John 8:31-36 (KJV)
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
With a wing spread at seven feet, brown feathers and white crown glistening in the sun, razor sharp talons extended to catch its prey, the majestic eagle soars nearly a mile above the ground. He roams the skies freely, from Florida to Newfoundland, from the Baja California to the mountain ranges in Alaska. A symbol of freedom to Americans, he never appreciates his own freedom until he becomes caught in the trapper’s snare.
How does it happen? Circling in the high wind currents, his telescopic vision spies a carcass below, but he doesn’t suspect that it was strategically placed there by the enemy to allure him to the ground. He lands on the prey, begins to feast, and folds his wings. At that precise moment, an electronically triggered net springs out of the ground, instantly ensnaring both him and his prey. From the vast, almost limitless skies to the confines of a three foot cage, it is stunning how quickly freedom vanishes. And yes, you can trap an eagle.
Freedom is a funny thing. You don’t know you have it until you don’t have it. It’s hard to measure when it stands all by itself. It needs a reference point, a baseline, a context to give it definition and form.
The earliest immigrants to the new world came in search of freedom because they knew what life was like without it. They endured two months on a stormy North Atlantic to get here. The Mayflower was hit with many strong storms and cross-winds, and the ship was so badly shaken that she became very leaky, with water dripping and falling down upon the passengers that were living between the decks. It was said that the storms were sometimes bad enough that the crew had to take down the sails, and just let the storm blow the ship wherever it wanted. During one of these bad storms, one of the main beams of the Mayflower bowed and cracked, and some of the crewmembers and passengers were afraid that the ship would not make it. There was nothing to do but stay on board. Eventually, it limped into the harbor at Plymouth Rock.
Israel found itself in Egypt.
Exodus 1:8-14 (KJV)
8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.
9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:
10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.
11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.
13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:
14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
Exodus 2:23-25 (KJV)
23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.
24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.
Israel went to Egypt to be saved; over time, they were nearly lost as a nation.
Provision turned into oppression.
Safety became slavery.
Security began to look more like incarceration.
Many people do not appreciate freedom because it cost them nothing.
Israel’s original freedom cost nothing; at the depths of their slavery, they realized their loss.
But, for every Pharaoh, God has a Moses.
God does not intend for His people to live enslaved to another people and another king.
Regardless of the intensity of the suffering, God will always devise a plan to bring deliverance.
Exodus 12:41-42 (KJV)
41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
42 It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.
One would think that Israel would never again allow themselves to sink into bondage.
Tyrants cannot afford free people to exist.
It is said that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.
Its only security is the willingness to guard it.
Israel was not willing to take care of its freedom.
First came the Assyrians.
Then came the Babylonians.
2 Kings 24:10-20 (KJV)
10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.
11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.
12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.
13 And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.
14 And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.
15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king’s mother, and the king’s wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.
16 And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.
The message for this nation today is that freedom is not a guaranteed absolute.
For every freedom we enjoy, there is a sinister force seeking to destroy it.
When one freedom is lost, other freedoms will follow.
When we lose one freedom for the “greater good,” we stand to lose all freedom for the good of one: the tyrant.
I am thankful for the Bill of Rights; but not everyone wants us to keep them.
There are movements afoot to undermine, steal and destroy every one of them.
We could discuss these events for hours today and only scratch the surface.
Political freedom means nothing in eternity. Spiritual freedom means everything.
But there is also a message for the church today.
There is a message for the individual believer.
Freedom comes down to one question: Who will control me?
What does the scripture mean when is says we are “free?”
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
This sounds wonderful, but what does it mean?
Does the average Christian know what he or she is free from?
The Freedom of the Cross
The truth shall make you free. We are free from The law of Moses. (Ceremonial law).
Hebrews 10:1-4 (KJV)
1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Hebrews 10:14-18 (KJV)
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
The truth shall make you free. We are free from the law of sin.
Romans 8:2-4 (KJV)
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
You may ask, What practical value does that have? What does it mean to me?
It means that you are not under the power of sin any longer.
Before Jesus Christ came into your life, you had no choice.
You were under the law and power of sin.
You lived according to the whims and desires of the flesh.
You lusted, you coveted, you hated, you cheated, you swore, you hurt, you fought—because you had no power to do otherwise.
When Jesus came in through the Holy Spirit, he broke the chains that made you live a sinful life.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Do you know what it’s like to be free from alcohol and drugs?
Do you know what it’s like to walk away from an immoral lifestyle?
There are testimonies all around you in this congregation of these chains being broken!
This is what Jesus came to do!
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
The truth shall make you free. We are free from the law of fear.
Romans 8:15 (KJV)
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Fear (deilia) = dread, a sense of impending disaster, convinced that all is lost and out of control.
Why is deliverance from fear so important?
Because fear sets you up for a tyrant to take control of your life!
Bad health. No insurance. No job. High debt. Family problems. Car problems. House needing repair. These are the circumstances that seem unmanageable
But the devil is a loan shark. His loan to get you out of trouble leads to greater trouble.
Drugs are not your answer. Prescription drugs are not your answer. Alcohol is not your answer.
Jumping out of and into another relationship is not your answer.
Jesus in your answer!
Power (dunamis) = might, strength, ability.
Acts 1:8 (KJV)
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
The truth shall make you free. We are free from condemnation.
Romans 8:1 (KJV)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
In this life, we are never free from condemnation.
Once you mess up, the devil tattoos you with the mark of sin.
If you have been in trouble with the law, you have a record that follows you everywhere.
It shows up in your job interviews and resumes.
It becomes the topic of conversation with your spouse and relatives.
But, it is time that you realize the full extent of your freedom.
God has expunged your record!
Romans 8:31-34 (KJV)
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Anyone who condemns a Spirit-filled child of God is condemning Christ Himself!
Isaiah 53:5-6 (KJV)
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The truth shall make you free. We are free from the power of other people.
One of the worst forms of mental, emotional and psychological slavery today is being under the power of other people. There are those who would never have done the things they have done if it had not been for the influence of evil persons in their lives.
Maybe you fell under their spell. Maybe they made you obligated to them in some way. Maybe you feel like you cannot exist without them in your life.
Paul said in 1 Cor. 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
I believe that God wants to deliver you out of any alliance that is going to destroy you.
Psalms 40:1-3 (KJV)
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
Today can become your day of spiritual independence! You have one Lord and Master: The Lord Jesus Christ!
The truth shall make you free. It is time to stand up for truth!
To the church: We have been delivered from false doctrine.
We have been delivered from formalism, easy believism and powerless religion.
But we must remember that tyrants never give up.
Their lust for power and control drives them to kill, steal and destroy.
If Americans are urged to wave the red, white and blue flag, then Spirit-filled Christians need to wave the banner of the red blood of Jesus, the white linen of holiness and the blue field of eternal, timeless values of the Bible!
Galatians 5:1 (KJV)
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
We didn’t have to pay a penny to get this freedom; we will have to pay everything to keep it.
Patrick Henry’s famous speech went this way:
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace— but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death
The truth shall make you free!