Yesterday, as a nation, we celebrated the day on which we declared our independence from Great Britain. With the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we were telling King George III, and the rest of the world, that we were no longer to be a colony ruled by another country. Rather, we were to be a new nation, free to govern itself, free from the burdens placed upon us by Great Britain. And it is that freedom that we celebrate every year on July 4th. But we must never forget that freedom comes at a cost and that cost is high. We must never take that freedom for granted.
The American Revolution, the war that secured for us the independence that we declared on July 4, 1776, resulted in the loss of about 25,000 lives, some through battle, some through disease and other factors. Another 25,000 American soldiers were wounded, bringing the total casualties to about 50,000, a high price to pay for the freedom we sought. Our nation is now 243 years old, and throughout those years, many more Americans have willingly paid the price, through death or injury, to help us maintain the freedom that we so love. From 1775 through 2019, the total casualties of war are estimated to be over 2,852,901. There is a high cost to freedom!
There is another freedom that we must never take for granted, another freedom that came at a high cost. That freedom is the freedom from the penalty of sin, a freedom that came at the cost of one life, that of Jesus Christ. The Son of God, Jesus was sent into our world over 2,000 years ago to take upon Himself the cost of freedom from our sins. Although He Himself was without sin, He went to the cross and gave His life so that we could be set free from our sin. He took upon His shoulders the sins of every person who has ever lived on this earth and willingly gave His life to provide the way for each of us to be set free from the penalty of those sins (1 Timothy 2:6). Each and every one of us is a prisoner of sin, but we can enjoy freedom from that sin. How? By believing in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:22).
Jesus gave His life to free us from the sin that enslaved us. All that we need to do to receive that gift of freedom is to believe in Him, to believe that He is the Son of God, that He died for our sins. The cost of our freedom was high and we must never take that freedom for granted. We must turn from sin and not use the freedom that Jesus paid for as an excuse to continue to satisfy our sinful nature. Rather, we must use our freedom to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). When we stay true to Jesus’ teachings, when we serve one another in love, we are truly His disciples and we can live in the promise that He made in John 8:36: “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.