Summary: A July Fourth sermon looking at the Declaration of Independence and then what the Bible says brings us freedom, which includes Jesus, Truth, the Holy Spirit, and Freedom.
July 4th Sermon
God’s Declaration of Freedom
With all of America’s imperfections and contradictions, July 4th, or Independence Day still represents one thing that all people can celebrate, and that is, Freedom.
Freedom is one the great blessings we have as a country.
We have political and personal freedoms, that which was fought for, and continues to be fought for, as outlined in the first couple of sentences of the Declaration of Independence.
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them … 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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
From this the Bill of Rights was established, and the three amendments that speak directly to these freedoms the most are …
• The first amendment, which is the freedom of religion, speech, the press, and to assemble peacefully and petition the government over grievances.
• The second amendment, which is the freedom to keep and bear arms.
• The fourth amendment, which is the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures,
The Declaration of Independence is written in a language of the feelings, emotions, and thoughts of the people during that critical time in our nation’s history. It expressed the frustration the people were feeling over these very matters that kept them captive to England, along with their desire and resolve to be free.
It is probably one of the most recognizable symbols of what freedom is all about. But the one thing that this freedom is based upon, and that which is brought out loud and clear in the Declaration itself, is in one thing that is missing in our celebrations today. It is the fact that true freedom can only be found in and can only come through God.
Again, listen to 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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
And yet, while people can be political and personally free, there is a great bondage and captivity that most people are in, that none of these other freedoms can touch. And that is the bondage of and captivity to sin that has ensnared and imprisoned the human race.
The Bible clearly speaks to this, and while political and personal freedoms are important, they are not the most important. Rather it is the reality of God and the freedom He provides.
But the Bible doesn’t leave off there. It also talks about our need to use this freedom responsibly.
The Apostle Peter brings this to the forefront when He said, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16)
Paul also brings this out in his letter to the church in Galatia.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)
As believers, therefore, we are called upon to use our freedom to further God’s agenda and His will, which is brought out in the Great Commandment, which is to love the Lord God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and to love others as ourselves, or to love others as we ourselves want to be loved. So, it is in this love for God and others that we are to let the world know of God’s unconditional love through the sending His Son, Jesus Christ, or that known as the gospel message, which is the Great Commission.
Consider also the Jews who God delivered from their Egyptian bondage. They sang and danced for the joy that was in their hearts. But not long thereafter the Lord gave to them the Ten Commandments, which was a description, if you would, of how they were to use their newly found freedom responsibly. In other words, they were held accountable and to a higher standard as free people.
Freedom, therefore, has boundaries. No one is free to break the law. Yet this is something so many balk at. They say, “I’ll be ruled by no one.” But in their attempt to throw off all restraint, they have only found another form of bondage.
True freedom begins with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; since it is through Him that all things have been created (John 1:3). Therefore, our freedom, in fact, all freedom, flows from Him. He is the source of all freedom, and life outside of that personal relationship with Jesus leads to all sorts of bondages, because true freedom and sin cannot co-exist.