Summary: Discovering that Christ has set us free from guilt, death and the fear of accusation

Independence Day

Scripture: John 8:34-36, Romans 8:2

Theme: It is only in Christ Jesus that we find true freedom

Seed: Song “Independence Day” by White Heart & an old sermon I wrote 10 years ago

Purpose: Help believers to recognize the freedom they have in Christ and motivate seekers to

accept Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives.

Two days ago, on the 4th of July we celebrated our nation’s 227th birthday. It was a little over two and a quarter centuries ago that the United States was born. A nation based on the ideals of liberty, responsibility, Godliness, and the freedom to become what God intended us to become was a new and revolutionary idea.

The celebration of our nation’s birthday is really a celebration of freedom. We celebrate the precious gift of freedom we have because of the price others paid. You see, we must remember that freedom isn’t free. Freedom is very expensive. It has cost some people everything, including their lives. Freedom isn’t free, but it is infinitely valuable.

The ideal of freedom is an ideal that our founding father’s believed valuable enough to risk everything on. They risked their fortunes, their families, their reputations, and their honor. They risked their very lives and many of them paid for our freedom with their blood and the blood of their children.

Today as we worship in security and comfort, we do so because thousands of young men have given their lives and shed their blood on foreign soil. They died in forsaken places with names not remembered so that we could experience the joy and responsibility of freedom. In fact, in the past couple of weeks several young Americans have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can taste the fruit of freedom that springs from the tree of liberty. In a letter to William Smith dated November 13, 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants” No, freedom is not free. The price is always paid in blood.

The blood spilled by young American men in the past few weeks and months is not the first time blood was spilled for freedom. The blood spilled on battlefields called Concord and Charleston and York Town was not the first time blood was spilled for freedom. No, 2,000 years ago a young man’s blood spilled upon the ground so that we could all experience freedom.

Jesus came in order to bring us freedom from a host of human maladies. As Christians, we believe that Jesus is the Son of God. In John 8:34-36 Jesus says

34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:34-36

Later, the Apostle Paul wrote these words regarding the work of Jesus in setting us free

The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death

Romans 8:2

This week we have been celebrating our independence from tyranny and bondage to an oppressive government, an independence won over 200 years ago. We celebrate an independence, as a nation, that is temporary. A day will come when we no longer enjoy the freedoms we have. Nonetheless, we celebrate our independence. But should we not, daily, celebrate our independence from the tyranny and bondage of guilt, sin, fear, and death; an independence won over 2,000 years ago? Should we not celebrate and discover the depths of an independence that will last for all of eternity?

If you want to be truly free, free from all that has tied your life down and buried you under a mountainous weight of fear and guilt, then this message is for you.

Today we’ll explore just three of the ways that Jesus sets us free if we will only have the faith to believe him and believe in him.

Freedom from Guilt

our past can’t haunt us

Have you been dragging your past around? You know what I mean. You’ve done things in the past that have hurt others and have hurt you. You’ve failed miserably in the past. You’ve failed at marriage. You’ve failed at parenting. You’ve failed financially because of your own irresponsibility. You’ve failed at religion – it’s just too hard to keep all those rules. You’ve failed and failed and failed and the guilt of your failures and poor choices is dragging around behind you, keeping you from soaring. Your past sins are an anchor that keep you earthbound when your heart longs to be more, to reach to the sky.

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