Summary: We often live in bondage when as followers of Christ we have been set free. Learn again to declare your independence from the law of sin and shame, from self, and from Satan.

Our Declaration of Independence (Gal. 5:1, 13-14)

235 years ago tomorrow the Declaration of Independence was signed. It was a day in which the thirteen colonies of New England finally decided to break from their motherland and begin their journey as an independent nation. It certainly wasn’t an easy decision – it was agonizing not only because it meant breaking from their authority, but also because it meant the beginning of all out war with England.

It was such a momentous occasion that John Adams wrote the following letter to his wife: “it will be the most memorable in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. 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. You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means.”

It was a wonderful day!

Unshackled from bonds – independence – freedom! These are concepts that our founding fathers stood for and this is what America was started from as immigrants from Europe came to these shores to escape religious persecution and worship freely.

Everyone wants to be free. No one wants to be imprisoned, bound, shackled, in bondage. Today we celebrate that day when America made its first step toward religious and political freedom. A lot of those freedoms that were fought for seem to be slipping today. In many cases there seems to be less freedom than there was 235 years ago.

Has the same has happened with us as Christians? Are you walking in freedom? Are you in bondage? Instead of looking back at the meaning of America’s Declaration of Independence, let’s look at the meaning of another more important declaration of independence – that revolution instituted by Jesus Christ in order to free us from the bondage of the law of sin and shame, from the bondage of self and the bondage of Satan.

Galatians 5:1 says this: “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

America declared itself independent from England. According to God’s Word, we as believers in Christ have declared ourselves free from the law and all the sins and shame it reveals.

Every one of us is born in slavery – in bondage to evil. From our first days we cannot help but sin against God – it’s our inborn nature. Psalm 51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” But Jesus has set us free! He paid the full price for our sins – buying our freedom from bondage with his own precious blood more precious than gold. Earlier in the week we studied this fact as we read Romans 8:1 “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

The fact that we have been freed means more than Salvation and a trip to heaven. It means: freed from the bondage to guilt and shame! How many Christians today trust in Christ and what he has done for them on the cross but still suffer day after day from guilt and shame? Why? Because they have submitted again to a yoke of slavery. Why do you trust in Christ only to suffer from panging guilt and shame?

If that’s the case for you, then let me ask you these questions:

• Have you confessed and renounced your sin?

• Have you sought reconciliation with those you have sinned against?

• Do you trust that Christ’s blood is valuable enough to pay for your sins?

Then there is no reason to be under the bondage of guilt and shame. The guilt and shame is a lie from Satan who wants you to accept that you are not good enough – you haven’t done enough for God. You’re bad and evil and always will be.

Instead we listen to the truth of God’s Word to us – we listen to God’s declaration of independence: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:1) “For freedom Christ has set us free!” (Gal. 5:1) Notice that this is in the past tense. He HAS done it. Not will do it if you’re good. You have been set free – receive what the Word says and not what your feelings say. “So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

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