Summary: This is a sermon from July 4, 2004 dealing with national and spiritual freedom (powerpoint slides available upon request)
Preached 07-04-04 by Captain PB Stetser
As with all of my sermons, the PowerPoint slides I used are available if you think they would be helpful. Simply email me at PBStetser@use.salvationarmy.org and request the slides for the specific sermon.
John 8:31Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. 32And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
33"But we are descendants of Abraham," they said. "We have never been slaves to anyone on earth. What do you mean, `set free’?“ 34Jesus replied, "I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free.
Freedom …. What is it?
– the condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints
– immunity from an obligation or duty
– Voluntary, in the absence of coercion
– the state of being free
– Not being under another’s control; the power to say or do as one pleases
– The ability to choose
– All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word:
--Sir Winston Churchill
From the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire, let freedom ring. From the mighty mountains of New York, let freedom ring. From the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania, let freedom ring ... Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Address at Lincoln Memorial during March on Washington, 28 Aug 1963
Fight and you may die. Run and you’ll live, at least a while. And, dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance -- just one chance -- to come back here and tell our enemies, that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom! --William Wallace (Mel Gibson) Braveheart
• Being 4th of
July, let’s look at
National Freedom …
• Well over 500,000 American soldiers have given their lives in various wars since the birth of our nation pursuing and defending of freedom.
• Freedom is never cheap just because it’s free!
– 228 years
– Iraq just 6 days
• We have a responsibility to live up to the hard won freedom handed down to us!
• Our spiritual liberty was even more costly!
• “we owed a debt we could not pay”
Romans 5:6-8 "When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."
– 1 Peter 1:18-19 "For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God."
– Things people can be enslaved to/by
– Other people’s opinions
– Usually not by choice (they think)
• Some think
– “if I just had enough money …”
– This week
Mega Millions winner … $290 million!
Some big winners now broke!
Count of Monte Cristo
• Even out of prison
• Even with riches
• Not free
• Revenge consumed him!
• How about those things?
How can we avoid?
• Is there an easy answer?
– Power of positive thinking?
– Obeying rules & regulations?
– Being good?
– Giving half our money to God?
• What gives us freedom?
– Recognizing the first rule of stewardship
• Usually only about tithe, etc.
• First and most important rule …
• GOD is in charge and it all belongs to HIM!
• HE is #1
• But we still have choices
– We can even make the wrong ones!
– That’s how we usually wind up in bondage of various kinds
• If you are feeling “in bondage”
– Romans 6:16 "Don’t you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval."
• Harry Houdini