[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]This week we celebrate as a nation the liberty provided to us as Americans. We must never take these liberties lightly nor for granted.[/x_custom_headline] There is also a freedom in Christ Jesus that we must not take for granted, and I’ll share more about that later in this blog.
[x_custom_headline type=”center” level=”h3″ looks_like=”h3″]CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES[/x_custom_headline]
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence? For the record, here’s a portrait of the men who pledged “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” for liberty many years ago.
Fifty-six men from each of the original 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. John Witherspoon of New Jersey was the only active clergyman to attend. Almost all were Protestants. Charles Carroll of Maryland was the lone Roman Catholic.
Seven of the signers were educated at Harvard, four at Yale, four at William & Mary, and three at Princeton. Witherspoon was the president of Princeton, and George Wythe was a professor at William & Mary. His students included Declaration scribe Thomas Jefferson.
[highlight]Seventeen signers fought in the American Revolution.[/highlight] Thomas Nelson was a colonel in the Second Virginia Regiment and then commanded Virginia military forces at the Battle of Yorktown. William Whipple served with the New Hampshire militia and was a commanding officer in the decisive Saratoga campaign. Oliver Wolcott led the Connecticut regiments sent for the defense of New York and commanded a brigade of militia that took part in the defeat of General Burgoyne. Caesar Rodney was a major general in the Delaware militia; John Hancock held the same rank in the Massachusetts militia.
The British captured five signers during the war. Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, and Arthur Middleton were captured at the Battle of Charleston in 1780. George Walton was wounded and captured at the Battle of Savannah. Richard Stockton of New Jersey never recovered from his incarceration at the hands of British Loyalists. He died in 1781.
Thomas McKean of Delaware wrote John Adams that he was “hunted like a fox by the enemy – compelled to remove my family five times in a few months.” Abraham Clark of New Jersey had two of his sons captured by the British during the war.
Eleven signers had their homes and property destroyed. Francis Lewis’s New York home was razed and his wife taken prisoner. John Hart’s farm and mills were destroyed when the British invaded New Jersey, and he died while fleeing capture. Carter Braxton and Nelson, both of Virginia, lent large sums of their personal fortunes to support the war effort but were never repaid.
In the Revolutionary War there were 25,700 Americans killed.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN said, Ánd people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety.”
He went on to say to the other signers on July 4, 1776, “We must all hang together, or, assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”
PATRICK HENRY stated, “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”
JOHN ADAMS the second President of the United States said, “Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it.”
As Americans, we must be very thankful for the liberties that have been provided for us through the sacrifice of others.
As Christians, we must be very thankful for the liberties that have been provided for us through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as the men and women of past generations who paid a severe price to preach the gospel and make disciples for the Lord.
[x_custom_headline type=”center” level=”h3″ looks_like=”h3″]CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD[/x_custom_headline]
[x_blockquote cite=”Colossians 1:12-14 KJV” type=”left”]“12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”[/x_blockquote]
Jesus fought and won the battle for our freedom. We have been set totally free from Satan and the powers of darkness by the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus is our Freedom! There is no reason to stay in bondage to any work of the devil any longer.
[x_blockquote cite=”2 Corinthians 3:17 KJV” type=”left”]“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”[/x_blockquote]
There are two realms of liberty: the natural and the spiritual. Liberty means you’ve been set free and that you are not bound anymore to what had you enslaved.
Where the spirit of the devil is there is no liberty, only bondage. So stop listening to the devil and yielding to sin and disobedience.
If the Spirit of the Lord is not involved in whatever it is you are doing, then you are only getting yourself into deeper and deeper bondage.
You have to defend your liberty and freedom that you have in Christ. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that breaks the powers of darkness off from our lives. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that sets us free and keeps us free.
So whether you are an American or a citizen of some other nation, true liberty only comes through the Lord Jesus Christ.