“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.”
Around the 4th of July I like to remind my Christian friends that the “battle cry” of the American Revolution was: “no king but King Jesus!” While not commonly known today, and almost never taught in the American history classroom, it is true. This was the ideal for which those early patriots were willing to risk, property, position, and even life itself.
“No king but King Jesus!” What in the world were they talking about? Was this just a political statement? Were they just trying to endear themselves to the “religious right”? Hardly! The early patriots had rejected the European pattern of a national government headed by a monarch. But to declare themselves free from the constraints of a king was not the intent of their statement. No, they wanted a king. They did not, however, want a “king like the other nations have.” (See 1 Sam. 8:4-5) Those early Americans were declaring their allegiance, their fealty, their sacred honor to the one True King, the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords; King Jesus. “No king BUT King Jesus,” they cried!
For many Americans today the ideal – what they consider “independence” – is no king at all. To be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want to do it; to them that is freedom! But those early patriots were not looking for a freedom that rejects all authority, or a liberty that ignores all ethical or moral restriction. That freedom is folly and that liberty is licentiousness. The freedom they sought was the freedom to follow Christ. They were willing to die for the right to honor Him above all else. Only in Christ is there true independence. Jesus said that He had come “to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, to release the oppressed” (Lk. 4:18). To be apart from Him is to be in bondage to sin and death. He also taught: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. THEN you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn. 8:31-32).
I hope that we never lose sight of their revolutionary idea, for there is “no king but King Jesus.” Pray for our nation.
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” --- Psalm 62:5-8