Summary: We are sinners set free by the grace of Almighty God.
Text: “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” (Romans 6:22).
Story: “Bag of Candy”
A young boy was arrested and brought before the judge for taking a bag of candy from the shelf of a local store. The owner of the store pressed charges because he wanted the boy to learn a lesson.
After a lecture from the judge, the judge asked the young boy if he had anything to say before he passed sentence.
The boy sat very quietly with his head hung low and then slowly raised his head and focused his eyes on the eyes of the judge.
The boy said, very slowly, “Judge have you ever stolen anything?”
The room was very quiet and finally the judge said, “Case dismissed, you are set free.”
What does it mean to be “set free”?
If you are “set free” from something, indicates that you must have been imprisoned or enslaved, or incarcerated, or perhaps locked up. In other words, you were not at liberty to do what other people were permitted to do. You were held under the strict control of someone else.
Your freedom or liberty, or independence had been withdrawn. If you are in a cell at the Orange County Jail, you have lost your privilege of freedom. It is not possible for you to open the cell door and walk out the front door as do the corrections officers.
Most people will say they have never been confined in a cell of a jail; therefore, they have never had a need to be “set free”. Each one of us has many freedoms that are guaranteed by our national and local governments.
Our US Constitution guarantees us five freedoms. Do you know what those freedoms are? They are: freedom of religion; freedom of speech; freedom of the press; freedom to assemble; freedom to petition. These are listed in Amendment I of the Bill of Rights.
Many people in this country take their freedoms for granted. They fail to realize that abuse of their freedoms and rights can get them into deep trouble. For example, we have the freedom to purchase material items and call them our own, but we do not have the freedom to steal items from other people and call them our own. This will get us into trouble with the law.
Our children have the right and freedom to go to public or private school to obtain an education, but they must abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the school. They are not permitted to abuse other students and they are not allowed to cause a disturbance within the classroom. If they do cause problems, they are sent to the principal’s office and are reprimanded.
People who reach a certain age are eligible to obtain a driver license to drive a vehicle. This is a privilege that can be lost if the person does not obey the laws set forth by their state. They are not entitled to run people off the road, run through stop signs or red lights driving in a reckless manner. They are free to drive their vehicle providing they follow the laws. Abuse of the laws and injury to other people can lead to this driver being incarcerated or put in jail.
I am trying to tell you that we have freedoms, but abuse of those freedoms can cause us to be locked up in jail. Once that happens, we have lost our freedom. Once an individual loses freedom someone steps in, usually an attorney, to help that person regain their freedom.
Story: “Bought to be Freed”
A young girl was being sold at auction one day. She was a beautiful girl, tall and slender. The bidding was keen, and quickly mounted higher and higher until at last only two men were left bidding for her ownership: the one a low, uncouth foul-mouthed fellow who raised his bid every time to outbid the other, a quiet man of refinement.
Finally the bidding stopped, and to the gentleman who had bid so very earnestly were given the papers which made him the lawful owner of the young girl.
With a shove the auctioneer presented her to her new master. Proudly, defiantly, she stood before him, hating him with every part of her being.
Suddenly, a change came over her face: first there was a look of pure amazement closely followed by one of utter disbelief.
Her owner was ripping up the papers of ownership, and, with a smile of kindness said to the now trembling girl, “My dear, you are free. I bought you that I might free you. You are set free.”
Too stunned for speech, the girl merely stared till finally, with a cry of happiness too deep for words, she cast herself at the man’s feet, and through her tears exclaimed, “Oh, master, I’ll love you and serve you for life!”