Freedom from anything begins by knowing you are free. Juneteenth—a short version of “June 19th”—remains a state holiday in Texas. It remembers the day good news arrived.
(Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Vivozoom)
But before this date in 1865, freedom had been a secret for two and a half years.
For many Christians, spiritual freedom is still a secret.
Being Free Requires Knowledge
When Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, effective on New Years Day, 1863, the act freed all slaves. But many southern masters kept the information a secret from their slaves.
And here in Texas for two and a half years the slaves were legally free . . . but they never knew it.
(Photo: General Gordon Granger stood on the balcony of Ashton Villa on June 19, 1865, and read “General Order No. 3,” announcing the freedom of all slaves. (Attribution : © N. Saum, firstname.lastname@example.org))
It wasn’t until Union troops arrived in Galveston in June of 1865 that the slaves learned they were free.
Juneteenth tells us something important about freedom: it’s useless unless you know it’s true and live like it.
This is also true of slavery in the spiritual sense.
Knowing You’re Free from Sin’s Power
Many Christians are still living as slaves to sin. But God has given a spiritual Juneteenth through Jesus Christ:
“Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts.” (Romans 6:11-12)
If you have trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, consider it true of you: you are dead to sin’s power to make you sin, and you are alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Live Free . . . Because You Are
The Bible doesn’t say, “Pretend it’s true,” or “Act like it’s true.” It says, “Consider it a fact.”
- We were separated from sin’s power over us, but not its presence with us. That freedom comes in heaven.
- Sin can (and will) still tempt, but for the Christian, the act of sinning has become one of choice, not of compulsion.
- We have the freedom to walk away from sin instead of submitting to its demands.
When I first learned this truth, I couldn’t believe no one had ever told me before. What freedom there is in truth!
Perhaps this Juneteenth will be your spiritual emancipation.