|Volume 21 Number 7 July 2019||
In 1776, Thomas Paine, American Revolution patriot and writer, commented about the price of freedom. “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; ‘tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods, and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated.”
As Paine noted, Independence Day is not just another holiday. History tells the price paid for freedom, many times over. It reminds us the price that must ever be paid if freedom will be maintained. How many have given of themselves, have given themselves, that we might enjoy liberty? We do well to remember and pay homage to those whose sacrifices permit us to enjoy the privileges we have today.
What a sacrifice was made that we might be free in Christ! Our liberty from the bondage of sin was purchased at no small cost. The grace of God in offering us salvation is made possible only through the blood of His Son. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:1-2). In Christ, we are freed from the effects of sin and have the promise of eternity.
The freedom Christ offers from sin comes from the love God has for each of us. Our love for Him should be reflected in our devotion to His will. “But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25). Only by abiding in Christ do we find the benefits His sacrifice provides.
As we reflect on our nation’s freedom, let us rejoice that every day is Independence Day in Christ. May we never forget the price He paid, the gift He offers and the life He provides. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
Honesty in Speech
Ronald D. Reeves
Does the content of our speech really matter? Of course, it does! Does the content of our speech matter, whether in public or private settings, whether speaking with a friend or stranger and whether others are aware or perhaps even unaware of our speech? Of course, it does! The Bible affirms that the Lord hates a lying tongue and a false witness that speaks lies (Proverbs 6:16-19). Lying lips are an abomination to Him (Proverbs 12:22). Similarly, righteous men hate lying (Psalm 119:163; Proverbs 13:5).
Accordingly, both the Old and the New testaments record divine commands relative to the matter of honesty in speech. The Old Testament demanded that one should not bear false witness against his neighbor (Exodus 20:16). The New Testament demands that lying should be put away and that every man should speak truth with his neighbor (Ephesians 4:25).
Yes, lying must be removed (Psalm 119:29) and lying lips silenced (Psalm 31:18). May each of us always be emboldened to speak the truth—nothing more and nothing less. We will assuredly be blessed thereby, especially as we carry the Truth of the divine revelation to those in the world who need the saving knowledge of God’s Word.