Summary: This is a sermon that shows that Freedom without God is freedom short lived.
Freedom in Christ Sermon Series Part 2
Removing the Yoke
Galatians 5:13-26 (NIV)
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature. Rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, live by the Spirit and you will NOT gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit your are not under the law.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is (let’s say these together) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step wit the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
This is the Word of God for the people of God and the entire World. Thanks be to God. Hallelujah. Amen!
Let us pray.
May the words of my mouth bring you praise. May the words that I speak be seasoned with your love and grace. May the things O, Lord that I choose to say bring glory not shame to your name today. Let the words of my mouth bring you praise. Let them bring you praise. Father God, hide me behind the cross. Remove me from the equation all together. Let my words be your words. In the name of the Christ I pray, Amen.
Before we move on any further, I would like to share something with you that I feel is so relevant to the message for today.
I listen to audio Bible CDs from the Bible paraphrase called The Message. This is the Bible written in everyday conversational English. I feel that I need this version of the Bible because I have not gone to seminar yet, and it gives me a concise understanding of the Bible that allows for me to have and want a deeper relationship with Father and other believers.
I want to read portions of the introduction that the author wrote on Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
The author says:
Religion is used to control the actions of people. When people get tired of the tyranny, they leave the church. Upon leaving, they feel released from God and experience a freedom that is short lived. God is not an impersonal force to make people behave, but a Savior to set us free. He does not coerce us from the outside, but rather sets us free from within.
But often times we are forced to follow religious rules that force us back into the ways of the Old Covenant. When we give into this we forfeit our freedom.
Freedom through Christ is a precious gift that is easily perverted and often squandered.
We have been talking about freedom in Christ. We know that we have been set free through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why? Because he is appointed a High Priest for God in the order of Melchizedek, we can acquire positions of entitlement by accepting our places in the family of God.
But something that we all realize that getting to the point to where we are able to accept our positions of entitlement become a struggle, not because we have anything to do for it, but it is because our sinful nature. Our sinful nature is what keeps us yoked to sin and the ways of the world.
So we have to examine ourselves and scripture so that we can actively and sincerely make an effort in practicing Works of Piety. According to John Wesley these things are:
5. bible study
6. Christian fellowship (small group studies)
These actions strengthen our walk with God and give us the ability to yield not to temptation. This alleviates and delivers us from situations that keep us enslaved to ways of the world.
We need to remove the yoke! (Repeat)
What hinders us from accepting our positions of entitlement? Ha! The answer is easy! We hinder ourselves. Why, because we want our cake and eat it too.