For freedom Christ has set us free. (Galatians 5:1)
The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, is a national holiday celebrating the anniversary of the day in 1776 that the thirteen American colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence. The Continental Congress formally declared that the American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, a nation that was no longer part of the British Empire.
From backyard barbeques to baseball games, from picnics to parades, from family reunions to fireworks, today is a day for Americans to celebrate our independence from British rule. But before you head off to your Fourth of July celebrations, let me encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the greatest freedom you have experienced as a child of God: freedom from sin, Satan, and death.
After Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden, all of humanity was plunged into sin and death. We were all dead in our trespasses and sins and completely unable to do anything about it ourselves. But God in Christ gave us a way out of bondage and into freedom. Because of His crucifixion and resurrection, we have been delivered, by grace through faith, from our slavery to sin and the power of Satan and death. All those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation have become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), with new dreams, new desires, a new destination—and a new freedom!
What is that new freedom? We are finally free to live a life that is pleasing and glorifying to our Lord Jesus Christ. By the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we have the ability to do what God wants us to do and to do it with joy and thanksgiving. But here is the irony: only to the extent that we are in bondage to Jesus are we free to live a God-glorifying life—and that, beloved, is a freedom truly worth celebrating, today and every day as we make our way into glory.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!