Today we Americans pause to celebrate the birth of our country as a sovereign nation. As we do, our hearts and minds turn to the founding documents by which our beloved country was established, particularly the Declaration of Independence. The “Spirit of 1776,” though was not the first or even the most important spirit leading to liberty.
It is the Spirit of God who ultimately and exclusively liberates people. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT) One of the hallmarks of the work of the Holy Spirit is the release of captives from bondage.
Jesus Christ, God’s unique son, is the preeminent example of God choosing to work with willing and available sons and daughters to secure liberty for God’s people. Jesus confirmed that liberation was an essential part of his life work when he said:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
(Luke 4:18, 19 NLT)
Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father. Yet his passion for securing freedom continues as the Spirit of Christ lives in Jesus’ followers, empowering them to do the same works that the Son of Man did himself. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus says, “anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12 NLT)
As you celebrate Independence Day, thank God that in Christ, you too are a much loved and liberated daughter of the Father. For it is only the Bright Morning Star and the bloody stripes he bore, which have value that endures forever! And I dare you, leave a comment below and tell me, what do you consider your personal "Independence Day," when the Spirit of the Lord set you free?