By Barrett Vanlandingham
For Americans, July 4 marks the occasion in 1776 when the 13 original U.S. colonies declared independence from Britain. The Declaration of Independence reads as follows:
“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.”
With these memorable words, Thomas Jefferson, at the age of 33, laid the cornerstone of the United States of America.
Jesus was also 33 years old when His death, burial and resurrection made Him the Cornerstone of the Church. Ephesians 2:11-22, Matthew 21:42-46, John 8:31-36, Romans 6:18.
For Christians, Independence Day came when Jesus put an end to the rule of the Old Law by nailing it to the cross. Up until that point, Jews (not Gentiles) were God’s chosen people just by the fact that they were born as Jews, and it would be through their line of people that the Christ would come. But the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus changed everything, making it possible for all who believed in Jesus as the son of God to become His chosen people.
“Then you are no longer strangers and aliens, you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22, ESV).”
Christians, no matter what nationality, could finally share a common name as God's new chosen people. Both Jews and Gentiles who believe could finally be baptized, receive forgiveness of sin, receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and be added to the Lord's church, just as we are today (Acts 2:38). This gives us daily cleansing of our sin because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7).
You may know people in our community who are still shackled in the prison of unbelief, or maybe they are under the misconception that Jesus would never accept a person like them. Now would be a great time to go to the Father in prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to open their eyes to the fact that Jesus loves everyone, and only He can set us free. (John 8:36 and Romans 5:5-8).” Have a great week!
Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.ͺ