It’s that time of year again—backyard barbecues, festive parades, and celebratory fireworks. In the midst of laughter and relaxation, we are able to reflect on the promise of liberty. So, here’s how we can let freedom ring.
A Time of Celebration
The day was July 2, 1776. The Second Continental Congress met to vote on a resolution of independence. Almost unanimously, the votes were in favor. The written document, entailing the details of the decision, was adopted on July 4. The Declaration of Independence described a new beginning for the colonies. And its first public reading took place on July 8.
I can almost see it. One man stands up and begins to read as the surrounding crowd gathers. With listening ears, they move in closer to hear the truth—they are free.
A Bigger Story
Over the years, the sounds of liberty have continued to reverberate. Orators have spread good news, declaring obtained freedom to men and women alike. However, the story of liberty goes beyond America’s history.
In first century AD, we see one man stand up and begin to read a scroll to a crowd of people. He begins, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has appointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).
A Call to Eternal Freedom
Jesus Christ chose to stand and read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. In its reading, Jesus proclaimed the fulfillment of this prophecy, as He brought healing, freedom, victory, and eternal salvation. And, this is the good news He shared—ultimate freedom for those who would put their trust in Him.
He gave His life so that people from every nation would have the opportunity to have spiritual relief, not just temporary but everlasting. When Jesus ascended to heaven, He left His disciples a command to repeat His pattern—stand up, speak out, and let freedom ring.
In Acts 2, we see one brave soul embrace and obey the calling as he gives a proclamation:
“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, ‘Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
The Holy Spirit in Us
Peter reassures the people of the freedom they have in the name of Jesus and declares the liberty that comes through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. We can trust the gospel to be true because Scripture constantly reminds us, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
As Christians, we bear the call of ambassadors. We are carriers of His presence. And we are commissioned to proclaim and display the transforming life that is Christ in us—the hope of glory. May we recognize that we take His good news with us anywhere we go. And like Peter, may we be bold enough to open our mouths to speak the truth, knowing that when we have the Spirit of God dwelling inside of us, we are truly free.