Thinking about the 4th of July, I decided that instead of preaching a patriotic sermon about our country we need to stick to the gospel of Jesus Christ, rather than our love for our country.
We think about the phrase... Born on the 4th of July, it comes from the song, I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy, which was coined by George M. Cohan.
I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy
"I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy
A Yankee Doodle, do or die
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam
Born on the Fourth of July."
I want to turn our focus from born on the 4th of July to born again on the 4th of July.
- 1 Peter 1:22-25
We're born again by our obedience to the Word of God. And we as Christians must focus our minds on that obedience.
As Americans we are born here or naturalized here in order to be citizens. That is a physical birth.
To be Christians we are born again, in order to have citizenship in Heaven, that is a spiritual re-birth.
4th of July is an important day in our American history. And we should be aware of those things. We can be honored to be a part of this country. And, we can feel honored by the growth we've seen, and the things we've moved beyond, the downfalls, of our past. We have, and can move beyond those things.
Does being a Christian alter the way we view the 4th of July? As Christians we are to recognize that our citizenship is not of this world, while remaining good citizens in the country where we do live.
Let's take a look at four perspectives of being born again.
Born Again: Four Christian Perspectives
Born Again: Where Our Fundamental Identity Lies
We must look at where our fundamental identity truly lies. If we are in Christ we are joined to God by faith. All other allegiences are superceded. We can still have loyalty to our country, but none of our patriotism, love for country, should be greater or deeper than our love for God.
We can't equally serve both God and country any more than we can serve both God and money.
- Matthew 6:24
There may come a time when we must choose between serving God or our country, and we must always choose to serve the Lord.
- Matthew 6:33
If we seek first God, none of the other things matter. We are to be strangers in this land, pilgrims, sojourners.
- 1 Peter 2:11
This world is not our home, we are passing through life moving on to God's kingdom. We're moving on to our eternal world. As, Christians our citizenship becomes worthy of the gospel of Christ only.
- Philippians 1:27
Conversation is the manner of life in which we live.
- Philippians 3:20-21
As citizens of the US or any other country, we must live our lives as citizens, a light of Heaven to be a lamp to those around us. At our basic level, where is our citizenship?
- Philippians 1:20
As Christians we are citiziens, first and foremost, in Heaven. We are to seek His righteousness above all other things. A citizenship in Heaven can do more for us than all other governments of the earth.
- Phiippians 3:20-21
No other kingdom can bring us to Heaven. Our ctitizenship in Heaven is far more important. At the end of the day we have to recognize that we are sons of God, not son of Uncle Sam.
- Matthew 17:25-26
Who does the king tax? He taxes strangers... the children are free. At the end of the day we must recognize that we don't pay taxes to our Father, but to the IRS, thus we aren't sons of the country, but we are sons of God. When we partake in American citizenship as patriots our citizenship only goes so far.
As Christians, we must stand apart from our neighbors. Of course we are to seek to help others, do good for others in our country and be good citizens. But, our relationship with country is not as significant as our relationship to the brotherhood around the world.
We are to go into all the world, and as we have opportunity do good both in our courntry and around the world.
Our primaray allegiance is to Christ.
- Galatians 6:10
Born Again: Embracing God's Goodness
While our embrace of our nation is good, we are to embrace the goodness of God even more.
It's not only OK for Chrisitans to enjoy being Americans on the 4th of July, but also on other days. However, we must find more joy, more pleasure in being citizens of Heaven.
- John 17:1-24
He talks about how He has given God glory and prays that the glory be returned to Him which He once had in Heaven. And, He also prays for all those whom He would call by His name. He talks about being in the world, but we are not of the world.
We are to be appropriately enmeshed in the world. but also be separate from the world. Therefore there is an appropriate degree in which we are to be in the world but not of the world.
- Matthew 22:21-22
We owe allegience to both, more to God than to the government.
- Romans 13:1-7
Christians must render respect to whom respect is owed and honor to honor is owed. Authorities are ministers of God, or that is how they should be and from time to time they are to be reminded of that, and the way we do that is when we vote.
- 1 Peter 2:17
We're to give honor where it is due, and tor ender unto God the things that ar eGod's and to Caesare the things of Caesare.
Born Again: Genuine Gratitude for God's Goodnes
We should be grateful for the freedoms we have in America. We are to be humbled to be Americans, we live in a country with great freedom that may often be abused, but it is given and compared to other countries and others n history we have great freedoms.
- Isaiah 5:20-21
We live in a society where evil is put forth as good, and good as evil, like Isaiah.
- 1 Kings 19:18
There is hope, we see darkenss and we can begin to lose hope. But, we need to see that there are many many people who seek the good of God. we may be on a cusp of a great spiritual awakening. If Christians will seek the opportunity granted to us, we may swing that pendulum back to moral purity.
Paul instructs Christians to be good citizens.
- Titus 3:1-2
And, in the same breath, he reminds Christians of what he used to be.
- Titus 3:3-5
Born Again: Taking Others to the True Country
We need to be considerate of taking others to the true country, where our allegiance lies, that is Heaven. We now have the freedom to preach the truth in this country. And, we should utilize that freedom to teach good to others.
Christians are being persecuted because of teaching the gospel around the world. We have the liberty here to not be afraid of those things and we should use that liberty as long as we can. We can double our joy by bringing as many with us to our Country of Heaven as we can.
- Luke 15:4-7
- Proverbs 11:30
Let us be profoundly grateful for the freedom we have in this country as we seek the true coutnry and teach others about the true country.
We can lead others to Christ.
If you haven't already done so you can be born again on this 4th of July.
- John 3:3-5
This is not a physical birth, as Nicodemus discovers, in verses 4-5. You can if you are not a Chrsitian, be baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins. By believing and confessing Jesus as the Son of God, repenting of your sins and being baptized to have your sins washed away, you can walk a new life with Him as citizens of a Heavenly kingdom.
If we can assist you in coming to be a citizen of Heaven, please contact us.