We're glad you joined us for ToGather.church! We hope our time in song, prayer, Communion, praise, and Scripture blesses you. You are joining God's people from all around the world in this time of special worship. (Find out more.)
July 4 is Independence Day in the United States. However, as Christians — no matter where we live or what the governmental system is — today and every day we can celebrate a far more significant independence: freedom from law-keeping and freedom from slavery to sin.
Opening with Praise in Word and Song:
We begin our ToGather worship with the song "Great Things" with Phil Wickham as we celebrate the grace of God who has blessed us so richly:
As we worship, we celebrate our freedom from sin, death, and law-keeping as the Spirit empowers our transformation into Christ-likeness. Our Verse of the Day and its complementary passage both come from Galatians 5, as we emphasize our freedom in Christ:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love (Galatians 5:13).
We pray with Eldon Degge that the promise of Paul's words in Galatians 5:1, 13, are true in us:
Thank you that Christ died to set all people free...
So, Father, please help me stand fast and never submit again to a yoke of slavery! Help me to live free from sin and to help other people see that to espouse rule-keeping is a form of slavery, a falling away from the grace of Christ. We trust in being made right with you, O God, by the power of the Spirit and our faith in Jesus.
In the name of Jesus, I ask you to preserve my faith in freedom and love. Amen.
We celebrate the freedom that the Father's grace has given us through our faith in Jesus' saving work. Death no longer has power over us because the Holy Spirit lives in us to transform us and give us eternal life as God's children.
Focusing on the Scriptures:
So much that poses as spiritual freedom is just another avenue for the evil one to enslave us. Our bondage to false religious approaches to freedom sucks the life out of us and dilutes our joy. Jesus, however, has set us free from the power of sin and death and set us free to find true and lasting life (Romans 8:1-4). To prepare for Phil's message on freedom, let's rejoice by singing "Glorious Day" with Kristian Stanfill and Passion:
In the letter to his beloved brothers and sisters in Christ who lived in the province of Galatia, Paul used strong language, vivid images, and shocking metaphors. He was trying to awaken them to the freedom that God's grace gave them through their faith in Jesus. Paul didn't want Jesus' disciples to be liberated from sin, only to enter the bondage of trying to be right with God by law-keeping. At the same time, he didn't want our freedom in Christ to become an excuse to re-engage in our destructive life of sin. So, how do we enter the freedom God has for us in Jesus? Spiritual freedom is the focus of Phil's message from Galatians 5:1, 13:
In the beautiful song, "Place of Freedom," Highlands Worship helps us embrace our freedom in Christ. As we worship filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:17-20), we get to taste the joy and celebrate the love that freedom brings us in Jesus:
Sharing The Supper:
In Christ, we have been delivered from the power of sin, death, and hell. We declare our freedom with Northpoint and Seth Condrey as we sing "Death Was Arrested":
Closing with Praise:
Set free in Christ, we don't want any form of bondage to hold us back from all that God wants us to discover in his grace. We sing "Break Every Chain" with Tasha Cobbs Leonard to invite God to open our eyes to other areas where we need his deliverance and to break any chain that holds us captive from life in Christ:
As we conclude our ToGather worship today, we share Paul's closing blessing with the Galatians:
Dear brothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen (Galatians 6:18 NLT).