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Every July, for the last 238 years, we Americans have celebrated Independence Day with fireworks and barbecues. We love spending time with our family and friends, playing games together and remembering the blessing of freedom. But while the concept of Independence is one that we love and cherish here in the United States, we also know that freedom is not exclusively an American ideal.
Let me explain…
GCI is an international denomination made up of churches in over 50 countries around the world. We’re part of a mosaic made up of citizens from many different governments and territories. But because of our shared faith, we are also part of another Kingdom – the Kingdom of God. Through Christ, we have all become the adopted sons and daughters of God and by him we have access to a great and unending freedom.
Before the time of the Messiah, mankind lived under the heavy yoke of the law. For every sin committed, man would have to make an atoning sacrifice at the temple. God was separate from man – hidden behind a veil deep within the Holy of Holies. But when Christ freely took on the sins of mankind and chose to atone for our sins on the cross – everything changed.
In his death and resurrection, all who chose to follow him were given a new identity and freedom in Christ. In his Letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul writes: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
I know that our Independence Day might not hold the same significance to many of our brothers and sisters who don’t experience the same freedom we have here in America. But I know that for me, this day serves as a reminder that all of us have been set free from the darkness of slavery to sin through our Lord Jesus Christ. And that’s something to truly celebrate.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.