Posts Tagged ‘Inauguration’

A New Birth of Freedom?

Our nation has just elected our 44th president. People have much expectations of change on their minds.

As I watched some of the inaugural proceedings on television, I was struck by the words – “A new birth of freedom” – extrapolated from President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address set forth, presumably, as the theme of the incoming president’s administration.

“Freedom” is a word that, for the most part, has lost it meaning, especially in our politically-correct and relativistic culture.

What do the words – “A new birth of freedom” mean? What is “freedom?” Whatever they mean, if words mean anything, there is no doubt that they at least refer to something that is replacing something else that has either died or is dead. This is what rebirth means.

There are those who speak of freedom as the liberty to do as one pleases. But true liberty is living as one ought, and not as one pleases. Those of us who believe in a Sovereign God who rules over all the affairs of men, also understand that He has set a standard to Whom we are accountable. That standard is embodied in a Person, who Himself is the Truth. He is the One who declared,

I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.  (John 14:6)

So what is freedom?  Jesus declared that if we would listen to and obey His words, we would

“know the truth, and the truth [would] make [us] free.” (John 8:32)

If truth, according to Jesus, makes us free, what will enslave us? It is logical that if truth liberates, lies enslave.

Jesus links freedom and truth together.  True freedom, therefore, has to do with truth: God’s truth. The “new birth of freedom” we spoke of earlier, therefore, must be based on God’s truth and His perception of reality in order for it to truly liberate as Jesus says. If “freedom” is based on lies it will only enslave even further. The Holy Scriptures declares that there are those who

“promise … freedom, but they themselves are not free.” (2 Peter 2:19 NCV)

They cannot bring true freedom because they themselves are enslaved and living lies.

My prayer is that this new administration’s use of Lincoln’s words (who, by the way, believed the Bible to be God’s word) will be prophetic even though men may misapply and may not even understand the import of Lincoln’s words. I think my hope for this has a biblical precedence played out in the life of another leader referred to in Scripture: Caiaphas, the high priest. He declared, unknowingly and prophetically:

“You don’t realized that it is better for one man to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”
(John 11:50 NCV)

The Word of God says that being

“high priest that year, he was really prophesying that Jesus would die for their nation.”
(John 11:51 NCV)

I ask God that this “new birth of freedom” would not be what most people, and President Obama believe it is – a remaking of America. America does not need to be “remade”, it needs a return and a new birth: a return in repentance to God, to His truth and to true freedom by a new birth through faith in Jesus Christ. Without God, a new birth of freedom will issue the same old slaveries of the past. To understand the real meaning of President Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg, we must quote his whole thought,

“… that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom….”
(last sentence in the Gettysburg address)

Lord God, let it be so I ask, in Jesus’ name.
’til next time,

Danny

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