July 2, 1776 has never received its fair due. It is never called upon in remembrance of anything significant in American history, and yet it is a most epoch day. It is the day that the declaration for independence was accepted by the thirteen colonies. It is the day that the United Colonies of America ceased to exist and the United States of America became a nation.
The next day in a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams wrote the following of this glorious day:
Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony “that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States may rightfully do.” You will see in a few days a Declaration setting forth the Causes, which have impell’d Us to this mighty Revolution, and the Reasons which will justify it, in the Sight of God and Man. A Plan of Confederation will be taken up in a few days. On July 2, 1776 the Association known as United Colonies of America officially became the United States of America.
So why do we celebrate Independence Day on July 4th? Because that is the date our birth certificate was affirmed. July 2nd we declared our independence; on July 4th (the date printed on the document) we defended our right to liberty through the blessed document…the Declaration of Independence. The document was finally signed by all 56 signatories on August 2, 1776.
A few years ago my pastor encouraged me to read the Declaration as a court indictment; a case being presented. It changed my whole viewpoint on it. The founders knew that they needed to win in the court of world opinion if they were to survive, hence Jefferson’s opening words:
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. (Italics added)
That is actually the first paragraph of the Declaration; sadly most students and I daresay many teachers believe it starts out…”We hold these truths to be self evident…” Those words begin in the second paragraph. Nevertheless, this document brilliantly outlines the case against King George the Tyrant.
Another document brilliant outlines an indictment against tyranny; the tyranny of sin. The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Roman church, known by some theologians as Paul’s Gospel, systematically lays out the sinfulness of man:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” (Romans 1:18-23)
None of us is without excuse for not acknowledging God. And no amount of debate will remove the guilt from mankind:
“Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?” (Romans 2:1-3)
Some may say they are not a sinner so they don’t need a Savior; well then God and His servant Paul are liars:
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)
God holds these truths to be self-evident; we are sinners in need of a Savior. Our nation needed a declaration of independence to be birthed, and we need a declaration of dependence to be born again.
John Adams, in the same letter to Abigail, wrote these familiar words:
The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
Independence Day is Sunday. I am confident that many churches will commemorate the day as one of deliverance with “solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty.” May those acts include preaching the gospel unashamedly and unapologetically so that those caught in the tyrannical chains of sin are set free by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
If you were to give your life to Christ of July 4th, it would no doubt be a special day of remembrance for you “from this time forward forever more.”
I pray you have a blessed holiday weekend and please remember to go to church on Sunday.
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Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers
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