Celebrate the 4th of July with Video Gaming’s Finest Fireworks!
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain rule. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.
Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.
- In 1777, thirteen gunshots were fired in salute, once at morning and once again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.
- In 1778, from his headquarters at Ross Hall, near New Brunswick, New Jersey, General George Washington marked July 4 with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute (feu de joie). Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.
- In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5.
- In 1781 the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.
- In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, held a celebration of July 4 with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled “The Psalm of Joy.” This is recognized as the first recorded celebration and is still celebrated there today.
- In 1791 the first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” occurred.
- In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.
- In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.
Boom Boom Rocket (Xbox 360)
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every year on July 4th America remembers its freedom from British rule, but as citizens of heaven who are only incidentally American citizens, we daily have a more significant liberty to celebrate.
What freedom do citizens of heaven have to celebrate?
Freedom from bondage
- Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
Freed by Christ
- John 8:32-36 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Freedom is universally desired
- Heb 2:15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
- 2 Pet 2:19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity–for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.
Freed from the law of sin and death
- Rom 8:2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
Freed from the bondage of satisfying God’s law
- 1 Cor 9:21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.
- Gal 2:4 This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.
- Gal 4:22-23 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.
- Gal 4:30-31, 5:1 But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Freed from the sins committed under the first covenant
- Heb 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
Freed from our sins by his blood
- Rev 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
Freed from accusation
- Col 1:22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation–
Freed from the power of sin
- Rom 6:7, 18, 20, 22 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin … You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness … When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness … But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
Caution: Do not think your freedom is permission to sin
- 1 Pet 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.
- Gal 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Free to approach God with confidence
- Eph 3:12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Freed from spiritual blindness
- 2 Cor 3:16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Freed from the curse of a decaying body
- Rom 8:21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
- 1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Free to be a slave to others
- 1 Cor 9:19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as
- 1 Cor 10:29 the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience?
Caution: Don’t let your freedom from the law lead others to violate their consciences
- 1 Cor 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
Freed by the law of love
- James 1:25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.
- James 2:12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom
Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360)
Forza Horizon 2