Fireworks, flags, picnics, parades…these are the hallmarks of the Fourth of July!
It’s a great day for America, isn’t it? It represents a defining moment in the history of this nation. It is the day that the country claimed its freedom. The value of freedom is mentioned again and again in our history. Our national anthem ends with the words, “…the land of the free, and the home of the brave.” Our Declaration of Independence guarantees all Americans the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Freedom is the lifeblood of America. But this freedom came at a cost. It was purchased with the life of many.
Yes, we’re fortunate to be Americans.
But on this special day, I am reminded of another Independence Day. Another day when freedom was won. This freedom also came at a cost. It was purchased with the life of One.
If you were to ask the average person what it means to be free, you’d probably hear something like, “to be able to do your own thing.” Trust me, I grew up in an era when “do your own thing” was not only a catchphrase, it was a way of life. My generation felt ENTITLED to it. And yet, we were not unique. This mind-set goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. It sums up the reason for the Fall. Man wanted to “do his own thing” apart from God. Funny how we seem to view God’s way as “confining” and “arbitrary” and life on our own terms as “liberating” and “free.” However, this is exactly the opposite of the truth.
Romans 7:14 says, “So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.”
The Bible makes it clear that serving yourself, and running your own life, is not independence or freedom – it is SLAVERY!
Romans 6:16 says, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God.”
The Bible resonates with the word and the concept of true freedom over and over. Freedom was God’s whole plan when He sent Jesus to die for our sins. His mission was to release us – slaves of sin and prisoners to death. He came to LIBERATE us, to offer us the TRUE path of freedom.
Galatians 5:1 states, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…”
Jesus Himself was very clear on this point. Read His words from the book of John: “…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’...they said, ‘We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free?’ Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are TRULY free.”
True freedom only exists in God’s saving grace, when we are freed from the yoke of slavery to sin, and freed to become like Christ – and in doing so, we also become more like the true self God created us to be.
Romans 6:14 states, “Sin is no longer your master…Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”
God also promises the ultimate freedom to the believer – freedom from death.
Romans 8:21 says this: “But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”
God grants us the true freedoms we so desire:
Freedom from sin
Freedom from condemnation
Freedom from death
Freedom from judgment and eternal punishment
Never forget the wonder of God’s freedom. The freedom He bought for us with the death of His Son, Jesus, on the cross. His atoning work rescued us from slavery to sin, and ushered us into His very presence, both now and forever.
God’s salvation, and His gift of eternal life, is given FREELY to all who receive it.
So, Happy Independence Day, America!
And praise God for His Independence Day – the day His Son died for the sins of the world!
THIS IS FREEDOM INDEED!
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