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July 5, 2022 10:51 am
The pursuit of freedom is an ancient one. Throughout history, this desire to be free has always beaten in the human heart.
Think of the children of Israel. For example, in bondage in Egypt for many many years and then being delivered by the mighty hand of God under the leadership of Moses.
They never ever forgot that once they were slaves, but no, they are free in England in 1215. The Magna Carta was signed limiting the power of the king and stating that no man was to be imprisoned apart from the Jew process of law.
Think of that in 1250 my own country and 1320 in Scotland. The declaration of our growth stated this magnificent statement. I think I'm biased, of course, as we think of freedom from the English for as long as 100 of us remain alive.
We shall never under any conditions, be subjected to the Lordship of the English for we fight not for glory nor for riches nor honors, but for freedom alone which no good man gives up except with his life. That will stated that we fight not for glory nor for riches honors but for freedom alone.
1320 in Braveheart. William Wallace is you can take the land but you can't take your freedom with any of that today in the place like Ukraine where Putin and the Russian army comes and that strong, very impressive people of Ukraine believe this verify thing. Not so much for land but for freedom to be free that day as a people can decide how they want to live rather than being told by the Russians here on July 4, 1776 the American declaration was signed this magnificent declaration.
It is you memorize that I know we hold these truths to be self evident is that self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I notice that these rights are correctly stated as unalienable. That is, these rights, they don't come from Congress. They don't come from the courts. They don't come from the president they don't come from my king, they don't, from the United Nations as it were no they declaration of independence correctly stated that these rights come from Creator God that are given to us by God that we created in the image of God, and there were all equal before God. Notice the emphasis on liberty, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We all want to be free will want to have liberty we all want to pursue freedom. So this July 4 weekend we celebrate freedom and occultist message pursuing liberty pursuing liberty. We just sign the words of Jesus and what you told your Bibles if you brought your Bibles. The fourth gospel gospel of John, which Tim is already referred to John chapter 8 and we have a brilliant statement by our Lord Jesus Christ regarding freedom going to read it together. John chapter 8 hears the word of God to us today – 13 one so Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him. If you find in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. How important we tend to think that God's truth and truth brings us into bondage that God is a kind of killjoy that would be far better if we lived on the way, rather than God's do the same. Absolutely not. The truth that is the truth of God. God's eternal truth. This truth will set you free.
The unscented wood offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone knowing what you talking about liberty and freedom. We've never been slaves was it that you say you will become free. Jesus answered them, truly, truly, I say to you everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.
The slave does not remain in the house. Whatever the sun remains forever.
So if the son referring to himself, set you free. You will be free indeed. If the son, the son of God our Savior.
If he set you free. You will be free in the truth of the gospel contrary to what you may hear that Jesus sets us free sets us free, is willing of July 4 in this country, millions of people throughout the world would love to become citizens of the United States, but for various reasons that are unable to become citizens a wonderful thing to be a citizen of the United States by the reality is many people who want to be citizens are unable to become citizens.
That's not true of the freedom which Jesus Christ offers the freedom which our Lord Jesus Christ offers is not the particular class is not too particular nation by this offer to every one no person is excluded from this freedom which is offered in Jesus Christ as Jesus Christ comes to set us free to give us rise to give us peace to give us fulfillment in life and freedom to understand that freedom is at the very heart of the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ becomes to liberate people from spiritual oppression is the words of Jesus. For example, in Luke four, verse 18.
He has sent me as a father has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed everything of Jesus coming that way to give us liberty to free those who oppress to save up who is oppressed with the words that anyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.
And this is what sin does. Sin does in your life and mine. Sin has many consequences, and none of them are good ultimately ends in that the wages of sin is that but think of some of the consequences of sin in our lives. She killed addictions, selfishness, self absorption bondage which the devil tells us if we do things at work this year experience.
You will truly be free. But of our certificates into this dark world world of spiritual oppression, a world of bondage as Jesus Christ comes and do you understand that Jesus Christ not only died on the cross for our sins. Praise God that he did in his death, his burial, and resurrection, he conquered the forces of dad in the darkness and sin and demonstrates that by rising from the dead. He is the victor over sin itself.
