Summary: This sermon explains what must be done to obtain and maintain freedom; and what will cause you to lose it.
Romans 6:16 – 23
Preached by: JB Hall
Introduction: Freedom is a wonderful thing. During the 4th of July Holiday we celebrate our freedoms here in America. Sadly though, freedom is very misunderstood. Even more serious is the fact that this misunderstanding of freedom poses a grave threat to its very existence.
With this understanding in mind, this morning we want to take an in-depth look at this thing called freedom from a Biblical perspective. By gaining a Biblical understanding of freedom and how it works, we will be equipped to enjoy it in a way that does not do damage to it.
1. Verses 17 & 18 – Freedom has an Authority.
A. I’ve said this many times. There is no such thing as absolute freedom.
B. You will not find any arena in which you are free from accountability to authority.
C. Whether it’s in the home (children and parents), in the business world (employee and boss), in society, or in the spiritual realm; all areas of life where freedom is granted and/or exercised, involves accountability to authorities.
D. These established authorities administer freedom, and set the boundaries within which this freedom is viable, and outside of which it is forfeited.
E. Therefore, to attempt to throw off all restraints, and to reject any attempt to come under any authority, is a fantasy – a notion that is non-existent.
F. When someone tries this they are fooling themselves.
G. Since no such freedom exists, they simply are substituting freedom for bondage without realizing it.
H. Since God has designed freedom to always have an Authority, He has set Himself to be the single Source of all freedom.
I. All freedoms, regardless of their earthly administrators, ultimately flow from God.
J. Rather than religious freedom being the result of political and social freedom, it is the freedom in the hearts of those who Christ has set free that produces political and social freedom.
K. Since we all will always be servants to some authority, spiritually speaking, we are either servants to sin or servants to righteousness, servants to Satan or servants to God.
L. Being set free does not mean being freed to do anything we have an impulse to do; it means we are free to walk in truth, to do righteousness, to live in peace, to have a personal relationship with the God Who made us.
M. Freedom has an Authority. So, freedom means we have chosen to exchange the authority of sin for the authority of God in our lives.
2. Verse 18 – Freedom is Exclusive.
A. In Matthew 6:24 Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
B. Since we all serve an authority, and since God will not share His authority with anything or anyone else, freedom is exclusive.
C. If we choose the freedom God provides, we must relinquish the authority of and our participation in the activities, attitudes, and interests of those things outside the Biblical allowances afforded us.
D. When you are a true child of God, and try to live outside Biblical guidelines, you have in effect forfeited the great freedoms granted you in Christ.
E. In thinking you have expanded your freedoms, you have in reality forfeited them.
F. Freedom and sin cannot peacefully co-exist.
G. Look at Verse 18a – “Being then made free from sin…”
H. We are freed from sin; not in sin, or to sin.
I. Each is exclusive. When you choose one, you must, of necessity, forfeit the other.
J. Think of it in terms of an unfaithful spouse.
K. You cannot have a husband or wife and an illegitimate relationship on the side. You cannot have a divided allegiance.
L. You must choose one or the other.
M. Likewise, if you choose the legitimate freedom that is in Christ, you must relinquish your sin.
N. If you choose your sin, you have relinquished your freedom in Christ.
O. Freedom is exclusive.
3. Verse 20 – Freedom has Perimeters.
A. I said earlier that freedom has perimeters; inside of which it is viable and outside of which it is forfeited.
B. Since there is no such thing as absolute freedom, and since God is the Authority Who establishes the boundaries of freedom, the perimeter of freedom is the extent of His will for you.
C. The perimeters of social law, while sometimes appearing restrictive, are in fact designed for your protection.
D. The law stating an individual cannot forcibly take property from another individual without legal permission may appear restrictive to the one seeking to steal another’s property; but the perimeter of the law was designed to protect the property rights of all individuals.