Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July, is the American holiday when we celebrate the birth of our nation and our freedom from what the colonists viewed as the tyrannical rule of Great Britain. On this day each year, we express our gratitude for the bravery and self-sacrifice of our Founding Fathers, as well as for their faith in God. We remember those who risked (and some who lost) their lives to establish a self-governing nation, one that continues to ensure and protect so many of our individual freedoms.
True freedom, however, is a gift offered to us not by a group of individuals or a sovereign nation, but by Almighty God Himself. It is an unwarranted gift to be cherished and nurtured. In order to free the world from sin, Jesus paid our sin debt in full by giving up His freedom, sacrificing His life, and shedding His blood so that you and I might have the opportunity to live our lives free from the bondage of sin.
For us to truly experience the freedom that Christ offers, we’re asked to give up worldly freedoms. We aren’t free to do as we please, we aren’t free to affirm an “anything goes” mindset, we aren’t free to live a self-centered life. What we do have is the opportunity to experience freedom in a new and different way! As Christians, we have been called to a higher standard: to treat others as we would like to be treated, to live generous lives, to love God and love people, and to be obedient to God’s Word, just to name a few. Scripture tells us that “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36). Living free in Christ and being “free indeed” means we have the ability to live a life free from fear, knowing that we have a sense of purpose and are surrounded by God’s love and the hope He gives us through Christ Jesus.
So, on this Independence Day, we encourage you to not only celebrate the freedoms you experience as an American citizen, but to also reflect on the freedom you have been given through Christ as a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven.