Sunday, July 5, 2015

Free Indeed

Temple Baptist Church - 7-5-2015
John 8:30-36

A.  Another 4th of July or “Independence Day” as come and gone.  Another birthday of this great nation has been added to the number which now stands at 239.  In light of other nations, America is still in its infancy.  Many nations are thousands of years old today.
B.  America has been tagged as “Land of the Free!”  At the entrance of New York Harbor stands a Lady called the Statue of Liberty.  Cradled in her left hand is a tablet with an inscription containing the date of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 in Roman numerals.  It stands for the freedom of our great nation.
C.  In 1883, Emma Lazarus wrote a poem called “The New Colossus.”  The first two lines of her poem refer to the Colossus of Rhodes, a statue of the Greek god Helios, which stood in the city of Rhodes in Greece. This statue, which was about 107 feet tall, was one of the tallest statues in the ancient world, and was therefore considered one of its seven wonders. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC.  At 151 feet tall, the Statue of Liberty is more colossal than the Colossus of Rhodes and stands not for conquering power as he did, but for welcome and hope. She tells ancient Greece to keep her “storied pomp” and give her instead, the tired, poor and homeless.
D.  “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame, "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
E.  What makes our nation great:
1.  The Principles Upon Which It Was Founded – Liberty and justice for all.  Men who could never be free left their homes and families that they might find freedom and liberty on foreign soil.  They bought and paid for our liberty through their foresight and sacrifice.  These freedoms our Constitution upholds today.  We have liberty to worship; liberty of speech; liberty to travel; liberty to personally excel in life; liberty to be all that we can be.  We are free, praise the Lord, we are free!  “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty!”  Never let anyone take our freedom from us or our children.
2.  The Values That Our Forefathers Bore – They were honest and principled.  They were men of integrity and their word was their bond.  Their values were Bible based, even those who were not saved.  We call it “Old School” but its precepts are anchored deeply in biblical principles.  They were honest and hardworking with no time for deadbeats.    They had character instead of being characters.  They loved their families, their church, and their nation.  They were Americans!
3.  The Courage Of Our Military To Die And Our People To Sacrifice – “Give me liberty or give me death” has been the motto of every American fighting man in all wars.  I gave some statistics of those who died but could not count the countless millions who have served in all branches of the military.  They lay behind the bodies of their dead brothers while the bullets whizzed past their heads and returned fire.  They still join up; they still fight; and they still die.  Their crosses are around the world from Normandy to the South Pacific to North Africa to Arlington National Cemetery where the Tomb of the Unknowns (also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) are engraved with these words:  “HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD.”  The willingness of our nation to sacrifice – families have sacrificed their sons and daughters; they have sacrificed their moneys and possessions; they have sacrificed their personal desires for the betterment of the nation as a whole.
4.  The Diversity Of America’s People – The greatness of America is in its diversity!  We are not all the same but we all have the same rights.  We are not all the same but we accept and love those who are not like us.  Different cultures and ethnic backgrounds and yet united.  We are of every race and every creed; we are from every country on the face of the earth.  We do not look the same or act the same, but we all love the same!  We love America and are willing to both die and live for her.
5.  The Natural Resources That God Gave Her – God has given to our nation the capability to both be and remain self-sufficient.  We are indebted to others because of greed and ignorance.  From shore to shore and boundary to boundary, our nation is the most beautiful and blessed of all nations.  America is truly a nation flowing with milk and honey.  We have all and abound!  We are blessed!
6.  The Benevolence Of America – In natural disasters as well as war and genocide, the United States of America is the first to respond.  We get relief and medical aid to other countries while other governments are thinking about it.  America gives many times what all of the other nations give combined.  God blesses benevolence!  “It is more blessed to give than to receive” has always been America’s motto.
7.  The System Of Government That We Have – America was founded as a republic, not a democracy!  Three branches of government set up with checks and balances that keep us both safe and directed.  Every two years we have elections to correct the mistakes that we made in the last elections.  Both veto power and the power to overcome veto!  The men who set up our government had divine foresight.  What a magnificent piece of legislative work our Constitution is!  Wise men made sure that we remain both free and prosperous.
8.  The Love Of America For Israel – “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”  God still blesses those who bless Israel and He still curses those who curse Israel.  To this point, we have stood with God’s covenant people and God has blessed us for it.  “Hang on to Israel’s coat tails, America, hang on!”
9.  The Possibility Of The Impossibility – Young man, young lady, you can be anything that you want to be.  You can be a doctor, a lawyer, a business owner, or any other thing that you wish.  You can excel both in school and the work place.  You can go to college, work in the career of your choice, start your own business, and be the president of the United States of America.  You are limited only by the limitations that you place on yourself! 
10.  The God Who Gave Her Birth – America is blessed because “In God We Trust” is still on our money and in the hearts of most.  The blessed gospel is allowed to be preached and missionaries are being sent around the world.  Psalms 33:12 says,  “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”  May God bless the memory of our war dead and those who served!  May God bless our nation!  May we bless God for His blessings upon us!
11.  The Freedom And Liberty We Enjoy – Let freedom ring, from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, from our foam washed shores, across the great mountain ranges, over the plains with their waves of grain, the deserts with their glorious beauty, the hills, the valleys, from border to border.  America is still FREE!
f.  I know that America is radically changing but it is still the greatest nation on the face of the Earth!  Oh, what liberty we have in our nation!  We have the liberty:
1.  To travel unopposed.
2.  To be what we desire to be.
3.  To worship in freedom.
4.  To think as we like.
5.  To speak out and express your opinion, right or wrong.
g.  I am not here to make a list of our blessings but the greatest of them all would be our freedom!  I still say, “Love America or leave it!”  If you only came here to take the cream off the top, then you are not welcome; if you only came here to divide our nation, then you are not welcome; if you came here because of our freedom, the learn our language, to salute our flag, to work and become an asset to this great nation, then—no matter who you are—you are welcome.  Red, yellow, black, brown, white—this is our country.
h.  Our text speaks of another freedom, the greatest of all!  Our liberty in the Lord Jesus Christ!  Jesus said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”   Indeed: without a doubt, undeniably, without question.  In response to men who only think themselves free, the child of God is free indeed!  God hath made (not set) us free through the finished work of Calvary.
1.  Free from the Curse of the Law - Galatians 3:13  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Romans 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
2.  Free from the Guilt of Sin - Romans 8:33-34  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.  (34)  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
3.  Free from the Power of Sin - Romans 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
4.  Free from the Power of Darkness - Colossians 1:12-13  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  (13)  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
John 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
5.  Free from the Fear of Man - Hebrews 13:5-6  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  (6)  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Luke 12:4  And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
6.  Free from the Sting of Death - 1 Corinthians 15:55-57  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  (56)  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  (57)  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 2:14-15  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  (15)  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
7.  Free, one glorious day, from this Old World - 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18  (15)  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  (16)  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  (17)  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  (18)  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Conclusion:  Are you free this morning?  Yes, we who are American citizens are free but those freedoms are being rapidly encroached upon but our freedom in Christ is indeed free.  If you are not saved, you will never truly know the freedom that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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