Summary: Noah stood out in the crowd, Abram left the familiar, Moses stood in the face of adversity, and Paul was radically changed - What will do for our freedom in Christ?
Sermon Title: I Am Free!
Scripture: Romans 6:17-23
Wesleyan Community Church
Sunday Morning – July 7, 2002
Some of you might just be interested as to why I would give an Independence Day message after the fact. First of all, the Spirit never directed me that way last week, and there is a greater significance to the events that followed the declaration then the actual declaration itself. It is one thing to make a statement, and then quite another to back it up. We see it often in our election process, where a candidate makes a promise or takes a stand, but when the moment arrives where he must forever commit himself, he backs down or does less then initially promised.
The declaration that our founding fathers signed could place them all in jeopardy. The excitement of the moment added a degree of carefree abandon to the decision that they have made, and pay they did, not at the moment of signing, but through the course of the battle that lay ahead.
We see the altar oftentimes fill to capacity when a speaker has given a rousing sermon, one that taps the very emotion of the listener, perhaps compelled not so much by conviction, but through an overwhelming need to quiet the emotions that may be racing far faster than the mind could process, they reach the altar, not really sure what to do next, and oftentimes unaware of the consequences or prepared for the aftermath that will assuredly follow. We are going to be covering several different sections of Scripture this morning, let us read Paul’s letter to the church of Rome to assist us in tying it all together.
Scripture Reading: Romans 6:17-23
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen, praise be to God for the Word that He has given us all to follow.
Looking back during the time that I was growing up and in school, I can remember certain kids that were singled out. Now being singled out was not always a bad thing, it depends on what you are being singled out for. There are those that are singled out for their popularity, there are those that are singled out for their intelligence, and there are those that are singled out to be ridiculed. Where does the Christian fit in that? How a Christian is viewed has much to do with the time period as well as the location. Not to long ago, it was considered un-American to not go to church and now some are considering the mention of God’s name as unconstitutional. In Russia, it used to be a crime that carried the death penalty to spread the Gospel, and now the Gospel is being preached and accepted like wildfire. This country used to send out missionaries and now we are considered the third largest mission field. The nations we once converted are now returning in an effort to restore us.
Just why is it that some seem to get all of the breaks and at times it seemed that a dark cloud passed along the path that we walk. I praise the Lord for the people who answer yes to God’s call upon their lives to intervene in our lives. We listen to the testimony of some of our fellow Christians and we see how they were removed out of a sinful lifestyle, sometimes just in the niche of times, and yet we look at the different news reports and we see the senseless loss of life. Were they all prepared for the judgment? Praise the Lord for the fact that we are Plucked out of a bad situation!
How about the time that we spend in those bad situations? It seems that we are almost overwhelmed to the point of despair. "I WILL NEVER FIND A WAY OUT!" This is often the cry from the lost soul, and so many seek suicide as the manner in which they will escape. We cannot get far enough away where the love and caring of our Lord cannot reach us. We raise our hands as far heavenward as we are able, and our Lord Jesus reaches the remainder of the way down and as a result, we are Delivered from overwhelming odds!