Summary: Jesus said " So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free." This sermon teaches on 9 freedoms that we have in Christ.
This month I have been talking about our rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. I have also made the comment that we are not truly independent but very much dependent on God, our potter. Today I want to discuss “liberty”.
We will begin by looking at the definition of “liberty”. The dictionary defines “liberty” as the condition of being free from restriction or control.
So the question is “How many of us have a life free from any restrictions or controls?” The basic laws of the land restrict our liberties. We can’t drive as fast as we want without penalty. We are controlled by our work place; what time to be there; what time to leave.
Last week I talked about listening to our shepherd’s voice. Read with me John 8:31-36; “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”
Here we read that Jesus says we have been set free from the control of sin. And we have been set free from the restriction of sin that has kept us from being a part of God’s family. But are we liberated to live our life in total freedom?
Even the Bible reminds us that we don’t have that freedom to live as we want. Paul refers to himself as a slave 3 times, as does Timothy, James, Peter, and Jude. We are told in 2 peter 2:19 “For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves. Romans 6:18 says we
“have become slaves to righteous living.” Eph 6:6 states we are “slaves of Christ.”
How is it possible for us to be both slaves and free? Read with me Exodus 21:2, 5-6 “If you buy a Hebrew slave, he may serve for no more than six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. But the slave may declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I don’t want to go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door or doorpost and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will serve his master for life.”
We can say with David “I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” (Psalm 119:45)
What are some of these freedoms?
1) Freedom from the law. --- Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. And what was their purpose?
Paul wrote “God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were.” (Romans 5:20a) Then he went on to write “For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.” (Romans 10:4) So we no longer need the law to make us right with God. We simply need to believe in Jesus. Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
2) Freedom from traditions. --- Mark 7:6-8
Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”
Let’s look at baptism as an example. What does Jesus say? “Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16) There are a lot of folks that point to this scripture to say no baptism means any salvation. But what Jesus said was “But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.” Paul wrote
“if you confess with your mouth and believe with your heart, you will be saved” No writer of the Epistles made it a commandment of the early church, although it is evident it was an expected and accepted practice. But we can have such strong traditions, like its King James or nothing. You must be at church every time the doors are opened. You must tithe or God can’t bless you. You must read your Bible everyday or you will never hear from God. While all these things are important none should be done from compulsion but rather from a desire. There are no set-in-stone rituals that would hinder the movement of the Holy Spirit and distract from the call of the church.