Summary: We celebrate many freedoms in America. But do you know what it means to be really free?
“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.”
These are the words that begin the Declaration of Independence. This historic document, signed by 56 representatives from the 13 states that made up the United States of America, was drafted as a pronouncement of our freedom from the rule and reign of Great Britain. It was signed July 4th 1776. Hence we celebrate July 4th as Independence Day in this great nation of ours, declaring our freedom and our liberty that was secured some 200 years ago.
This United States of America that we live in is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. We enjoy guaranteed right of freedom, more than other group of people in any other nation. In this country we enjoy the freedom of living where we want to live, pursuing the career we want to pursue, to express our opinions as we choose, the freedom of religion, to worship when, where and how we want to. We enjoy the freedom of pursuing an education to expand our experience and intellect and to choose our relationships. Freedom and liberty is what makes this nation so great and it is why millions of people from across this world have made their way and continue to make their way to America. But sadly to say that many Americans and others who while in theory or on paper may be free, are not free in practice and do not experience real freedom in their everyday lives.
Read John 8:31-36
You will notice in this text the Jews, who believed on Jesus, were surprised by His comments about them “knowing the truth and the truth making them free”. They responded by reminding Jesus that they were the offspring of Abraham; that they were already free and have never been in bondage. But Jesus wanted them to see that as long as they were held captive to the lower elements of their nature and to a lifestyle of disobedience to the will of God – that although they were free – they were not REALLY FREE!
When you and I, allow sin to capture our minds and dominate our actions and control our choices – we ruin our potential to live in REAL FREEDOM! To be REALLY FREE – is to not simply to know about truth on paper or in theory…but you must experience truth! Jesus says in verse 36, “If the Son makes you free; you will be FREE INDEED.”
Jesus who is the Christ came and on the Cross of Calvary, He died, as the perfect payment for our sin! It was His sacrifice; as our substitute, that was the only price that was acceptable to God the Father. Thus the only way for us to be REALLY FREE…is to have a genuine, firsthand personal and practical experience with Jesus Christ…because He is truth. Jesus said, “I am the way; the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father, but by Me.” John 14:06
Jesus’ death on the cross makes you and me free from:
A. The penalty of sin. The Bible declares that the “the wages or the price of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus.” When we sin, we sin against the God who made us and we break the relationship with our Creator. How is that relationship put back together again? It is Jesus who makes us right with God or puts us back in right standing. This freedom from the penalty of sin is a past action that we call justification. Because the price of sin is death the only person qualified to pay that price was Jesus, a perfect, sinless sacrifice. Romans 4:25 – “he was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Justification is the picture from the courtroom: a legal term meaning “acquittal.” Jesus, by giving himself for our sins, makes it possible for God to bring the gavel down and declare us eternally Not Guilty! In other words when God declares us not guilty he chooses not to hold us accountable for our sins, he wipes or record clean. But not only that, he applies the spotless record of Jesus to our accounts. It’s just as if we never sinned. Romans 5:1 – “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
B. The power of sin. Before we receive Christ and accept the free gift of salvation the Bible says that we are slaves to sin. That is that sin has the power over our lives and it dominates our very lifestyle, that which is contrary to God. But through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we are no longer live as slaves to sin. Romans 6:17-18 – “but thanks be to God that though you were salves to sin yet you obeyed from the heart…and having been set free from sin, you become slaves of righteousness.” This freedom from the power of sin is called sanctification. It is both a past and present action. It is both the finished work of being made holy or set apart for God’s use and the daily process of becoming holy. Sanctification is a lot like a marriage. When you get married you say “I do” but then spend the rest of your life living out those words. The finished action was complete at the ceremony but then it must be lived out in the daily process of married life. 1 Cor. 1:30 – “in Christ we are put right with God and have been made holy and have been set free from sin.” In other words this life from the power and freedom of sin or sanctification is not the process of me trying really hard to become something I am not. Rather it is the process of living out what I already have and who I already am.