Let us ask ourselves, ‘What kind of people do we think we are?’
And let us answer, ‘Free people, worthy of freedom and determined not only to remain so but to help others gain their freedom as well.’
~ Ronald Reagan
Over 240 years ago, the American colonists—feeling overburdened by the oppressive laws of England—determined to overthrow English rule and bring forth a nation of their own. The Declaration of Independence, ratified July 4, 1776, declared the desire to be free, but did not actually make the colonists free. Freedom always comes at a hefty price, and in the case of the American Revolution, it came at the cost of blood, property, and happiness for many men and women.
The American Revolution granted an imperfect freedom. The fledgling nation was now free from the yoke of England, but not all men and women were granted true freedom. Slaveholders, in spite of fighting for “freedom” refused to free their slaves, thus passing the buck to another generation. Less than a hundred years later, another generation had to fight another costly war that would finally allow the black slaves to be set free.
The United States of America continues to be a beacon of freedom throughout the world, however imperfectly we may execute that freedom. We are blessed to have a wealth of liberty that cannot be found anywhere else. Today we celebrate our Independence, our freedom, our liberty, and hopefully take a moment to remember the price paid to obtain and maintain these precious gifts. Freedom definitely gives us a reason to celebrate.
Our U.S Holidays such as Independence Day, Memorial Day, and Veteran’s Day, always cause me to reflect on the price of freedom. Many men and women have put their lives and livelihoods on the line to give themselves and their descendants what we have this day—an imperfect, but cherished, freedom.
I am grateful to be a United States Citizen, but I am even more grateful to be a citizen of Jesus’ kingdom. In His kingdom, we have perfect freedom. The above quote from Ronald Reagan is, of course, referring to the U.S., but it also reflects the pursuit of a Christian—we are “Free people, worthy of freedom and determined not only to remain so but to help others gain their freedom as well.”
Through Jesus we are free:
- from the law of Moses
- from the law of sin and death
- from the slavery of sin
- from fear of death
Listen to what Jesus said:
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
~ John 8.31-36, ESV
Do you want to be free—truly free—no matter what country you’re in, no matter what ruler is in charge, no matter how good (or bad) this world gets? Do you want to know you are free, even if you are in earthly shackles?
Only in Christ can we enjoy perfect, unassailable freedom.
If you are a Christian—which most of my readers are—you are free. Live free. Share this opportunity for freedom with others.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
~ Matthew 28.19-20, ESV
If you are not a Christian, I urge you to become one. Don’t wait until you’re older. Don’t put it off for a “more convenient time.” This world is an ever-changing place with no guarantee for the future, except that we will eventually die. When you die, do you want be freely standing in the presence of God, enjoying the beauty of His kingdom, or do you want be shackled in Satan’s kingdom, in eternal suffering?
If you want to be a citizen in God’s kingdom, Jesus has paid the price. You accept this gift of salvation the same way believers have been accepting it since 33 A.D.:
Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
~ Acts 2.38-39, ESV
Believe that Jesus is the Son of God who is able to save you from eternal death.
Turn away (Repent) from practicing sin. You will still sin as you learn to follow Christ, but instead of being enslaved in your sin, Jesus will help you overcome it. (1 John 1.5-10)
Confess that Jesus is the Son of God. He came in the flesh, died on a cross, was raised from death, and is now at the right hand of God.
Walk with Jesus until the end of your earthly life, following Him wholeheartedly.
Today we celebrate freedom in the United States, but imagine celebrating freedom every day, for the rest of your life and for all eternity!