July 4th is celebrated in the United States as the signing of the Declaration of Independence signifying the colonies declaring their freedom from England. Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, but the United States of America would not officially become independent for another seven years, until the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War.
But the citizens of the Kingdom of God, those who believe and have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior celebrate a different Independance Day. Their Independence Day is Resurrection Day and we celebrate it every day. The big Celebration takes place on Resurrection Day (Easter). That pronouncement of that Independence is found here;
John 8:34-36 (NLT)34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever.36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
Romans 8:2 (NKJV) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Our Declaration of Independence is confession
Romans 10:8-10 (NKJV)8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Today, the citizens of God’s Kingdom have the freedom in Christ that empowers us to avoid the things that can lead to pain and suffering.
Romans 6:17-23 (NKJV)17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We are free to choose love over sin, and free to pursue the things of God over our own selfish desires which can lead to disaster.
Galatians 5:16-23 (NKJV)16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
We are free from the things our enemy Satan throws at us including attacks on our minds, our bodies, our material things, and everything else we have in our lives. Jesus has given us the things to defend ourselves from all these attacks.
Ephesians 6:10-17 (NKJV)10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
He has given us the freedom to say NO!
Galatians 5:1 (NKJV) Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Because of the freedom provided through Christ we are now new and improved
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Of course although free from the slavery of sin we aren’t sinless. We still struggle with the the flesh, but Jesus has already won the battle for us.
Romans 8:31-39 (NKJV)31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?33 Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Although we are free we must still be vigilant. Our freedom can’t be taken away from us but we can abandon the joy and peace that comes with it. We can stop letting the Holy Spirit control our lives and try to take control ourselves. When we do that we lose. We don’t lose our salvation but we lose our freedom. by talking us into not letting God have control over our lives, then by default, the devil wins, and we lose. Our job is to stay free, and we do that by praying, studying, and obeying God's Word.
The International Living Center gives us “Four Freedoms You Should Celebrate this Independence Day”
So, this Independence Day, let’s celebrate the freedom we have in Christ by holding onto Him and His promise.
John 8:36 (NKJV) Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.