Summary: A July 4th sermon that addresses three things the Bible says makes us free: The Scriptures, the Son and the Spirit.
What Makes Us Free?
July 4th Sunday Sermon
July 2, 2017
TEXT: We will examine three scriptures today, both in John 8.
John 8:32 – “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:36 – “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 – “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Illus. – Several years ago, my family and some visiting friends from the U.S. visited the Dachau concentration camp. It was tragic—in fact, horrific—to see the pictures of those pitiful convicts in bondage, deprived of their most basic freedoms.
But it occurred to me that the bondage of their persecutors was just as tragic in a way, for theirs was a SPIRITUAL bondage. They were in bondage to their own depraved natures, submitting themselves to acts of cruelty and savagery unparalleled in modern history in so-called civilized nations. And eventually they all went to their graves to face their Maker who will hold them accountable for their shameful deeds.
This Tuesday will be Independence Day in the United States. With all of America’s imperfections and contradictions, Independence Day still represents one thing that all people can celebrate: FREEDOM.
Freedom is one of the greatest blessings we have: Political freedom—from which flows freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association. Personal freedom—to attend the house of worship of my own choosing, or not to attend at all if I so choose; freedom to choose my own job or school or spouse.
But it’s possible to be POLITICALLY free and to have many PERSONAL freedoms, yet still be in a bondage greater than any political or personal bondage. – That is to be in bondage SPIRITUALLY, to be in bondage to our SIN—to be in bondage to our baser passions. Conversely, it’s also possible to lose all your political and personal freedoms, but be free in your spirit.
Illus. – One of the most moving stories I’ve ever read illustrating this is in The Hiding Place, the inspiriting autobiography of Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie grew up in Haarlem, Holland, and when the Nazis invaded Holland, her family got involved in smuggling Jews and others into the countryside and abroad. They were committed believers, and because they believed God loves Jews as much as any other people or group, they saved the lives of as many of them as they could.
Unfortunately, one day they were found out. The entire family was arrested and sent off to concentration camps. Corrie and her sister Betsy ended up in the Ravensbrück concentration camp.
Their suffering at the hands of the guards was indescribable. In the end, Corrie was the only one in her family who survived. But during the entire ordeal, she and Betsy were shining lights of God’s love and power in a dark place.
After the war, she committed herself to bringing reconciliation to war-torn Europe. Her message was that of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. But one day her message was sorely tested. After a church service in Germany in which she had told her story and spoken about forgiveness and reconciliation, a man walked up to her.