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Time to remember sacrifices for our happiness

The United States celebrates its freedom on the Fourth of July. It was on this day that the Declaration of Independence from the kingdom of Great Britain was signed.
Independence Day is celebrated with friends and families, gathering for cookouts and fireworks. It should be a joyous time, but it also should be a time to reflect on the courage and conviction of our nation’s Founding Fathers and all those who fought and died to give this country its freedom. It should be held as a precious thing and never taken for granted.
There also is another kind of freedom that only comes from God: the freedom from sin that can remove the guilt and burden sin causes. It also should be a time of joy, but also of reflection. This freedom also came with a great price: the death of the son of God at Calvary. It also should not be taken for granted.
God’s word explains to man how much he loves man and was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so man could be free from sin and enter into heaven (John 3:16-17). When sin entered the world by Adam and Eve disobeying God, he could have destroyed man. But God chose to save man — if they obey his commands. The Old Testament tells of the coming Messiah, the one who would “save his people from sin.” It shows how God’s plan was carried out to bring Christ into the world.
While God’s plan was working, mankind got further and further from God. This was the reason the Law of Moses came to be. Paul explains this in the letter to the Galatians. “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid, for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:19-24).
God’s plan for man’s freedom from sin was difficult at times, for many chose to not follow God. And because of this, there are those who think Christ was not able to accomplish the mission set out for him by his Father.
This is not the truth — he did exactly what he came to do. He gave himself freely for the sins of mankind. God allowed his Son to be crucified. “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain, whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be holden of it” (Acts 2:23-24).
God left his word with the instructions on how to receive forgiveness and freedom from the doom of sin. Man is to have faith (Hebrews 11:6) to repent of our sins (Luke 13:3). We are to confess Jesus as being the son of God (Matthew 10:32, Acts 8:37), be baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38), and then live a life of faithfulness to God (Revelation 2:10). God’s plan is one of success, but it must be followed.
Freedom is a wonderful thing. Thank God for all freedom — physical and spiritual.

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