In the United States of America the Fourth of July is a national day of celebration commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the day when independence was declared from Great Britain. Throughout the United States it is celebrated as a holiday with parades, and the gathering of family and friends for barbecues and fireworks displays.
Independence from British rule meant separation from punitive rule and oppressive taxes. It was a celebration of freedom and although it resulted in the bloody War for Independence, it ultimately led to a new experiment in governance based on the recognition of certain God-ordained rights and freedoms. While it may be argued by some that the Untied States has greatly deviated from its original course of being “one nation under God,” the original intent by its founders was noble, even inspiring many others around the world to fight for their own freedom.
As this day of national celebration approaches, I am reminded of a greater day of freedom that occurred over two thousand years ago. On the day when Christ was raised from the grave the tyranny of sin and death was broken from necks of all men and women who choose him. I am very thankful to live in a country where I have the legal right to worship God according to my own conscience, free from the fear of governmental intrusion or compulsion. But more than celebrating our civil independence on the Fourth of July, I am more thankful on this day to Christ for my spiritual freedom.
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.