Freedom, Romans 8:1-10
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
May 5, 2002
A couple who has been married for twenty years went to a wedding reception of a close friend’s daughter. During the ring exchange ceremony, the husband started to cry.
The wife, surprised by her husband’s emotional outburst, said, " I didn’t realize that you have so much feeling about your friend’s happiness."
"Twenty years ago, your father threatened that if I don’t marry you, he would put me behind bars for twenty years. the husband said, "If I had just gone to jail, I would’ve been a free man by now.
Freedom has been compelling since the beginning of time. In the book of Genesis we find the people of God being oppressed and abused by another people. In fact the whole book of Exodus is about God’s people leaving a life of slavery, throwing off the chains of tyranny and oppression.
We are no different, as humans it is our desire to be free people. We love to watch stories of freedom It’s why Pearl Harbor was such a hit movie last year. It’s why we remember lines from movies like Brave heart Most of us could repeat or at least remember the famous line from William Wallace “That they may take our lives but they’ll never take our freedom”
But this type of memorabilia was not just for movies or good stories. Some of our most outstanding moments in history tell the story of a freedom that is longed for. Probably the most famous quote in the history of this country concerning freedom was that famous quote from Patrick Henry: “Give me liberty or Give me death”
Soon after Sept 11 of last year Paul McCartney wrote a song that describes the basic elements of a life that is not lived under oppression.
This is my right
A right given by God
To live a free life
To live in freedom
While we enjoy political freedom, the kind of freedom that is being addressed today goes a step beyond. We are in Romans 8 this morning where the author is talking about freedom.
The author is talking about a freedom in the spiritual side of life. Which may sound like a myth or mystery to some but the bible reminds us of the reality of the Spiritual world. One day these bodies are going to die and fade into dust but our Spirit will live on long after we are dead. Then we will realize the full reality of the spiritual world.
So though political freedom is a great thing, if we were captured tomorrow and forced to live the rest of our days as slaves we could still know the reality of a spiritual freedom In Christ.
Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
Free from Sin
Men who trap animals in Africa for zoos in America say that one of the hardest animals to catch is the ring-tailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it’s simple. They’ve been catching this agile little animal with ease for years. The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. But he can’t. His fist is larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can’t get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and catch him