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AT WAR WITH OUR VICES


On July 4, 1776 fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Citing numerous abuses of the law and the oppressive and unjust rule of the king of England, these men pledged their honor, their lives and their livelihood to the cause of justice and freedom. We have them and many others to thank for the freedoms we now enjoy in this country. The struggle for freedom didn't end with them. Evil is always present and always eager to enslave us. The Revolutionary War, and many others like it over the years, was just part of a much deeper and difficult struggle that has gone on in the lives of human beings since the beginning of the world.


Signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Franklin referred to this struggle in one of his famous sayings: "Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbor, and let every new year find you a better man." The struggle for freedom, the struggle for good, the struggle for peace in this world is not just the matter of occasional wars or political debates. This struggle rests at the heart and core of every human being. It begins within each of us as Franklin said so well: "Be at war with your vices." This is also what God teaches us to do in an even more significant way as we heard in these words of Paul:


I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7.23-25

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