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Summary: We are free-but so many times we don't live that way. We live as imprisoned, enslaved people. A Christian is a free man/sometimes he needlessly places himself under bondage to a system.

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"A Declaration of Independence?"

John 8:34-36

Allan H. Kircher

July 3, 2011

We rejoice at this time every year because in this country we are blessed with freedom

• Freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, to bear arms, of the press-

• we are free to do whatever we want in the United States as long as it does not infringe on the freedoms of others.

This weekend we celebrate our nation’s independence.

 Over 2 half centuries ago/United States were born.

 Nation based on the ideals of liberty, responsibility, Godliness, and the freedom to become what God intended us to become.

 Celebration/nation’s birthday/celebration of freedom

 Celebrate the precious gift of freedom we have because of the price others paid.

We must remember that freedom isn’t free.

 Freedom is very expensive.

 It has cost some people everything, including their lives.

• Freedom isn’t free, but it is infinitely valuable.

• We celebrate independence, as a nation, that is temporary.

• A day will come when/no longer enjoy/freedoms we have.

• Nonetheless, we celebrate our independence.

Should we not celebrate and discover the depths of an independence that will last for all of eternity?

Today, let’s celebrate our independence from/tyranny and bondage of guilt, sin, slavery….fear, and death; an independence won over 2,000 years ago

Jesus came/bring/freedom from all human afflictions.

Let’s look at our text, John 8:34-36 "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

For all who want to know freedom, Freedom comes simply through the truth.

But there are Christians bound by fear, resentment, jealousy and uncleanness,

• Who know full well/they are complete contradiction to the liberating gospel they profess----

But how to get free?

Jesus has provided that power to each and every one of us.

And so we submit that the truth is in Jesus Christ. That is genuine freedom.

• We are free-but so many times we don't live that way.

• We live as imprisoned, enslaved people.

• A Christian is a free man, sometimes he needlessly places himself under bondage to a system.

• I want us to learn how we can open the "cell doors" of our lives so that we can live as truly free people.

Many people-including some of us in this very room-are enslaved by the imprisonment of many things. Let’s look at a few today.

1. The Imprisonment of “approval addiction.”

List/symptoms of approval addiction, help you see what I mean.

You may find that you are affected/imprisoned by this particular mind set.

If you are hurt when/people express anything less than glowing opinions about your accomplishments,

• If you think /other people devalue you because of your weight or your height or your lack of hair or your lack of education...you could be imprisoned.

• If you feel that in order to prove your own worth, you have to degrade another person. I mean, if you find yourself constantly criticizing everyone but yourself...

• If you find that you always live with the nagging sense that you aren't important enough or special enough...

• If you get envious of others who get the spotlight more than you do. Well, then you probably are an approval addict.

And, what's more, if you worry that someone might THINK you are an approval addict, then in fact you probably ARE one.

When we are addicted to the approval of others we are NOT free, no matter what nation we live in.

• Instead we are slaves-always at the mercy of other people's opinions.

Even ministers have been known to suffer from this enslaving mind set. An old preacher once wrote this in his memoirs, "I was leaving my last church and a woman at the farewell reception was weeping. ’Don't be sad,' I said, 'I'm sure the next pastor will be better than me.' She replied, 'That's what they said last time Reverend, but they keep getting worse.'"

Many of us are like Sally Fields/academy awards/she won her second Oscar and then responded by saying, "You like me! You like me!"

Like Ms. Fields, many of us THINK we are good people ONLY IF we THINK other people THINK we are good people.

So many of us drag through life with a “ball and chain.” w/ this addiction.

2. Another CHARACTERISTIC of people who are approval addicts is that they are constantly COMPARING themselves to their peers.

And this is nothing new-basically this is why Cain killed Abel-because he felt out-sacrificed by his brother.

You ever talked/someone/TV program/watched/prefaced your comments with,

"I don't watch TOO MUCH TV but the other night I saw this show...."

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