• Word Of Life Church

Two Sermons on Freedom by Jesus

—Home Church Sermon— Freedom FROM Negative things.

Freedom TO do Positive things.

During the third year of my four-year Seminary training, I was assigned my twelve-month student teaching/preaching (called “Vicarage”).

I was assigned to work in a parish/prison ministry.

There were four aspects to that ministry.

1. The church part was in a very small church

(23 average attendance per week).

The prison part was in

2. A maximum-security prison

(thousands of men),

3. A minimum-security prison

(hundreds of men within six months of getting out),

and in addition I was assigned to work at

4. A Job Corp

(with 18-21 year old males).

They took the option of enrolling in a government

Job Corp program to learn a trade rather

than doing jail time.

All four aspects of the ministry offered

quite the experience for me.

Two of the many things that I learned was that “freedom” is a very important thing.

Most people “want” freedom

&

Most people “complain” about “freedom”

Inmates complained that

 they were given “too little” freedom.

Guards complained that

Inmates were given “too much” freedom

(Too much unaccounted-for free time)

Children/teens often complain that they are given

“too little” freedom.

Parents often complain that their children think that

they need more freedom from responsibility.

While most people want freedom,

what many people really mean is that they

want the freedom to “have what they want”.

For example,

Many in prison defined freedom as being exempt from responsibility.

If they had responsibility, they felt as if they

had no freedom.

Many of the guys in the Job Corp

(age 18-21)

defined freedom the same way.

If they had to keep a schedule then they were

not free.

Freedom to them was an exemption

from responsibility.

I don’t want to “have to” do anything that I don’t

want to do.

On the surface, it sounds like a good definition.

At least it is a convenient definition.

Now that sounds like “the life”.

But “Freedom” actually has more to do with

Being free “from”

than it does with

Being free “to”.

Freedom FROM Negative things.

Freedom TO do Positive things.

It is nice to be free “to” do things

and free “to” say things

as evidenced in the United States of America.

Declaration of Independence

"We hold these truths to be self-evident,

that all men are created equal,

that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,

that among these are Life, Liberty and

the pursuit of Happiness.”

We have the freedom “to” life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That is great, but there is a greater aspect of freedom.

That is the ability to be free “from”.

This is a great biblical emphasis.

What Freedom IS

    *  The ultimate freedom is the freedom “from”

Negative things like:

punishment, hell, bondage to sin, etc.

Since the children have flesh and blood, 

he [Jesus] too shared in their humanity [Christmas]

 so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 

15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death… 

17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way.. to … make atonement for the sins of the people.” 

-Hebrews 2:14-18

What Freedom IS NOT

    *  Freedom is not freedom from responsibility.

[Responsibility is actually a blessing.

It is an honor to be given responsibility.

You feel great when you are responsible.

Success is built on responsibility.]

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.

But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh;

rather, serve one another humbly in love.

[As Jesus willingly did]

-Galatians 5:13

  *  Freedom is not freedom from cost.

“This is how we know what love is:

Jesus Christ laid down his life FOR us.

[“For” us at his own expense]

And we ought to [willingly] lay down OUR lives

FOR our brothers and sisters.

-1 John 3:16

Freedom is never free.

It may be free to you,

But somebody else paid for that freedom.

Everyone wants a “Free Lunch”

but most believe that

there is no such thing as a “Free Lunch”.

Note:

Freedom is not freedom from responsibility.

Freedom is responsibility.

That is why freedom is never free.

It always costs someone something.

Someone is always responsible for freedom.

It cost Jesus his life, that we might freely have

the promise of 100% forgiveness of sins and the promise

of heaven with Jesus forever one day.

That is grace.

The cost of freedom that we experience in the

United States of America was paid by the sacrifice of others.

It is interesting to note the price by many of the 56 men

who signed the Declaration of Independence on

July 4, 1776 

* 5 were captured and tortured by the British before death.

* 12 Had their homes ransacked and burned to the ground.

* 2  Lost their sons in the war.

* 1 Had two sons captured.

* 9 Fought and died from wounds and hardships

of the war.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader,

saw his ships swept from the seas by the British navy.

He sold his home to pay his debts and died in rags.

Thomas McKean was so hounded by the British that

he was forced to move his family almost constantly.

He served in Congress without pay and he died a very poor man.

Thomas Nelson’s home was seized by the British at

the Battle of Yorktown and used as a command post.

