Summary: Freedom is not free
INDEPENDENCE DAY - THE PRICE OF FREEDOM
Text: Romans 8:18-23; Gal 5:13-16
1. Tell the story behind the quote:
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me give me liberty or give me death!"
2. These immortal words of Patrick Henry uttered over 200 years ago reflect the heart of many Americans.
3. Throughout history men have wanted to be free.
4. FOR FREEDOM: men have toppled empires, uprooted civilizations, changed the geography of the earth, migrated across the face of the globe, and given their lives.
5. FOR FREEDOM: men have lived in caves, trekked across fast expanses of wilderness; they have hewn out new nations in the darkest unexplored corners of the earth.
6. FOR FREEDOM: Families have been separated, ties have been broken, and the blood of thousands of men women and children has mingled together in the dust of the earth to run like a river coursing through the pages of history.
7. What is this thing called freedom for which so many have striven so hard?
8. DEFINED: it is being not subject to any restraint that keeps one from deciding his own destiny.
I. The Bible contains one of the earliest examples of man's quest for freedom
Exodus 1:13-14 13 So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves 14 and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.
Exodus 2:23-24 23 During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
A. In the process of time any people who are not free become tired of bondage and become engrossed with the insatiable desire for freedom.
B. The Israelites turned to the right source. GOD!
C. God through Moses emancipated the people but NOT WITHOUT COST.
D. In order to be freed from the Egyptians' bondage and enter the land of Milk and honey they had to pay the price of obeying God given instructions.
FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE.
Exodus 9:1 1 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, "Let my people go, that they may serve me.
E. They were to:
1. keep his commandments,
2. follow his leaders,
3. and drive the heathen out of the land.
F. Even when God delivered the Israelites, he taught them that freedom is not free.
Exodus 13:17-18 17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, "Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt." 18 But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle.
G. God knows the best way for those who are free to remain free.
H. Free men who do not follow God are headed back into bondage.
I. After all these people had done. They became faithless and all fell in the wilderness.
J. It was up to their children to remain free by serving the living God.
K. That generation crossed the Jordon, brought down the walls of Jericho and conquered the land God had promised to their fathers.
L. The example of the Judges.
II. In the book of judges.
A. Seven times the people left God and were enslaved by the nations round about them until they cried out to God for deliverance.
III. Another quest for freedom by the oppressed is that of colonial Americans some 200 years ago.
A. Our fathers came to America because of economic, social, and religious oppression.
B. Motivated by the writings of John Locke and Jean Jaques Rouseau they set sail for freedom.
C. But they were still not free from Europe.
D. Thomas Paine's pamphlet "Common Sense" helped move the colonies toward freedom.
E. His later publication "The Crisis" contains these words,
"Tyranny, like Hell is not easily conquered; yet we have this confirmation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. WHAT WE OBTAIN TOO CHEAP, WE ESTEEM TOO LIGHTLY; Tis dear-ness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price on its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.