Summary: A contrast between the Savior and the thief who would kill and destroy us.
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
I remembered the Sunday morning I first preached this sermon at a P.A.W. church in Las Vegas. I had spent the night preparing to preach about the thief. Just before church time, we were called to the home of our daughter who had some strange siezure come upon her. We were well prepared to rebuke the thief. This condition never returned. I was able to preach with great liberty that morning.
If the Son is God manifest in the flesh, and He has set me free; I AM FREE INDEED!
If the One Who spoke the world into existance sets me free, I AM FREE INDEED!
If the One Who led Israel as a pillar of fire, (You get the idea)
The One Who parted the Red Sea,
The One Who walked in the lion’s den,
The One Who was in the fiery furnace,
The One by Whom all things consist,
The One Who upholds all things by the Word of His power,
The One Who has preeminence in all things,
The One who bears the saving name,
The One to Whom every knee shall bow ,
Yes, GOD HAS SET ME FREE AND I AM FREE INDEED! (note: They say that upper case type on the internet is shouting. That is the desired intent.)
When I am free:
I can shout with strength, Behold my God!
I walk as a son of God, knowing that a son has an inheritance.
I walk in relationship with Him, just as He walked with Adam in the cool of the evening.
When I am free Satan has no hold over me! My desires have now changed. I love what I used to hate, and hate what I used to love.
I met the Saviour of the world! His name is Jesus! - He gave His life for me! - He was bruised for my iniquities - He was wounded for my transgression. By His stripes I am healed. (Lit.) God made Him sick, so I could be well.
I met the One who promised living water! - I am no longer thirsty!I found the Bread of Heaven, I no longer hunger for the things of this world, but for the things of God.
I have received His Life giving Spirit, He filled me to overflowing, and I’ll never be the same again.
I AM FREE INDEED BECAUSE JESUS HAS SET ME FREE!
I have met the Good Shepherd! He left the ninety and nine and came looking for me. He gave His life for His sheep. I’ll not follow another, because I know His voice.
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.
What a contrast! A conflict between God’s agenda and Satan’s agenda. Light versus darkness - Life versus death. The thief is at work, in homes, schools, society. The thief got prayer taken out of the schools. The thief pushes for separation of church and state. The thief prefers aids to abstinence. The thief would like to see all our young people shot to death, in prison, on dope, in poverty, in disease and disgrace, with their head bowed low , headed for eternal damnation. The thief would like to see our elderly people: In poverty, in mental turmoil, alianated from others, turned off in general, with a feeling of uselessness. This is why many older people become acoholics.
Jesus not only gives life, He gives abundant life. Before He came to save me, He chose to be made like me. He identifies with me. He was tempted, He got weary, He got hungry, He had to sweat, He got dirt under His fingernails. He saw firsthand the misery and despair of a fallen race. He also did something about it. He died that we might live. Hebrews states it well.
Hebrews 2:14 ¶ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.