“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…Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” the great Declaration of Independence states. It continues, “We therefore…appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world…” obviously invoking the name of God as the delegation’s authority and support for breaking loose from the arbitrary rule of an earthly government. So, on July 4, 1776, was “born” what would become the greatest republic known to mankind and the people of thirteen colonies proclaimed their freedom from an oppressive condition. The struggle for complete independence would take, of course, many years to achieve, through a difficult and bloody war, and the drafting of a constitution, which was successfully ratified on June 21, 1788, until, at last, the United States of America officially and legally became an independent, sovereign constitutional republic on March 4, 1789. Every citizen of these United States owes a debt of gratitude to all those involved in this “beginning” and their immense sacrifices. Any annual celebration of Independence Day, July 4th, should be about recognizing those great sacrifices and the liberties and freedoms that came from them! Of course, this day has a unique meaning to American citizens that no person outside of the United States citizenry can truly appreciate!
Those of us who are members of the church that belongs to Christ, and who are citizens of God’s Kingdom, recognize from where the foundational principles of this country emanate. We recognize that “all men are created equal” because our Creator created us in His image (Gen. 1:27); He gave us the right to “pursue Life,” eternally, that He promised (Tit. 1:2); we have been granted, by His grace, freedom from the oppression and slavery of sin by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s blood, which ushered in the perfect Law of Liberty, by which the “Supreme Judge” will judge all of mankind (Rom. 8:2 &14:10-12; Phil. 2:9-11;Jas.1:25&2:12; happiness and joy are achieved when we “abide in Him” (John 15:1-17) because we have the blood of Jesus that continues to cleanse us from our sins (1John1:7). These blessings have a special meaning to children of God that no person outside of the citizenry of His Kingdom can truly appreciate!
We become a citizen of God’s Kingdom, and a member of Christ’s church, when we are immersed in the waters of baptism for the forgiveness (remission) of our sins (Matt.2819;Mark16:16;Acts2:38&41;Rom.6:1-11). But we do not wait for a year to pass before we recognize and celebrate this “birth.” We celebrate this great event every week! Fifty-two times a year, we commemorate and celebrate the One Who has done more for the entire world than any other being. Each, and every, Sunday we recognize and celebrate the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, our Lord and Savior to “…proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Cor.11:23).
Despite the ills and shortcomings of our government and society, if there is but one freedom we enjoy and appreciate above all others, it is that we are still free to honor and celebrate our citizenship in the LORD’s Kingdom. This is TRUE INDEPENDENCE! Our prayer for this nation and its ruling bodies should be that the first constitutional amendment will endure forever and that we can willingly and happily proclaim His sacrifice for us! May God continue to bless us in our efforts to serve Him.