What Can We Eat? Answers About Liberty (Part 5)
July 4, 2021
If one country wants to demonstrate its appreciation for and friendship with another country, they do what people do when they have friends: they give gifts. But what do you give a country that has everything? That was the question the French were trying to answer at the end of the American Civil War. The French wanted to do something to recognize the success of the democratic project in America. So France commissioned Frederic Auguste Bartholdi to build a statue that would epitomize the American experiment.
The result, as you likely know, was the Statue of Liberty, completed and then dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1886 (ten years late for the centennial celebration in America). The metal skeletal structure for the statue was designed and built by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel (yes, he also built a tower in Paris); onto that tower, Bartholdi hammered large sheets of copper that made the “skin” of Lady Liberty. He actually built the statue in France, then disassembled it, packed it into 200 crates, shipped it to the US, and then reassembled it in New York harbor on top of the base provided by the United States. When completed, the statue and pedestal reached 305 feet into the New York skyline. It has stood there for nearly 1½ centuries as a testimony to freedom and liberty.
It is fitting that on the day our nation recognizes its freedom and liberty as a nation (now just five years away from our Semiquincentennial — yes, I had to look up that name), that we talk about liberty in the church. What does liberty for the believer look like? We’ve said the main principle in Romans 14 is:
Use your individual freedoms as a means of preserving the corporate unity of the Body.
We’ve considered principles about a believer’s liberty and how to make decisions about liberty and warnings against abuse of that liberty. As Paul concludes the chapter, he affirms three goals in the use of our liberties:
- Use Your Liberty to Build Peace in the Body (v. 19)
- Use Your Liberty without Sinning Against Others (vv. 20-21)
- Use Your Liberty to Cultivate a Clear Conscience (vv. 22-23)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 14:19-23.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.
Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash.