On the Fourth of July our little city in Wisconsin becomes decked out to celebrate. A parade draws most of the citizens. Parents and children alike are dressed in patriotic red, white and blue. Flags and veterans are treated with respect, with people rising as the uniformed old and young somberly march by. Most everyone seems to sense the real cost of the country’s freedom. A fresh sense of pride renews my patriotic heart and mind.
Do you celebrate your personal independence day?
Maybe like me, you don’t remember your day because you were too young. That day my parents dressed me in a white outfit. They took me to church. Our pastor sprinkled me with water and baptized me in the name of the Triune God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God’s promise of salvation in Jesus was proclaimed. That day I was clothed in the robe of Jesus’ blood and his righteousness.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:27
My baptism day was my personal independence day. Through baptism, I was personally brought to faith. God called me by name. God created faith in my heart. God put his Holy Spirit there as a deposit to keep me in faith until Jesus returns for me. My parents were an important part of the process, and I am thankful they wanted me adopted into God’s family as a baby. I am so comforted to know that I did nothing to earn God’s favor.
The Word of God plainly teaches that when we believe in Jesus and are baptized, we become free of the curse of sin and death. We are made alive in Christ. Jesus says,
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. Mark 16:16
[W]hoever lives by believing in me will never die. John 11:25
In time, when the Lord chooses our homecoming day, we will see Paradise. Whatever joy and pride we experience on this earth as God’s children, prompted by the flag or by a blessing from above will evaporate as we enter our true and permanent home.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20
Will you celebrate your final Independence Day?
This is the day your body will die. Because you are saved, you will see the One who decks you out in the red robe of his blood and the white robe of his righteousness. On that day a believer will be completely free from the enemies of God’s holy and redeemed people: the devil, the world and the sinful flesh.
Just as during the rousing Fourth of July parades we realize anew the cost of our current freedom, remember there was an enormous price of your final freedom. But there's good news! You don’t have to pay because Jesus has it covered. He offered himself as your ransom. He lived a perfect life for you. He died for you and rose again. He loves you personally and wants you to be with him!
As good mothers, take your children to Fourth of July parades and fireworks. Teach them to be good citizens. Better yet, bring them to Jesus through baptism. Bring them often to the foot of the cross. Tell them the wonderful story over and over again. Remind them of their own personal and final independence days!
When all believers stand in heaven honoring the Lord, what a truly glorious day that will be. May both you and your children be in the countless number!
And so we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:17b