Today, our nation celebrates its two hundred and twenty-eighth birthday. On July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.
The preamble said: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” The first declaration of rights said: “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.”
About a year earlier, Patrick Henry had made a speech in a building owned by the Church of England (now an Episcipal copal Church building in Richmond, Va.) in which he said “give me liberty or give me death.”
Not many years ago, people enslaved by communism dug tunnels under the Berlin wall in search of freedom. Many have died in that search. Recently, our president, speaking about Iraq, said “let freedom ring.” Men are still dying for freedom.
Spiritually, freedom can only be enjoyed through truth. Jesus said: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free...Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (Jn. 8:31,32,36). The apostle Paul, writing to the Galatians about freedom from the Old Law, said “So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Gal. 4:31-5:1). It is by obedience to the truth that the old things (sins) pass away and we become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
Freedom from the Old Law was especially refreshing to those who had been under bondage to the law. God gave the ten commandments to the nation that was brought out of Egypt (1 Kgs. 8:21). That covenant was later put in the ark of the covenant. “There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they had come out of Egypt” (2 Chron. 5:10). Hundreds of years later, Nehemiah wrote: “You came down also on Mount Sinai, And spoke with them from heaven, and gave them just ordinances and true laws, Good statutes and commandments. You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, And commanded them precepts, statutes and laws, By the hand of Moses Your servant” (Neh. 9:13,14). This is the covenant that Paul called a ministry of death, or condemnation and said that it passed away (2 Cor. 3:7-11). Those today who would go back to the Old Law have gone to a covenant that never applied to them and are under a yoke of bondage (Gal. 5:1-4).
God’s “power unto salvation” is the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16) and by obedience to it, we are “set free from sin” (Rom. 6:17,18). “For he who has died (spiritually) has been freed from sin” (Rom. 6:4-7) LET FREEDOM RING!