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Home / News / Columns / Our founding fathers knew: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty

Our founding fathers knew: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty

Besides Christmas, Independence Day is my favorite time of the year!  I love celebrating the birth of our country, liberty, and our founding fathers!

My love of country and patriotism comes from my Mom.  As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I continue to admire and respect our Founding Fathers’ wisdom.  Many of our Founding Fathers had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that strongly influenced the shaping of our nation.  As I continue to read and study about the formation of our country, I can see the hand of God shaping our country’s foundation and principles.

The Declaration of Independence declared not only the colonies’ independence from Britain but also a dependence on “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”  Sir William Blackstone’s “Commentaries on the Law”, the primary law book of the Founding Fathers, defined “the laws of nature” as the will of God for man.  This phrase defines the key principle upon which the Founders stood.  The laws of nature meant the will of God for man as revealed to man’s reason.

However, because man has fallen and his reason does not always comprehend this law, God gave us the Bible to make His law absolutely clear.

The churches in the colonies became a voice of freedom, stirring the fires of liberty by telling the colonists that the British government was taking away their God-given rights and that the king and Parliament were violating the laws of God.  The founding Fathers were convinced that it was their sacred duty to start a revolution in order to uphold the law of God against the unjust and oppressive laws of men!  This fight for political liberty was seen as a sacred cause because civil liberty is an inalienable right, according to God’s natural law!

America’s desire for freedom was based on the freedom given by Jesus Christ!

Did you know that 29 out of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence graduated from Bible colleges and Christian seminaries?  Did you know that as each delegate signed the Declaration of Independence, John Adams declared: “We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient.  He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His Kingdom come.”  Can you imagine John Adams saying that 56 times?

Wow!  That gives me goosebumps!

Here are some of my favorite quotes from our Founding Fathers!

“It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.” – Patrick Henry 

“We recognize no Sovereign but God, and no king but Jesus!” – John Hancock and John Adams

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest to our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” – John Jay

“The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity….I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.” – John Adams

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A picture portrays American seamstress Betsy Ross showing the first design of the American flag to George Washington in Philadelphia.

“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” – George Washington

“We consider that we are all embarked in (the same boat) and must sink or swim together….Let us all be of one heart, and stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.  And may He, of His infinite mercy, grant us deliverance of all our troubles.” – William Prescott 

“My only hope of salvation is in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross.  Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins.  I rely exclusively upon it.  Come, Lord Jesus!  Come quickly!” – Benjamin Rush

While much has been written in recent years to try to dismiss the fact that America was founded upon the biblical principles of Judeo-Christianity, all the revisionism in the world cannot change the facts.  Anyone who examines the original writings, personal correspondence, biographies, and public statements of the individuals who were instrumental in the founding of America will find an abundance of quotations showing the profound extent to which their thinking and lives were influenced by a Christian worldview.

READ: Early American history you should know

That is not to say that all of the founding Fathers were Christians.  Clearly, they were not.  But the point is that even those who were not Christian were deeply influenced by the principles of Christianity – a mind-set that helped shape their political ideals.

It is possible to be so distracted with whether Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson ever put their personal faith in Jesus Christ that one misses the fact that the Founders almost all “thought” from a biblical perspective, whether they believed or not!

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. – 2 Corinthians 3:17

In the above verse, Paul is talking about the Glory of the New Covenant. Through the Holy Spirit, God provides liberty and freedom from sin and condemnation.  When we trust Jesus to save us, he removes our heavy burden of trying to please him and our guilt for failing to do so.  By trusting Jesus we are loved, accepted, forgiven and freed to live for him!

As we celebrate the birth of our nation, may we celebrate the liberty and freedom Jesus gave to our Founding Fathers as well as to each of us!  May God bless America!  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty!

–James Spafford | President, Praise Productions

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