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.
– The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, declaring to the world the freedom of the American people from the rule of England. Our founding fathers believed that freedom was a right given to us by God. But that freedom came at a cost. Patrick Henry proclaimed, “Give me liberty or give me death.” He knew that freedom was worth dying for. Many Americans gave their lives in the American Revolution in order to secure that freedom. And many Americans have given their lives in wars since that time protecting that freedom.
The freedom that we, as Americans, enjoy today is precious and should never be taken for granted. It is a freedom that is available to all who call themselves Americans, citizens of the United States. But there is another type of freedom, one even more precious, that is available to everyone, no matter what nation they call their home. It is a freedom that we don’t deserve, but has been made available to us by the grace of God. And, just as our American freedom came at a cost, this freedom came at a cost, too.
This freedom is freedom from the bondage and penalty of sin. It is a freedom that we all need, as we are all sinners. It is a freedom that we can’t buy, it is a freedom that we can’t earn, but rather a freedom that comes to us freely from God through His Son, Jesus Christ. The cost of this freedom was paid through the blood of Jesus Christ, who died on a cross over two thousand years ago to pay the penalty for our sin and set us free from the bondage of that sin. All we need to do to secure this freedom is to believe in Jesus, believe that He died for us and that He rose from the grave.
Jesus said that, if we abide in His Word then, as His disciples, we will know the truth and that truth will set us free (John 8:31-32). Scripture tells us that it was for freedom that Jesus has set us free and we must never take that freedom for granted by submitting to the yoke of slavery that comes from sin (Galatians 5:1). We must live as a people who are free and not use our freedom as an excuse to continue doing evil (1 Peter 2:16). We must turn from our sin and follow Him and His ways. When we do, we become citizens of the kingdom of God, able to enjoy the freedom that God has provided for us.