We would sing about that. Charles Wesley in the brilliant song over a thousand times. He says this regarding her Savior. He breaks the power of counsel sin, he sets the prisoner free. None of these great hymns. He says my chains fell off were singing about that my chains fell off. My heart was free. I rose, went forth and followed the Charles Wesley pictures the center and the cell become themselves with the chains and into that darkness shines the light of the gospel. The beauty of Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ not only forgives our sins, he sets us free. Another hymns eyes on the cross, he sealed bipartisan pay the debt and made me free to understand that the Jesus Christ comes to liberate us to set us free and this pursuit of liberty. This pursuit of freedom which I suggest to you meets in the human heart should point us to Jesus.
Christ this is wonderful thing to be a citizen of the saints utilize the becoming a citizen in the United States is not easy and I know that from own experience. It wasn't easy for me and me to become citizens. I recall over 16 years ago when I was candy dating here. I sat there, still here, and dealt with certain questions from the congregation and I remember this question. The question was are you a legal alien darling like an alien answer is yes, but in fact that client I carry in my wallet. I can't say that I was a legal alien know some politically practical people, aliens, but six years ago. That was the case of the legal alien. By that time we were going through the process of becoming citizens of the United States and what you've gone through the process was long farms to be filled. They take your fingerprints check your your background was a very least, it was another case of any thought or examination and finally at the end of the process which was here in Charlotte we had our interview the remember well in front of this woman who had an accident as bad as mine and become a citizen and that just me some questions were the constitutions of questions about the America which I was able to answer. I think fairly satisfactorily and at the end of the process.
She said there's one more one thing more certain, as it was that she said are you able to hesitated accident.
Are you able to write a sentence in English what I setup one. I said I think I might manage that.
I said there's any particular sentence you know I love Jesus Christ as your Savior would limit the right and that she said well, perhaps you could write could you do it. You managed to do this. I wish to become a citizen of this I thought a lengthy process and then the day came 16 years ago here in Charlotte when we became citizens of the United states of good and I are charlatans is not many of us, and if you come from the north.
The southeast in the last but did they not by choice. Are charlatans were still working on the language but there we are, but my point is this to become a citizen of the United States legally. I'm talking about legally you have to do it. The US way is difficult. It's arduous though humiliating standing in long lines being a target in this. If you're a criminal, but that it was on the safety for you to be truly free to become a citizen, not of the United States without something much, much better to become a citizen of the kingdom of God. You must, God's way. That is to experience liberty. You must do it God's way and that are basically two approaches in life as people try to be free. Most people do that on the way they pursue freedom as they think they don't think of the consequences. They just live a certain life away like rats following the culture following their own desires, dropping someone else, but basically they do that on way that's totally wrong to become a citizen of heaven to realize your true potential as a human being made in the image of God. The wonderful thing is this that Christ does it for us. This is the gospel, the good news that Jesus Christ sees us in bondage, you may not think you're in bondage when you are. And he comes to us becomes as it were, to condemn cell dies on the cross for our sins arises again and offers us in his grace and forgiveness of sins yes and of freedom that he sets us free and we understand this many of you here show the majority of you would profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. The problem is we often seem one to go back to the bondage of the past. You notice that's what the devil does the devil always wants to take us back back to the old life, reminding us of the old sins. He wants us to get you back into the old life, but my question is why would someone who is being a prisoner who has been eliminated. Go back to that bondage.
Why would you do that. Why would someone who's known the glorious freedom of being a follower of Jesus Christ go back to the bondage of the old life. The answer is we still have sinful desires.
That's true, there Still can be a hankering of the old life.
