In 1781, the Fourth of July was named a national holiday and today fireworks, parades and picnics still mark this celebration. Because on July 4, 1776 The Declaration of Independence proclaimed the thirteen colonies free from British rule. What proceeded and followed this declaration were the historic battles still taught in every elementary school. For six years the colonies shook with the Battles of Concord and Lexington, Bunker Hill and Saratoga. The war finally ended at Valley Forge where British General Cornwallis surrendered to what would be the United States’ first president, George Washington. Two years later the British and the Americans signed a peace treaty in France.
Freedom does not come without a price. Through the Revolutionary War our nation’s freedom was paid for by the blood and sacrifice of the men and women who fought for their dream of what would become the United States. The battles were not easy, and the years took their toll on our young nation. In the end, the price was paid and freedom achieved.
The Gospel message provides a similar refrain. Believers have been given freedom in Christ. The freedom we have is freedom from death caused by sin. God sent His only Son to die and shed his blood for us. The ultimate price of freedom was paid through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Although the cost was high, Jesus’ death and resurrection purchased the freedom of anyone who trusts in Him. By faith, we become children of God and co-heirs with Christ. Through Him, we are made pure, holy and blameless — all gifts — God gives to us freely.
We must realize with this freedom comes tremendous responsibility. The gift of freedom is not a license to do as you please. Rather, it is a calling to live unselfishly and righteously. Freedom rings when you chose not to indulge all your desires, but chose to live a life honoring to the Lord. “God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom”—1 Corinthians 1:30.
The Fourth of July gives us the opportunity to be grateful and celebrate the freedom of our nation, say a prayer of thanks to God for the freedom from sin He has given you and for the life He has given you to live now, and throughout all eternity with Him.