Summary: The mission of the church is to help others find freedom in Christ
Helping Others Find Freedom
February 29, 2004
As many of you know I am a huge history buff. I read a lot about history, I watch programs on the history channel and I love historical movies because they bring events to life.
I was asked one time why I love history so much and at the time I couldn’t really answer the question but I think I can now. History is about times and events that transform the lives of people. History is about the moments that help to define who we are and how we will be remembered.
One of my favorite periods of history is the American Civil War and one of the best movies about the people of the Civil War is Gettysburg. This morning we are going to watch one of those transforming moments for a man named Joshua Chamberlin.
Chamberlin was a colonel in the Union Army and this event happens a few days before the battle at Gettysburg because his regiment has been ordered to receive 120 men from Maine who are now refusing to fight. During the Civil War mutineers were given a chance to join the fight or be shot for deserting.
This clip is a portrayal of what Chamberlin says to these men and how he explains what they were fighting for.
Play video clip
Chamberlin tells the men that they were fighting to set other men free. Isn’t that the essential message of the church? Isn’t that the mission of the church to show others the way to true freedom?
It has been said that: None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe that they are free.
This statement could easily be applied to those who are lost because they have no idea of the bondage they are in. The reality is that all of us know people who are far from a relationship with Christ.
If the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.
Who was it that helped you find the way?
This morning I want to look at a short passage that tells the story of how four friends helped one man come to Jesus. If you have your Bibles, please open them to the fifth chapter of Luke and we will be starting at verse 17.
17 One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." 21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, `Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, `Get up and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . ." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today." Luke 5:17-26
I. Jesus must be sought to find help
A. Jesus wants to help
1. Jesus genuinely loves people
The compassion of Jesus revealed the depth of His love for people and it was this love that moved Him to reach out to hurting people all around Him.
Jesus met the needs of those around Him in powerful ways
Jesus healed those who were sick
Jesus taught those who were suffering with spiritual misconceptions
Jesus associated and spent His time with the outcasts of society. He walked among the dirty, the diseased, the disgusting and the down and outs.
2. Jesus accepted people as they were
There was not one person that Jesus would not accept. Jesus even tried to win over members of the Pharisees and did sway several to belief.
Jesus accepted people where they were in life because He loved them so much. Because Jesus loved them so much He couldn’t leave them, as they were, lost and alone.