Summary: THIS MESSAGE WAS A 4TH OF JULY SERMON DEALING WITH FREEDOM AND TRUTH.
HFL ARLINGTON PLACE
JULY 3, 2009
31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
As you know, tomorrow we celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence that was signed on July 4th, 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
56 men from 15 states laid down their lives, their fortunes, their homes, their honor and the welfare of their own families for a cause – the grand cause of Freedom from tyranny.
Thus began the long struggle with King George III of England and the mightiest army and navy in the world. A struggle ensued to Free America from the clutches of a greedy King and taskmaster that exacted a heavy toll upon the citizens of the colonies of the new world.
WHY WOULD THESE MEN TAKE THIS STEP? IT MEANT DEATH TO MANY OF THEM. IT MEANT LOSING ALL THEIR WORLDLY GOODS. WHAT MOTIVATES ANYONE TO TAKE THIS COURSE OF ACTION?
PATRICK HENRY SAID, “GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH.”
George Washington said, “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves... The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army, our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most object submission... We have therefore to conquer or die."
NATHAN HALE SAID, “I REGRET THAT I HAVE ONLY LIFE TO GIVE FOR MY COUNTRY.”
THE FOUNDING FATHERS OF OUR COUNTRY PUT THIS MUCH IMPORTANCE ON OUR FREEDOM, THEY WERE WILLING TO DIE TO GAIN IT.
OUR NATION HAS BEEN AT WAR MANY TIMES, AND MUCH BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED TO CONTINUE TO PAY THIS PRICE. FREEDOMS PRICE IS SACRIFICE.
WE VALUE THIS FREEDOM SO HIGHLY, AND YET MANY TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. AND WHILE I TOO, PLACE A GREAT VALUE ON THE FREEDOM THAT LIVING IN THIS GREAT COUNTRY AFFORDS, JESUS SPEAKS OF A FREEDOM THAT IS OF EVEN GREATER VALUE.
OUR FOUNDING FATHERS SPOKE OF TYRANNY BY ANOTHER NATION, AND SLAVERY TO THAT NATION. JESUS TALKS ABOUT AN EVEN GREATER TYRANT, SATAN, AND EVEN GREATER SLAVERY- SIN. IT IS RELEASE FROM THIS TYRANT AND THE SLAVERY OF SIN THAT COUNTS FOR ETERNITY.
SET THE SCENE. JESUS HAS BEEN TEACHING NEAR THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM. THIS ACTUALLY BEGINS IN CH.8; 12.
HE SAID TO THEM, “I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. WHOEVER FOLLOWS ME WILL NEVER WALK IN DARKNESS, BUT WILL HAVE THE LIGHT OF LIFE.” THIS IS A RADICAL STATEMENT. WHAT HE IS SAYING IS, IF YOU FOLLOW ME, YOU WILL WALK IN LIGHT, (LIFE) BUT IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW ME, YOU WILL NOT WALK IN LIGHT, BUT RATHER IN DARKNESS AND DEATH. THIS IS AN EITHER OR, FOLLOW ME AND LIVE OR DON’T AND DIE.
THE PHARISEES DON’T LIKE WHAT JESUS IS SAYING, AND THEY
CHALLENGE HIM. WHO IS YOUR WITNESS? JESUS ANSWERS THEM,
“I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”
27They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.
MANY BELIEVED WHEN JESUS BEGAN TO TEACH. THEY ACCEPTED HIS TEACHING AS TRUTH. HIS WORDS BROUGHT LIFE. AND TO THIS GROUP, WHO HAD COME TO BELIEVE IN HIM, JESUS SPOKE.
IF, THIS MAKES THIS CONDITIONAL. THERE IS A CONDITIONAL PROMISE TO BE FOUND HERE. REWARD FOLLOWS OBEDIENCE. IF, YOU HOLD TO, OR CONTINUE IN, OR YOU KEEP ON DOING. THIS IS AN ONGOING, NEVER ENDING PROCESS. YOU CANT SAY/THINK, WAY BACK WHEN I ACCEPTED JESUS, AND I AM OK. GROWTH IS REQUIRED. MATURITY IS REQUIRED. WE DON’T EXPECT BABIES TO REMAIN BABIES, AND WE SHOULDN’T EXPECT BABES IN CHRIST TO STAY THAT WAY. JESUS IS SAYING, YOU BELIEVE IN ME TODAY, NOW KEEP ON BELIEVING, KEEP ON TRUSTING, KEEP ON OBEYING.
AND IF YOU DO, IF YOU REMAIN, YOU REALLY ARE MY DISCIPLES, MY FOLLOWERS. AND AS A RESULT OF CONTINUING, YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH. JESUS SAYS, I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. HE IS THE ONLY WAY, THERE IS NO OTHER. HE IS THE ONLY TRUTH. JESUS IS SAYING, IF YOU COME TO BELIEVE IN HIM, AND CONTINUE IN THAT BELIEVING, YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF HIM- TRUTH WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE. AS YOUR KNOWING HIM INCREASES, SO WILL YOUR WALK. THE CLOSER WE WALK TO HIM, THE FURTHER FROM SIN WE MOVE.