4th of July
Text: Galatians 5:1-6 (HCSB)
“Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave and strong.” Corinthians 16:13 (HCSB)
Intro: Freedom - Greek Word: el-yoo-ther-o’-o
APPLICATION: Receive the liberation, stay alert and use the power of Love!
1. Christ Liberates: “He has made us free”
Over and Over throughout history the battle has been fought for the purpose of freedom, liberty and justice… Every great cause had a reason for doing what they thought was right.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS RIGHT! What do you think the world thinks is right?
Our imprisonment has been a major theme in Paul’s letter to the Galatians: “The Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin”. “We were held prisoners by the law, locked up”. “We were in slavery under the basic principles of the world”. So there is no doubt about the nature of our slavery. We were condemned prisoners under the judgment of the law of God, doomed to live under the severe restrictions of the law but with no hope of earning our freedom by our obedience to the law, since all the law could do was to point out our transgressions.
What God has done gives us the opportunity and power to do what we must do. God’s gift of freedom must be defended; God’s gift of freedom must not be abused but must be used to serve; God’s gift of life by the Spirit must be expressed through the Spirit. Throughout history there were those who had the opportunity and power to do what needed to be done to give us freedom!
Often this fight for freedom was against an enemy that was bigger and stronger but as in the case of David and Goliath victory was one through the one who trusted in God and had F.A.I.T.H (Forsaken All I Trust Him)
Freedom is ours because of the accomplishment of Christ: Christ has set us free! Paul does not appeal to his readers to fight to be free. Our Christian freedom is not the result of our long march. We have not liberated ourselves by our efforts. We are not able to do so. But now that freedom has been given to us by Christ, that freedom is our goal and our responsibility.
Imagine a prisoner who is suddenly surprised to find out that he has been pardoned and set free. He did nothing to accomplish this. He was not even aware that it had happened. But there he stands outside the prison walls, a free man. Now it is his responsibility to live as a free man.
True spiritual freedom requires integrity on the part of the Christian.
2. Christ Warns: “be not entangled”
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)
There is a warning to continue to fight for true Christianity. If we listen carefully to Paul’s argument, we will find that he is defending the freedom of his readers from the coercive tactics of those who were forcing them to conform to a particular religious tradition. What we really find here is the basis for preserving true religious freedom. In Paul’s day circumcision was the mark of belonging to the Jewish nation and also receiving God’s favor. The argument here was faith in Christ wasn’t enough for God’s approval.
If you start to trust in circumcision to gain God’s blessing, then you have stopped trusting in Christ. If you do not trust in Christ, then Christ is of no value to you. When you put your trust in your own position or performance for God’s blessing, you are indicating that who you are and what you have done has more value that who Christ is and what he has done. You have turned your back on Christ.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NASV
3. Christ Loves: “what matters is faith working through love.”
Stand Firm! “Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave and strong.” Corinthians 16:13 (HCSB)
Stand: Greek Word Pronunciation: stay’-ko
Faith in Christ is the only way to protect our freedom in Christ.
- Life of faith is life by the Spirit.
- Life of faith is a life of confident expectation of righteousness: By depending on the Spirit, we can expect to reap the harvest of eternal life in the future.
- Life of faith what matters is union with Christ, not union with anything else.
- Life of faith is a life of loving one another.
These four concise descriptions of the life of faith enable us to see how faith in Christ is the only way to maintain our freedom in Christ.
Thank God! We have had Patriots that were strong and brave and died if needed to acquire the freedom we now have!
Conclusion: Freedom is yoked to learning how to live. Freedom is Living Free in Christ.
“You are not slaves; you are free. But your freedom is not an excuse to do evil. You are free to live as God's slaves.” 1 Peter 2:16 NLT
The cry for freedom goes beyond 200 years … it goes back some 2000 years when on the cross Jesus Christ cried, “It is finished.” The price for man’s freedom from sin and restoration to God was paid in full. You are free!
What would it be like if we let Jesus live thru us. What if we could see ourselves thru another pair of eyes?
Receive the liberation, stay alert and use the power of Love!
In : Sermon
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