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Summary: A message on true freedom. Written for Independence Day

A Different Kind of Free

John 8:31-36

July 3, 2005

Morning Service

Introduction

I believe that we have been blessed to live in the greatest nation in all of the world and we have been given, by God, almost matchless freedom. No other nation on earth enjoys the kind of nation that we have and tomorrow we will celebrate the freedom we so greatly enjoy and so often take for granted.

Freedom was without a doubt one of the cornerstones that this country was built upon. We see it continuously in the writings and speeches of the national leaders from founding of our country.

We shall not fight alone. God presides over the destinies of nations and will raise up friends for us. The battle is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave...! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! Patrick Henry

We also see this same thread of freedom etched in the words of our current President in our more recent history.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining... None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world. George W. Bush

Freedom is one of the ideals that has been ingrained on our American conscience and it one of the things that I believe we most often fail to understand. As Americans we often talk about freedom without truly understanding what it means to be free. We live in a free country without a true understanding of what freedom is.

As we move closer to Independence Day I feel obligated to ask you a serious question. What does it mean to have freedom?

I believe to understand this question we have to apply knowledge of our primary citizenship, not in America but in the Kingdom of Christ. Jesus answered this same question about freedom with some of His followers 2,000 years ago.

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, "We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" 34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:31-36

I. The Foundation of Freedom

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples

The gospels are filled with the teachings of Jesus and we are meant to hold to them.

• You are the light of the world

• Love your enemies

• The Great Commandment - Love God with all your heart, mind and soul

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