Summary: Thank God for the: 1. Strength of Christian freedom (vs. 21-23 & 35-36). 2. Safety of Christian freedom (vs. 24). 3. Security of Christian freedom (vs. 25-29). 4. Sacrifice of Christian freedom (vs. 28). 5. Source of Christian freedom (vs. 30-36).
Thank God for Freedom!
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Updated for July 3, 2011
(Originally preached at McClendon Baptist Church - July 5, 2009)
*On July 4th, 1776, 235 years ago, the Declaration of Independence stated: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
*235 years later, God has blessed us to live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. By God’s grace and the sacrificial courage of our soldiers, we have liberated hundreds of millions of people around the world. We have also built more hospitals, sent more money for the poor and sent more missionaries than any other country.
*We still have the greatest freedom in the world. We can pretty much go where we want to go and do what we want to do. And we’ve got more “stuff” than just about anyone else.
*But in the land of the free, it’s safe to say that well over 100 million people are not really free, because they don’t know Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can truly set them free. Christians, thank God for the freedom we have in Jesus Christ!
1. Thank first God for the strength of Christian freedom.
*God’s freedom is Heaven sent and Heaven bound. The Lord reminded us of this great truth in vs. 21-23:
21. Then Jesus said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.’’
22. So the (unbelieving Jewish leaders) said, "Will He kill Himself, because He says, `Where I go you cannot come’?’’
23. And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.”
*Jesus came into this world from His home in Heaven. After He rose from the dead that is where He returned. So the freedom He gives is Heaven sent and Heaven bound. This makes Christ’s freedom unique. The world can’t give it and the world can’t take it away.
*In vs. 35&36, Jesus said:
35. “A slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
36. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
*This means Christ’s freedom is ever present and everlasting! It is both eternal and internal.
-I can be trapped in a paralyzed body for 40 years like Joni Eareckson Tada, and still be free in Christ.
-I can be locked up in chains and thrown in the deepest dungeon, but have the Heaven-sent, Heaven-bound freedom of Jesus Christ.
*Thank first God for the strength of Christian freedom!
2. And thank God for the safety of Christian freedom.
*God’s freedom delivers us from the greatest danger. Jesus showed us this danger in vs. 24 where He gave this warning to those unbelieving Jews: “I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
*Die in your sins: That is the worst way to die, cut-off from God’s mercy in a place called hell, suffering forever with no hope of escape.
*What good does it do to live in this great, free country, if you only wind up in hell? -- And that is where you will surely wind up, if you don’t trust Jesus as Savior and Lord. You will die in your sins, if you do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah who died for you and rose again from the dead.
*Francis Newport lived in England from 1620 to 1708. He was a soldier and politician who served in many offices, including Parliament. He was part of English nobility with the title, First Earl of Bradford.
*Newport was also well-known as an atheist. He even served as the head of an English club for infidels. But on his deathbed, Sir Francis Newport said, “You need not tell me there is no hell, for I already feel my soul slipping into its fires! Wretches, cease your idle talk about there being hope for me! I know I am lost forever.”
*He also wailed in anguish, “Oh, that I could lie for a thousand years upon the fire that is never quenched, to purchase the favor of God and be united to Him again. But it is a fruitless wish. Millions and millions of years will bring me no nearer the end of my torments than one poor hour. Oh, eternity, eternity forever and forever! Oh, the insufferable pangs of Hell!” (1)
*This is the greatest danger you will ever face. But we don’t have to die in our sins. If you put your trust in Jesus Christ He will surely save you. Jesus will deliver you from the greatest danger!