Summary: As the founders of America wanted life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, believers can find those spiritual riches and more in Christ.
Living in Freedom
America’s Churches Help Her People Be Great
French writer Alexis de Tocqueville, after visiting America in 1831, said, "I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests--and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning--and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution--and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!"
Alexis de Tocqueville - He was a political scientist, historian, and politician, best-known for "Democracy in America," 4 vol. (1835–40), a perceptive analysis of the political and social system of the United States in the early 19th century.
Society Declines When Personal Faith Falters
Edward Gibbon, author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, has attributed the fall of the Empire to:
1. The rapid increase of divorce; the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society. 2. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace. 3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal. 4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within, the decadence of the people. 5. The decay of religion--faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people.
Our founding fathers constructed a new nation where its people could seek Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness. Those things were signs they found freedom.
Our spiritual heritage passed down to us opens the door to spiritual life, liberty in Christ, and the pursuit of a life that is happy because it is blessed and filled by God.
A. Senses experience God’s world
1. Right to life
2. Right to live
B. Use God’s Spirit to experience God’s best
1. Choose life in Christ (1)
2. Choose to be a living sacrifice (14)
A. Free from bondage to the king
1. What to do
2. What to think
B. Free to serve the King of Kings
1. No more bondage to sin and death (19-21)
2. No more bondage to the sin-controlled mind (10)
III. Pursuit of Happiness
A. National happiness
1. Security within and without our borders
2. Promote good among our citizens
3. Punish evil as it arises
B. Personal happiness
1. Freedom of movement
2. Freedom to choose a vocation, a lifestyle
3. Leisure to enjoy the fruits of our labor
C. Spiritual happiness
1. Life in Christ; freedom indeed (22-24)
2. From grace and not law-keeping (3)
3. From meaningful impact and service (13)