With the 4th of July just passed, I heard these words several times from a range of varying venues. The words are common to us all that live in the United States. Of course we know they are found in the Declaration of Independence penned by our nation’s founding fathers. We first learned them in our early childhood History lessons at school, even required to memorize them in some instances in latter History or Civics classes. If you live in the USA, you are familiar with at least the content of this famous statement.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”
For the past few days I heard these words repeated many times in political statements, 4th celebration speeches, funeral addresses, friends conversations, TV advertisements, and from church pulpits. Each time they were spoken in sincerity, honoring either our heritage or the values represented by our Nation as a land of freedom. Of all the words found in our nation’s formulative documents, these are most representative of the beliefs we hold as a nation. They give us all a sense of national patriotic pride, a foundation of basic values from which we hope to build our homeland. I am truly thankful to have been born here in America, it was a gift of grace from God. I also continue to pray that God will bless America and He will lead this Nation as a people to bring these truths from self-evident into fruition in the manner in which we live as a Nation under God.
Having just firmly attested to my thankfulness and pride in our Nation’s core beliefs, I wish to expound a little deeper into what I believe to be is often not spoken concerning these self-evident truths and Rights. Our forefathers were correct. We as a Nation were endowed by our Creator, God, to His Truth. His Word plainly states His Creation and His Sovereignty over all is self-evident. The unalienable Rights given to us as a Nation and to all peoples who call upon His Name were given with a price. The cost of these Rights we enjoy was the Crucifixation and Resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. I in no way discount the sacrifice by untold numbers of brave men and women who gave their all to protect these God given Rights. To these honorable persons we all should give thanks and prayers for those who continue still to protect what God has so graciously given us as a people.
Whether you are a follower of Jesus Christ or not, the Truth that is self-evident that endows those Rights of Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness are given by God only through His Son Jesus and the price He paid for all mankind’s sin. It is only by grace and faith in Christ’s sacrifice that a believer can come to this understanding of the Truth and the rights that follow. For those who do not yet believe in Christ, God offers the same Truth and grace given rights for their acceptance. Salvation and forgiveness are freely given by God to all who believe in their heart and accept by faith in the Truth of Jesus Christ.
As a Christian, a follower of Jesus, we begin to understand that those rights we posess are only true as found in Christ. Galatians 2:20 states, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” NIV To be blunt, if I have been crucified with Christ, I no longer live. Christ is living within me. Dead men have no rights. Those Rights are only found in our Resurrected Savior. The self-evident Truth is that my right to life here and eternally is in Christ. My right to liberty from death and sin is only in Christ. My right to pursue happiness is only found in following Jesus. He alone is the Life, the Truth, and the Resurrection. Only in Him can true Joy, Peace, and happiness come. As a believer in Christ I surrendered all of my Rights to the Sovereignty of Christ as Lord. He alone is my portion and my cup. Any rights given to me come from and through Him alone. Jesus said,” If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 NIV In our everyday life when our rights come into question, we must deny our self right, take up the crucifixation cross again today, and follow the only One who has Rights. If I have a right to Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness it had to flow through Jesus to me following Him.
I pray all who read this come to understand where the Truth abides and in whom our Rights come from. Yes, may God of all Creation bless America as a Nation through the honoring of His Son Jesus Christ.