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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Blessing
by Alan Allegra
6/29/2015 / Salvation
Have you ever wondered if there is a Fourth of July in other countries? Before you run to Google or Ask.com, think about it. Every country that has a calendar has a July 4! It just doesn't have the same meaning as in the United States. This day commemorates the signing of the birth certificate of the USA: the Declaration of Independence.
Because the kingdom of the British monarch, George III, denied the states their "unalienable rights" of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," said states chose to "dissolve the political bands which have connected them."
There is a striking parallel to our nation's history in the spiritual world. There are two spiritual kingdoms: the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) and the kingdom of Satan (Matthew 12:26).
In America, every child born in this country is an American citizen. The genealogy and ethnicity of the parents is irrelevant. Similarly, every person born into this worldborn in the fleshis a citizen of the rulerthe princeof this world, the devil (John 12:31). All are born automatic citizens of this world.
Jesus Christ offers the chance to dissolve the bonds that connect us to this world with its despotic ruler, and enter his kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14:17). To enter the better kingdom, one must be born again (John 3).
Satan's kingdom promises freedom (Genesis 3) but delivers only bondage and slavery (2 Timothy 2:26). Allegiance to his false teaching leads to corruption (2 Peter 2:19).
Not dissimilar to King George, the ruler of this world's stock in trade is lies (John 8:44), murder (John 8:44), and deception (Revelation 20:3). He may look good on the outside, even appearing as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) or even God (2 Thessalonians 2:4) but the beauty is only skin deep. His agents are even able to perform signs and miracles (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
We don't like boundaries. From touching items marked, "Do Not Touch!" to blowing off speed limits, like babies in playpens, we try to escape societal boundaries, not realizing they are for our safety. Trains that derail produce death and destruction.
Jesus offers everyone true freedom and liberty when we, paradoxically, offer to be his slaves (John 8:32, Romans 6:17-18). His salvation frees us from religious ritual (Galatians 5), fear of death (Hebrews 2:15), and the power of temptation (2 Corinthians 10:13).
In return, Christ offers life (John 14:6), liberty (Galatians 5:1), and the pursuit of true happiness, which the bible calls "blessedness" (Matthew 5-7, the Bill of Rights of the Kingdom).
The Liberty Bell is inscribed with these words: "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof," (Leviticus 25:10). No man-made religion or government, despite all the rules and laws, can liberate the soul from the tyranny of Satan or the treachery of sin. The apostle Paul talks about the grace of God in Christ Jesus "who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:8).
Christians are not free from all laws, but free to follow the laws of Christ. "For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).
Someday, the true King will appear and usher in the greater kingdom. "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself" (Philippians 3:20-21).
The gospel is the spiritual Declaration of Independence, freeing you to "[turn] to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come" (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). Every day can be the Fourth of July!
Alan is Content Coordinator for Lifestyles Over 50 (Thrive Media) and contributor to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also an adult Sunday school teacher and Bible study leader. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology, and being a senior citizen!
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