Summary: When we think we are independant we actually only change what we are dependant on.
Americans love to celebrate Independence Day.
The supermarkets stock up with extra ribs, hamburger and hotdogs along with anything else the goes with grilling out. It seems like the 4th is a big deal to more people than other holidays.
As Americans we tend to flaunt our freedom before the whole world on this day. We are a big nation and like to show off our freedom in a big way. There are the fireworks and music on the radio, patriotic themes in the stores and parades.
It is one of the summer holidays when most places are closed and as a nation we really do celebrate together.
If there is any day that we lift up animal sacrifices as a nation, I would guess it is July 4th.
I think that it is interesting how we crave independence.
How we will struggle and fight for freedom. I believe it is something that is in our makeup, something about how we work.
Even as small children we wanted to be in control. It starts before we are two years old. The word NO, become prominent in our simple vocabulary. Then not too long later, the shouts of MINE! We start making choices our way and do our best to make others go along. It is only a few years later when we start claiming “it’s not fair.”
Ultimately, we complain and pout when we don’t get our way.
As we get into our teens it is not much better. We want to be free of family obligations. We want to go out with friends and not have a curfew or be quizzed about what we were doing.
When Paul writes to the Galatians he is writing to people that are Teens in the faith, Teens in the family of God. They think they know everything, and just want to be left alone to do it their way.
The thing about teens is that they are far more influenced…controlled… than they will admit, by other teens that really don’t know any more than they do.
Just like in any group of young people, there are leaders and followers in Galatia. The leaders are making the rules.
Paul is addressing instructions from some men that came to Galatia and claim to have authority to teach the church the right way to approach God.
Paul is writing to the Galatians to combat a teaching that the church in Galatia needed to keep the old rules…the Law of Moses. He tells them that have freedom……because they accepted Christ.
The freedoms from the Law of Moses which individually and especially as a nation they would never be able to keep to God’s standard.
Last week we heard about Peter seeing God move and change Peter’s mind about what God’s plan was. What was required to become of part of the people of God.
Now 10 or more years later, Paul is telling, as if for the first time, the church that they have a freedom not to follow the old ways.
No more circumcision as a part of the preparation for a Gentile to be accepted by God.
The old rules don’t have any value or usefulness in their new life.
What Paul is saying is they have the freedom to live a new way, a freedom to love one another, a freedom to live by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I believe we tend to like Thomas Jefferson’s words that each individual has an "inalienable right" to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Inalienable - refers to a set of human rights that are fundamental, they are not awarded by human power, and cannot be surrendered. They come from outside anything we do or say.
-We like to enjoy our freedoms in the way we spend our time with our families and work.
-We control our money for the most part deciding what we NEED.
-We exercise our freedom in countless ways each day with all the decisions we make for ourselves.
Even our teenage children have freedom of choice that far exceeds what the majority of the world’s adults can even imagine.
Although I would suspect that they, our children, would disagree, feeling that their parents and teachers oppress them.
While our political system is less that perfect we have been able to maintain tremendous freedoms economically, politically, personally and even religiously.
But, the freedoms came with a price. A lot of people 231 years ago risked everything to break away from the Laws from England. Once they achieved the successful break, it was important that they not fall back into a position of giving in to those old relationships and rules.
It wasn’t tempting to become subjects of the English king. It was that they would fall back to a class system of have’s and have nots. Of different rights and privileges for different kinds of people using blood lines and history.