We are excited to announce that our theme this Summer will be “Free at Last!”.  Our summer verses are Romans 8:1-5.  Verses 1-2 say, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

To appreciate true freedom we must first be aware of our captivity, specifically to sin!  If we don’t comprehend the severity of the charges against us, we cannot be grateful for our freedom. 

In the context of Romans 8, to understand freedom is to understand condemnation.  We often think of condemnation as the verdict we are given for our crimes.  As sinners, we are all condemned to death for our sin against a holy God, but the word condemnation here (katakrima) actually refers to the penalty itself.  What Paul is saying is that we are free from not only being condemned of our sin, but the penalty that goes with it!  

We were condemned, sentenced to an eternal death, but because of Christ’s work on our behalf, we are free from that!  The chains of our sin, that once bound us to hopelessness, are now dissolved!  This is not only the amazing message of the Gospel, but it is the joy and hope that we are to live in daily. 

Spring is a time when we fine tune the training in our horse herd to prepare them for the retreat and summer season ahead.  Horses are motivated to obey by either reward or consequence.  They certainly aren’t driven to obedience by their gratefulness for all the things you do for them or provide for them like feeding them or cleaning out their stall. But as God’s children, we should be motivated to obedience because of what Christ has done. Freedom in Christ, because of Christ, through Christ is a liberating gift, and we should live out each day in this knowledge. There are times when we get discouraged by our sin, but these moments should serve as a reminder that we should be walking in tremendous gratitude for our escape!  And that, my friends, is a game changer! For those of us who have placed their faith and trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ, we are truly Free at Last!