It was on a Tuesday, 238 years ago this date, that we as a nation declared our independence from Great Britain. Think I’m a couple of days too early? July 2, 1776 is the day the Second Continental Congress voted to adopt Richard Henry Lee’s resolution declaring independence from Great Britain. Twelve colonies voted unanimously, with New York abstaining. It was on July 4, 1776 that Thomas Jefferson made his final edit on the Declaration of Independence. John Hancock and Charles Thompson signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, with the 54 other delegates signing the document on August 2, 1776.
Why the history lesson in a devotional? I share this with you so that you know the complete and truthful history of our nation’s founding instead of what you learned in school. As John Adams declared while defending the British troops during the Boston Massacre trial, “Facts are stubborn things.” Facts are not only stubborn, but they are also very important.
Most atheists and historical revisionist would be horrified to learn that liberty is a Biblical concept. Every Christmas season we rightfully read from Isaiah 9:6, however two verses earlier we read about liberty:
“For You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.” (Isaiah 9:4)
In the New King James Version, Isaiah 9:1-7 is subtitled, “The Government of the Promised Son.” It speaks of an oppressed people who are freed by the Messiah who will be the Righteous King of a righteous people. Because the Promised Son was born, even though we suffer oppression we can rejoice in knowing that our Lord Jesus reigns.
The greatest oppression from which we suffer is the bondage of sin. It is an automatic death sentence with only one possibility of pardon and that is through the blood of Jesus Christ. Many have tried other remedies for the guilty stain of sin, but only one truly frees us:
“Blessed be the Lord, Who has not given us as prey to their teeth. Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124:6-8)
We read in the Old Testament of the Year of Jubilee, where all debts are forgiven, all slaves are freed, and the land would also be given the whole year off from producing. It was a year of renewal and restoration. It was a year to proclaim liberty.
“And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.” (Leviticus 25:10)
Perhaps you are thinking that we should have to pay our debts and that no one is truly a slave from sin; we all choose to sin. Correct on both accounts, however I sin because I’m a sinner and I am a sinner because I was born with a sin nature. Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God’s command introduced sin into mankind. We are in bondage to sin just as a bird caught in a snare:
“His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin.” (Proverbs 5:22)
We who are in Christ are free from sin and we are called to no longer live in bondage but to fulfill a life of Christian liberty:
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)
This Christian liberty is not liberty to sin because we are forgiven; that is heretical teaching. We have spiritual liberty to live our lives for Christ Jesus and are no longer under demonic influence. We are free from the lies of the devil and this world. Stinking thinking can be flushed from our minds through the truth of the Word of God. If we will follow Jesus, we can be free from sin and know what is true:
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” (John 8:31-32)
Many believe they have the freedom to do as they please and in some ways they do, temporarily at least. But like a spendthrift with a credit card with a credit limit, eventually the bill will come due. And worse than that spendthrift, the cost of your sin debt is beyond human effort or works. You just can’t afford it. That is because our liberty from sin comes from Christ. Commenting on Galatians 5:1, Oswald Chambers writes:
“There is only one true liberty— the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right.”
From where do you receive your liberty? Are you trusting in your own efforts to free your guilty conscience? How’s that working out for you? Why not during this Independence Day weekend you take stock of your life and see where you truly stand before a holy God. Look to the one and only Redeemer Jesus Christ.
Instead of waiting until this weekend, why not declare your dependence on Christ today, the very day our nation declared its liberty.
Then you can celebrate the 4th of July truly free, because Jesus has set you free.
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Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers
Apologetics, atheism, Bible, Christianity, Christmas, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Faith, Forgiveness, Founding Fathers, Grace, Guilt, Hell, Honesty, Hope, Israel, Liberty, Mercy, Patriotism, Revival, Sin, Truth, Wisdom