Salvation and 1776
I think there is an interesting analogy between the Fourth of July and our walk with Christ in this life. I also think it impacts how we should talk to others about what it means to follow Christ.
On July Fourth, 1776, 13 colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. That’s what we celebrate on this very special national Holiday – but what is sometimes forgotten is that declaration was just the beginning.
The Revolutionary War followed, and for eight long years, farmers, craftsmen, shop keepers and people from all walks of life fought shoulder to shoulder. America’s independence wasn’t won until the Treaty of Paris was unveiled and signed on September 3, 1783. That is when we became free as a nation.
Now we’re all set to dig into the analogy.
Our salvation is a declaration of independence
Upon receiving Christ, we can boldly declare our independence from the consequences of sin. Salvation is our 1776.
Even better, unlike our fledgling nation at the time, our enemy has no chance to win back the territory he lost. We are once and for all redeemed by a perfectly powerful King of Kings, and victory is imminent. He will prevail. However, it doesn’t change the fact that the moment after we are saved, we are still here. Our battle, in many ways, is just beginning.
What ensues is a lifelong struggle against temptation, pride, anger, and every other weapon of sin that the enemy wages against us. If you’re familiar at all with the history of the Revolutionary War, then you know how many times soldiers felt like they were on the verge of defeat. On multiple occasions, they lacked food, blankets, shoes, gunpowder and more. Hungry and emaciated, they often faced sickness and disease – all while being hounded by what surely felt like a superior enemy. While we rarely face the same physical struggles, we can certainly relate.
In response, we stand shoulder to shoulder with brothers and sisters in Christ, we pour over the commands of our Conquering King, and we strive to follow His direction above all other voices. In doing so, we have the absolute confidence that even as we march through dark alleys and deep valleys – we march toward total victory.
Our victory is fully accomplished “on that day”
“That day” for the Revolutionary War, and ultimately our independence, was in 1783. That day sealed the deal. But “that day” for Christians will be so much more glorious! Just think of these words from Revelation!
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21: 3-4
That’s our ultimate confidence – the ultimate victory in glory!
And this truth should impact how we share Christ with others.
Christ must be presented as the answer to our sin problem; as the only way, we can be reconciled back to God. He is our perfect substitution, and His atonement perfectly pays the price for the sins of all who say “yes” to His offer of salvation. When we place our trust in Him, Revelation 21 becomes true for us.
At the same time, we must be careful not to shy away from the fact that trusting in Jesus is not a ticket to an easier life. It’s often the opposite. As Christians, we face troubles and struggles in this life. While our declaration of independence from sin leads us to our final victory where there is no pain or tears, we remain here on mission with each other and in submission to His will until “that day.”
The good news is not that our problems go away. The good news is that we can take heart because Christ has overcome the world and our final victory is guaranteed in glory.
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