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Faithlife

Are You Free?

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We say that we are free in Jesus, yet we hold our hearts closed and guarded; thus keeping ourselves prisoner from the very freedom that Jesus wants us to have!

Notes & Transcripts

Open with video, “An Independence Day Prayer”.

On the National Day of Prayer, Thursday the 4th, this past May, President Donald Trump signed an executive order titled "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty." This executive order gives religious organizations greater freedom to speak out about political issues.
This executive order puts a dent into the 1954 tax code law, called the Johnson Amendment, that prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates.
As he signed the executive order, the president said, "No American should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenets of their faith.”
I applaud this move in that it is a step in the direction of protecting TRUE CHRISTIAN RIGHTS and true religious freedom!
And based upon the Constitution of the United States of America, no Christian, or for that fact, no American, should be forced to condone and participate, whether in their business life, or social and private life, or religious practice, in any act that is completely against the tenants of their faith!
This is a part of the FREEDOM that was afforded us by the founding fathers of this great nation and the men and women who have fought to protect it!
Today, a day during the very weekend in which our nation celebrates its liberties and freedom, and a time amidst all of the continued hate and slander focused against America’s current president, I want to ask us to take a few minutes and pray on the President’s behalf and for his family as well, as well as the the current members of all three branches of our nation’s government: The Legislative branch (Congress, the senate and the House of Representatives), the Executive Branch (President, vice President and the Cabinet) and the Judicial branch (Supreme Court and other federal courts).
I would like to ask that we all stand for a time of corporate prayer on behalf of this great nation and its leaders and ask for guidance and wisdom and favor from the only ONE whom we should be asking it from; ALMIGHTY GOD!
I am not going into detail about this, you can research on your own the details, but what I want us to do
Allow me to start by reading within the word from (OPEN BIBLE and READ).
Psalm 33:11–22 ESV
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
Psalm 33:8–22 ESV
Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
I want to ask you to bow your heads for minute and silently pray on behalf of our nation and its President and its leaders. Then I will finish with a word of prayer.
(NANCY AND TEAM WILL SING SONG AT CLOSE OF PRAYER)

This morning, I want to briefly talk with you about a word that is at the forefront of most people’s minds at this time of year; that word is FREEDOM.

Every American has been blessed with the same gift at birth; the amazing gift of national FREEDOM!
It is a word that I do not need to recite a meaning of it to you, as most of us have a pretty good understanding of what it means in each of our lives. Its relevance and the depth of its meaning varies per person, based on their experiences in life.
For instance, to someone who is 18 years old and preparing for their adult journey in their life, their outlook of American freedom is much different than that of a person who served and fought in one of our nation’s wars to preserve and secure that freedom! AMEN?!
And in this nation and in this day and age, the topic of our rights and freedoms have reached an all time high and people are more and more adamant about being able to stretch the boundaries of what our freedom is and what it means!
The further that we drift from God and His moral precepts and commands, the more adamant people become about their FREEDOM for their lives and their right to observe and demonstrate that FREEDOM!
People are demanding freedom to express themselves in more and more ways and in the process, each person is supposed to role with flo
We are FREE as a nation, but my question today, is one that I will ask to the “Christians” of this nation.
“ARE YOU FREE?”

To many people that claim Christ as their Lord and Savior, this question is met with instant and firm decisiveness, “Of course we are free! The Bible tells us that, ‘he who the Son sets free, is FREE indeed’ RIGHT?”

