100530 Blessings Of Freedom

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A Memorial Day weekend sermon presented May 30, 2010, at Palm Desert Church of Christ, by Dale Wells

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  • This weekend, we’re thinking about freedom – and about those whose sacrifices have provided freedom to us.Freedom means different things to different people.
  • To some, it might be freedom from hunger.Adlai Stevenson (UN Ambassador in early 1960s): “A hungry man is not a free man”Mexican proverb: “The right time to eat is: for a rich man, when he is hungry; for a poor man, when he has something to eat.”
  • To some it might be freedom from confinement.Mark Twain: “When I was a boy on the Mississippi River there was a proposition in a township there to discontinue public schools because they were too expensive. An old farmer spoke up and said if they stopped building the schools they would not save anything, because every time a school was closed a jail had to be built.”
  • To those who have served in the military, it may be the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution.Lee Greenwood - And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me and I'll proudly stand next to him to defend her still today, 'cuz there ain't no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.
  • Who can forget the protest & ultimate Tianamen Square massacre in June, 1989. As tanks moved in to break up the protest, one man moved into their path & the tanks were stopped. He climbed up on the turret of the lead tank to talk with the soldiers, then climbed back down and continued to stay in their path until hauled away. No one knows who he was or what happened to him, but “The Unknown Rebel” was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th Century.
  • Everyone wants freedom.This weekend we honor those who have given so much to secure our freedom.* Most important freedom is freedom in Christ.
  • Picture of discipleship(i) Discipleship begins with faith – taking God at his word – about love of God, terror of sin, & real meaning of life. (ii) Discipleship means constantly remaining in the word of Jesus and that involves:(a) Listening to the word of Jesus.(b) Learning from Jesus. Disciple (mathetes) is “learner”. Conclusion is where you got tired of thinking. Closed mind is end of discipleship. (c) Obeying Jesus. Don’t study for academic satisfaction or intellectual appreciation. Disciple learns in order to do. (iii) Discipleship results in freedom. "The truth will make you free.“ Discipleship brings us four freedoms.
  • Galatians 5:1 NIV It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.Christ died to set us free from sin and from a long list of laws and regulations. Christ came to set us free—not free to do whatever we want because that would lead us back into slavery to our selfish desires. Rather, thanks to Christ, we are now free and able to do what was impossible before—to live unselfishly.
  • Discipleship brings us freedom from fear. The man who is a disciple never again has to walk alone. He walks for ever in the company of Jesus, and in that company fear is gone.
  • Paul reminds Timothy of things that should characterize us as Christians.(a) Courage. It always takes courage to be a Christian – courage comes from continual awareness of the presence of Christ. (b) Power. Power to cope; power to take responsibility; power to stand erect in face of the shattering situation; power to retain faith in face of soul-searing sorrow & disappointment. Christian is characteristically the man who can pass the breaking-point and not break. (c) Love. In Timothy's case this was love for the brethren. Christian models love for Christ's people within his heart. (d) There was self-discipline. The word is sophronismos, one of these great Greek untranslatable words. Someone has defined it as “control of oneself in face of panic or passion.” Sophronismos is self-control that makes a man a great leader of others because he is first of all the servant of Christ and the master of himself.
  • If we ever are afraid of the future, eternity, or God's judgment, we can remind ourselves of God's love. We know that he loves us perfectly (Rom_8:38-39). Romans 8:38-39 NIV For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.We can resolve our fears first by focusing on his immeasurable love for us, and then by allowing him to love others through us. His love will quiet your fears and give you confidence.
  • Discipleship brings freedom from the past. Many a man fully recognizes that his greatest handicap is his own self. Every one of us has our own secret regrets – things we’ve done or left undone, things we’ve said or left unsaid, thoughts we’ve harbored that we should have rooted out of our minds.We may in despair cry out: "I cannot change myself. I have tried, but it is impossible." But the power and presence of Jesus can re-create a man until he is altogether new.
  • Paul had reason to forget the past—he had held the coats of those who had stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Act_7:57-58). We have all done things for which we are ashamed, and we live in the tension of what we have been and what we want to be. Because our hope is in Christ, however, we can let go of past guilt and look forward to what God will help us become. Don't dwell on your past. Instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with him now. Realize that you are forgiven, and then move on to a life of faith and obedience. Look forward to a fuller and more meaningful life because of your hope in Christ.
  • It brings freedom from insecurity. There are many whose lives are dominated by the fear of what other people may think and say. H. G. Wells once said that the voice of our neighbors sounds louder in our ears than the voice of God. The disciple is the man who has ceased to care what people say, because he thinks only of what God says.
  • Some people hope that they will receive eternal life. John says we can know we have it. Our certainty is based on God's promise that he has given us eternal life through his Son. This is true whether you feel close to God or far away from him. Eternal life is not based on feelings but on facts. You can know that you have eternal life if you have committed your life to Christ.If so, you know by faith that you are indeed a child of God.
  • It brings freedom from bondage to sin. Many a man has come to the stage when he sins, not because he wants to, but because he cannot help it. His sins have so mastered him that, try as he will, he cannot break away from them. Discipleship breaks the chains that bind us to them and enables us to be the persons we know we ought to be. “O that a man may arise in me That the man I am may cease to be”That is the very prayer which the disciple of Christ will find answered.
  • Freedom is more than deliverance. It is a positive endowment. What the law could not do God has accomplished through Christ. This is freedom “plus.” When accused man is declared not guilty, he is free; when slave is emancipated, he is free. But the judge or the emancipator does not, as a rule, adopt the acquitted individual as his son. When Jesus makes us free, he also makes us sons, with access, right to inherit, etc.Paul offers a bit of irony when he says, “For freedom Christ set us free,” as if to say, “It’s ridiculous to think that Christ would open the gate of our prison—at such a cost!—merely to transfer us to another prison! He set us free in order that we might indeed be and remain free!” * JackExum died February 7, 2010. Known for ministry emphasizing grace and the Holy Spirit. The night before he died, he sat on the edge of his hospital bed and sang “Blest be the Tie that Binds”. I like this quotation of his.
  • 100530 Blessings Of Freedom

