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COLUMN: Let freedom ring!

Rev. Richard Smith, Special to the Daily Sentinel
Posted 6/25/22

Galatians 4:7 (NIV) So, you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir In college, I studied the Civil War era and the Reconstruction period …

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COLUMN: Let freedom ring!

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Galatians 4:7 (NIV)

So, you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir

In college, I studied the Civil War era and the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. As I read the horrific stories, I was deeply saddened for slave families that had been torn apart and for the abuse they received. Children were torn from the mother’s arms, and in most cases were never seen again. Slaves were brutally beaten and whipped and women were sexually abused. They were treated as property, and thrown about or discarded as trash. I cannot understand how anyone can take a human being and treat them in such a manner. No one deserved nor deserves that kind of treatment, ever.

As we celebrate Juneteenth, Emancipation Day of enslaved African Americans, many people still do not understand what the holiday we just celebrated was all about. I asked several people what it was, and most were clueless or had a vague understanding what its about. It’s a huge part of our history with a legacy most would love to forget. When we do forget, these kinds of atrocities can reoccur.

These were dark times and sinful against God. We are all God’s people. God has created all of us equal and beautiful in his eyes. We are his creation designed perfectly without discrimination. Racism must die, and love of all people groups must be our legacy.

Soon we will celebrate July 4th. Just about everyone understands our Independence Day; our freedom from Great Britain. We were no longer under the bondage of another nation. Most know this story well.

No one truly wants to be a slave to someone or any nation. It is unacceptable and freedom must ring loudly. We must all accept one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Galatians 3:23-28

Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So, the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

So, in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Jesus understood darkness and bondage to sin very well. He came and conquered sin and death once and for all. We are no longer slaves to sin which leads to death.

Our actions and the words that roll off our tongues can often be sinful and distasteful to others. We often forget our history and don’t understand what Jesus did for all of humanity. We hold ourselves slaves to sin when Jesus came and broke those chains; the prison walls came down.

I Corinthians 6: 11 says, “… And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Cleansed from sin and made right with God; no cost to any one of us!

Galatians 5:1 “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”.

Stand firm, Christ has given his life for our freedom, and has given us all the tools to remain out of slavery from sin. He has given each of us a new lease on life. Trust in Jesus, and look to him for guidance, encouragement, and freedom.

No one should ever feel enslaved, abandoned or alienated by others. Friends, no matter where you came from, what language you speak, what color you, or your religion, always remember the greatest commandment to live by; “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:38-39

Let Freedom ring! God bless you all.

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