Summary: "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Cor. 3:17b. As we have freedom in our country through the men’s sacrifices, we have freedom in Christ because of His sacrifice.
Sermon by: Mark Engler,
Mt. Vernon Christian Church
Mt. Vernon, Missouri
“Freedom in Christ”
“History of Independence Day”
Most of us in America learn the basic history of the events surrounding the Fourth of July, but the details of this monumental occasion in American history somehow fall through the cracks.
Although July 4th is celebrated as America’s official split from Britain’s rule and the beginning of the American Revolution, the actual series of events show that the process took far longer than a single day. The original resolution was introduced by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia on June 7, 1776, and called for the Continental Congress to declare the United States free from British rule. Three days later a committee headed by Thomas Jefferson was appointed to prepare an appropriate writing for the occasion.
The document that we know as the Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress on July 4th although the resolution that led to the writing of the Declaration was actually approved two days earlier.
All of this had occurred with some of the delegates to the Congress not even present; New York, for example, did not even vote on the resolution until July 9th.
Even more interesting is the fact that not a single signature was appended to the Declaration on July 4th. While most of the fifty-six names were in place by early August, one signer, Thomas McKean, did not actually sign the Declaration until 1781.
Nevertheless, July 4th was the day singled out to mark the event of the United States establishing itself as a nation.
Only four American holidays are still celebrated on their proper calendar days: Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s and Independence Day. Of all the secular holidays, the Fourth of July is the only one whose celebration date resists change. Even in more provincial times, suggestions to alter the day of the festival to the preceding Saturday or the following Monday when July 4th fell on Sunday were protested.
The feeling about the sanctity of America’s Independence day was best expressed in a quotation from the Virginia Gazette on July 18th, 1777: "Thus may the 4th of July, that glorious and ever memorable day, be celebrated through America, by the sons of freedom, from age to age till time shall be no more. Amen and Amen."
Ø What a glorious freedom we have in the U.S. As a result of what people like Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, Richard Henry Lee, and many more who signed our Declaration of Independence, and the many who fought for our freedom we have freedom today in this country.
Ø We have a debt of gratitude that needs to be paid to these people for what they did for us.
Ø Can you imagine living in a country that wasn’t free?
Ø We have freedom in Christ as well.
Text: 2 Cor. 3:12-18 - 12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.