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Summary: A sermon preached on July 4th weekend on the topic of the freedom found in Christ

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INTRO

Video Braveheart (final Scene)

"My Country Tis of Thee

Sweet Land of Liberty

Of Thee I Sing

Land Where my Fathers Died

Land of the Pilgrim's Pride

From Every Mountain Side

Let Freedom Ring"

"Let Freedom Ring" is more

Than a patriotic song

ƒ{ Freedom is not only American's greatest theme

o But should be

„X Christians greatest theme

ƒ{ It's the message of Christ's

o Love

o Grace

o Mercy

ƒ{ Tragically, it's America's freedom

o That get us in bondage

ƒ{ America was established

o And a new government formed to bestow liberty

ƒ{ No other word so thrills the patriotic heart

ƒ{ It's what we've fought for

o Laid down our lives for!

ƒ{ Men have crossed sea and land

o To rest under this flag of freedom

ƒ{ Yet many live as prisoners

o Shackled by painful pasts

o Enslaved to present fears

o Tormented by an endless cycle of failure

ƒ{ Today I want to look again at....Freedom

ƒ{ I usually never use acrostics to preach...

ƒ{ But today

o I am going to break that rule!

F - Forgiveness

1John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

* Here is where true freedom begins

EXPLAIN: Salvation Plan

R - Relationship

* Religion brings bondage

* God never wanted bondage

o But friendship

* Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

* Our founding fathers came from a religiously expressive environment.

* These were men of different religious outlooks.

* But they had a burning desire to live where they were free to worship God as they saw fit.

* Many of our most important documents are framed around their love of God...

o One nation under God...

o Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

* One nation, under God.

o Not above

o Not even alongside

o But under

* Separation of church and state.

* Our founding fathers wanted that.

* What a box of worms that has become in the last 30 years.

* Every day in the courts around this nation there is a case somewhere concerning the issue of separation of church and state.

* When I attended elementary school we started the day by reciting the 23rd Psalm.

* We also recited the pledge of allegiance.

* Church AND State.

* In School!

* What were we thinking?

* Today the Ten Commandments can NOT be displayed in public schools.

* Evolution is taught from early on...

* But Creation by a loving God cannot be mentioned.

* Prayer is rarely allowed.

* Separation of church and state.

* What that means today is that belief in God...

o In His Bible

o In the creation story

o In prayer

o In anything concerning love and worship of God

* Is being slowly stifled by the state in the name of separation.

* The irony in all of this is that our founders were not concerned about God being in the State.

* They firmly implanted Him there by the wording of our greatest and most loved documents.

* What they did not want was the State sticking its nose into their religion.

* They left religious repression behind.

* They wanted one Nation.

E - Emancipate

EMANCIPATE = To be free from bondage

To bring liberty

To be free from restraint

Isaiah 61:1

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,

because the LORD has anointed me

to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives

and release from darkness for the prisoners,

* We talk about Abraham Lincoln

o As the great emancipator

* But there was one before him...

o Jesus the original emancipator

1865 -- His second Inaugural address

(a few weeks before he was assassinated)

- Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained.

- Each looked for an easier triumph...both read from the same Bible and prayed to the same God

- And each invoked God's aid against the other

- And then our re-elected sixteenth president's voice began to break as he talked about this war

o and the price that was paid

o and the lives that were spent.

o So that slavery could be abolished

- As you know...in 1863...New Year's Day

- The Emancipation Proclamation was proclaimed

- Now just because it was proclaimed didn't mean it was going to be obeyed.

- Because a war was going on...a fierce war...

- Taking the lives of so many of ours

- But almost three years later on December the eighteenth, 1865

- The Thirteenth Amendment was entered into our Constitution and became the law that slavery was officially abolished.

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