“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Declarations of Freedom, by Randall D. Kittle
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On July 4, 1776, a brave band of American leaders stood in public and did the unimaginable … they declared their independence from England. As word of this daring deed spread across Europe, most people were startled at the boldness of these “upstart” colonies who declared their independence from the sovereign King of England — the “super power” of its age, with an empire more vast than any ever before it … or after.

While this declaration was a great start, it was not, by itself, enough to form a new, independent nation. England did not simply say, “Yes, we relinquish all our rights, you’re free to do as you please.” They went to war! With a strong declared dependence upon God, the Founding Fathers fought to lay hold of their newly proclaimed freedom. With God’s help, the small and seemingly insignificant American colonies defeated the far-reaching British Empire in 1781 when Lord Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington at Yorktown.

While this was a great victory, America was still not a free nation. Not until eight years later, when the Constitution was ratified, did the individual colonies become the independent, united nation the Founding Fathers had envisioned.

It is the same for the Church — the holy nation of God. To become the free people Christ has died to make us, we also must take three steps … making three declarations. First, we must make a
 “Declaration of Independence” from sin and spiritual bondage. Our Lord offers an Emancipation proclamation to every slave of sin … signed with His own blood! Salvation comes when we receive and trust in the truth that Father God has purchased us at the price of His Son’s life. From then on, we should stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free.

Secondly, we must have a
 “Declaration of Dependence.” Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). He came not only to free us from our sins, but also to free us from sin! We can be free from the daily power of sin only as we live in constant, complete dependence upon the Lord for every need. Our heavenly Father spared not His own Son, but with Him has freely given us all things. As we trust in God for every need of our body, mind, and spirit, we will find freedom from fear and worry and all the evils that would try to re-enslave us. It is only by becoming His captives that we can truly be set free. “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

While these two declarations can bring us individual freedom, to be the holy nation Christ has died for us to be, there must also be a
 “Declaration of Inter-dependence.” The Bible tells us that,“we are members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25). He desires relationship with us — not just with you and with me! God has a heart for corporateness and community more than we could possibly fathom. God’s people are a family, and we need the fellowship, the prayers, and the help of other Christians more than we realize. Only together can we be the holy nation the Lord desires, delights in, and died to create.

The American “Declaration of Independence” changed not only North America but also the world. Yet, it pales in comparison to the transforming power of the Gospel that the Church can enter into if we will step forward into God’s three declarations for freedom!

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