The Fourth of July
Backyard bbq’s, fireworks, and parades are just a few ways that we celebrate Independence Day in the United States of America. Celebrations are everywhere on the Fourth of July. Some celebrate by attending or playing in baseball games, taking vacations, or attending concerts of many venues in towns across America. It truly is a great country we live in and have those opportunities to be able to celebrate.
But why do we celebrate the Fourth of July? Is there more to it than having a good party?
Well, it was on this date in 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted. This is why the Fourth of July is also known as “Independence Day.” July 4, 1776 was the day our country’s founders officially declared their separation from the country that ruled over them. It was during the American Revolutionary War, the colonists fought Great Britain for the right to govern themselves. American colonists had wanted to form their own government so they declared their independence from the British rule, fought, and won the American Revolutionary War.
Now, over 200 years later, we celebrate the Fourth of July because it stands as a symbol of the day long ago when we ceased being British and became Americans. Even though America is seemingly divided on many issues, one thing that have in common is the fact that we live in a free country. We are free to live in a country where our freedoms are protected by the Constitution. We have the right to protest and petition in causes that we feel strongly about. We live in a democracy that allows us to vote in elections. Our freedoms are great and so is this country. Our individual, political, and national freedoms are certainly nothing to take for granted.
While the freedoms we are afforded as American citizens are amazing, there is another freedom that is even greater. Freedom in Christ.
What is freedom in Christ?
Freedom is a word that resonates with Americans. Patriotic songs, flying the old red, white and blue, and those in military garb represent freedom to so many of us. However, freedom in Christ is not the same as political, individual, or national freedom. There is more to freedom than civil laws protecting our individual rights. There are some freedoms that civil law cannot give and armies cannot protect. We have to look elsewhere for certain freedoms, and they are extremely important ones. Freedom from sin, freedom from sin’s eternal consequences, freedom from hopelessness and despair, and ultimately, freedom from death. Freedom from sins and the bondage of sin. These are freedoms found only in Christ. Galatians 5:1 states that, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
Freedom in Christ is seen in contrast to, the bondage of sin. Romans 6:20-23 says, “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This means that sin holds us captive in bondage as slaves, gives us a spiritual death, and keeps us apart for an eternity from God.
How do we find freedom in Christ
Jesus was therefore saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in my word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,'” (John 8:31,32). Choosing to follow Christ is a choice. We are given free will to make choices on our we live our lives. Because we have chosen to follow Christ, does not mean we are without sin. We are imperfect beings. You have been given the power to overcome the sin and not become a victim to sin. It shall no longer have control over you. You have been transformed, given a new life.
We experience true freedom in Christ by knowing Him, walking in His ways, and engaging with the changes He makes in and through our lives as we focus on service to Him and to others. This freedom transcends the human freedoms desired by society or what culture deems important.
So, please partake in celebrating on the Fourth of July. Sing the Star Spangled Banner and enjoy those fireworks. Have fun, but please don’t forget what real freedom is. Freedom from your sin. Freedom that can only be found in and through Christ.
Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
1 Peter 2:16
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.