Today is the celebration of Independence Day in the United States. A day when we commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 – which announced to the world that our thirteen colonies were no longer part of the British Empire. They were now declared to be thirteen sovereign states, which together formed the new nation of the United States of America.
That declaration – no matter how strongly presented were the grievances against the empire to which we belonged or the justifications given for separating ourselves from it – did not automatically bring the freedom and independence to us as a nation, nor to us as individual citizens of this new nation. All out war ensued. Struggle, suffering and sacrifices were required of all, in various ways, to different degrees, in the fight for freedom. A tenacious, unrelenting determination to be fully free and independent pushed a rag-tag, ill-equipped, inexperienced, newly formed fighting force to fight against – and ultimately defeat – one of the world’s most organized, highly trained and experienced military forces.
For we who are followers of Jesus Christ, it is our Declaration of Dependence on our Holy God that sets us free! Our Lord Jesus struggled, suffered and sacrificed His All to fight and defeat the authority and power that sin and death held over our lives. It is in holding to these truths: That our God, by the sacrifice of Jesus’ life and the victory of His resurrection, has set us free from the dominion of darkness that rules over this temporal world. In placing our faith fully in, and acknowledging our complete dependence on, all that Jesus has accomplished on our behalf is where our true and eternal freedom stands!
“…apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Colossians 1:13-14
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. – Romans 8:37
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32
The truth is our very breath, our very life and our eternal freedom depend solely on our Lord Jesus Christ! May we each celebrate and live out this Declaration of Dependence every day of our lives – standing firm, tenaciously and determinedly, in the freedom that our Holy God has given to us as His children and as eternal citizens of Heaven!