Summary: This message intorduces a series of messages on freedom with these important turthes: [1] Freedom is not Free -- [2] Free to be an Authentic Disciple -- [3] Free to be Acquainted Intimately with the Truth -- [4] Free to be Free

FREEDOM – Free to Be

John 8:31-32 (NIV)

[31] To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. [32] Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."


On August 28, 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before a crowd around a quarter of a million people. That day King delivered his infamous speech “I Have a Dream.” He concluded that message with these timeless words: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”

Regardless of whom you are or what difficulties you may encounter along the journey of life, those are sweet words to the heart. Free at last! We can be free from the entanglements of life that weigh us down; free from the burdens and cares that make our hearts heavy. Oh to be free!

Is there anyone who wants to be free today? This morning we are going to talk about what it means to be free. But before we go any further I need your help. As we go through the rest of the year, Lord willing, I will from time to time come to another sermon in a series of freedom messages. Here’s what I need from you. What do you need set free from? What are the issues or concerns that you are struggling with that keep you from being free? Would you write that down and turn it in at the welcome center. Just fill in the blank: I need to be free from ______. (Leave these anonymous.) Let me take a second and prime the pump with some ideas.

 Freedom from guilt  Freedom from anger

 Freedom from depression  Freedom from grief

 Freedom from debt  Freedom from habitual sin

 Freedom from fear or worry  Freedom from pornography

 Freedom from lying  Freedom from whatever

You may identify with one or more of these; it may be other issues. Whatever it is please let me know so that together we can discover the freedom the God has made available to all of us.

I. Freedom is not Free

ILLUSTRATION: As Americans we should know that freedom can only be purchased. Our freedom was purchased with the blood of soldiers on battlefields around the world. However, that is only part of the price that must be paid. If we are to be free then we must also be willing to defend our freedom otherwise it can and will be taken away.

John 8:31-32 (NIV)

[31] To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. [32] Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

1. Simply believing is not enough! To believe in Jesus is only the first step toward being free.

a) Jesus shows us here that it takes more than just believing in Him to be free. Belief is a necessary step, but belief is only the first step toward being free.

b) Jesus knew that many listening to His teaching had taken that all important first step of belief. Therefore Jesus speaks directly to those who have put their faith in Him.

John 8:30 (NIV)

Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.

c) Jesus says those who believe (which includes each of us today) that we must believe and also “hold to my teaching.” What is Jesus saying?

o “If you stick with this.” (MsgB)

o “If you keep obeying my teaching.” (NLT)

o “If you live by what I say.” (GW)

o “If you abide in my word.” (NKJV)

o “If ye continue in my word.” (KJV)

d) It is not enough to simply believe we must live out what we believe in our day to day lives.

2. Don’t make the mistake of just believing in Jesus. Believing the right thing is not good enough.

• Follow along in your Bibles in Matthew 25:34-46

a) Jesus shows us two groups of people separated on the day of final judgment; BOTH BELIEVE HE IS LORD.

b) One group acted upon what they believed and thought of others instead of only themselves, therefore they met the needs of Jesus, even when they didn’t know they were giving help to Him.

c) The other group believed but refused to live differently. They continued to only think of themselves and therefore were unwilling to help anyone. If they had only know they were rejecting Jesus by how the chose to live.

3. Too many people believe that freedom means independence.

a) You may be here today and believe that Jesus can set you free, but you think that means you are free to live for yourself.

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David Schultz

commented on Jun 30, 2011

Being set free from the ravages of our own sin; free from the power of the evil one and free from fear of death, are all well encapsulated in this message. And one more, free to serve Him, as He has so graciously prepared us, Eph. 2:10. Thanks for the time you spent with the Holy Spirit to put this together.

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