John 8:31 through John 8:36 (NIV)
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.”
33They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants£ 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.
* On Memorial Day my family and I went white-water rafting on the Kaweah River. When we started out it seemed like we were in control of the raft. But then we came to the first rapids. Big waves threatened to engulf us. The water swirled around us and pushed and pulled at us. No matter how hard we paddled or even in what direction, we had no choice but to go through the rapids and down the river. You see, it was the river – not us – that was in control.
In the same way, in fallen man it is sin and evil, not man himself, that is in control. No matter how hard we try, sin and evil plunges us straight ahead into the abyss of ruin and destruction.
I. The Concern For Freedom Is Seen In An unrepeatable Incarnation.
*He came to seek and to save that which was lost.
A. His Names in coming
Matthew 1:21 through Matthew 1:23 (NIV)
21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,£ because he will save his people from their sins.”
22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”£—which means, “God with us.”
-- Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, meaning Yahweh is salvation.
-- Immanuel means "God with us." When god gave Joshua the command to take the nations who occupied the promised land, it was with the encouragement that God would be with Him.
B. His reason in coming
Luke 19:8 through Luke 19:10 (NIV)
8But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
* I have on my table a violin string . . . it is free. I twist one end of it and it responds. It is free. But it is not free to do what a violin string is supposed to do - to produce music. So I take it, fix it in my violin and tighten it until it is taut. Only then is it free to be a violin string.
By the same token we are free when our lives are uncommitted, but not to be what we were intended to be. Real freedom is not freedom from, but freedom for. - Robert W. Youngs, In Touch
II. The Cost Of Freedom Is Seen In A Dreadful Crucifixion.
A. The Price of Freedom
*A Free Zoo?….Free Salvation?…. no, not free, but provided at great expense.
B. The Payment for Freedom
Soldiers - Paid with their lives that we would be a free country.
Jesus - The Son Of God, was nailed to a cross in the greatest of tortures, that we would be free.
III. The Conquest Of Freedom Is Seen In An Actual Resurrection.
*We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.
A. Triumphant victory Over Foreign Powers.
Colossians 2:9 through Colossians 2:15 (NIV)
9For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature,£ not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature,£ God made you£ alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.£
Matthew 12:29 through Matthew 12:30 (NIV)
29“Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.
30“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.
B. Occupied Territory Regained.
Mark 16:7 (NIV)
7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
--Peter was one of Christ's disciples, and then He denied His Lord. Jesus wants Peter especially to know of His resurrection in order that Peter Might be restored.
IV. The Condition of Freedom Is Seen In An Individual Invitation.
*Let Christ rule over you.
B. R.S.V.P. (What does it mean?)
RSVP répondez s'il vous plaît (French “please reply”)
V. The Consequence of Freedom is Seen In a Personal Demonstration.
A. Freedom is shown in an Individual release.
*The Scottish preacher John McNeill liked to tell about an eagle that had been captured when it was quite young. The farmer who snared the bird put a restraint on it so it couldn't fly, and then he turned it loose to roam in the barnyard. It wasn't long till the eagle began to act like the chickens, scratching and pecking at the ground. This bird that once soared high in the heavens seemed satisfied to live the barnyard life of the lowly hen.
One day the farmer was visited by a shepherd who came down from the mountains where the eagles lived. Seeing the eagle, the shepherd said to the farmer, "What a shame to keep that bird hobbled here in your barnyard! Why don't you let it go?" The farmer agreed, so they cut off the restraint. But the eagle continued to wander around, scratching and pecking as before. The shepherd picked it up and set it on a high stone wall. For the first time in months, the eagle saw the grand expanse of blue sky and the glowing sun. Then it spread its wings and with a leap soared off into a tremendous spiral flight, up and up and up. At last it was acting like an eagle again.
B. Freedom is shown in a new way of living.
*Too many people are clamoring for freedom to do what they
shouldn't do. - Unknown
* Freedom is not the ability to do what you want to do. Freedom is the ability to do what you know you should do!
* There are several kinds of freedom. There is a freedom that is
apparent and one that is real; a superficial freedom, and one that is substantial; a freedom that is temporary and deceptive, and one that is abiding and permanent; one that ministers to the
lower appetites and passions, and another that encourages
growth in the sweeter things of life... But there is but one
kind of freedom that is worth the name, and that is the one
embodied in the words spoken centuries ago by the Great Master;
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you