Summary: Freedom from the slavery of sin is possible. Why then do many Christians never seem to attain the freedom that Christ intended for them to have?
Iliff and Saltillo UM Churches
July 3, 2005
“Why Freedom is Possible”
INTRODUCTION: When we talk about freedom in our Christian life, we are referring to freedom from the slavery of sin--not freedom to live any old way we please. Today’s scripture was written mainly to Christians who were struggling with the pull of sin. Paul says in verse 15, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do.” We goes on to say, “It is not that I don’t want to do what is good, but I just can’t carry it out.”
1. Freedom Is Possible: How do we know that freedom from the slavery of sin is possible? There are several reasons.
People say, “I’ve tried everything and nothing works. Paul realized that knowledge didn’t work, trying to live up to the law didn’t work, self determination or turning over a new left didn’t work. He is saying, “I am at the end of my rope.” Do you ever feel this way?
He gets to the point of desperation when he cries out, “Oh, wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (verse 24). He does not say “what” will but rather “who” will rescue me.
He knows the answer because he quickly replied, “Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord” (v. 25). Jesus not only “can” but “does” rescue us.
Freedom is possible because of what Jesus did on the cross. Most of us don’t comprehend the power of the cross.
Colossians 2:14 says, “He forgave us all our sins having canceled the written code with its regulations that was against us and that stood opposed to us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross. Having disarmed the powers and authorities he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” What does that mean?
He gave us freedom from a long list of laws and regulations. The written code was a business term meaning a certificate of indebtedness in the debtor’s handwriting. This refers to the Mosaic Law and all of its regulations under which everyone is a debtor to God. He canceled the written code.
When we try to solve problems independently of the power of Christ and the enablement of the Spirit, it just doesn’t work. We can’t live up to rules and regulations. Jesus has conquered sin once and for all. Jesus has the better way to do things in spite of our wanting to figure out a better way for ourselves. He offers us a better covenant than we could ever come up with.
Story: The Fox Hunter
An old fox hunter had been extremely successful, but finally decided to retire and go south for the winter. Before he left for his first winter in a warmer climate, an energetic young man came to him and asked how to become as successful as the old hunter was. He offered to buy the old man’s shop, his hunting rights, and even his secrets for successfully hunting foxes. The old hunter agreed. He sold the young man all his goods and carefully told him all the secrets to his great hunting success.
When the old man returned in the spring, he looked for the young man and asked how his first season as a fox hunter had gone. Discouraged, the man admitted that he had not caught a single fox. The old man pressed further: had he followed the instructions given him?
“Well, no,” answered the young man. “I found a better way.”
He disarmed the evil powers and authorities triumphing over them leading them in a triumphal procession. A Roman general would declare evidence of complete victory by marching his captives through the streets of the city for all to see. Christ triumphed over the devil and all of his cohorts by what He accomplished for us on the cross.
Story: In a dream Martin Luther found himself being attacked by Satan. The devil unrolled a long scroll containing a list of Luther’s sins, and held it before him. On reaching the end of the scroll Luther asked the devil, “Is that all?”
“Oh, no,” came the reply and a second scroll was thrust in front of him. Then after the second came a third. But now the devil had no more.
“You’ve forgotten something,” Luther exclaimed triumphantly. “Quickly write on each of them, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ God’s son cleanses us from all sins.”
He not only forgives all of our sins but he also our advocate. He promises to fight for us--to speak up for us. He is like our lawyer. I John 2:1 says, “He is our advocate with the Father.” Our Mediator. The One who speaks up for us. Who speaks to God in our behalf.