Here in the United States, we are celebrating the Fourth of July! What does that conjure up in your mind? Flags? Fireworks? Picnics? The Declaration of Independence?
July 4, 1776 was the date that our "founding fathers" signed the Declaration, having made a resolution to separate from Britain two days earlier. Listen to what John Adams, who would later succeed George Washington as president, wrote to his wife, Abigail:
. . . I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.The story goes that a woman approached Benjamin Franklin as he left the Convention, and asked him, "Well, Dr. (Franklin) what do we have, a republic, or a monarchy?" He replied, "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."
And it's the keeping of it that has been so costly. Brave men and women since then have fought, prayed, lived and died, to keep this republic free. Ronald Reagan put it so well:
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
Freedom is not free.
There is another kind of freedom that was also bought with an enormous price -- when Christ paid our debt, to purchase forgiveness and freedom from sin for all of us.
John 8: 32, 36: Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.Christ's sacrifice on the cross set us free from the Law, and from the "sin that does so easily beset us."
Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.Jesus paid the ultimate price --- His sinless life, death, and resurrection take away our sin.
Freedom isn't free. Let's celebrate with thankful hearts!