Independence Day, which is also referred to as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday which celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. The Fourth of July holiday is celebrated with fireworks, family gathering, barbeques, parades and the list goes on and on. As Americans, we enjoy freedoms many who live in other nations are not privileged to enjoy.
One definition of the word freedom states it this way: “the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” A lot of men and women throughout the years have laid down their lives in the defense of our nation so you and I can enjoy the many freedoms we have today, though sadly too many people tend to forget about that truth. In spite of the fact we are seeing some of the freedoms we once enjoyed, being taken away, I still believe we live in the greatest nation on the world and for those who think otherwise, to them I say go and live somewhere else and try complaining about your rights there and see what happens.
“The power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” That definition of freedom sounds all good and well but what happens when one surrenders their life, or right, to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? The Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 5:1 “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.” Paul also writes in Romans 6:18 “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
The Declaration of Independence announced that 13 American colonies would no longer be under British rule. With this Declaration, these 13 new states took the first step in forming what would be come to be known as the United States of America! Since that day, we in America have enjoyed many new freedoms and rights but this new freedom was not able to give mankind the freedom from sin no declaration could ever provide. Everyone in the world was born with the sin of Adam and though we in America may enjoy a sense of freedom because of the Declaration of Independence, there is only One who could provide real freedom from the bondage of the sin of Adam that was our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7:23 “You were bought at a price, do not become slaves of men.” This is no greater price to be paid than the precious blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross as He laid down His life for your sins and mine. There is a song we sing at church that says; “I lay me down, I’m not my own, I belong to You (Lord) alone.” Laying our lives down is not what the human nature wants to do. America would never want to go back to being under British rule again.
So many feel they have the ‘right’ or ‘freedom’ to act, speak or think as they want with no one telling them otherwise; that is not the case with Christians. Going back to the song, it goes on to say: “Letting go of my pride, giving up all my rights, take this life and let it shine.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for our sins so that we can enjoy real freedom, so our lives could shine; why is it then that we allow ourselves to be so easily enslaved with sin again.
This Fourth of July, as with every Fourth of July, our nation will be celebrating our freedom by shooting off fireworks and having a great time. As Christians, we don’t have to wait for one day in the year to celebrate our freedom we now have in Christ, we can celebrate that freedom every day of our life!!
The songwriter writes: “My chains are gone, I’ve been set free! My God, my Savior has ransomed me!” What a wonderful freedom and what a precious ransom that was paid for our freedom; too precious to allow those chains back on our lives. Live your life in that freedom my friend!!!!
image credits: Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash
Categories: A Pastor's Blog