What does freedom mean to you? Is it the absence of rules and regulations? Is it freedom from restraint of any kind? Is it the ability to do anything you want at any time you feel the desire?
Ditionary.com suggests the exemption from external control, interference or regulation. Another meaning is personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery.
My first taste of freedom was experienced as a child. On the first day of summer break, I was released from grade school rules and regulations. I felt free when I no longer had early bedtimes, teacher imposed rules, and homework. That freedom lost some of its glow when I realized that I was still under the authority of my parents, who had their own set of rules for me to follow and work for me to do.
As I grew to adulthood freedom took on another meaning. It was a national right. I celebrated freedom on Independence Day, the federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of the Independence on July 4th, 1776. It was freedom from oppressive government. We celebrate living in a free land, although we still pay taxes and follow the rules and regulations of the country. Living in a free land doesn't necessarily guarantee freedom. We all live under the power of another, whether it is a new government or our own nature.
2 Peter 2:19 tells us that, without Christ, we are all under the power of sin and corruption, enslaved to our own lusts and cravings.
Being controlled by a sinful nature is very much like physical slavery. We find ourselves unable to break a bad habit - such as gossip, anger, or gluttony. We may be drawn to sexual immorality, or untruthfulness. Those under sin's oppressive power are not free to move about of their own free will, to speak or even to think as God intended. Sin deludes, deceives, and controls lives. Those who are under sin's control are fooled into believing they have the freedom to do as they choose, while in reality they are being pulled deeper into sin. Sin clouds our minds, contaminates our feelings, and enslaves us. The only remedy is the saving grace of God, who provides spiritual freedom.
"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17 KJV
Belief begins with knowing who Jesus is. Salvation comes not by intellectual knowledge such as by reading about the historical Jesus - but from a vital personal relationship with him. It continues with a commitment to the truth He revealed. That truth produces true freedom.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32 ESV
Freedom has little to do with political or national affiliation, so we don't look at our physical circumstances to find it. True freedom comes from knowing Jesus Christ and having that personal relationship with him. It is being saved by the grace of Jesus Christ.
There is a freedom more powerful than that celebrated on Independence Day. This freedom is available to everyone who believes in salvation through Jesus Christ. It is freedom of the Spirit. This freedom sets us free from the power of sin. Jesus Christ paid the price and living under his power is freedom.
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36 KJV