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Summary: A message on the gift of freedom we have recieved from the Lord and the importance of giving that same freedom to others.

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20, July 2003

Dakota Community Church

Free, Free, Set Them Free

Introduction:

The Iranian conjoined twins illustrate beautifully how precious freedom is.

Freedom is worth fighting for.

Freedom is the ultimate gift God has given us.

Freedom is the ultimate gift we can give to each other.

2Corinthians 3:17

17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Luke 4:17-21

17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,

19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."

20Then he rolled up the scroll gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

Galatians 5:1

1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Top four gifts of freedom worth fighting for.

1. Freedom from sin.

Romans 6:6-7

6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Romans 6:14

14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Romans 6:17-18

17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

A man purchased a white mouse to use as food for his pet snake. He dropped the unsuspecting mouse into the snake’s glass cage, where the snake was sleeping in a bed of sawdust. The tiny mouse had a serious problem on his hands. At any moment he could be swallowed alive. Obviously, the mouse needed to come up with a brilliant plan.

What did the terrified creature do? He quickly set up work covering the snake with sawdust chips until it was completely buried. With that, the mouse apparently thought he had solved his problem.

The solution; however, came from outside. The man took pity on the silly little mouse and removed him from the cage. No matter how hard we try to cover or deny our sinful nature, it’s fool’s work. Sin will eventually awake from sleep and shake off its cover. Were it not for the saving grace of the Master’s hand, sin would eat us alive.

John 8:34-36

34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

- You died with Christ as symbolized in baptism.

- When you sin you choose to do so.

- You lie to yourself when you claim you cannot help it or the devil made you.

We know this because the second great gift of freedom is:

2. Freedom from oppression.

James 4:7

7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Romans 8:17-19

31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

"For your sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Mark 16:16-18

16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

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