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.
Instantly she recognized him—her worst tormentor in Ravensbrück. He fastened his eyes on her and said, “I too am a Christian now. God has forgiven me for what I did. Corrie, can you forgive me also?”
As she fought back a torrent of anger that welled up in her heart, suddenly she softened. She looked him in the eye and said, “Yes, I forgive you—just as Christ has forgiven me for all my sins.”
She knew that becoming a SPIRITUAL prisoner to bitterness would be worse than the PHYSICAL and EMOTIONAL bondage she had experienced in Ravensbrück.
Our text today proclaims SPIRITUAL freedom for the person who will come to Christ. Let’s look today at what makes us free.
The Bible tells us three things that make us free:
I. FIRST OF ALL, THE SCRIPTURES MAKE US FREE – John 8:32 – “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
The phrase, “The truth shall make You free,” is a well-known quotation used frequently in the secular media that few know is straight from the lips of Jesus in the Bible. This statement—“the truth shall make you free”—has always been true politically. Nazism and communism were two political systems at complete opposite ends of the political spectrum, yet they were both built upon lies, and therefore brought bondage and misery to untold hundreds of millions of people.
But more importantly, what Jesus said is also true SPIRITUALLY—“the truth shall make you free.” Anytime we think we have a better way than what the Word of God says, we submit to enslavement rather than freedom.