Summary: Discipleship in Jesus Christ sets us free.
John 19:16-18, 28-30
Discussion of Freedom
1. Freedom in reference to 1776
On July 4th, 1776 the founding fathers of this nation gathered together and prepared a document that would forever change the course of history. This document was a letter to King George of England declaring that the colonies were to be free and independent from the rule of England. This is the occasion that we celebrate today, because it was in essence the birthday of our nation.
2. Forms of freedom social, economic, political
The coming revolution fought for three specific freedoms or liberties, social freedom which includes religious freedom, economic freedom, and political freedom.
3. Current view of Freedom
Over the past 228 years the words freedom and independence have saturated every aspect of our culture, and tradition. Many of the issues that face our society today are debated in regards to individual freedom and liberty. Freedom has become the mantra of our nation and our culture, not freedom the way it was originally intended but instead an individual’s freedom to do just as he chooses as long as that doesn’t infringe on someone else’s freedom to do just as she desires.
In our quest for freedom we have become enslaved to our own sinful desires and ambitions. We have become trapped thinking that if we could just do things the way that we want to then we would be satisfied and complete, and with every step we realize that we still are not happy or satisfied.
When people tells us that we shouldn’t be doing the things that we want to do then we call them hateful, intolerant, and unloving. We have managed to set our selves free to become slaves to our own sins.
1. From Sin and from the Law that condemns.
The freedom to do what we want when we want is a juvenile dream, and it is a decoy that takes our eyes off real freedom. Real freedom only comes when we understand that we have sinned and are incapable of being righteous on our own. Real freedom comes when we accept that we must be covered by the forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers. Real freedom surrounds us when we place our faith in Jesus and repent from our sins.
2. Self Imprisonment
It is a shame that there are so many people out there and maybe even some in here that don’t realize that they are in a prison of their own making. Through our sin we build walls around us, and through our deviation from God we place bars in our lives. It is a shame that so many are living in these prisons, but what is worse is that we are each being handed the key to our own freedom, and we continually reject it.
Saying things like; the Bible is old fashioned, or the Bible is no longer valid, or when we view scripture through our culture and change God’s word to fit our own wants, we turn from the key and choose to remain in the prison of our own making.
3. One can be spiritually free in any situation.
In our secular society we believe that we are only free when we can do whatever we want, but that freedom is extremely limited. Jesus Christ offers us real freedom that
exists no matter what our given situation. Many times throughout scripture we find that the apostles were imprisoned in one country or another, but time and time again they continually praised God who had made them free through Jesus Christ.
We are taught that even a slave can be free though the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross. So even in the most horrible and troubling situations that we can imagine for ourselves we can be free. Jesus is truly offering a freedom without limits, a freedom that is not dependant upon our happiness, a freedom that surpasses anything that we could imagine for ourselves.
But this is only the beginning.
1. God turns things on their heads
As always God decides to work contrary to the way the world works. We can receive real freedom through salvation in Jesus Christ, but we cannot receive Total Freedom until we surrender our will back over to God.
We become totally free when we turn our freedom over to God, and choose to follow his will for our lives. Even if we disagree with God we must relent and follow his will instead of our own. When we can surrender all our freedom to God then and only then will we be totally free.
A person who places their faith in Jesus Christ is a believer and will be saved.
But, a person who places their faith in Jesus Christ and surrenders their will to Him becomes a disciple of Christ, and that is what the Great Commission teaches us to make.