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The Gift of Freedom

by Skip Heitzig |
This week, we in the United States of America are celebrating our nation's birthday. John Adams, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and later our second president, made a prediction about Independence Day in a letter to his wife Abigail: "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 forevermore."

How many "solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty" do you see on the Fourth of July? Plenty of "shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations," certainly, but little of the worship and thankfulness to God that Adams advocated.

Our forefathers had a strong faith in God, and they recognized that our freedoms, ultimately, are a gift from Him. The Declaration of Independence contains these words: "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..." James 1:17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights..." The freedom that we enjoy here in America is certainly one of those good gifts.

But that is insignificant compared to God's greatest gift—His only begotten Son. Jesus Christ came to die, so that we could have eternal life. Just think of this matchless gift of God—Jesus Christ has given us freedom from the power of sin in our lives, and freedom from death itself. Every other gift pales beside that!

In the ancient world, if a person paid the price so that a slave could be freed, it was called "redemption." Jesus Christ is literally our Redeemer, because He paid the price for our freedom. Romans 6 speaks at length about our having been slaves to sin, and it ends with these words: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (v. 23). When Jesus hung on the cross, his last words were a great "declaration of independence" for those who believe in Him: "It is finished." Literally, that means "paid in full." Jesus had paid the price to set us free from our sins.

Our freedom as Americans is something we ought to celebrate every day, not just on the Fourth of July. But the freedom from sin and death, purchased for us on the cross of Jesus Christ, is cause for an everlasting celebration. And that's precisely what we'll be doing in heaven.

"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).

In His strong love,

Skip Heitzig

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The Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 Days

The Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 DaysThe Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 Days is an innovative devotional by Skip Heitzig. In it, you'll find unique insights on key stories and chapters throughout the Bible, along with points to consider as you read.

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