I asked my Dear Brother Jerry Lucero of Albuquerque to write a message for Independence Day. Brother Jerry is such a wonderful man of God! I have known him for years, I have learned much from him. I refer to him as a Bible scholar. I pray that you are encouraged by Jerry’s message!
Are You Free?
On July 4 of each year, Americans celebrate “Independence Day”. This national holiday is to remember that a nation was raised up by blood, courage, wisdom and the Devine will. In 1776 the people of this new nation celebrated the ratification of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The thirteen colonies declared they were no longer in subjection to the monarch of Britain. The actual approval of the legal separation was done by the Continental Congress two days before on July 2, 1776.
While the greatest statement of the Declaration of Independence is “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” There are however some contradictions in the application of this great declaration.
For example, the slave trade that was imposed by England, was not eliminated from American life by the signing of this document( at least not at its signing). There were still people in America that were not at liberty. And some signers of this document were still slave owners.
The fact is that men, even with their greatest intentions of producing life, liberty and happiness are impaired from accomplishing that goal regardless of such a great document, because though endowed by God, men have fallen from grace. And the United States of America though blessed because of men seeking justice is still impaired by the fallen nature of men.
Therefore, we have seen a consistent trend away from our Creator by those who have desired the pleasures of His creation rather than the fellowship of the Creator Himself. Which brings us too today.
There is a true independence that is not restricted to the borders of this United States of America. True independence and liberty was declared by God Himself when He told His disciples,
[Act 1:8 NKJV] 8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
The Lord announced that He was the true liberator when he went to His home town of Nazareth to preach.
[Luk 4:16 NKJV] So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
[Luk 4:17 NKJV] And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
[Luk 4:18 NKJV] “The Spirit of the LORD [is] upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to [the] poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to [the] captives And recovery of sight to [the] blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
[Luk 4:19 NKJV] To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
[Luk 4:20 NKJV] Then He closed the book, and gave [it] back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
[Luk 4:21 NKJV] And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
The great independence we have as Americans today due to the work of the patriots back in the 1700’s is just a shadow of the true liberty that Jesus Christ gives. The work of the patriots was bloody, dangerous, and required great perseverance. The work that Jesus did for us was immeasurably greater.
For He at the Fathers command came to live the life of liberty (free from sin) that we want to live but just can’t. He lived that one human life that pleased the Father,
([Mat 3:16 NKJV] When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.
[Mat 3:17 NKJV] And suddenly a voice [came] from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”)
And then He laid down His spotless life, to receive the sentence of death and receive the absolute wrath of God for our sins though He Himself never sinned.
[1Pe 3:18 NKJV] For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
Now Jesus is executing life and liberty for all.
[Rev 1:18 NKJV] “I [am] He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
King Jesus is ready to set any man free from the condemnation of sin and give eternal life to every man whether male or female, slave or free, American or Non-American, young or old, poor or rich, black or white, there is not a boundary for the true liberty that Christ Jesus freely offers to any who call on His name.
[Rom 10:8 NKJV] But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
[Rom 10:9 NKJV] that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
[Rom 10:10 NKJV] For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
[Rom 10:11 NKJV] For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
[Rom 10:12 NKJV] For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
[Rom 10:13 NKJV] For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
We as citizens of the United States of America require a greater liberty than given to us in the Declaration of Independence. While the patriots were oppressed by an unjust King in England, just like the children of Israel were enslaved by the Pharoah in Egypt, both required liberation from oppression. But all men require liberation from the “prince of the power of the air” that is Satan, and the sin that we are powerless to overcome and the sentence of death because of sin.
[Eph 2:2 NKJV] in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
[Jhn 8:34 NKJV] Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
[Rom 6:23 NKJV] For the wages of sin [is] death, but the gift of God [is] eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As an American you are free to enjoy the rights given to you by God. But are you free from the power of sin? Are you free as an American, but still a slave to sin? Are you suffering to rejoice because of the bondage of your sin? Are you overcome by alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual addiction, greed, gossip, hatred, theft, violence, anger, murder and such sins as these? There is a liberator ready to free you. His name is Jesus Christ.
God has commanded men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel. That is to have a change of mind about who you believe Jesus Christ is and what He has done. To change your mind and actions regarding the sinful course your life is going and stop it.
[Mar 1:14 NKJV] Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
[Mar 1:15 NKJV] and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
[Act 17:30 NKJV] “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
[Act 17:31 NKJV] “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
It is great to be an American, but the greatest gift is to be a Citizen of Heaven. This is the true eternal kingdom of God ruled by the only true King, in righteousness, peace and joy.
[Rom 14:17 NKJV] for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The true liberty of the kingdom of God is given to man by birth. Not natural birth, but birth by the Holy Spirit. If you truly want eternal liberty, put your faith in Jesus.
[Jhn 3:5 NKJV] Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
[Jhn 3:6 NKJV] “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
[Jhn 1:10 NKJV] He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
[Jhn 1:11 NKJV] He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
[Jhn 1:12 NKJV] But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
[Jhn 1:13 NKJV] who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
For us who have received the great grace of God we truly rejoice in the victory our Savior has given us. As Peter says in his epistle.
[1Pe 1:3 NKJV] Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
[1Pe 1:4 NKJV] to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
[1Pe 1:5 NKJV] who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
[1Pe 1:6 NKJV] In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
[1Pe 1:7 NKJV] that the genuineness of your faith, [being] much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
[1Pe 1:8 NKJV] whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see [Him], yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
[1Pe 1:9 NKJV] receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of [your] souls.
Happy Independence Day.
Thank you, Pastor. Jerry was a teacher of mine while I attended Conviction Training Center in Albuquerque. I found him to be so very helpful and informative on Holy Scripture. He’s soft-spoken, yet direct to the point with his teaching. His love of God emanates from him, and I felt it. I wish I could find him on Facebook.
Oops, he’s on my Facebook.