Summary: This sermon discusses the freedom that comes with faith.

The Freedom of Christmas

Jude 1:24-25, Rom 3:26, John 19:30, Isa 43:18, Jude 1:20-21, John 8:36

August 15, 2004

I. I know that it is not Christmas time, but maybe it is time that we find the real meaning of Christmas. The real meaning of Christmas is THAT WE ARE FREE. And, after seeing some of the ways that Jesus is able we should be ready to live in freedom and joy.

A. But, there is one thing that tends to trip us up where that is concerned.

B. We trip over the fact that we trip. That makes sense right. Well really it does.

C. The memories of our previous failures haunt our minds.

1. If we could just get those past failures behind us. Or as Pumba says put our behind in our past.

2. Our previous failures are just one more reason that we feel that our lives are out of control.

3. And they are more proof that we need Jesus to be in control of our lives.

D. And again the bible tells us that He is able.

(Jude 1:24-25 NIV) To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy– to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

E. What Jude says sounds too good to be true, but if we pay attention to what the bible says we realize that it is too true to ignore.

F. Our stumbles in life keep us from being able to run the race of life with the joy that God intended.

1. As a matter of fact, they tend to make us stumble through life even more, or trip because we have been hurt, or walk cautiously because we are afraid to try to run again.

2. God has the power to deal with our past stumbles, but how does God do that?

II. Well, first lets talk about what stumbles are.

A. Most of us don’t flat out fall, we just trip and have to catch our balance again.

1. Our failures, the times that we refuse to live the grace that we have been given.

2. The times that we don’t be to others what we should.

3. They are our sins.

4. Our sins are the things that we think in our minds, or carry out in our actions, that we know that God has not approved of.

B. Some involve what we have said or done with other people.

1. Some are things that we know we should do but we have refused to do.

2. Some are reactions to what other people have done to us, or the way that we are continuing to react.

3. We’ve gotten mad or we have gotten even!

4. And sometimes it is just the natural obstacles in our lives that we have tripped over.

5. Like grumbling or getting unsettled when life doesn’t go the way we wanted.

6. Then we complain or blame God, or others when things don’t go our way.

7. And then there are those times that we just stumble over that fact that we have stumbled.

III. Broadcasters like radio and television news people understand this better than most of us.

A. If a broadcaster makes a mistake in what they say the odds that they are going to make another one get a lot higher.

B. They allow their minds to focus on the mistake they made and they loose concentration on what they should be dealing with.

C. So, they make another mistake, because they are focusing on the one that they made before.

D. Then they can get really tense and make more mistakes.

E. The secret is when they make a mistake they have to get past it and move on, because staying focused on the mistake will only bring on more mistakes.

F. Do you see where I am going with this?

1. When we stumble we have to put it behind us and go on because hanging on to the sins of the past will blur our focus on what we should be doing and make us more likely to sin again.

2. Trying to keep us focused on our past sin is just another ploy by satan to get us sidetracked and to try to get us to take control.

IV. When Jude says "He is able to keep us from falling" the word that He uses for falling means "to be sure footed".

A. It is meant to be a positive thing. Jesus is able to make us sure footed in life and that’s because he is our foundation in life.

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