Foundations for Freedom .... Bob Moore

From its discovery, America has been a land of refuge for the oppressed, downtrodden, and disgruntled. The Pilgrims, who only wanted the liberty to worship as they chose, fled the retribution of the Church of England. They sought a place to raise their children in righteousness and build up a purified church. Since then, multitudes of people from every nation and race have fled the tyranny of monarchs, priests, rank, poverty, famine, ignorance, and disaster by coming to the land of liberty.

When the founding fathers organized the Republic, they guaranteed freedom for all. They had already stated that God grants people certain inalienable rights. Believing that they were divinely charged with ensuring that liberty, they created a legal environment founded on equal rights. Neither king nor cleric reigned. No birthright prevailed. Every person, despite wealth or position, was equal in the eyes of the law.

Equality means that no person has authority over another without his approval. Government officials must be chosen by the consent of the governed and are accountable to their electorate. They are their servants. They cannot oppress, unless the public tolerates their oppression. Creditors may not harass debtors, arbitrarily confiscate their property, nor imprison them. Employers may not enslave their employees, nor deny them their Constitutional rights. In every situation Americans are free from the fetters of servitude.

The source of all liberty is Jesus Christ. He gives freedom to those receiving him. He says, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:36). His mission is "to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound" (Isaiah 61:1). Without him all are subjects of the devil (2 Timothy 2:26). Like serfs of an oppressive lord, they endure Satan's hostile threats and obey his perverted commands. They have no inherent power to break free from his influence. Alienated from God, they have no other master to follow.

When Jesus died on the cross, he paid the consequence of sin and broke down the partition separating men from God (Ephesians 2:14). God had decreed that sinners must die (Genesis 2:17) Because Jesus died in the place of each person, he freed every one from the requirements of the law. Paul said that Jesus died, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us" (Colossians 2:14). This meant that because the death of our Savior paid the consequences of our past sins, they no longer separated us from God. Through him we can return to our heavenly Father. Now, any person can flee the tyranny of the devil by coming to Christ.

Resident within each person are desires to act selfishly. Sometimes these desires produce terrible consequences such as murders, adultery, strife, drunkenness, fornications, and the other misdeeds listed by Paul (Galatians 5:19-21). Left to ourselves, all of us sprinkle our lives with some of these vices and become captives to those evils we prefer. Only Jesus can give us sufficient power to resist their temptations. He sends the Holy Ghost to those submitting their wills to his will. The Holy Ghost enlightens our minds to spiritual things and invites us to prefer them instead of the things of the flesh. Those choosing the things of the Spirit are liberated from the power that carnal temptations have. Paul said, "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2). Instead of being victims of lust, Christians become servants of righteousness.

Jesus frees believers from sin by changing their desires. Christians become "new creatures" (2 Corinthians 5:17), no longer led by carnal temptations. The enticements that naturally rage in those concerned about worldly things increase lust. Carnal lust is satisfied only in disobedience. Disobedience enslaves sinners to the devil. By freeing people from carnal desire, Jesus severs the cords binding them to the devil. Because they no longer want the things the devil uses to bind sinners to him, they are free from him. An early Christian, Clement of Alexandria, put it this way. He said, "We call that perfect which lacks nothing. He who has God lacks nothing." Because believers receive the Holy Ghost, they lack nothing. All their desires are fulfilled. enticements of Satan do not tempt those free from want.

While Christians crucify their "old man" when they come to Christ (Romans 6:6-7), they retain power to resurrect their natural selves. Satan tries to convince them to return to their carnal way of life by whispering that his temptations offer liberty too. Peter explained, "When they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage" (2 Peter 2:19). By suggesting that people can find liberty in satisfying their carnal instincts, Satan can rebind those who were once tree from his influence.

When America became a place of refuge for the oppressed of the earth, it treed those coming to its shores from the tyranny that Satan uses to bind people to his superstitions. They could believe and act for themselves without the demands of king or priest. They were free to follow the invitations of the Holy Spirit. Such liberty increased the opportunity for people to follow God. If Americans took advantage of their freedom, they could establish the kingdom of God on the land of the tree. Then they would have formed a bastion of faith to raise the rest of the world to Christ.

The potential for America to house the kingdom of God frightened Satan. If it ever succeeds, it will eliminate his reign on earth and erode his influence over mankind. He had to attack American liberty or see his kingdom fail.

Since America is an independent and powerful nation, the only way the devil can defeat it is to corrupt it from within. If Americans can be persuaded to lay aside their liberty, then he can bind them to his oppression. Enticing with the lusts of the flesh, he now invites Americans to seek the riches and pleasures of this world. Creditors say, "Buy now; pay later." Politicians raise the national debt and plead, "Vote for me." Manufactures cry, "New is better." Gradually, Americans are trading their independence for the bondage leisure and affluence too often bring. As they do, they are finding themselves servants in a land denouncing servitude.

Today, Americans are bound to the economic, political, moral and philosophical conditions they have embraced. People must work to pay for things they have already purchased They must fund the programs their representatives have already authorized. They must suffer the disorder their new morality spreads. No longer free, they are bound to the temptations pelting them from every billboard, radio, newsstand, and textbook. Those seeking a place to raise their children in righteousness or build up the kingdom of God are subjects of the deteriorating conditions in society. Others tied to carnal desires invade their homes, threaten their way of life, and undermine their efforts. They may be golden today, but the handcuffs binding America to jobs, programs and government will in time be as bitter as the chains that bound Israel in Egypt, the Jews in Babylon or peasants in medieval Europe.

Like those who are overcome by sin, Americans can escape the bondage of desire. All they must do is discipline their lusts. Their cords have already been cut by our Savior. Those finding their pleasure in him and his purposes are free from want. Content in whatever blessings God provides, they escape the bondage carnal enticements bring. As long as America chooses Christ, it is free. Whenever it chooses passion, it becomes enslaved. The liberty of the United States is directly proportional to its commitment to Christ and how well it submits to his will.