by J. Gerald Harris

Freedom Is Never Free
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Galatians 5:1

We live in a free country. Our freedom is no accident. It is God-given. However, it has been preserved by brave men and women who have sacrificed their very lives so that we might remain free. With all of my heart I pray that we might continue to enjoy this great freedom -- that our children and grandchildren may know and experience the joy and blessedness of the freedom that we have known -- ''that we might stand fast in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free.''

There are three things that I want us to consider this morning as we think about our freedom and as we hold dear to our hearts the memory of those who have fought and died for the love of this great land.

Freedom is never free. The freedom that we enjoy as Americans has been purchased at the cost of the lives of our forefathers.

The coming of the Pilgrim fathers was prompted by one overarching compulsion -- to escape the soul bondage under which they were forced to live during the reign of Henry VIII of England. And though they came by way of Holland, their basic motive was to establish a society where no man would be forced to violate his conscience by giving support to something in which he did not believe.

Beginning in Jamestown in 1607, there was structured into the framework of Americanism the story of legions of American patriots who believed in God and followed Jesus Christ with the unswerving conviction that man, created in God's own image, was to be subservient to no one save God only. They loved liberty more than life and were even willing to die rather than be forced to live under the dictatorial and hellish coalition of church and state.

In 1620 the Pilgrims set up the basic principles of Americanism -- this was to be a land of liberty, of soul freedom where each and every citizen could worship and serve God according to his own conscience.

In 1776 the issue was clearly draw ...

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