Last June 12, 2020, the Philippines celebrated its 122 years of independence from Spain. It was during that time that the Philippine National Anthem was first performed publicly and also the first time that the Philippine flag was unfurled. A few years later, another country, the U.S.A., colonized the Philippines. It was on July 4, 1946 that the Philippines was granted independence again. It was in 1962 when President Diosdado Macapagal declared that June 12 is the proper date to celebrate the independence of the country.
In our current situation, many Filipinos are reflecting on what freedom means as citizens of the Republic of the Philippines. For Christians, Paul has written a beautiful explanation of what freedom is.
Here are four passages in which Paul described what freedom is:
First, we are free in the context of the lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:22 — “For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave.”
Second, we have been freed by Jesus but this does not mean we have the right to sin intentionally.
Paul expressed it eloquently in 1 Corinthians 10:23 — “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.
Third, the freedom that Jesus gave us should inspire us to do things that break any yoke that enslaves people.
Paul gave this reminder in Galatians 5:1 — “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Fourth, we have been set free by Jesus to have a loving relationship with one another, and not to abuse others.
Paul clearly explained what our freedom is for in Galatians 5:13 –” You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
May God bless us all!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on