What Is Liberty?

What Is Liberty?

Featured in the July, 2008 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News

When you go shopping at the supermarket you look at the labels on the cans, bottles, and packages and buy what you want.

If you went shopping for liberty, would you be able to read the labels and get what you wanted?

Why not test yourself. Do you understand the following words? Can you give a definition for each?

  1. Unalienable
  2. Principles
  3. Prudence
  4. Transient
  5. Usurpation
  6. Despotism
  7. Tyranny
  8. Inestimable
  9. Formidable
  10. Dissolution
  11. Annihilation
  12. Migration
  13. Appropriation
  14. Tenure
  15. Substance
  16. Jurisdiction
  17. Arbitrary
  18. Abdicated
  19. Mercenaries
  20. Perfidy
  21. Domestic
  22. Insurrection
  23. Redress
  24. Unwarrantable
  25. Magnanimity
  26. Consanguinity
  27. Acquiesce
  28. Rectitude
  29. Absolve
  30. Providence

Now to the dictionary and check yourself. How did you do? All of those words are from the Declaration of Independence.

This document was authored by Thomas Jefferson and signed by fifty-six men who understood these words and pledged their lives to defend the concepts they represented.

The people of the thirteen colonies were sufficiently educated to grasp the significance of these issues and to offer their lives for them in order to establish a free nation. If such words are too big for us and such concepts beyond our comprehension, then perhaps we do not deserve to retain our liberties.

Great ideas have always required an adequate vocabulary. Lazy people want it all simplified so that great benefits can be enjoyed without study and without work. Great ideas will never be properly expressed in street language.

All of this is also true of the Bible and Christianity. The eternal issues involved in sin and salvation will never be adequately expressed in “Dick and Jane” language. All efforts to so simplify a translation of the Bible that it has only newspaper words will rob it of the great doctrines that have to do with our eternal well-being through Christ our only Savior.

The terminology of the Bible cannot be adjusted to our lazy minds rather we must discipline our intellects and stretch our minds, labor and study so that we can grasp those issues that have to do with salvation. Here is another test. Can you understand the following and adequately define the following important words?


Uncertainty of any kind about these great Christian terms could cost you redemption. This is why every individual should sit under substantive, clear, Bible preaching. If all of this sounds like too much work, then you may be passing by heaven.

If you are named in a will, but too lazy to understand it, and too impatient to have it explained to you, then you may not receive what was pledged to you.

So it is with the Scriptures. God offers full salvation and eternity in heaven but if you are too busy to pay attention or it seems like too much mental effort to get it all figured out or it takes too much time to listen to Scriptural exposition, then it may be you are just not interested enough to allow God to present you with the gift of eternal life.