Signed in convention on September 17, 1787. and ratified June 21, 1788, the preamble to our constitution is a masterpiece of power and brevity. Here’s what it says,
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
I want to focus on five words in that preamble, “provide for the common Defense.” One of the primary jobs of the federal government is to defend the United States against enemies, foreign and domestic. This means the United States must have a military. A common reason for a strong military is “peace through strength.” Enemies, dictators, or tyrants rarely bow before logical argument or reasonable request. They fear to attack us because of a strong military presence or economic sanctions.
Elsie has a coffee mug with her name on it. It was sent to her by the Disabled American Veterans. The mug has an American flag on it and big bold words that declare, “Freedom Is Not Free!” Like me, Elsie is a patriot and she treasures that mug.
The veterans are right. Freedom is not free! We all know that. We pay taxes to the federal government to sustain a strong military. Freedom requires constant vigilance. The moment we become passive and let down our guard is the moment the enemy will become aggressive. To reduce or eliminate the military is a sign of weakness to our enemies and an invitation for aggression and possible invasion of our land.
The Bible also affirms that freedom is not free. As believers in Jesus Christ we are a spiritually free people. In Galatians 5:1, the Bible declares, It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Christ paid the ultimate price, His own life. He died to give us freedom from the power, the penalty, and, eventually, the presence of sin. Notice that verse says, “keep standing firm.” In other words, don’t waver, don’t cave, don’t capitulate when the enemy attacks. Stand firm! Finally, that passage tells us what will happen if we do NOT stand firm . . . slavery. Freedom from sin is not free. It cost Jesus His life to give us that freedom. Now that we are free, eternal vigilance is required. The enemy is relentless in his attacks. He wants to enslave us to our old sins and will do so if we let down our guard. Stand firm because freedom is not free!
In Christ every day is our Fourth of July, our Independence Day!