As we celebrate the birth of our nation this Sunday—first of all by coming to worship (hint, hint!)—we’ll consider this very question in our sermon entitled, “Live As Free People.” Our scripture is 1 Peter 2:11-17. The sermon features a strong 4th of July theme, so it will fit in nicely with the rest of your holiday plans. Even more importantly, we’re celebrating the Lord’s Supper!
My friend John Alan Turner has a blog entry about freedom in Christ that’s so good I was originally going to borrow from it (with attribution, of course) for my sermon. Since I’m now going in a slightly different direction—and there’s no thunder to be stolen—I encourage you to read it here. He contrasts two different kinds of freedom: living for ourselves versus living in the Spirit.
Selfish living sounds good for a while, but it always leads to boring repetition. It cheapens love and life. It’s characterized by frenzied activity with diminishing returns, momentary but fleeting fits of happiness. It inevitably leads to loneliness and jealousy and an increasing inability to love or receive love from others. It always promises more than it can deliver.
You’re now free to live like that, if you like.
But you’re also free now to live a different way, a better way. You’re free to live life in the Spirit. You can live a life of affection and enthusiasm. You can have a peace that defies your circumstances. You can endure hardships with joy. You can stand up for your convictions fearlessly and show compassion to others. You can keep your commitments and enjoy relationships without manipulation.
If you’re running the Peachtree on Sunday, you’ll still have time to make it to church… We’ll rope off a section for sweaty people in the back. 😉