An Independence Day Lesson of Love*
*Sermon notes taken from my Pastor and Shepherd, Brother Bobby Gilley of The South Gastonia Church Of God. Pastor Gilley truly deserves the credit for this lesson and I know he would agree with me in thanking God for this message and that we both continually give all the Glory to God for His precious Word.
May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice.
May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.
We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
A Spiritual Parallel
Have you declared independence from what you were born into? Being born into sin, Jesus tells us we must be “born again”. John 3 -This lesson parallels the United States Declaration of Independence with our Spiritual lives through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Independence Day – July 4, 1776 – the Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress.
There are several parts to the Declaration of Independence and this lesson will give some “spiritual” parallels to the declaration.
1. Preamble – An opening statement to the Constitution of the United States. This paragraph stated facts of what the United States will have, once independent from England.
Spiritual Preamble – John 3:16 – This verse explains what we will have, if we believe.
John 3:16 tells us we can be forgiven of ALL our sins through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ whom God our Father sent. Once we confess our sins, repent (turn away) from these sins and then believe on Jesus’ work on the cross and His resurrection, He comes to live in our hearts and He sets us free from the bondage of sin. Of course this is only the beginning of a brand new abundant, joyous and peaceful life for us while we are here living on earth. Along with our Salvation through Jesus, John 3:16 tells us of an eternal life in Heaven! Praise God, through our Savior we can live eternally! What a revelation!
2. Declaration of Rights – The first 10 amendments to the Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. This list of rights tell us as citizens of the United States, there are certain rights that cannot be taken away from us.
Spiritual Declaration of Rights – 1 John 3 – This verse tells us we are as believers, children of God.
We ALL stand on level ground at the foot of the cross. We have rights as citizens of the United States but also as a child of God. We share a covenant with God and when the adversary comes against us, we can go to our Savior Jesus Christ and KNOW He will take care of His own. Yes, we have rights. We can stand on the Word of God!
3. Bill of Indictment states we as citizens of the United States will not have to answer to a crime unless we are presented an indictment by a Grand Jury. In other words, if you are accused of a crime, the presentment of indictment assures there is enough evidence to call you as suspect and in turn having to answer for a crime.
Spiritual Bill of Indictment – 1 Peter 5:8 – This verse tells believers we indeed have an accuser, an enemy, one who is seeking us out at every turn. Looking to destroy our lives, families and above all our faith in God.
John 8:44b calls this enemy the “father of lies“. The devil will tell you absolutely anything to keep you living in bondage. Many today continue to believe his lies even while living out every day in a drama filled life, a life with no direction or purpose, a life of misery, poverty, loneliness and full of hatred. Once he has you down, he’ll continue kicking you, but doing it oh so very subtly. You’ll start thinking all is well and in the meantime everything around you is falling apart until one day you finally realize he is an enemy to YOU! As believers we were given the POWER of God and in 1 John 4:4 we are told again we are children of God and the One who is in us is greater than the one who is in this world.
4. Statement of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain, regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer under British rule.
Spiritual Statement of Independence – We are free by the blood of the Lamb and we are no longer slaves to sin!
By the blood of the Lamb we are cleansed and made white as snow. We are free indeed! Isaiah 1:18 Psalm 51:7 Jesus’ death on the cross brought justification to all who will believe and His righteous justification brings deliverance from the bondage of sin. We are born with that natural bend towards sin, therefore we are a slave to sin. In John 8:34 Jesus tells the unbelieving Pharisees, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” When sin is our master, we are unable to resist it, but by the power of Christ who lives within you as a born again Christian, sin is overcome through the Holy Spirit and we are set free, as Paul tells us in Romans 6:18.
The Cost of Independence
1. The Revolutionary War and the King of England – Because of Britain’s unstable government and a growing debt, King George III decided to raise taxes on his American colonies without the people’s consent. The Americans disapproved greatly and after many letters and boycotts from the American people, King George declared war on America.
Spiritual War and Satan
As Christians we are in a spiritual war with Satan. He preys on us at every turn and will try to pull us away from our freedom in Jesus Christ. He wants to get between us and our precious relationship with God. Satan and his army of demons employ many different schemes and they are oh so very subtle in their workings against us. We are to constantly be aware of this spiritual battle every day. Ephesians 6:10-20 gives us instruction and direction about the battlefield and the weapons we are to use to fight off Satan’s attacks on our lives.
2. Help From France During the Revolutionary War – The French decided to back the U.S. in its military efforts until the U.S. had full independence from Great Britain.
God’s Help – Sending a Savior
The Omniscient God knew exactly what His children needed. He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to save each and every one of us from our sins! God knew exactly what we needed to win in this life. God fulfilled His promise in Genesis 3:15 and John 3:16.
3. 13 Colonies Identification – In order for others to identify us during the war with England the colonies made the first American flag. The design of the flag included stars, stripes and colors each symbolizing America.
“The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.” ~ Statement found from a book about the symbolism of the American Flag published in 1977 by the House of Representatives~
May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
As Christians, we too have an identity. Through God and His righteousness. It is our banner that we are covered in the blood of Jesus Christ. Letting others know whose side we’re on! We’re following Jesus, carrying our banner, lifting it high so the light and love of Jesus can shine forth to others who do not believe. We are to wave this banner high, also knowing that even Satan can see we have Victory in Jesus and through Him we’ve already won the battle!
The actual Christian flag came some many years after the American flag in 1907. Even so, the Christian flag carries the same colors. White for God’s Righteousness and to show we are surrendered to God, Blue for the Royalty of Jesus and the Red Cross for Jesus’ blood that was shed to wash away all our sins.