Freedom is a powerful and yet strange word. For some it brings the thoughts of really being free, free to live and go about day-to-day life with the power of liberty that freedom brings with it. To go out and make their own way and accomplish much in the free world that they know.
For others it is a solemn reminder that freedom can be taken and given by those in power and can be here today and gone tomorrow based on circumstance. It means to grip so tightly what freedoms are available that nothing feels like free choice but merely the choice of bad over worse simply based on one’s circumstances in life. I have, as always, included here for Independence Day our countries Declaration of Independence and Freedom from July of 1776.
I think it should be a positive document for all Christians to read and think on in the light of both its application on its adoption but also the power it still allows us today. It is a very real fact that while this document declares the freedom of a new nation not everyone in the nation itself was free at that time. To compound the challenge the document clearly outlines a respect and reliance on God for the establishment and provision for this new country.
This nation is one of the youngest in the world at only 247 years of age and yet the wealthiest and most powerful on this earth. We can debate many events along the way, but we have made much progress on both freedom and liberty and as a world leader in so many areas our greatest enemy is the one we face in our own mirrors each day.
May we use this anniversary to help remind us that we were all born as a slave to sin, and it rules our lives until the day we declare our independence and accept Jesus Christ into our lives. From that moment Paul’s words in Romans 6 bring us a tremendous Hope and Power.
4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. 5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.Romans 6:4-11 (NLT) Sin’s Power Is Broken
Paul tells us that the power is found by considering the power of sin as “dead” in our lives. It can happen to us, but it cannot enslave us for any evil purpose because Jesus died to buy our freedom and was raised again on the third day to secure our freedom into eternity. It cannot come and go on the unfortunate winds of circumstance, and it cannot be given or taken away by human means – it need only be accepted by us in Declaration of Our Independence from sin.
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.-Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
We also celebrate those that are serving our country today both here and in foreign lands to protect our freedom to worship freely and live in a free country.
The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.Thomas Campbell
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