Sermons

Summary: Freedom in Christ. We have been set free from what?

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John 8:31-36 “Beginning again”

INTRODUCTION: Have you ever been to a fair or maybe to Disneyland where they have these people dressed up like statues and they stand perfectly still and you think it is the stature until they move and freak you out?

I remember reading an illustration about one of these characters that stood on the street corner and he would point his finger at people going by and then say “guilty”. People would look at him, lower their head and try to sneak away. Some would say “how does he know”?

Do you ever get hard on yourself? Do you ever verbally and consciously beat yourself up over the errors, the sins, and the difficulties you have brought upon yourself.

Sometimes we are very hard on ourselves and we should be if we have done that which is wrong.

Sometimes we are very hard on yourselves and we shouldn’t be because we’ve done nothing wrong, but yet we feel the guilt over whatever situation we are in.

Hazel Felleman wrote a poem about this:

"I wish there were some wonderful place

Called the Land of Beginning Again

Where all our mistakes, and all our heartaches

And all our selfish griefs

Could be cast like a shabby old coat at the door

And never be put on again"

The problem is that guilt has a tendency to dominate our lives and the devil loves to use it to destroy us.

Jesus said: John 8:34 "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” Or as Proverbs 5:22 tells us “evil deeds… ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast.”

Titus 3:3 tells us that “for we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and lovingkindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us …”

Notice, that he said this is what you used to be, but something caused a change in you.

Jesus said– “… if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

That is the promise of Christ.

When Jesus talks about freedom, he is not talking political freedom, he is not talking about anarchy-the freedom from all the rules and regulations, no he is talking about a spiritual freedom they can only come through him.

I’m not sure that we as Christians even fully understand what he is talking about because there are so many Christians that still live lives of defeat, lives that are stressed out, lives that are overcome by worry instead of lives that Jesus talked about when he said, I have come that you might have life, and have it in abundance, John 10:10.

I wonder if we really understand the word freedom and how it applies to Christians in the 21st century.

As one person said, "This is not the freedom to attend church or not to attend church, it is not the freedom to read the Bible or not to read the Bible, it is not about the freedom to choose the denomination we feel most comfortable in; we are talking about a freedom to live the abundant life that Jesus talks about".


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