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Not Just a Holiday

The first official federal holiday in the United States was not enacted until 1870. This initial legislation recognized four holidays: Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Due to secularism and the modern interpretation of the separation of Church and State, these religious holidays have been watered down over the years. July 4th was declared a day of prayer and thanksgiving for being free.

In [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off], Galatians 5:1.

The Chinese were the first to invent fireworks, sometime between 960 and 1279 AD. The original intent of fireworks was to ward off evil spirits. Yet, the Chinese set off fireworks to celebrate the Emperor’s birthday and other major holidays. This tradition was embraced by the United States on July 8th, 1776, following America’s Declaration of Independence. July 4th, 1777 was the first official Independence Day highlighted by the firing of guns, cannons, bonfires and fireworks in Philadelphia which was America’s first capital.

For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love. You were running the race nobly. Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the Truth? – Galatians 5:6-7

The Bible speaks of a different type of Independence Day in Romans 10:9-11. In the passage above, the apostle Paul writes about the external and internal forces that limits a Christian’s spiritual freedom. Paul goes on to blame this on human nature, pointing the finger on sinful desires of the flesh, Galatians 5:16-18. As you turn out to watch fireworks ceremonies throughout the nation, don’t neglect the freedom that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

by Jay Mankus

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