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Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
(Gal. 5:1)
In July we celebrate the freedom that was won in the American Revolution. In 1776, Americans unified and boldly declared independence from the British king and his tyrannies. It wasn’t until 1783, however, that the United States formally became free and independent. There were many battles fought between the time of declaration and the time of realization.

Many Christians have declared that they are free but they fail to realize it. They are still entangled in the traditions of man, and fail to see that this makes the word of God of none effect (Mark 7:13) in their lives. Rather than taking God at His Word and believing that they are blessed, they complain that they are vexed. The Word says they are forgiven, but they still feel guilty. Instead of worshiping in spirit and in truth, they are hedged in by the inventions and prescriptions of elitist churchmen of the past.

Does this mean that all traditions are bad? Of course not. But many traditions within the church developed out of wrong Scriptural interpretations. Other traditions developed out of a mixture of Christian principles with pagan rituals. Some traditions resulted from an effort to keep order and control. The problem is that sometimes churchgoers are more concerned with keeping traditions than they are with growing in grace and their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Several years ago, I discovered that I was entangled in a yoke of bondage. I knew and declared the gospel, but I sure wasn’t free. I learned that faith must be more than a change in worldview. It must be more than a belief in all the right things. And it must be more than just hoping that God will come through in a situation.

I discovered that God had already come through! Jesus set us free, and yet tradition taught us to hope and pray and beg as if He never did anything!

I finally realized the fact that Jesus paid it all, and that set me free from all the inward searching and guilt trips that tradition had endorsed. I could trust what God said in His Word and be free from the doom and defeat that the devil was threatening. And I could boldly receive from God, not because I deserved anything, but because Jesus paid it all.

Christians should focus on getting excited about their personal relationship with the Lord, and standing fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. That means it is necessary to guard against anything that would be a distraction, whether it be sinful diversions, legalistic thinking, or empty traditions: "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." (2 Tim. 3:5)

Because of freedom, America became one of the greatest nations on the face of the earth. Because of freedom, the power of God’s word can become great in our lives. Stand fast!

Copyright © Rick Bell
All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Rick Bell
Web site: Rick Bell
Rick is a writer, speaker, teacher, and minister who has lived and served overseas since 1995. In late 2013, he moved back to America, but continues to travel and work with pastors and leaders across the world. His passion is to build others up with the life-changing truths of God’s grace and love.

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