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Summary: Jesus said that we can be set free from sin...given the power to overcome our weaknesses through Christ. And some day, in God's plan and by His grace, we'll be given an eternal victory over sin in heaven. And that's Freedom! Anything else is a poor i

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WHAT IS FREEDOM?

JOHN 8:31 32

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Sam is an 18 year old girl from the novel In Country. Her father was killed in Vietnam, and she is struggling to learn more about him...and what the war was like.

She lives with her uncle (her mother's brother) who is also a Vietnam vet...who lets her do pretty much as she pleases. Sam smokes marijuana occasionally...is sexually active...eats junk food most of the time...and stays out all night if she feels like it.

Maybe my feelings about her character reflect my age...but it seems to me that she is ruining her life. Yet I'll bet the average 18 year old would think Sam is in the best of all worlds because she is free... free to make her own rules and decisions with no parents interfering.

Is she really free? WHAT IS FREEDOM? That's what this passage is all about. This whole chapter is interesting as we see the progression of events that take place. In the first 11 verses we have the story of the woman caught in adultery...

And after a very profound statement, all the men slink away with their tails between their legs. The next time Jesus spoke to the people the Pharisees were there challenging Him. They weren't about to let themselves be shown up and put in their place like had just happened, at least attempting to redeem themselves in the eyes of the people.

But once again Jesus spoke to them and in the process many put their faith in Him. Jesus now turns to those who believed Him and yet were somehow convinced that they were free...and in fact had never been in bondage to any man.

Their pride blinded them to the facts. They were in bondage to the Egyptians in the time of Moses...they were taken captive by the Babylonians...even now they were under subjection to the Romans. But Jesus tells of a kind of slavery that is far worse than any physical captivity.

Jesus shows them three things that I want to show you about freedom... the source of freedom...a symptom of freedom..and a sequel to freedom.

„ªFirst of all the source„«...Where does freedom come from? Jesus says that it comes from knowing the truth. But that does me little good because it goes from one word that is difficult to interpret to another that is probable even harder to define.

Pilate, at Jesus' trial asked the question "What is truth?" But the Scriptures never give the answer that Jesus gave...if in fact He responded to Pilate. And the world asks the same question today.

We have so much information thrown at us every day it's mind boggling. And much of it is designed to sell something. Manufacturers want to sell their products...politicians want to sell themselves...T.V. shows want to sell time...and how do we know what is true among all this?

It's amazing how much of what we see and hear that we actually somehow believe. I may have told you already of my favorite commercial on T.V. but it bears repeating...

Girl w/ cover girl face...Scientific America...hair looked like it washed up on a beach...teeth looked crooked and dull...complexion in rough shape...Why don't the boys like me? Friend...need this certain deodorant...

Silly...yet each of us, at least at times, so much want to believe that some of these things could be true for us that we fall for it. Whether it is some product or key to fast financial success or whatever. It's hard to determine what is really true any more.

There have been two theories down through the ages that have been more important than all the rest. The first one says that truth is an absolute standard up in heaven somewhere, but things down here can never quite reach that standard.

Up in heaven somewhere is the perfect flower, the perfect tree, the perfect man or woman. We can see them in our mind...but with our physical eyes there is nothing that ever measures up to that perfection.

The second theory says that truth is what we see with our eyes and touch with our hands. This is the truth theory behind science. If you can do it in a laboratory, it's true. And I have to say that this is the theory that is striking our country and the world.

Well, the problem with the first theory is that it is always entirely abstract...or it exists only in the mind. Truth is always beyond our reach...it is something we can never really see or experience.

The problem with the second theory, the truth theory of science, is that truth changes. It used to be "true" that the sun revolved around the earth...but later it was disproved.

It used to be true that the smallest particles of matter were called atoms...now we know that inside the nucleus of an atom there are different kinds of particles, most of them not made of matter at all.

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