Summary: Jesus has given us the truth that sets us free, free to choose righteousness, free to choose eternal life in heaven.
Freedom of Choice
Text: John 8:31-32
Good morning and welcome!
Yesterday having been the 4th of July, it seems appropriate that we consider in our lesson today some of the things that may have been on our minds during the celebration of the birth of our nation. The words we associate most often with the 4th of July, independence, freedom, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
These words are found in the document that we know as the Declaration of Independence. Concerning these words, Thomas Jefferson wrote:
"Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness), it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government."
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), from the Declaration of Independence
When you consider the words in the Declaration of Independence you come to realize that as a people we were declaring our freedom to choose the course of our nation, the right to choose our form of government. As a nation we were throwing off the yoke of English autocracy to take on our own from of governance, what we call today our democracy, so we could determine for ourselves life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And we celebrate this every Independence Day.
This morning I’d like you to consider that as we gather together in this place we celebrate a similar choice, one spiritual rather than political, but still a choice as to what will rule in our lives: sin or righteousness (the law of sin and death or the law of the Spirit of life.)
Romans 6:16 (NASB) 16Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
I. Slaves of Sin
A. There is no middle ground
1. There are only two ultimate choices and no middle ground.
a. There is the narrow way and the broad way (Matthew 7:13-14)
This is as Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24).
2. Romans 3:23 (NASB) all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
a. To refuse to allow God to be master over your life is to choose slavery to sin.
b. As Jesus said to his Jewish followers:
John 8:44 (NASB) “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father”
Paul made the same point to Titus:
Titus 3:3 (NASB) For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
As Peter wrote of false teachers:
2 Peter 2:18 - 19 (NASB) For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
3. All are in bondage to sin
a. You are a slave in bondage to your master.
b. Proverbs 5:22 (NASB) His own iniquities will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of his sin.
What is enslaving you? Immorality, lust, ambition, greed?
4. Paul wrote of himself:
Romans 7:23 - 24 (NASB) but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
II. Who will set you free?
A. Consider the words of Jesus to those Jewish believers:
John 8:31 - 32 (NASB) So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
1. The words of Jesus are the words of truth and the words of freedom.
The words of Jesus are the truth of the Grace of God, who gave us His Son that we might be saved from the law of sin and death (John 3:16.)
If you hold to my teachings, Jesus said, you are my disciples. THEN you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
B. The Choice is ours to make (Paul commended the faithful in Rome for their choice)
1. Romans 6:17 - 19 (NASB) But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.