“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
In the summer of 1776, the Second Continental Congress was meeting in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House (later called Independence Hall).
On June 7, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia stood and read his resolution: “Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
On July 1, Congress reconvened and the following day, the Lee Resolution for Independence was adopted by 12 of the 13 colonies. Immediately, Congress began to consider the Declaration drawn up by the committee. Then late in the afternoon of July 4, 1776, the document known as the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted as church bells rang out over Philadelphia.
That document, the Declaration of Independence, has become one of our nation’s most cherished symbols of liberty. Yesterday, we as Americans celebrated “Independence Day.” This year we, as a nation, celebrate 238 years of independence and freedom. As Americans, we have much to be thankful for and much to celebrate.
As a nation we consider July 4, 1776, as our national day of independence. As for me, my personal day of independence is in the spring of 1974.
That was when I was set free by God’s good, great and glorious grace. It is one thing to live in a nation where there is freedom, but it is another thing to actually live in freedom. In our text, Jesus talks about a personal day of independence.
John 8 has been referred to as the chapter of contrasts and conflicts. Jesus dealt with grace vs. law (verses 1-11), light vs. darkness (verses 12-20), life vs. death (verses 21-30), and freedom vs. bondage. (verses 31-47)
In this one chapter alone, Jesus forgives the woman taken in adultery; He encourages those in darkness to look to Him, as the Light of the world; He tells the Jews that God the Father sent Him; Jesus speaks of His death and the fact that they would die in their sins and could not come to where He was; He said He was from above and they were from beneath.
What does it mean to let freedom ring? It means that the person of Jesus, who has the power, sets us free from being bound and blinded by sin. It means we then have a life that has discovered freedom from sin by living a liberated and celebrated life. We are no longer slaves to sin, but the children of God.
As I mentioned earlier, it was on July 4, 1776, that the Declaration of Independence was signed by those in attendance. A few days later, July 8, 1776, the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence were held in Philadelphia’s Independence Square. As it was read, people celebrated and bells were rung throughout the city.
Are you free? Is there a personal “Independence Day” on the calendar of your heart? Has there been a day when you were set free from the “law of sin and death?”
Have you been set free from the penalty of sin? And, if you are saved, are you still bound and blinded by some besetting sin?
Have you been set free from the power of sin? If not, you need to experience a liberated life that leads to a celebrated life.
You don’t have to be the devil’s play-toy any longer.
You can be free.
Do you want to really be free? Then let me remind you that Jesus is the person with the power to set you free.
The bindings of this life cannot hold me. I am one man, under God, undividable, filled with liberty and justice that is available to all through the freedom of Christ.
I don’t know about you, but I will not be bound by sin. I will not be blinded by sin. I will not be enslaved by sin. I will not be ensnared by sin. I will not be entangled with sin. I will not be entrapped by sin.
I will not be a pauper living on the devil’s scraps when I can be a prince feasting on Heavenly manna. I will not live like a slave when I am a son. I will not live in jail when I am a “joint heir” with Jesus Christ. I will not live like an orphan when I am a child of the King.
Let freedom ring in your head, in your home and in your heart. Let freedom ring from the White House to the courthouse to the schoolhouse to God’s House to your house.
Let freedom ring from the pulpit to the pew. Let freedom ring from the harlot to the heavens. Let freedom ring from the pit to the palace.
Let freedom ring from the sinner to the saint.
John 8:36 tells us, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
The Rev. BILLY SANDERS is senior pastor of NorthPointe Church in Copperas Cove.