Independence Day - Free from the bondage of sin
Independence Day 2005
“Free from the Bondage of Sin!”
First Baptist Church Tawas City Michigan
Rev. Bruce A. Shields
Good morning and welcome!
If you are a visitor today, please be sure to fill out a visitor card and leave it on the pew when you leave. Someone will be by to pick those up after the service.
With the 4th of July coming, I felt that we should talk about what independence is.
What is bondage, and what exactly is freedom?
July 4th is celebrated as America’s official split from Britain’s rule and the beginning of the American Revolution.
The document that we know as the Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress on July 4th although the resolution that led to the writing of the Declaration was actually approved two days earlier.
"Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness), it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government."
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), from the Declaration of Independence
We have all heard life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We were oppressed by tyrants. Our lives were controlled by others, and happiness is sparse under tyranny.
This is a form of bondage.
But the day came when we said “ENOUGH!”
We are now free from Britain’s rule.
And we celebrate this every Independence Day.
But there is another type of bondage.
Another type of slavery and most of us do not realize we are enslaved.
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
33They answered him, "We are Abraham’s descendants[b] and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"
34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.[c]"
They did not understand that they were slaves and they needed Jesus to be free.
Everyone who sins is a slave.
Everyone who sins is in bondage.
2 Peter 2:18-19
“For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.”
Who is your master, sin, lust, alcohol, pornography, sexual immorality?
You are a slave in bondage to your master.
“The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him;
the cords of his sin hold him fast.”
“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”
This is the battle of our flesh and spirit.
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
We are born into this sin which enslaves us.
We are in bondage from birth, and this bondage robs us of our life.
Slaves to sin leads to spiritual and eternal death.
It robs us of our liberty, for we do what our master instructs us.
Sin instructs us to turn from our Father in heaven and from the word of God.
When we do this, we cannot have happiness in our lives.
For without God there is no love, peace or happiness, only darkness.
So how do we escape?
How do we free ourselves from the tyranny and control of our master, sin?
Well, you can’t.
We cannot free ourselves from the bondage of sin.
We cannot tell our master that we serve him no more.
But we can serve a stronger master.
He will set us free, and we can serve Him.
Remember what Jesus said to the Jews;
“31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
If you hold to my teachings, Jesus said, you are my disciples. THEN you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
Only Jesus can set you free from the bondage of sin.
“For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”
God’s grace, when you accept Jesus Christ you receive God’s grace which frees you from sin!
Sin is no longer your master!
But Christ is!
But just because you have accepted Christ and you have God’s grace, doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want.
Remember, Jesus said “IF you hold my teachings”
We have to hold to Jesus’ teachings to have the truth, and only then are we set free.
But God’s grace is no license to sin once we’ve been set free from sin.
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
This is why we get baptized in water.
This represents our death along with Christ Jesus so that we are a NEW creation, a new creature and we may live a new life.
WE CAN HAVE LIFE IN CHRIST.
Jesus said we are more than slaves to God though. We are sons and daughters.
Not only does Jesus free us from slavery, but gives us son ship.
We now have an inheritance.
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.[g] And by him we cry, "Abba,[h] Father."
We become His children.
He becomes our Father.
WE ALSO HAVE LIBERTY!
2 Corinthians 3:17
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
There is freedom from sin, oppression, bondage.
1 Peter 2:16
“16Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.”
AND BEST OF ALL, WE HAVE HAPPINESS!
Happiness because when we accept Christ, we have found the light!
We have been rescued from darkness.
Colossians 1:13, 14
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption,[e] the forgiveness of sins.”
When we are forgiven, a weight is removed from us.
When we are freed, there is no more bondage or slavery.
When we accept Christ He removes our old Master and makes us His children.
In Christ we have Life.
In Christ we have Liberty.
And because of Christ we can pursue and obtain happiness.
This Independence Day, let us celebrate the freedom we have because of what Christ Jesus has done for us.
Let’s celebrate our independence from sin.
Let’s praise God, our Father in heaven for adopting us into His kingdom.