Our Declaration of Independence is Romans 10:8-10.
"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): 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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
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This coming Thursday we will celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence signifying the thirteen colonies’ independence and freedom from the dominance and rule of England, although The United States of America would not officially become independent for another seven years, until the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War.
The most quoted line from the Declaration is "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
They were declaring they not only deserved freedom, but were willing to fight for it. Our founders recognized the Creator through their mention of certain God-given rights in the Declaration of Independence.
John 8:33-36 NKJV They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’ ?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
We here in the United States are especially blessed.
In many places in the world the mention of serving God or his son means arrest, imprisonment, and even death, sometimes instant death.
1. We have Freedom to speak our convictions.
Free speech is one of the most sacred rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, and truly, all the others flow from it. We are guaranteed the right to speak openly and publicly about our opinions, beliefs, and faith. And like many of the other freedoms, it's easy to take this one for granted. This is also an extremely important freedom when it comes to preaching the Gospel.
Mark 16:15 NKJV And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Ephesians 6:18-20 NKJV praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Paul was asking that the church pray for him but we too should, since we have the freedom, work to accomplish the Great Commission.
Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
For us the nations could be our friends and family, or our co-workers. The Holy Spirit will direct you how to do that without you getting in trouble with you job.
We are blessed to live in a country in which evangelism is not only tolerated, but protected in the Constitution.
I Corinthians 9:19-23 NKJV For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
2. We have Freedom to worship as we choose.
Worship is not only a privilege it is also a command from Scripture.
Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
God created us for fellowship, and here in this nation we are allowed the choice to worship in any way we want to.
Hebrews 12:28 NKJV Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
3. We have Freedom to pray to our God.
We can pray boldly. We can approach God with freedom and confidence.
Hebrews 4:14-16 NKJV Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
It's God's will that we pray to Him in faith.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
By choosing to submit our requests to God in prayer we are making the choice to live out the faith that He calls us to have.
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
If you notice in the Declaration of Independence, one of the rights it calls out is "the pursuit of happiness."
Galatians 5:22 says we can have real joy in our lives as we walk in the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
We don't have to pursue happiness; rather we can choose to live it out in the Spirit.
This allows us to receive the freedom we have in Christ, and that includes the freedom to love.
Galatians 5:13 NKJV For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Our life as Christians starts with loving God and extends into loving others on His behalf, even including our enemies.
Matthew 5:43-45 NKJV “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
The Christian Independence Day
The United States celebrates its freedom on July 4th, but those of us who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior have become the citizens of the Kingdom of God, and we celebrate a different Independence Day. Our Independence Day is the day of our salvation.
Our Declaration of Independence is our 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 6:18-23 AMP And having been set free from sin, you have become the slaves of righteousness [of conformity to God’s will and purpose]. I am speaking in [familiar] human terms because of your natural limitations [your spiritual immaturity]. For just as you presented your bodily members as slaves to impurity and to [moral] lawlessness, leading to further lawlessness, so now offer your members [your abilities, your talents] as slaves to righteousness, leading to sanctification [that is, being set apart for God’s purpose]. When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness [you had no desire to conform to God’s will]. So what benefit did you get at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? [None!] For the outcome of those things is death! But now since you have been set free from sin and have become [willing] slaves to God, you have your benefit, resulting in sanctification [being made holy and set apart for God’s purpose], and the outcome [of this] is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] 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.
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 we need to defend ourselves from all these attacks.
We have the armor of God.
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.
Although we are free from the slavery of sin we aren’t sinless. We still struggle with 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.
So 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.
Although you live in the home of the brave and the land of the free are you really free? Are you free for the condemnation that comes with sin and disobedience to God? If not you can be, and you can become free today. You don't have to buy your freedom somebody already did that. Jesus paid for your freedom with His life.
We read a scripture at the very beginning that said “if the Son makes you free you are free indeed”. The person who said that is Jesus and He’s referring to Himself because He is God’s Son. In other words “if Jesus makes you free you are free indeed”. You can become free today, really free. Here’s how; it’s in
Romans 10:8-11 NKJV 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): 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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”