That is right ,as long as you take and apply it as Jesus meant for it to be!
So, the question then becomes, “How did Jesus intend for us to become free and how do we know that we are truly living under that FREEDOM?”
Take a guitar string and mention how it is free. (Show how you can twist it responds and is free to move about.) Yet, if you fasten it down and twist it and make it taught, to a precise level, then it becomes FREE to be what it was intended for; MAKING MUSIC!
Real freedom is not freedom “from”, but rather, freedom “FOR”!
“Freedom for what?”, many people may ask.
We are called by Jesus to serve one another, just as He came to a servant for us.
So, our “freedom” is not a freedom to do as we want to do, which would lead us right back into sin and the slavery to sin, but rather, our freedom is given to us to allow us to serve and walk towards “righteousness” and AWAY from sin!
One of the passages that we hear so often that mentions that Jesus has set us free, is found in the book of Galatians, where Paul is speaking to the church in Galatia and he is addressing the very issue of spiritual freedom from the law and sin.
He says, in ,
Galatians 5:1 ESV
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
So, you will hear people celebrate and say, “For freedom Christ me free” and this is true, but then go to verse 13 in that same chapter and get some more clarification on the freedom that Jesus came to give those whom would believe in Him and respond in faith with their lives.
Verse 13 says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love SERVE ONE ANOTHER.”
If you say, “Well, being a servant to others, doesn’t sound like freedom to me”, then you are still not FREE from the old life and the carnal ways!
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

I like this definition of FREEDOM: Freedom is doing what you love to do, if what you love to do is what you should be doing.

In the life of a Christian, this can only happen if one thing happens. There must be spiritual transformation!
If there is no transformation , then what you will love to do, will be what you shouldn’t be doing (i.e. SIN).
Paul said to walk by the Spirit and you will not do the works of the flesh. The Spirit is against the flesh and the flesh is against the Spirit.
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Just do as the Holy Spirit tell you and you are free! However, there is that war between your carnal side and the Spirit that keeps you from true FREEDOM and doing what you should do.
Paul said this with regard to the law and it pointing out our sinful nature in ,
Romans 7:15–24 NLT
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
Romans 7:15–25 NLT
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Do you see what Paul is saying about doing what we should do and love in Christ (which is FREEDOM) and yet how sin keeps us from it?
This is the war that rages on within EVERY Christian during their walk with God!
If you desire to live by and obey God’s commands (as every true child of God is commanded to) then you will go through this war.
I just mentioned a minute ago that there must be TRANSFORMATION in order for you and I to have real FREEDOM in our walk with Jesus and a desire to do what He wants us to do!
Well, there again, people will say, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Doesn’t that mean “transformation”? Aren’t we then new and transformed?
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Yes, in the sense of being made a new spiritual creature; God makes your spirit within you restored and new and thus you are in fact found justified in the eyes of God.
BUT, this is not the transformation that I am speaking of. I am speaking of the continual process of Sanctification, (that is, becoming more and more righteous and thus more and more transformed into the image of Christ). THE TRANSFORMATION BY THE RENEWING OF OUR MINDS! ,
Romans 12:1–20 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Romans 12:1–2 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Note that Paul asks a question and then answers it, “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life
Just like says,
2 Corinthians 3:17–18 NLT
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
When we allow Holy Spirit, DAILY, to transform us more and more into the image of Jesus, then we acquire the FREEDOM to do what our regenerate spirit and new nature want; serve our neighbor in love and thus please our heavenly Father!
This is true FREEDOM, as we allow our minds to be transformed more and more (from glory to glory) and we become more like the image of Jesus spiritually!
The transformation that I am speaking of, involves the mind, as Paul mentions that in his mind he wants to obey God’s law and that we are to be transformed by the renewal of our mind. Well, our mind is the likened to that of our heart, since our heart is the seat of our will, our emotions, our mind and our thoughts.
It is the heart of man that Jeremiah tells us in ,
Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:9–10 ESV
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
God reminds us that our heart is, on its own, deceitful and sick.
Yet it was the will and plan of God to change this, as noted in ,
Ezekiel 36:26 ESV
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
This was done through Jesus Christ and our belief and profession of faith in Him.

The key to true FREEDOM lies within your heart!

That is where the battle is taking place every day; your thoughts your will and your emotions!
Our heart becomes that taboo place that no one is allowed access! We give a certain percent of our selves to others, but the heart is off limits. Not only to others, but even more so, to God!
I read a book this past week, while on vacation, that dealt with this very subject.
The main point was this; we have a secret place within our lives that we hold onto and store hurts and resentments and unforgiveness. It is a room deep inside that has many bars and chains around the door and no one is allowed inside; not even God!
This room is our heart and it is here that we must finally surrender to Jesus everything inside, if we truly want the transformation that leads to FREEDOM!
Truth be told, many sitting here this morning have hurts and disappointments and resentments and pains stored inside your hearts that are so suppressed, that you may not even realize they are there anymore!
But God knows, however and He wants you to release them to His Son and open your heart up and let true healing and transformation take place.
As long as they exist, you are bound and the enemy has a grip on your life!

