The date July 4th holds special significance to our nation. It marks the date, in 1776, on which the founding fathers signed the Declaration Of Independence, declaring our independence from England and our determination to be a free and sovereign nation. Accordingly, we celebrate July 4th as Independence Day.
The United States of America have stood as a symbol of freedom to oppressed peoples around the globe for well over two hundred years. We have repeatedly defended our freedom and independence and that of other nations from oppressors.
But I’m afraid that we’ve taken our freedom for granted for so long, that many of our own citizens do not realize what a precious blessing it is. We would do well to remember that our nation was not always free, that winning our independence was costly and that we could, more easily than we might realize, find ourselves once again under the rule of another. We are truly blessed to live in this land in freedom.
There is a far more important Independence Day, however, than that celebrated each year on July 4th. When a person learns the truth of the gospel of Christ, and in obedience turns to Him as his Lord and Savior, he is set free from the guilt and condemnation of his sin (John 8:32). As he repents of his sins and is baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3), the blood shed by our Lord on the cross cleanses that soul of the guilt of his sins (Acts 22:16). He is literally set free!
A person set free from sin “is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17), a Christian. In becoming a Christian, that person is “delivered…from the power of darkness and conveyed…into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13), in other words, the kingdom of God. The Revised Standard Version translates “the power of darkness” as “the dominion of darkness.” The devil is the ruler of that dominion (2 Peter 2:4).
A person who lives in sin is a slave of the devil (Romans 6:16). But when a person is baptized into Christ, he is set free from the slavery of sin (Romans 6:6-7). In Being set free, he has gained his independence from the most cruel, ruthless, bloodthirsty tyrant there is. He no longer lives under sin’s curse. As long as he stays faithful to God, he can look forward with assurance to eternal salvation (Romans 6:22; Revelation 2:10).
The most incredible Independence Day is the day a person is baptized for the remission of his sins (Acts 2:38), the day he enters into salvation in Christ (Romans 8:1), the day he is set free from sin, the day he comes out from under the tyrannical rule of the devil. Oh, what an Independence Day! Have you experienced that independence day in your life???
Gary L. Hutchens