Philippians 1:21 (KJV) “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
We just celebrated the 242nd Birthday of the United States of America! Some 242 years ago, our founding fathers adopted the Declaration of Independence that declared that the United States of America was sovereign nation independent of the dictates of all tyrants, rulers, kings, despots, or governments other than the Lordship of Almighty God.
While many inerrantly believe that the 13 Colonies declared war on Britain in 1776, the truth is the war with Britain had begun approximately 442 days before the Declaration of Independence was adopted, and the war continued until 1783.
I find it rather interesting that by the early 1790s, the Declaration of Independence became a “bone-of-contention” that provoked a great controversy within the citizenry of our young Republic. The fledgling Democratic and Republican parties agreed with, and championed, the sentiments of Jefferson and the principles of the Declaration of Independence; however, the Federalists believed that the wording was too inflammatory and disrespectful of the British Ruling Class. The Federalists even considered stout patriots like John Adams as being radicals. It seemed that it was okay to emphasize one’s right to pursue an independent course of life; however, to presume that anyone could effectively do so without a King or the wisdom of a government composed of elitists, was considered absurd in the least, and treasonous at most!
I stated earlier that the founding fathers of our great nations were willing to bow to the dictates of the Lordship of Almighty God. I know there are some who would take exception to this stance. In that “Almighty God” is not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, I would acquiesce to their claim. However, in the interest of fairness, they too must acquiesce to my claim that our founding fathers, whether devout Christians, adherents of a faith in God, or professed atheists, approved and signed the “Birth Certificate” of the United States of America being fully aware of, and fully in agreement with, the tenets of the Declaration. To suggest that faith and dependence upon Almighty God was not presented and proposed in the intent and writing of this wonderful document, would be tantamount to willful ignorance in the least, and abject hypocrisy at most!
Consider the following excerpts from the Declaration of Independence…
“WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men 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—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.” – Declaration of Independence, Paragraph 1 & 2 (Emphasis Added).
“We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” – Declaration of Independence, Paragraph 32 (Emphasis Added).
As we consider the paragraphs presented, it would be reasonable for all to agree that our founding fathers recognized the need for, and dependence upon, God as the “Author and Finisher” of the freedoms we now enjoy. Unless some would propose that some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were coerced into agreement, let us first consider the introduction of the first paragraph.
“Action of Second Continental Congress,
July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,”
You will notice that this was the “unanimous Declaration” – there were NO abstentions!
So that none will succeed in the argument for coercion, let us also consider the following facts…
Of the 56 signers of the Declaration, on a few survived for very long. 12 had their properties looted and destroyed. 2 had sons who died in the War for Independence, and 1 had two sons who were captured.
Very of the signers lived to benefit from their courageous acts, most of them lost all their wealth and property, but NONE renounced his philosophy, or regretted his signature! EACH of them meant it when they said, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
I particularly find it interesting that they chose to state “Lives” with a capitalization. You see, they valued the sanctity of “Life” when they pledged theirs! One of the most famous historical statement made in the founding of this nation is attributed to Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” It is reported that he made this statement before the House of Burgesses in an argument FOR supporting the War of Independence and funding of militia.
John Adams said, “The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” Adams went on to say that in observing the 4th of July, “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
The certitude and confidence of the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America have their foundations in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America, and The Articles of Confederation. While these are beautiful, and inspired, documents, to most of the world, they are just that – documents! To us, they are the law of the land, and sacred to most!
The “strength” and “soundness” of the documents are NOT validated by their position in history, prose, or parchment. Their strength and soundness are established and validated in the blood of the patriots that was shed to secure our freedom. You see, the fact that our founding fathers, and first citizens, were willing to shed their blood, even to death, give credence to the words that were written. “Give me liberty or give me death” were not words spoken just to impress! They were spoken with conviction to influence others to embrace “Freedom.”
When Paul wrote, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” he was writing from a Philippian jail! While being in “bondage,” he expressed that being a servant of the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, made him a “free” man regardless of his present circumstances. Paul penned the believer’s “Declaration of Independence,” when he wrote, Romans 5:1 (KJV) “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
Like Patrick Henry stood before the House of Burgesses and entreated the leaders to embrace the “Cost of Freedom,” so Paul encourages each of us to embrace the “Certainty of Freedom in Christ,” that cost God such a High Price – His Son!
Romans 6:22 (KJV) “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
Romans 8:2 (KJV) “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Those who challenge the validity of the Word of God, questioning its position in history, prose, and parchment, overlook the multitudes of “Citizens of Heaven,” who were unwilling to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ, and never regretted turning their soul’s security over to His Lordship!
While the blood of the martyrs stands as commanding testimony to the validity of the “Freedom in Christ,” we have a more certain Testimony…
Hebrews 12:24 (KJV) “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Emphasis Added).
The blood of the patriots, and the 1,000s of veterans who gave their lives in defense of our freedom, validates our “Freedom” as citizens of the United States of America. However, it is the Blood of Jesus that secures our “Eternal Freedom!”
Romans 3:23-26 (KJV) “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Emphasis Added).
1 Peter 1:18-19 (KJV) “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” (Emphasis Added).
“Praise God, I’m free! I’ve been set free by the Grace of God! I’m free! No more the paths of sin I trod! I’m free, the Blood has cleansed every sinful stain! I’m free, I free again!” – Church Hymn