Some of your old friends, some of your old attitudes. Some of your own old pleasures back and you don't end up saying to you, do not pull back when Jesus Christ sets us free. We must never ever go back just a few weeks ago my grandson in sitting here paying attention for sure, but he and I we find ourselves in the airport vinyl in the event of any well and that was standing and would in front of the immigration people Scottish immigration people. And anytime I leave US territory, and I give advice to those going to Kenya my invariable practice is to carry something in my pocket is a little blue book. I got utility. This is a passport and it is a passport of the United States of American. So I come to the immigration person lady and I sure my passport and I show her Ian's until accident and she says to me I see you were born in Scotland and I said it wasn't like this. I was born very close to the airport just a few miles away. I said that's right Jesus would know you're an American hunter and I said I have an American and she says okay he; no dialect Scotland. Other things I Scotland I love yesterday's item of the rain. I love haggis I Levine blue circle of whiskey I'm a pastor but I Levine so there's things that I Scotland. I really like.
However, I'm an American and I'm not going to go back to live Scotland is a choice that we make things about you that we like. Yes, and as you think of your past life before you came to Jesus Christ. There things about the past life that you like some of these since some of these pleasures. You really like and there can be a tendency because of pressures on you by society of friends or family your own sinful desires to go back but Jesus is saying listen to again if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. And here is a wonder Jesus Christ is saying if I abide in his word, that is if I follow his teaching. If this word of God is living word of God as part of my life.
That's going to direct me and is going to help me and to sustain me. I will know our tremendous freedom and the more I dreamed of the living waters of Christ. The last, the pleasures and the temptation will be to go back because the Bible open that Romans at John the diverse 44. He says you are of the father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning.
Remember that in the abortion debate about enemy is a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks, he speaks of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies together. Here is a sharp demarcation. Here is the living Christ whose word is absolute truth that it is eternal that it is without that it is perfect from first to last, and that when you come to Christ, you are set free and the one who is free is free indeed. On the other hand, we have an enemy and says Jesus. That is absolutely no truth in him. Remember that the listen to our culture, with its persuasive lies as distortions. It's the sections it's temptations. The more you listen to it, the more he will be captured by and the more you pursue saying that the tighter the bonds are absent on your. It makes us slaves. And that's why when we pursuant we get deeper and deeper into it and it becomes more and more difficult to be freed from God's work sets us free to understand general Jesus Christ. If you're following Jesus Christ you will be free and be some hundred and 15 verse 1051 of her favorite verses your work is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path difficult to navigate through life.
Isn't it sometimes with her personal circumstances with the political situation with the divide in the country with all of the rhetoric difficult sometimes to follow Christ is other voices with my own sinful desires was the voice of the enemy absolute lies. Remember that the devil always always speaks lines but here is the word of God. Here is the divine truth day by day, your prayer, and my should be that we will follow the lights going to do here. What does Jesus say is a question on this gender and sexuality with the book without telling what does Jesus say then said he is a light to my feet.
He's a lamp to my way and he is going to shine in front of me through his word and through his so that we will live a life of liberty turn to Galatians the great chapter on spiritual freedom of encouraging your brothers and sisters to live a life of liberty, a life of freedom, not a life of bondage life of compromise life of going back to the darkness.
From time to time but to follow Jesus is the light of the world and who promises the one who follows me will not walk in the will of the light of life. Is Paul Galatians 5 verse 14 freedom Christ set us free. Amazing how Christianity sometimes is the start of the becomes legalistic and becomes harsh but becomes judgmental and becomes very negative in the churches in those communities that seem to specialize in that distortion of the gospel. The gospel of grace. Paul is saying for freedom Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, therefore I do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Verse 13 for you were called to freedom, brothers, freedom calls only. Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flash but through love serve one another for the whole law is fulfilled in one word, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
What if you bite and devour one another, watch out, you're not consumed by one another.
Paul is saying Christ has set you free tremendous a great privilege. We are the freest people in all of the world's don't use your freedom in a selfish way. Don't use your freedom in a self-interested way but rather through love's one another to this is the nature of true freedom. Freedom is not throwing off all restraints, we sometimes see that young man young woman goes off to college and their free from the parents from the church and they just live as though I and the thing will know I'm truly free. The opposite of course is the case that's going to lead to frustration, conflict, despair, self-loathing, young man.
Sin never never lead you into freedom trying justified.
