THE DECLARATION OF ETERNAL INDEPENDENCE
A. The Pledge of Allegiance
B. Many came to the Americas to find freedom but after many years of injustice and indignities brought about by King George the III the colonists had had enough.
1. The citizens of the colonies had tried on many occasions to present their grievances to the king only to have them left unheard, ignored or to penalized for bring them up.
2. So on July 2nd 1776 the Second Continental Congress adopted a resolution that prompted the writing of document that would declare a split from England.
3. And on July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 56 men from 15 separate states signed the document we know as The Declaration of Independence.
C. The United States Declaration of Independence opens with these memorable words: When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
1. So begins quite possibly one of the greatest documents ever written by man.
a. It’s ideals were high
b. It’s purpose was noble.
c. It’s appeal was to a high sovereign power – Nature’s God!
2. It proclaimed freedom from a human tyrant and stated We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
3. The declaration ends with these words – And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor!
4. Folks, the men who signed it immediately became traitors to the crown of England and our war of independence ensued!
5. They, along with all those who stood against the tyrant, laid down their lives, their fortunes, their homes, their honor and the welfare of their own families for the noble cause of freedom – a freedom ultimately bought with their blood.
6. The freedom we celebrated this 4th of July
7. A nation was born that day - The United States of America. One nation under God! PRAISE GOD! AMEN?
D. Yet freedom from King George III and England did not bring true freedom.
1. There is a bondage that is unfathomably greater, and more cruel
2. No document drafted or shed blood of men can set us free from this tyrant.
3. The tyrant I speak of is found deep in the heart of men – sin!
4. It causes untold heart ache in this life and eternal damnation in the life to come.
E. But thanks be to God there is a remedy, Jesus Christ!
1. And we can find The Declaration of Eternal Independence, which is of greater significance in our scripture passage for today.
2. Look at John 8:31-36 Jesus declared, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?  Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.  And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
3. Did you catch it? If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
F. This morning I want to look at this passage and see if we can’t come to terms with true freedom! Here we will look at
1. The Means Of Freedom
2. The Pretense Of Freedom
3. The Promise Of Freedom
G. May God be gracious unto us and may the captives be set free through the power of His Word and Shed blood of Christ!
Lets begin by looking at
I. THE MEANS OF FREEDOM, John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
A. This passage comes about because of what has taken place in the temple where Jesus is preaching.
1. As He speaks of coming judgment we are told in verse 30, many believed on him.
2. And so Jesus begins to speak to those who had believed in Him
3. Now there is much discussion as to whether or not these folks really professed saving faith in Jesus – whether they did or not is not important to us this morning. What is important is the means to freedom spoken about in the passage.
B. Believing in Jesus as Savior and Lord is the means of salvation
1. It begins by coming to an understanding that we are sinners and that we have been judged as such – not believing in Christ
a. Rom 3:23 all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
b. John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
2. This is followed by a conviction that as sinners we need a Savior
3. Which in turn, will bring repentance, that is a desire to be different, to turn from our selfish ways and turn to God as Lord
- Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,…
4. And finally we call on Him believing, not just in our head, but with our whole being, that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again.
- Romans 10:9 & 13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
C. Then there are the words of Jesus, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
1. Those who truly believe in Jesus have a desire to follow Him, continuing, or obeying, what He says.
a. The things we do, do not save us but they give evidence of our salvation – that is why Jesus said my disciples indeed.
b. In believing in Christ one cannot just accept Him as Savior and not Lord – its Savor and Lord or neither.
c. Don’t tell me you know Christ as Savior and then live like the world for it was Jesus who asked, why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46
2. Much of what Jesus was going to teach them was going to fly in the face of what their teachers were teaching them – Jesus knew this
a. That is why He told them to listen to Him and continue in His words, for in so doing, ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
b. In other words they would be set free from sin and the legalism of the law, that bound them so tight.
