Independence Day is a time to celebrate freedom. But many Americans—even many who call themselves Christians—fail to realize that they are not free. Many are slaves to sin. Some even twist Christ's words and preach that God's law has been done away with. From the very beginning, some have tried to pervert God's grace into license. We read in Romans 6:14–16: "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?"
As Romans 6:18 indicates, "having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." What about you? Are you a slave of sin? Or have you been set free from sin—a slave of righteousness? As millions across the United States reflect on their freedom on Independence Day this July 4, how should a Christian view his physical freedom-and his spiritual freedom?
Certainly a Christian should be grateful for the freedom that God has given to citizens of the United States, and the many blessings that are foretold in scripture. But we know that these blessings came about because of God's faithfulness to His promises—not because the United States has been faithful to God.
For especially in the last few decades, we have shockingly abandoned the God-given values that allowed the United States to become a great nation. And we see that, just as Scripture prophesied, we are losing those blessings. Before the end has come—probably within the lifetimes of most of you reading this—the American people will lose their freedom and go into a period of national slavery, prophesied in your Bible!
But you as an individual can escape this frightening outcome. If you let Jesus Christ live His holy and righteous life in you, you can begin to overcome sin, and can live the kind of life that God intended. Galatians 2:20 describes what happens to a converted Christian: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
Christ can live in you! He must live in you if you are to overcome sin and live the life He wants for you! What an awesome blessing that is! As Christians living in a nation that has given us wonderful freedom to live God's way and to preach His true gospel, we can be deeply grateful for the blessings that we celebrate on Independence Day. But as grateful as we may be for our nation's independence, we must as Christians be even more grateful to declare our dependence on our beloved Savior, who alone can free us from sin.