Happy Dependence Day
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all People are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Where does that quote come from? Of course it comes from “The Declaration of Independence” set forth by our founding fathers July 4th, 1776. That was a declaration of freedom. Freedom from the King of Great-Britain. Freedom that was gained by the blood and suffering of our forefathers.
Yet while we live in a nation with more freedoms than most, we are nowhere even close to being truly free people. Not only are we not free, we are at war, not with ISIS nor a foreign country, no, we are fighting a more deadly war with ourselves. This is the war against our sinful nature. And not only are we at war, we are POWS—Prisoners of War, prisoners of sin. The verdict for the prisoners of sin is death.
Think I’m being a little melodramatic? Well look at what Paul writes in Romans 7: “For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not keep doing what I want. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 But now it is no longer I who am doing it, but it is sin living in me. 18 Indeed, I know that good does not live in me, that is, in my sinful flesh. The desire to do good is present with me, but I am not able to carry it out. 19 So I fail to do the good I want to do. Instead, the evil I do not want to do, that is what I keep doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who am doing it, but it is sin living in me. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is present with me. 22 I certainly delight in God’s law according to my inner self, 23 but I see a different law at work in my members, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me captive to the law of sin, which is present in my members. 24 What a miserable wretch I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Evangelical Heritage Version)
Sure sounds like a prisoner of war to me. And if a prisoner of sin, convicted to die are we truly independent? Let put it another way. There are two basic symptoms of being a POW to sin. One is that we don’t do what we want. For example…I know that God commands me to be in church on a weekly basis. I know that God wants me to pray, and not just pray for 15 seconds, but a person of prayer, like Jesus. I know that God want me to love other people. I know I’m supposed to forgive and be patient. I know I’m supposed to be the kindest person on the block. But I also know I don’t do these things. What is wrong? The other symptom of being a POW to sin is that not only do we not do what we want, we do the evil that we don’t want to do. I hold grudges. I judge. I lose my tempter. I hoard. I talk bad about people. Basically I sin all day long, and I really don’t want to. What is wrong?
Well it prove to us that we are all POWS—Prisoners of War! Prisoners of Sin! And remember, the verdict for the prisoners of sin is Death! What wretches we are. Who will rescue us from this POW situation? Paul reminds us: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
If this great nation is to remain a great nation with the unalienable right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness we must set forth a new declaration. If you and I are to be released as POWS (Prisoners of War, prisoners of sin) we must set forth a new declaration, a declaration not of independence from the king of Great Britain, but a declaration of dependence upon the Creator and his Son Jesus Christ who, by his death on the cross, set us free from sin, death and the Devil.. Only in this way can we truly experience any type of freedom. A declaration of Dependence. Happy 4th of July weekend!
Happy Dependence Day!
Pastor Martin Spaude
Download the Complete July Calvary Courier