Summary: This is a sermon for Memorial day that is about the freedom we are given by our faith in Jesus. It also touches on the fact that we only have true freedom if we are restrained by The Holy Spirit
America, Land of the Free, Home of the brave. We live in a country that is founded on freedom, many brave men died to help us obtain the freedoms that we have today. All we have to do is look around and we see symbols of that freedom everywhere, The Statue of Liberty, Lady Freedom, The Liberty Bell, even our flag is a symbol of Freedom & Hope to the rest of the world. Let’s face it we live in one of the greatest places on earth and are a privileged people and it came with a great price and sacrifice.
In this country we have freedom of:
• freedom of religion
• freedom of speech
• freedom of the press
• freedom of people to peaceably assemble
We also have many other freedoms that we enjoy each and every day, but for many Americans in today’s world freedom means to be free from any type of restraint or rules. It seems that somewhere along the road of freedom, we have fallen into the trap of being more focused on our freedom from, rather than our freedom of.
Bill Maher said once, “We have the Bill of Rights but what we need is a Bill of Responsibilities.”
Today let’s look at a different kind of freedom, a spiritual freedom from sin and death. A freedom that also came at a great price and sacrifice. The scripture today tells us that it was for freedom that Christ set us free; that we should keep standing firm and not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
God through his Son Jesus Christ has set us free from the bondage and slavery of Satan. Faith and acceptance of the grace afforded us through Jesus breaks the chains of addiction, it breaks the bondage of pride, and it sets us free from the idols of this world like money & power. The Bible tells us that if the Son sets you free you are free indeed. When we obtain this freedom we must commit ourselves to flee from temptation and never get caught up in the shackles and chains of our sins again. Folks we must realize that we cannot break free on our own, it seems when we attempts to gain freedom from our sins without the help of Jesus we wind up dejected, dirty, and in just as bad a shape as we started out in and we shouldn’t be surprised about it because we already know that we can’t save ourselves.
Now I know that we tend to have the mindset that we should pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and take care of ourselves. But when it comes to our relationship with God we must realize that our salvation and freedom come from what Jesus has done for us, not what we do for Him.
Once we accept the freedom that is given us through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus we become empowered by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, and it helps us to become more aware and better able to live into the life of freedom that we have been given through Christ.
Now we must understand freedom also comes with restraint, we can’t have complete freedom without some restraints. In our country today we have freedom but we also have laws in place so that people don’t just go crazy and do whatever they want with no consequence to how it affects others, these restraints are called laws and statutes and they help us have freedom and live in harmony with each other.
Now the freedom we have through Christ falls under grace and not law, now I know some people who say I can do what I want because I am not under the law but under grace. Well grace doesn’t mean that we have freedom where anything goes, in Romans 6:15 it says what then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
We may not be restrained by law but we are restrained by the Holy Spirit. You can’t have true freedom without some restraint. I know this is as clear as mud so I am going to try and put it in a perspective that we all can understand.
When you fly a kite as the wind blows stronger the kite goes higher and begins to look smaller. It fly’s around free as a bird. You can tug on the string and make the kite dive and swoop and fly higher and higher. But what happens when the string breaks? The kite spirals down and tumbles to the ground or gets hung up in the treetops. The kite can only remain airborne because of the tug and restraint of the string.
We are much the same we aren’t truly free unless we are restrained by the tug of the Holy Spirit. That pull and tug on our hearts is what allows us to truly live into the freedom with the grace that we have been given.