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Summary: While it may be the 4th of July we are prisoners of war to sin.

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Sermon for 4th of July 2008

Romans 7:15-25

Happy 4th of July weekend!

Happy Independence Weekend!

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all People are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Right, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Can anyone tell me what this quote comes from? That’s right! “The Declaration of Independence” set forth by our founding fathers July 4th 1776. A declaration of freedom. Freedom from the King of Great-Britain. Freedom that was gained by the blood and suffering of our forefathers. It is a great day in America’s history, and because of their sacrifice, we still live in one of the greatest nations in the world.

Yet while we live in a nation with more freedoms than most, we are nowhere even close to being truly free people. Not only are we not free. We are at War. Not with Taliban in Afghanistan or Iraq. Not our conflicts with North Korea or Iran. No, we are fighting a more deadly war with ourselves! That War is Sin! Not only are we at War. We are POWS—Prisoners of War! Prisoners of Sin! The verdict for the prisoners of Sin is Death!

Happy 4th of July weekend!

Happy Independence Day!

Think I’m being a little melodramatic? Well listen again to what Paul writes. “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”

Sure sounds like a prisoner of war to me. And if a prisoner of sin, convicted to die are we truly independent?

Let put it another way. There are two basic symptoms of being a POW to sin. One is that we don’t do what we want. For example…I know that God commands me to be in church on a weekly basis. I know that God wants me to pray, and not just pray for 15 seconds, but a person of prayer, like Jesus. I know that God want me to love other people. I know I’m supposed to forgive and be patient. I know I’m supposed to be the kindest person on the block. But I also know I don’t do these things. What is wrong?

The other symptom of being a POW to sin is that not only do we not do what we want, we do the evil that we don’t want to do. I hold grudges. I judge. I lose my tempter. I hoard. I talk bad about people. Basically I sin all day long, and I really don’t want to. What is wrong?

Well it prove to us that we are all POWS—Prisoners of War! Prisoners of Sin! And remember, the verdict for the prisoners of Sin is Death! Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

Paul concludes today’s lesson by saying, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

If this great nation is to remain a great nation with the unalienable right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness we must set forth a new declaration. If you and I are to be released as POWS—Prisoners of War! Prisoners of Sin! We must set forth a new declaration. A declaration not of independence from the king of Great Britain, but a declaration of dependence upon the Creator—and His Son Jesus Christ—only in this way can once truly experience any type of freedom. A declaration of Dependence!

Happy 4th of July weekend!

Happy Dependence Day!

Here’s the weird thing about it all. In 1776 when the Colonies declared its independence from the King, Great Britain declared all out War trying to squash our pursuit of freedom. Yet daily when you and I declare its independence from the Creator King, Jesus the Christ instead declares all out forgiveness, trying to enable the pursuit of freedom!

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