“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…”
In a document beginning with these words, on July 4, 1776, the 13 colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Each year on the fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, Americans celebrate this historic event.
The holiday is often celebrated with parades, picnics, family gatherings, and sometimes incredible firework displays that represent, in a controlled setting, the nightly scenes of the war that was fought to win the independence our forefathers claimed.
Freedom for us was bought at a high price in blood by those men who dreamed of the freedoms we often take for granted today. It is sadly true that memorials like Independence Day can often become just another play day from work. Lest we forget, freedom from bondage and oppression was not free, we should never take it for granted, and by such risk losing all the privileges gained by these brave men and women of the past generations.
There is a greater, more precious, eternal freedom we also have the opportunity to enjoy, which was bought at an even higher price. It cost God the life of his son, Jesus, to purchase our freedom from the bondage of sin and eternal punishment.
“knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
This eternal freedom is graciously offered by God to all who will accept the offer on his terms. God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).
Just as the forefathers of this great nation united together to throw off the bondage of England, Jesus came to earth to throw off the chains that hold each of us in spiritual bondage. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
These words in Chris Tomlin’s contemporary rewrite of the traditional hymn, “Amazing Grace” express the reality we find in Jesus:
My chains are gone, I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace
We invite you to come and see the freedom and amazing grace you will find in Jesus.