Top 15 Bible Verses on Freedom for the 4th of July
For anyone who thinks the Bible is a book of rules and regulations written to keep people in bondage, think and read again. One of the most consistent and primary themes of scripture is freedom.
In the first book of the Bible, God gave Adam virtually unlimited freedom. In Exodus, God delivered the Israelites from slavery, and on and on. Likewise, in the New Testament, we learn, "So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed (ESV)." Later, the Apostle Paul says, "we are called to be free (NIV)."
The notion that Christianity, real Christianity, is oppressive or deprives anyone of freedom is simply wrong. Equally wrong is the notion that our freedom comes from our government. Freedom is a precious gift from God. And just as no government can give us freedom, no government can take it away.
Therefore, in honor of our upcoming Independence Day, here are the Top 15 Bible Verses on Freedom for the 4th of July:
1. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 (ESV).
This is one of my personal favorites. Quite different from the typical, "Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic," or "Once an addict, always an addict." If you obtain freedom in your own strength, your hold on freedom is only as strong as you are. However, if you obtain freedom through Jesus, you are free indeed.
2. It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 (NASB).
One of the most curious passages on freedom in scripture. Note that freedom is the end in itself. One of the myths about Christianity is that believers are somehow indoctrinated into believing. This may be true for some, but it's not why Christ set us free. Quite the opposite is true, we are so indoctrinated by the world that it is difficult to decide anything for ourselves. The freedom God offers is simply the freedom to be free of evil influence. In fact, so confident is God in his own truth, that what He offers is the freedom to choose.
3. Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt. Exodus 3:9-10 (NASB).
It wouldn't be a "freedom" list without an excerpt from Exodus - the greatest liberation story in history - now, would it? The cries of the oppressed are heard by God. Your cries of oppression are heard by God. And he offers His freedom.
4. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 (KJV).
Quite clear, really, where the oppression comes from. And the remedy therefor.
5. And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts. Psalm 119:45 (NKJV).
I'm detecting a theme emerging. Are you?
6. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Isaiah 61:1 (NKJV).
7. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. Luke 4:16-20 (NKJV).
The words of the prophet Isaiah, confirmed by Jesus himself: "liberty to the captives..." and "liberty to those who are oppressed". Pretty straight forward, I would say.
8. For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13 (NLT).
Here's the call to action. The, "What next?"
9. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NASB).
In addition to the gift freedom to choose free from evil influence, God gives the freedom to choose life. And He gives it freely.
10. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4 (NASB).
Bam! As I mentioned earlier, if you set yourself free by your own strength, you are only as free as you are strong. Not so if you are set free by the Spirit of Christ Jesus, who can do what we cannot.
11. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. Romans 8:20-21 (NLT).
I also love this translation:
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Romans 8:20-21 (KJV).
Another verse in Romans. In fact, Romans is so good, such a rich book, why don't you shut down your computer and go read Romans right now.
There is also an eternal freedom that we will experience someday beyond what our fleshly abilities and our own notions of liberty can comprehend. Regardless of the translation, it will be glorious.
12. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJV).
There is no promise in scripture I can find where walking in freedom is supposed to be easy. To the contrary, there is an evil, worldly influence constantly fighting to reenslave. In America, we honor those who have died for our freedoms - and rightfully so. But maintaining freedom is an ongoing struggle. The key to winning the battle is to live a life in ongoing honor of Christ, who died for both our earthly and eternal freedom.
13. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV).
If there is an area in your life where you lack freedom, invite the Spirit of the Lord to reign in that area. If there is freedom where the Spirit of the Lord is, then there can be no addiction, sickness, despair, depression, or other stronghold there. The key is learning how to let the Spirit of the Lord govern in every area of our lives. If anyone has this completely figured out, feel free to let the rest of us know in the comments section below.
14. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 1 Peter 2:16 (NASB).
Using your freedom to become a bondslave sounds contradictory, but it's not if you are becoming a bondslave to the one who set you free, the one who guides you into freedom, the one who helps you maintain your freedom, and the one who provides eternal freedom.
15. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (KJV).
I just couldn't leave this one off the list. Besides, it's the doorway to the freedom I've been talking about.
Freedom is something we should cherish, but we too often take it for granted. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, it's easy to recognize the erosion of the freedom provided by man. However, as I've tried to explain, that's not true freedom. Only when we accept the freedom provided to us by God through faith in Jesus Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit, can we truly be free.
The Top 15 Bible Verses on Freedom is a part of the Top Bible Verses for the Holidays series which includes: