The “True Freedom” of Independence Day

This week on July 4th, the United States commemorates our freedom from British rule. Properly known as Independence Day, it celebrates the liberties of the American identity. We celebrate our freedom of speech and religion. Our people celebrate equality and independence from oppression. We have the right to pursue happiness and shape our destiny. Many celebrate the holiday with apple pie, explosions in the sky, baseball games, and BBQs. Even though it is not a religious holiday like Christmas or Easter, July 4th is a time that many also reflect on God’s goodness to us as a nation and the freedom we have in Jesus Christ. July 4th is also the anniversary of my mother’s passing in 2017 when she gained her ultimate and true freedom in Heaven. 

Reflecting on Freedom and Independence

Other nations were founded on the basis of a common ancestry, geographic boundaries, or by the power of kings and emperors. America is different. Our basis is a shared belief and creed so eloquently and simply written by Thomas Jefferson:

“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.” 

–Excerpt from the United States Declaration of Independence

Sadly, the document did not provide freedom to all as intended. Jefferson’s initial draft included a scathing denouncement of slavery that was deleted. If this passage had been retained, our country’s history might have been much different. Later, Abraham’s Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” But true freedom did not come until two and a half years later. On June 19, 1865 over 250,000 people who remained enslaved in Texas were finally set free. That day, now known as Juneteenth (a combination of June and 19th) commemorates the real end of slavery in the United States. America still struggles with racial divide and we have a long way to go toward reconciliation. But freedom is what makes America a great country, despite what some believe.

Christ Gives us Freedom

Although our country has its independence, nothing compares to the ultimate freedom from Jesus’s death on the cross. Jesus Himself said it best, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). Said another way, knowing the truth about who we are, who God is, and what He has done for us, can set us free. 

The apostle Paul addressed the early churches about the truth that Christ set you free. Paul tells Romans, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Romans 6:22). He reminds them that Christ’s death and resurrection frees us from the “law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). Paul also tells the people of Galatia, “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1) since they were slaves to their own sins.

Even today, we remain slaves to our sins. Slaves to addiction, loneliness, and mental or physical abuse. The good news is that Christ sets us free to be His people during our time here on earth.

Celebrate Your Freedom Every Day

Know that freedom in Christ isn’t license to sin but the freedom to live with a holiness that gives eternal life. Let’s remember this truth every day; not just on Independence Day. Celebrate Christ’s victory and live out your freedom on the truths on which our great nation is based. 

Wisdom for Men is based on my opinions on topics that help men become better men. The sources used for these posts are not fact-checked, but support my theory that men are better with deeper, more authentic friendships. My GodBuddy theory is based on biblical principles but applies to all men, regardless of their beliefs. Better friendships among men will help solve the crisis of male friendships and many of today’s problems… because the world needs better men!

[Featured Photo from Pinterest via Google Search. Sources: The Deleted Slavery Passage from the Declaration of Independence, by Donna R. Braden, The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation]


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