He urged General George Washington to open fire on it.

The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt.

Their sacrifices remind us of the sacrifice of Jesus.

Anyone thinking that grace or freedom is a free ticket

giving them the freedom to do “anything” that “they”

want, they are wrong.

Look at Romans 6

“What shall we say, then? 

Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

By no means!

We are those who have died to sin; [free from having

to be overpowered by sin]

how can we live in it any longer? 

[the freedom from having to live under its power]

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized

into his death? 

We were therefore buried with him through baptism

into death in order that,

just as Christ was raised from the dead through the

glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

[Freedom “from” sin]

[Freedom “to” live a new, clean life]

For if we have been united with him in a death like

his, we will certainly also be united with him in a

resurrection like his. 

For we know that our old self was crucified

[Free from having to be a slave to our sinful nature]

with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done

away with, that

we should no longer be slaves to sin

[We are free “from” having to be a slave to sin]

because anyone who has died has been

set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will

also live with him. For we know that since Christ was

raised from the dead, he cannot die again;

death no longer has mastery over him.

[We are free “from” having to be a slave to sin]

10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; 

but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin

[We are free “from” having to be a slave to sin]

but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so

that you obey its evil desires. 

13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an

instrument of wickedness,

but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have

been brought from death to life;

and offer every part of yourself

to him [not to sin] as an instrument of righteousness.

14 For sin shall no longer be your master

[We are free “from” having to be a slave to sin]

because you are not under [the power of] the law

but under [under the power of] grace.

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under

the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you

know that when you offer yourselves to someone as

obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—

whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, 

or [slaves to] to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 

17 But thanks be to God that, though you

used to be slaves to sin[but are now free “from”]

you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of

teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.

18 You have been set free FROM sin and have become

slaves TO righteousness.

19 I am using an example from everyday life because of

your human limitations. Just as you used to offer

yourselves as slaves to impurity and to

ever-increasing wickedness,

so now offer yourselves as slaves TO righteousness leading to holiness.

20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from

the control of righteousness. 

21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the

things you are now ashamed of?

Those things result in death! 

22 But now that you have been set free FROM sin

and have become slaves of God,

the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result

is eternal life.

23 For the wages of sin is death, 

but the gift of God is eternal life

in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus wants you to experience true freedom

regardless of your situation in life.

“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.”  

-Galatians 5:2

It is interesting to look at the very first and last sermon by

Jesus while on earth and what he said about freedom.

Jesus’ First Sermon

(The FIRST thing that Jesus said in the Bible was

about freeing people)

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

because he has anointed me

to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to

proclaim freedom for the prisoners

and recovery of sight for the blind,

to release the oppressed,”

-Luke 4:18 [From Isaiah 61:2]

Jesus’ Last Sermon

(The LAST thing that Jesus said in the Bible was about

freeing people by making Jesus their new Master)

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 

Therefore go and make disciples

[Willing disciplined followers]

[Willing slaves]

of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the

Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and

teaching them to obey everything

I have commanded you.

And surely I am with you always,

to the very end of the age.”

-Matthew 28:18-20

Everyone is a slave to someone or something.

Freedom means that you can choose what and who you will be your “master”.

“… a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” 

    -2 Peter 2:19

Prayer

Lord, we thank you for our nation.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”

-Psalm 33:12

We thank you for the freedom to pray.

“Through faith in him we may approach God [pray]

with freedom and confidence.”

-Ephesians 3:12

We thank you for your Word which guides and frees

us to do the right things in life.

“I will walk about in freedom,

for I have sought out your precepts.”

-Psalm 119:45

We thank you for your presence which gives us

the peace that comes with freedom.

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

-2 Corinthians 3:17

And thank you for Jesus.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”

 -Galatians 5:2

And Lord, finally because of your love and grace,

we make a Declaration today,

not of Independence,

but rather a Declaration of “Dependence”,

dependence on you Lord to

Guide us,

Strengthen us,

and forgive us.

In Jesus’ name.

Amen!

Pastor Dave


Word of Life Church

17525 W. Bell Rd.

Surprise, AZ 85374

Word Of Life
   Church & preSchool

623-544-3000

wolchurch@wordoflifeaz.org

17525 W Bell Road

Surprise, AZ 85374

  • White Facebook Icon

©2020 Word of Life Lutheran Church & Preschool. All rights reserved.

WOL Logo 2020-01.png