FREEDOM IS NOT FREE Luke 4:17-21 On this day in 1776 a little group of 13 colonies boldly declared that they would, by the help of Almighty God, no longer live under the tyranny of the mightest nation on earth, England. God did help them (for how else could a handful of untrained soldiers have defeated England's armies?), and they became a free nation. That freedom came at a high cost. Many had to lay down their lives. In the 236 years that have followed, thousands and thousands have had to lay down their lives in order to maintain our freedom. From this we learn a stark reality, freedom is purchased with blood. Ultimately God gave the freedom and the resources for us to develop into the richest and mightest nation to ever inhabit the earth. For a while we looked to God as our only help and hope. Then Charles Darwin came along and said that man evolved from lower animals instead of being created by God, and the nation began to buy it. Dewey came along and said that the government should educate our children instead of the mothers and fathers and churches, and the nation sold out to government funded public schools. Then Mrs. Ohair came along and boldly declared that she did not believe in God and wanted the Bible and prayer thrown out of the government all together, especially the schools, and our nation condemned our children to darkness for, “The entrance of [God's Word] word giveth light.” Now our nation is no longer free. It labors heavily under the powerful bands of sin. She reels to and fro drunken on her own liquor and drugs while she slowly rots away inside from the cancer of immorality. God help us. We are sick at this hour, but because of our physical might and wealth we do not know it. The Lord Jesus came to give us true liberty and only as we obey Him can we enjoy any real freedom. As He began His earthly ministry He declared His purpose in coming. When He stopped and closed the book, all eyes were on Him. One reason all eyes were fastened on Him is because He stopped in the middle of a sentence and closed the book. Isaiah 61:1-3, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,” - - - “and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” He stopped where He did because that was the portion of the prophecy He came to fulfill at His first coming. The rest He will do when He comes the second time. He has come with the good news of salvation to all who will humble themselves and believe Him. There are many brokenhearted people who can have their hearts mended if they will but come to Him. Many are captives. They are in bondage and imprisoned in concentration camps of their own making. Though they may be free to roam about, they do not enjoy true liberty because of the sin they choose to live in. True liberty is available only in Jesus Christ, and this is the acceptable year of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” The Lord promised freedom or liberty. He said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” I. WHAT IS THE PRICE OF TRUE FREEDOM? A. It cost God is only begotten Son. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Galatians 4:4-7, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” B. It cost the Lord Jesus His precious life blood. 1 Peter 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” Colossians 2:14-16, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” This bought our freedom from the law that condemns us, so that we will never have to go to Hell. II. WHAT ARE THE LIMITATIONS OF TRUE FREEDOM? I have liberty but I do not have the right to hurt others with that liberty. I have the right to speak, but I have no right to cry, “Fire” in a crowded building when there is no fire. I have the right to listen to music in my home, but I do not have the right to play it so loudly that it disturbs my neighbors. I have the right to worship, but I do not have the right to force someone else to worship. My rights end where yours begin. It is only as we live by that rule that we can live together in any kind of peace. A. It is not a base of operation for sin. Galatians 5:13, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” I am free from the law. I am free from the condemnation of hell. Nothing I do can send me there, but I am a fool if I try to live in sin (Rom.6:16-23). B. It is not a covering for sin. 1 Peter 2:15-17, “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” 1 Corinthians 6:12, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” III. HOW CAN WE ENJOY TRUE FREEDOM? Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” A. Receive the gift of eternal life God is offering you. Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” B. Submit your life to Jesus Christ (I Cor. 6:12-20). 1. He purchased you with His own blood and has the right to control your life. Do not allow the lust of the flesh to control. Do not allow the lust of the eye to control. Do not allow the pride of life to control. Do not allow other people to control. Allow Jesus Christ to control. a. He is omniscient and all wise (no mistakes). Psalm 139:1-6, “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” b. He is omnipresent (no oversights). Psalm 139:7-12, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” c. He is omnipotent (no failure). Psalm 139:13-16, “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. d. He is love (no rejection). Psalm 139:17-18, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” e. He is absolutely holy (no wrongs). Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” 2. He makes the choice clear and simple. a. You can keep your life for yourself and waste it. b. You can yield your life to Jesus Christ and save it. (There are no other choices.) This I have learned, the more I submit to Jesus Christ the more I get to be my own boss. “Liberty means that I get to make me do what I am supposed to do instead of having someone else make me do what I am supposed to do.” We are to occupy ourselves with the great commission of winning people to Christ, baptizing them, and teaching them the Word of God so they can become useful servants of the Lord. If we busy ourselves doing what God has clearly commanded, then we will find that He is using us to improve our country and make it a better place to live.
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