- INTRO - Last week we studied the Lord’s, or disciples’, prayer. The week prior, honoring parents.In both messages we talked about how the people of the Bible understood what God communicates to humankind.Our world is so different from the time we read about in the Bible.For example, Independence Day next Saturday is a time we celebrate our American freedom. Fireworks, BBQ, and the patriotic spirit converge in a nationwide celebration.Our national days of celebration are not listed in the Bible.How can we relate when so much about our world differers from what the Bible says about people and life?To learn, we have to find a way to understand.We need a program or path for proper study that helps us wrap our minds around the material.To understand the Bible, we must study their culture, history, theology, and literature.Sadly, too many people say things about the Bible without knowing what they are talking about.Often what people say to me about God and the Bible sounds about as smart as third-grader attempting to explain driving rules of the road.They know just enough to think they know what they are talking about but don’t let them drive.Open your Bible to Romans 8:1-2Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.Freedom is what this chapter is about. Believers have freedom in Christ Jesus.As our text notes, “Jesus has set you free.”Instead of an exposition of one passage of Scripture, I’d like for us today to consider the theme of freedom.Freedom is the condition following God’s act of taking away social, spiritual, economic, and institutional things that prevent our creational purpose.God created humankind with the purpose to know, love, worship, and enjoy Him forever.Jesus won our freedom when He died on the cross and rose from the grave.God’s Spirit now gives believer the freedom to join God in freeing other people as we wait for our own full realization of our freedom when Jesus returns.Summary of FreedomThe Bible talks a great deal about liberation from slavery, moral obligations, legal responsibilities, and economic distress.Biblical basics might include a release from some or all of these.The Bible speaks of sending someone away to be released, to be freed:“When you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for six years; then in the seventh he is to leave as a free man without paying anything.The same Hebrew word to describe sending away to be free is used to convey the idea of someone innocent of a crime.In addition to the OT statements on freedom, the NT shifts focus to freedom from sin and death as accomplished in Christ:For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.Jesus “released” or “loosed” the believer from the bondage of sin:So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.The NT mentions the freedom to marry:A wife is bound as long as her husband is living. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to anyone she wants—only in the Lord.TRANS - There is our short summary of freedom. At this time I’d like to share a story with you about freedom.Story of FreedomIn Christ we are free. The interesting thing about the Bible is the way it teaches God’s ongoing act of freeing His people from bondage.Freedom in Christ in the NT and freedom from enslavement in the OT.The Jewish people were at one time slaves to the Egyptians.The OT tells us the great work of God freeing the people from that bondage in order to worship Him:Later, Moses and Aaron went in and said to Pharaoh, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival for me in the wilderness.”The Egyptian bondage was economic, social, and spiritual.The people were oppressed and kept back from worshiping God.God intervened on the behalf of the Jews, the Hebrews.The Jewish people often forgot their God, but often, especially in exile, wanted a second exodus or freedom from bondage.The Jews wanted political freedom, freedom from sin, disease, distress, and death.God made some provision for them:Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors. I know about their sufferings, and I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the territory of the Canaanites, Hethites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.Still, death hung heavy over the Hebrew people:What courageous person can live and never see death? Who can save himself from the power of Sheol? SelahThe exodus and the whole of the OT pointed forward to a time God sends freedom by way Jesus.The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him, and unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written: 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 release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed,The NT views Jesus as the new Moses and His death and resurrection as a “new exodus” that saves people from slavery to sin and demands of the law:and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has set us free from our sins by his blood,The only way to real freedom is through Jesus as we again look at this verse:For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.Our freedom is not for our pleasure, but for the purpose of loving God and others.The law and sin only proved our great need for Jesus.Today we can keep the law, fulfill our purpose, as we seek to bring pleasure to God by His Spirit:For what the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.TRANS - Summary and a story, how about now we seriously study some scripture.Scripture and FreedomLet’s look at both the OT and NT.Old Testament
יוֹבֵל (yôbēl). n. Jubilee Year, ram’s horn.Every seven years was a rest year that began with the sounding of the ram’s horn.Every 49th year, on the Day of Atonement, a Jubilee was announced.Every 50th year was the Jubilee.Jubilee was the occasion of freedom to people in servitude.
שׁלח (šālaḥ). vb. to send away, to freeThis verb is the act of sending away. In one form it carries the idea of release.
חָפְשִׁי (ḥāpšı̂). adj. free, a freed slave.
נָקָה (nāqâ). vb. to be free, to be without blame, innocent.
דְּרוֹר (dĕrôr). n. freedom, liberty.New TestamentYou get where I’m going with this.Let’s look at some NT words that speak of freedom.
ἀπολύω (apolyō). vb. to set free, to divorce, to send away.
ἐξουσία (exousia). n. power, authority, freedom of choice
ἐλεύθερος (eleutheros). n. freedom or liberation.
λύω (lyō). vb. to loose, to untie. This
ἀποστέλλω (apostellō). vb. to send, to dismiss.What I hope you see it the frequency of how the Bible speaks to the sense of freedom and setting free.Perhaps this last word, apostello, sounds familiar.It should, its the idea of the Father sending Jesus to do His will:Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and I am here. For I didn’t come on my own, but he sent me.Also, its the same thing Jesus did sending disciples:As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.Tying the OT & NT together, let’s look again at Luke where he quotes Isaiah 58:6 to tell us that Jesus came to proclaim the “sending out” or “freeing” of captives: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 release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed,TRANS - We considered freedom this morning. Let’s bring our time to a close.ConclusionI summarized freedom, told you a Bible story about freedom, and we considered the importance of the theme of freedom all through Scripture.The theme of freedom is both OT and NT Christology.Jesus came, sent y God, to set people free.This Saturday is Independence Day.I hope you will take a moment to thank God for the freedom we have in this country and the freedom God gives His children.Are you free?Do you know God?In a moment, if unsure, I want help you truly understand how much God loves you.(end)
1 Corinthians 7:39HCSB
- America The Beautiful
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