A good example of dealing with this is found within the parable that Jesus taught us in , in what is called the Prodigal Son parable.

Let’s look at some main points about this parable and see how it helps us to deal with our hearts.
The son came to his senses in verse 17. He realized that he was wrong and had done wrong.
How many of you know that if you are unwilling to admit there is a problem then you cant deal with it? We need to ask Holy Spirit to bring to light, any areas where we may have hidden, or buried some things that we need to get rid of and be willing to admit there is a problem!!!!!!
Look at what the son says in verse 21, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.”
The problem that too many of have and that keeps us in bondage and unable to become FREE, is that we do not truly know how to REPENT and confess our sins.
Look at what the son does: he acknowledges and repents to God (by saying, “I have sinned against heaven”, which is acknowledging his sin against God), but then he also says, “.....and before you!”
This is confessing his sin before another! (Too many people constantly say, “God forgive me, I repent”, and then they walk away with their sin intact until they do it again!
In other words, it is more comfortable to keep that sin hidden in the dark, which is what the enemy wants us to do. Instead, bring it into the light and be done with it!
Repent comes from the Greek word, metanoia, which means, to change one’s mind, thus resulting in a change of lifestyle.
It is not just “TURNING AWAY FROM SIN”. as so many teach.
You are changing your mind about your sin, about your life and your relationship with and how you look to God. It is a complete change when you repent; not just a confessional statement for absolution from guilt!
You must change!
As Christians, we are r
Did you know that God repents?
,
Jeremiah 26:3 NASB95
‘Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds.’
God changes His mind in and on situations, but not His character. He is IMMUTABLE.
In , God says, “For I the Lord do not change”!
Malachi 3:6 ESV
“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
And part of dealing with sin involves bringing that sin into the light so that it can be done away with and not held inside of your heart!
And part of dealing with sin involves bringing that sin into the light so that it can be done away with and not held inside of your heart!
Look at Jesus said in ,
Matthew 5:23–24 ESV
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
“FIRST be reconciled to your brother and then come to Me”, is what the Lord is saying!
God is clear on this point; get it right with others before you try and get it right with Him!
Look at ,
James 5:16 ESV
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Now watch this, the word “healed” used in this verse, means, to cure and heal but it also means to “SET FREE” from error and sins!
If you want to be FREE in your life, then you need to confess and repent, both to God, but also be accountable in your life and bring those hidden sins into the light, so that the enemy doesn’t have a stronghold over you anymore in those areas!
Look at the Prodigal son’s confession, “I have sinned against heaven AND BEFORE you!”
Verse 29 tells us another thing that we need to deal with; the lies of the enemy and renouncing them. ( I heard another preacher teach on this and it showed me something that we need to see hidden in this parable!)
Look at what the older son says to the Father in regard to what has transpired and in it, we will see a couple of lies unfold.
“But he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.”
“I never disobeyed your command”?!!!!
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
I have never known any child that didn’t disobey their parents! Short of Jesus, Himself, this has never happened!
This is an outright lie of the enemy that the older son has embraced and is affecting him and his ability to deal with offense!
“ You never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.”
This is second lie that he told and this is a lie based on what we see in verse 12, where it says, “and he divided his property between THEM.”
Not, he gave the younger his share, but rather, the property was divided between them!
Since the older brother was entitled the double portion of the birth right, he was given a 2/3 portion of the whole lock, stock and barrel, up front!
Yet, what does he say? “You never gave me ONE LITTLE GOAT”!
You see, when we think about the son that was in bondage to sin and lost in this parable, we automatically think of the younger son (prodigal son), but in reality, the older son was just as in bondage, and probably more so than the younger!
He had bought into lies of the enemy and was held in bondage by those lies!
Are you in that situation today? When you think about certain people, do feelings of resentment, animosity or anger well up inside of you?
If so, then you have lies of the enemy that you need to release and get free from!
ARE YOU FREE TODAY?
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