Today we celebrate the Independence Day of the United States of America (interestingly, and I would presume, illegally . . . my neighbors have also celebrated June 30th, July 1, July 2nd, and July 3rd each evening between 9pm and 1am–launching enough fireworks to light up half of Saint Louis). I believe they may have spent more on fireworks this year than the GDP of several African countries. Okay back to the post, my vent is over…
As we celebrate our freedom as a country, we should first remember that until recently, many members of our country have expressed their concerns for freedoms: in 1865, slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment (almost 100 years after July 4th, 1776); it wasn’t until 1920 that women were allowed to vote (nearly 150 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence), in the 1950s and 1960s our black brothers and sisters of the United States began to receive “equal” treatments in terms of schooling, restroom use, restaurants and employment [although many have told me that even today, it is not truly equal-we still have a long ways to go] (this is 200 years after the 2nd Continental Congress huddled into a room in Philadelphia and representatives of the 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence). In that place, now named Independence Hall, they attested to and signed;
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.
These are said to be some of the greatest words ever written concerning humanity, and I must agree, and I want to draw particular attention to these specific words: all men [and women] are created equal. It may be true that not all humans (even in the US) are treated equal, but
WE WERE ALL CREATED EQUAL.
And if created, then there must be a Creator, and if the Creator is always master to its creation, then God, Our Creator, is our master and we are His creation (Genesis 1:27).
Therefore, since we are a creation, we do not have freedom in and of ourselves, only an eternal freedom given by God (put that in perspective on this Independence Day). We are told in the Bible (Romans 3:23-24; Romans 6:23) that we are captive to our sins and that we deserve to die because of it. Yet, there is hope through Jesus (not through ourselves), and by His “substitutionary atonement,” we are given freedom from death and eternal separation from our Creator, but we are not given our own freedom (Romans 6:22). You see, we are still captives to our Creator, even though He gave us ultimate freedom. The difference is, this freedom (in captivity) is eternal, always good, and completely just for all who believe in the saving sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
WE ARE STILL CAPTIVES TO OUR CREATOR, EVEN THOUGH HE GAVE US ULTIMATE FREEDOM
So TODAY, July 4th, CELEBRATE! and REMEMBER!
May the words of this song by Shane and Shane allow you to realize that all of our freedom, and all of our worth as believers comes from Our Creator, who is also Our Savior, and Our provider (Galatians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 3:17):