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Summary: A reformation sermon encouraging people to grab hold of what is essential for freedom!

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, “Very truly I tell you, 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.

Do you like invitations or special offers?

In today’s Gospel reading Jesus offers us a wonderful invitation, a great special offer

Listen again to verse 31

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.”

Are you free?

Would you like to be free with Jesus?

Before we explore this further, there is something we need to get rid of out of our system when it comes to freedom.

Freedom from God does not mean we can do what we want.

Nelson Mandella, said once in explaining this to others

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Jesus also encourages us in another section of scripture to Love the Lord and Love others as we love ourselves.

When God speaks of freedom, it is not about doing what you like.

One of God’s main purposes that we see constantly through out scripture is about setting people free from oppression, the things in life that are detrimental to them.

If we open up the book of Exodus we see God freeing the people from Egypt.

However this did not mean that they chaotically ran into the desert in all directions and did what they wanted.

However to be free they needed to listen to Moses,

because through Moses God spoke.

Through Moses’ leadership God would lead them to a better life, a better place.

Freedom is about grabbing hold of what is helpful for the long term,

and not being bound or tied to what is not.

If I was to look at the way you spend your time, would I see that you have accepted the invitation, the special offer from Jesus, for freedom?

Who are you listening to?

So this morning I want us to focus on what is important to live this life of freedom.

What are some of the essentials for freedom?

Let’s begin by listening to Romans 3 verse 22

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

The first essential thing in our life for freedom is Jesus.

You might say daa, that is obvious.

But it is important to remember and to keep on remembering.

Because not everyone sees it that way.

We live amongst people who don’t see Jesus as essential for freedom.

And these people can influence us with their ideas and thoughts.

So our life can become so cluttered not just with things,

but events and ideas that rather than lead us to freedom, actually prevent us from experiencing freedom.

For us to experience this freedom Jesus needs to be a priority in our lives in all situations.

Without Jesus, we have no hope of eternal life.

Our long term future is simply not possible.

Our relationship with God is simply not possible without Jesus.

This week as you live, ask yourself, where does Jesus rank?

Is he number one, or am I letting other things, other ideas dominate?

If Jesus is essential for freedom, then today’s gospel reading also reveals something else that is essential.

Listen again to verse 31,

Jesus says, “If you hold onto my teaching you are truly my disciples”.

Holding onto Jesus teaching is crucial for freedom.

Why is this important?

How we live our lives is influenced by what we learn.

You may have seen the adverts on television of a young child doing something wrong, which show that they have picked this up from their parents.

Remember that advert of a young girl swearing as she got in the car only to be told off by her mother.

Then as her mother goes to drive off, she is cut off by another driver, then expletives come out of her mouth.

We learn from those around us.

This means we need to be regularly studying Jesus, so we know what true freedom is about.

Now the experts say we learn in at least three ways.

By what we hear, by what see and by what we do!!

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