D. True freedom comes from a personal relationship with Christ and following Him, obeying His word.
1. Through His shed blood we can through off the tyrant of sin.
2. In Him we can find rest, peace and joy for our soul.
3. The means for bringing about what the U.S. Declaration of Independence declared was the “People;” for The Declaration of Eternal Independence it is a person – Jesus.
This brings us to the next three verses in our text,
II. THE PRETENSE OF FREEDOM, John 8:33-35 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?  Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.  And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
A. Do you want to see just how far our bondage can take us – look at the Jews answer to Jesus’ comment about being set free - They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? John 8:33
1. They had been in bandage to many over their history – at present they were under the rule of Rome!
2. They had settled for the perceived freedom they had under their captors, because they seemed to get what they wanted (they could worship the way they wanted).
3. However, that would change, in 70 A.D. when Titus destroys Jerusalem.
B. But Jesus was talking about a bondage that was much stronger and more dangerous than any man or government – he was talking about sin.
1. And so it is today, many in the USA think that they are free because of our constitution and style of government, yet they are in deep bondage.
2. Look at verse 34, Jesus said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
a. The Greek word translated “servant” is doulos (doo-los) and it means slave.
b. Every person born into this world is a slave to sin
3. Yet many who live in the USA truly believe they are free, but the picture tells a different story
a. Murders, thefts, sexual sins, gambling, etc. abound
b. Add to that the millions who are depressed, worried, lonely, frightened, angry, prideful, selfish, foolish and spiteful – Free? I don’t think so.
c. Mark 7:21-23 states For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
d. Just being a citizen of a great nation such as ours does not make us free – freedom is not free
e. It always has a cost
f. Many have died that we might have political, social and religious freedom and we thank God for their sacrifice
g. But there is more, for these to truly be enjoyed we must be freed from our sinfulness and that is where the sacrifice of one – the Son of God – is the only remedy!
C. Are we truly free?
1. Lets read verse 35, And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
2. Using the analogy of a slave Jesus went on to explain their position within the family of God if they were in bondage
a. A slave may enjoy the blessings of the master but he will never inherited the estate.
b. In eternal terms – those who are not obedient to the Lord and enslaved to sin have not entered the family of God and would not abide nor receive the inheritance.
3. The Jews were very religious people but they were bound in sin and in danger of not entering into the family of God.
4. In contrast to servants who would not abide, Jesus used a play on words and said, but the Son abideth forever.
a. The son of a family is always a member of the family is one thought
b. But many versions of the Bible use the Capital “S” referring to the Son of God – He abides forever, and those who are in Him!
The means of Freedom is Jesus Christ, found in the gospel; the Pretense of Freedom dooms people to rely on religion and remain in bondage to sin. This brings us to the final point I want to make concerning the Declaration of Eternal Independence.
III. THE PROMISE OF FREEDOM, John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
A. The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America could not guarantee freedom from England
1. It certainly expressed the desire and gave intent, but no guarantee
2. We may hope and intend, but ironclad guarantees we cannot give
B. But If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed!
1. There may be bondage by the nations of the world – but true freedom will be accomplished.
2. Those who reside in the So are free from sin’s bondage, death and hell!
3. Paul proclaimed to the Thessalonians, Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 1 Thes. 5:24
4. You see if you come to Christ, you become a new creature, according to 2 Cor 5:17, you become a child of God, and you will abide in the house of the Lord forever!
5. The Promise of Freedom is Guaranteed!
CONCLUSION: As we close let me say
A. In the realm of this world our Declaration of Independence is a great document
1. It seek life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all men
2. It provides the opportunity, but it does not supply what is needed.
B. The Declaration of Eternal Independence found in John 8 show us the way to life, liberty and happiness – Christ.
C. Thank God for giving us the privilege to live in the greatest nation this world has ever known – the United States of America
D. Praise God for the Son who gives us the opportunity to realize our founding Father’s dream! Freedom, true Freedom!
The Declaration of Eternal Independence
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
God Bless America!