Anyway he wants, but the bottom line is this sin never lead you into freedom.
You can figure freedom provided, but sin never lead you into freedom. Jesus said that the words in John 834 everyone who commits it is a slave to sin that is going your own way rather than God's way. Never results in freedom. It leads to slavery. So why are you pursuing that course. Why are you having that and it should.
You know it's wrong you know it sinful. It leads you away from God and it lead you into slavery we have today. This great notion that some people seem to buy is that living spontaneously is thought to be living free, just live for the moment.
Spontaneous living is cool.
The secret of freedom and happiness were told, you know, as more and more people take a long time to accept or decline a social invitation people to want to be tied down today. No planning is for losers. Be spontaneous.
We want to be taxed at the last minute and decide then whether will go to something or do something I'm told that our dating apps is incredible which tells you at the exact moment that someday in a nearby bar is waiting to meet you lately. Imagine going to buy this character, but their spontaneous and I want to meet someday find approaches bordering spontaneous approach to life is thought to be cool and liberating and free. That freedom being spontaneous may be a sign of insecurity.
We don't want to commit to an event or person or something because something cooler might be happening elsewhere in this way we never really enjoy the moments therefore are not truly free. What is true freedom. We see him musician who sits in NJ plays the piano and just improvising Simmons seemingly spontaneously and freely. Everything is wonderful. I think I wish I could do that. Yeah but behind that savings continues playing hundreds and hundreds of hours of training we watch Renaldo kick a ball free.
A group of defendants right in front of the goalkeeper nose is going to hit the ball into the net and is wondering what sides is going to be Renaldo comes up and he gets up all over the defenders and bends a ball right into the corner that is wonderful about look so easy to know hundreds of hours of practice thousands of hours of going into that. That's a result of discipline, training, freedom isn't doing what you want on this part of the moment with disregard to the consequences of inaction. That's a responsibility no freedom. Please listen.
Freedom is doing what you know to be Orion's and having the power to do it best. Freedom is in the that's a joyful freedom of living in the presence of the Lord Jesus word is a lamp to my feet.
Your word is a light to my way.
Following Jesus is an offending disciple day by day following him day by day, claiming his wisdom is power and his help. That's freedom is a little the great runner said God made me for the purpose and God made me fast and when I run.
I feel his eyes.
Freedom is the hand that you know in that situation with that is in your home raising your children when it is doing some multi dollar deal.
Where is playing a sport. Whatever it is, but you know that your writing in the presence of the Lord, but your conscience is clear and your seeking God's will and you realize as you are not work at home runs for whatever this the hand of God is on my that's freedom to freedom is not self-determination is not self autonomy that self-indulgence that selfishness leads to conflict and frustration than the size we are no since the recent decision on abortion. We are witnessing all the time. I believe in the autonomy of my own body.
Are you trying to tell me what to do. This is my body's for me to determine what I do with my body to buy the course for the unborn babies in the body but evenly leaving aside the question of the baby and the one they forgotten having that their body is not that one is given to them by God and that they and their babies are created by all and that therefore we are comfortable to God and we don't live our life and say no one's going to tell me what to do. No, Paul is saying to the Corinthians. Christ has set you free. This is I wanted to live. I want you to use your freedom in a responsible way, not in a selfish, self-indulgent way.
I want you to sound of others don't use your freedom as an opportunity for the flash went through love one another. There are 16 oblations five walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flash that as you follow Christ. As you use your freedom to serve others through the spirit of God, you will be given supernatural help to do God's will, and that we use in our freedom, brothers and sisters to help others. That's an act of love. We were just recently the beach walking on the beach with my 14-year-old Mark 14-year-old grandson was as tall as I seem so awful longlegs and he says to me as were coming near the house were staying. He says granted alliteration. You recently run on signs and I think you know my 14-year-old grandson running me tomorrow about some dignity. I think and we stashed it may fill handgun 5 yards and he's enough 50 yards ahead that this is not going away and I said Alex we just walked together. As we walked together. Let's walk in the spirit stuff get old and he says okay the thing my grandson loves me and he uses his freedom. He can run like a window he uses is freedom to walk alongside his grandfather point in Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven and now we have the freedom to do the right thing by the spirit of God Spirit of God indwells us the spirit of God guides us.
