The United States of America just celebrated July 4th, which marks the day that the Second Continental Congress turned a collection of colonies into a sovereign nation. It is the highlight of the American Revolution and decidedly rejected British authority and rule. Problems between the countries included unfair taxation, unequal enforcement of trade agreements and the policy of the British monarch to make colonists as miserable as possible to affect a return to the fold.

What does this short history lesson have to do with Christian Independence Day? Everything.

For starters, at baptism you declared your independence from any ties you had to what the Bible terms the “prince of this world.” Whether intentionally or unknowingly forged, a life of sin created an unhealthy relationship with this world and the one who would keep you on the wrong path. Through repentance, you changed your mind about who Jesus really was and chose to turn away from sin in response.

In addition, you let go of a lifestyle that alternated between sinful acts and futile attempts at redeeming yourself. Guilt and a constant fear of looking “bad” to others have been replaced with Christ’s light yoke and a sincere heart. Realizing that God is love, you are now also independent from fear of His wrath. Since every good Independence Day celebration also comes with festivities, consider the outpouring of joy in heaven that occurred on the occasion of your baptism.

Yet far too often, we celebrate the benefits of our liberation but forget about the consequences. For early American colonists, it meant self-governing and defending the fledgling nation. For the disciple, it means rejoicing in being a friend of God while also taking up the mission to make disciples and teach them to obey. So, celebrate your independence and then get moving to see to your mission.