Signer of the Declaration of Independence, judge, diplomat, one of two signers of the Bill of Rights, and second president of the United States John Adams said this: “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company: I mean hell. The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity. Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited ... What a Eutopia — what a Paradise would this region be! I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.”
Just a few days ago we celebrated a great holiday that only our country gets the chance to celebrate. It’s this wonderful nations independence! Independence from unfair practices, oppression, and continual opposition. President Adams is right, what a utopia a place would be if the Bible was the guide for all the people living in one place! We have an opportunity because of our freedom in the United States to start each day in the Scripture and allow it to freely be our guide each day. We can help other people see the benefit of it being their guide as well. We can freely gather together in public places to read the scripture. We can hold classes, Bible studies, or other Scripture-centered events publicly without fear of retaliation.
We have good news in Scripture that we need to be getting out to the people around us. I am reminded, when I think of freedom, of Isaiah 61:1. It says, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.”
While we had an Independence Day holiday to celebrate, we have the opportunity to celebrate all that has been done in our life, due to the freedom Christ provides, every day! If you have accepted Christ as your Savior just consider the ways in your own life that Christ and the Spirit has sent you free. Perhaps it was from a past of sinful behavior and poor choices. Maybe a past of addictions, abuse or bad relationships. Or, maybe there isn’t a bad story to go along with your life. Maybe it is a story of Christ making you complete!
I believe just like the prophet Isaiah wrote in this verse we each have the Spirit of the Lord upon us and we are to be telling others of the good news. Those who are poor, Christ can give life. Those who are brokenhearted Christ can heal. Those who are captives can be released. And those who are prisoners will be freed! But it begins with those who have the message! Just as the founding fathers knew something better could happen and set forth on that goal, we have something better. All we need to do is act! Allow this season of the year, this season of your life, to be a new opportunity to tell others of the good news! If you are not attending a church anywhere and you want to know more, I would encourage you to visit with a pastor in town, visit a local church, or find a friend who attends. There is freedom that is celebrated every day when a relationship with Christ is established!
— Clint McBroom is pastor at the First Church of God of Newton.