Freedom is a most precious possession. Every creature desires and enjoys its freedom. Place an insect in a jar and it will work to get free. Put a dog on a leash and restrain him in one place and he will howl and bark to be set free. We humans are no different. We do not want our liberties tampered with – we want freedom.
On one occasion, Jesus said to the Jews who believed in Him, “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” John 8:31-32. The key to genuine freedom is found in the phrase; “continue in my word.” Jesus says we come to know the truth by continuing in His teachings, and truth is that which will liberate us or make us free. When we live by the principles of truth we are not bound by Satan. The application of truth will eliminate social as well as moral evils. Sin is what leads to drunkenness, fornication, adultery, idolatry, homosexuality, lasciviousness, and all other forms of immorality.
Truth will lead men and women, boys and girls to love one another. To the extent that we love one another, we shall also respect each other’s rights and privileges. Jesus said when asked about the first commandment, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘hear, o Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ this is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ there is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
When we have love for God and our neighbor, it will necessitate living by the principle found in the Golden Rule, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Or as we have coined the thought: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Such behavior will contribute to peaceful relationships. It will also demand honest dealings. The Bible says, “Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17). The application of the Golden Rule will cause us to have respect for law and order. This style and quality of living will always lead to the blessings of the Lord. We must understand that freedom is not something that can be legislated. It cannot be guaranteed by maintaining large armies or police forces. It comes when men and women submit to the will of the Lord.
We are reminded of the words of Paul, when he asked, “If God be for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31)? If we walk in truth and worship in truth, we have nothing to fear. We shall be free people in the Lord.