’t want to. But after hearing the voice of the Lord and accepting Him, you have become free from the control of a sinful life. Jesus declared, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (St. John 8:36) Your entire life changes as you declare your independence from sin. Satan will no longer have control over you. You’ve been bought with a price… the life that Jesus sacrificed on your behalf on Calvary’s cross! You’re Free Indeed!
And for me it’s personal, because also on July 4th, 1970, I was baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, then being filled with the Holy Ghost!
But even with your liberty in Christ, you cannot allow that to enable you to live a life less than is required by scripture. The Apostle Paul addressed it, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13 NIV) Know that “You’re Free Indeed!”
Remember, this is “The Year of Performance!” Pastor A. Glenn Brady