    1. 1. The<br />Blessings<br />of<br />Freedom<br />
    2. 2. Freedom means different things<br />to different people<br />
    3. 3. Freedom means different things<br />to different people<br />
    4. 4. Freedom means different things<br />to different people<br />
    5. 5. Freedom means different things<br />to different people<br />
    6. 6. The<br />Blessings<br />of<br />Freedom<br />
    7. 7. John 8:31-36<br />To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s de-scendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can You say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth,<br />
    8. 8. John 8:31-36<br />everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”<br />
    9. 9.
    10. 10. 4 Practical Freedoms<br />In Him We’re Free From:<br />Fear<br />
    11. 11. 2 Timothy 1:7<br />For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.<br />
    12. 12. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear torments us. The one who fears has not matured in love.<br />1 John 4:18<br />
    13. 13. 4 Practical Freedoms<br />In Him We’re Free From:<br />Fear<br />Past<br />
    14. 14. Philippians<br />3:13-14<br />Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.<br />
    15. 15. 4 Practical Freedoms<br />In Him We’re Free From:<br />Fear<br />Past<br />Insecurity<br />
    16. 16. I have put these things in writing for you who have faith in the name of the Son of God, so that you may be certain that you have eternal life.<br />1 John 5:13<br />
    17. 17. It is only when we are secure enough to die, that we are free enough to live!<br />
    18. 18. 4 Practical Freedoms<br />In Him We’re Free From:<br />Fear<br />Past<br />Insecurity<br />Bondage<br />
    19. 19. In Him we have the freedom to give up our rights, but not the right to give up our freedom! Jack Exum<br />Galatians 5:1<br />It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.<br />

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