Paul says in second Corinthians 3 where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. This freedom, the spirit of God is in this place. This morning, that is freedom that is liberty. It is saying that Satan is a selfish desires to bring us into bondage.
So my question is what do you last use your freedom to set up someone when did you last refrain from doing something quite legitimate for you to do what you have the freedom to do but you didn't do that in order to help encourage serve someone else work with your colleagues. I'm saying pursue liberty. Use your freedom to set others in love is called Christianity is called loving your neighbor as yourself with a very selfish people in three remained blast incredibly's Americans as much to complain about, but think of the way God has blessed us regularly. God has blessed this nation compared to any other nation but are we using this in England on June 22, 1772, that's 350 years ago, time, picture this 51-year-old man called James Somerset. He was a he was an African as a young boy in Africa he been captured as a slave and taken to the New World United States as a slave. His master was a mindful child. Security was Scottish and Stewart took young James Somerset from Boston back to the United Kingdom, England is asleep. Jim Somerset was a remarkable young man. And of course there were people like William Wilberforce and others working against slavery and became this case is very famous case of James Somerset, the young African slave against Charles Stewart, the wealthy Scottish slave and the question was know that James Somerset was in England whether not he was a free man will then be kept in the West Indies of you to come to one of these islands Jamaica or whatever and put them in the sugarcane fields that that was okay but he was in England. Was he still a slave or was he free. The case became for the most famous judge at the time the Lord Chief Justice Lord Mansfield and he said this on the screen. Let justice be done though the heavens may fall and ruled that in England the air is too pure for a slave and every man is free who breeds it. James Somerset was not a piece of property, but free is a book by Stephen West called the heavens may fall which I think of this, from which is well worth reading. Judge was saying something very important something revolutionary than 350 years ago that anyone who comes to England is entitled to the protection of English law and no sooner does a slave touch English so that his shackles fall from heaven, and is free when the focus momentous decision slave was free. The moment he or she stepped on English soil that moment shackles fell from that legal decision, 70, 72, was set in motion the abolition of slavery in Great Britain and the United States. But think of this will be your with your bondage of sin. No sooner does the Savior touch. No sooner than you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior. No sooner does Jesus come into your heart at the change of your sin will fall from you in a moment, and you will be truly free. Think of it the worst of sinners like you and me coming to our sinless Savior with our bondage with her change and we come to him and he says come to me and I'll give you freedom and we receive Christ, and that moment all yes all of our sins are totally gone. Covered by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and we are free wonderful is the gospel. Today we celebrate that we live in a free country you come from that sin is the Savior touch the shackles of your sin fall from come to Christ today, believe it is something holding you captive you follow sin. The stronger the bonds of sin in your life you want to be free from anger from the Bible. Anger for a long time that greed that in the last addiction that gossip these lies and hypocrisy. You bring it all to the Savior bring it to the cross of Christ acknowledge that you by yourself cannot free yourself confessing the blood of Jesus Christ is so powerful that you be cleansed you be free to live a life for Christ. Live your life in a self-indulgent way. Don't use your freedom in a selfish way through love's one another. Fish is only free as long as it swims in water. A train is only free as long as it keeps on the rail tracks we are only free when we follow our Lord Jesus Christ will only free when we do God's will in their lives are conformed to the word of God. This work is a lamp to her feet. The light to follow Christ live a life of freedom live a life of joy, live a life using your freedom to serve others help us her father God to do that, we thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ to break the power of counsel said sets the prisoners free.
We thank you for your perfect word of any food for our souls. May we follow Christ made each day will put your words, light the lamp than the darkness.
Another crazy world. Help us to follow Christ to live lives of freedom life's glorifying you.
We pray that her son here today who never open the heart to Christ, who never been freed from the bondage of sin. May your spirit shine on Christ Mayor split convicted mother said and point them to Christ. We ask