July 4, 2019
Volume 23, Number 2
It was on this day 243 years ago that representatives of the 13 colonies of the New World gathered at the State House of Pennsylvania. Two days earlier a resolution was unanimously passed to declare that these colonies were breaking away from the British Empire. On July 4, 1776 the finished document was ready, and 56 delegates to the Continental Congress signed their names. (There is debate over whether all 56 signatures were made on July 4.)
The declaration and the signing were bold actions by these delegates. Britain was not likely to simply grant their wishes; each signer knew there would be repercussions. If they were apprehended by the British, they would almost certainly be charged with treason, and would meet a painful, torturous death.
But those 56 signers considered the goal worth the risks, and the United States of America was born. A grateful nation continues to honor their actions.
About 3,500 years ago a man named Moses stood before the great Pharaoh of Egypt and made a bold declaration: “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let My people go’” (Exodus 5:1). The people to whom Moses referred were Pharaoh’s slaves, descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Was Pharaoh likely to let these people simply walk away from serving him and thousands of other Egyptians?
A millennium and a half went by and One greater than Moses appeared, making this proclamation: “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:34-36).
The thing to note about Jesus’ liberation of enslaved souls is that each must choose to be freed. He doesn’t force His way into our lives: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). To be free, we must “enlist” to become part of God’s family (see Galatians 3:26,27 for more information on this step).
Once we declare our independence from the slavery of sin, do we suppose that the master of sin – Satan – will wish us well and wave as we walk away? On the contrary, we will have effectively declared war with Satan, and we can expect him to pull out all the stops in his efforts to drag us back to his dungeons of doom.
But let us not hesitate to declare our independence from Satan and sin. We follow “the captain of [our] salvation”, and his He has succeeded “in bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10). He can surely bring us to glory as well. Declare your independence!
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2019, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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