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Summary: This sermon using true accounts of the lives of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence deals with the fact that freedom is costly.

"FREEDOM ISN’T FREE!"

GALATIANS 5:1-13

[1] Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

[2] Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.

[3] And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

[4] You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

[5] For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

[6] For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

[7] You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

[8] This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.

[9] A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

[10] I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.

[11] And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.

[12] I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! [13] For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

This is the 4th of July holiday weekend.

This is when we celebrate FREEDOM!

July 4th, 1776…the Colonies declared freedom from Great Britain.

This holiday gives us the freedom to do things we want to do.

In our Bible text today, Galatians 5:1 uses the word “liberty”.

It comes from a Greek word that means “to go free”

It speaks of someone who has been restrained…or in bondage.

It’s like someone who has been set free from prison.

So…FREEDOM is another word that fits Galatians 5:1.

There’s only 1 thing wrong with that word “FREEDOM”.

Because it contains the word “free”,

many think it doesn’t cost anything.

WRONG!

Liberty or freedom never comes…

without someone paying a big price.

In 1215,

King John of England was forced to give up some of his powers

And concede liberties to the people through the Magna Charta.

The British Bill Of Rights of 1689

provided for civil rights for the people

and political supremacy to Parliament.

Our nation’s liberty was proclaimed…

in the Declaration Of Independence of July 4, 1776.

President Lincoln freed the slaves…

with the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

The people of Iraq have been set free…

From the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein.

None of these victories for freedom came without a high price.

Freedom is no cheap thing.

In all the wars for freedom in history…

people have paid the ultimate price.

Those who loved them paid a price in grief and loss.

POINT #1

THE PRICE OF FREEDOM

IS PERSONAL SACRIFICE

Galatians 5:1

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free…

Now…how did Jesus give us liberty?

John 8:36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Romans 6:22

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Colossians 1:19-20 says this about Jesus:

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, [20] and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Our freedom came at the expense of God’s only begotton Son.

Transition:

53 men signed the Declaration of Independence.

Have you ever wondered what price they paid?

FRANCIS LEWIS was born in Wales in 1713. He lost both of his parents at the age of 4 and was raised by a maiden aunt. When he was 21, Lewis collected the inheritance left by his father and sailed for New York City. Arriving in 1735, he became involved in cargo shipping and foreign trade. He married Elizabeth Annesley and they had 7 children. Lewis was an enterprising merchant. He retired from business at the age of 52, "one of the most wealthy men in New York."

Lewis entered politics in 1774. He was considered one of New York City’s "Leading radicals" and was among the first to join an association called the "Sons of Liberty". He was also selected as a delegate to the 2nd Continental Congress, as he was known for his independent and patriotic character.

Lewis at first preferred making peace with England, but once he was convinced of the advantages of complete separation from Great Britain, he became a strong advocate of independence. In 1775, Lewis moved his family and their belongings to an estate that he owned on Long Island. This proved to be an unfortunate step. Soon after signing the Declaration, British soldiers destroyed his home. His extensive library and valuable papers were destroyed. They were not content with just the ruin of his property. They wanted revenge on a man who had dared to sign a document that proclaimed independence for America. His wife was taken prisoner and was held for several months. She was confined without the comfort of a bed or a change of clothes. She was later returned, but the stressful experience had been too much for her. She died within a year after her release. Lewis’s latter days were spent in poverty, his fortune having been lost in the war. Lewis died in 1802 at the age of 89.

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