1999-07-04 - Types of Freedom God Gives Us
Independence Day - 1999
Today we in America celebrate our political freedom, won by brave patriots over 200 years ago. We certainly are blessed to have freedom to worship without having to worry about losing our lives, being arrested or having property confiscated. We should be grateful for the right of freedom of assembly and freedom of the press. But there is an even more crucial freedom, the spiritual freedom that God gives us. His freedom is ours for the taking, regardless of our external environment, even if we are in jail or in a country where dissenters are tortured, arrested or killed. This freedom, man cannot take away from us, because it is implanted in our spirits through His Spirit.
2 Cor 3:17 (NRSV) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Types of Freedom with Which God Blesses Us
Freedom from Death
1 Cor 15:55-57 (NRSV) Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Freedom from the Fear of Death
Heb 2:14-15 (NRSV) Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.
Freedom from Trying to Earn Our Way to Heaven
Gal 5:1-4 (NRSV) For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
Freedom from Trying to Earn God's Love
Rom 5:7-8 (NRSV) Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
Freedom from Slavery to Sin
John 8:34-36 (NRSV) Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin." The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Freedom from Anxiety
1 Pet 5:7 (NRSV) Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.
Freedom from Timidity
2 Tim 1:7 (NRSV) For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.