Sermon:
“Free Will – Choosing to Live, Serve,
and Behave Like Christ”
Making the Most of Transition

John 8:31-36, Roman 12:1,9-21
(quotes taken from the NKJV unless noted)
Wakelee Church ~ April 17, 2005

Theme: Our freedom comes when we make a decision to turn our lives over to Christ so that we can live, serve and behave as He did.

Introduction – Bondage ~ It’s all in the mind!

Harry Houdini had a problem. The famed escaped artist found himself in a jail cell that he couldn’t get out of. His mind began to wander back to the challenge he made…any jail cell, he claimed, couldn’t hold him, that is until now.

Thirty minutes had gone by since the heavy, metal doors swung shut behind him. After an hour, he was still working with the concealed piece of metal that he had hidden in his belt. Bathed in sweat and panting in exasperation, he could not get the tumblers to move. There was something different about this lock. Something he had never experienced before.

Finally, after laboring for two hours, Houdini collapsed to the floor in frustration and failure. He couldn’t figure it out! He had never been beaten before! All he could do is wait for his ultimate embarrassment. He hung his head in shame.

But as he did something miraculous happened. When he hung his head, he instinctively leaned against the heavy, metal door…and it swung open. The door was never locked, just closed. The door had been open the whole time.

For Houdini, his mind overruled the physical. His mind was locked, and that was all it took to keep him from opening the door and walking out of that jail cell.

From that point on, Houdini always checked the door first. (Illustrations Unlimited)

Last week, we talked about God’s power being greater than ours. This week as we look at how to make the most of transition, it’s going to be a matter of choice.

Although other parts of this sermon series will be memorable, I think that this step is the most important. If we do not choose live like Christ, serve like Christ, and behave like Christ, during the most challenging times in our lives, then we’re just sitting in a jail cell throwing our heads against the wall in disbelief while the door is wide open.

Free will is nothing more than God giving us the ability to make our own choice. Freedom comes when we choose Christ. Failure is inevitable when we don’t.

During times of transition, our free will can be a gift as much as a curse!
The choice remains ours.


I – Living Like Christ…

And that choice, to live like Christ or not, is exactly what Jesus was speaking about in the John passage this morning. Hear the words again, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free…if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” –John 8:31-32, 36

Jesus was speaking to a group of ordinary Jewish people in the midst of radical change. Some readily choose to accept the truth as Jesus presented it.