July 5, 1998

Freedom & Liberty

2 Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Fourth of July, we calibrate liberty and independence. Yet we see that liberty and independence quickly disappearing.

The Indianapolis star uses this verse as though knowledge leads to liberty and freedom. However, we know otherwise. Here we see why -- civil liberty is the result of spiritual liberty, and the Spirit of the Lord produces Spiritual liberty. Civil liberty is only a result of spiritual liberty.

The statement, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, is based upon Jn 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Proverbs 5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

Isaiah 52:3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.

Bondage is bondage to sin. People have willingly sold themselves into bondage. That bondage could be defined as bondage to the desire to have personal peace, happiness and prosperity. And the individual defines happiness and prosperity. The results of that bondage are evils of all kinds, both personal evils and social evils.

Fallen man enjoys his bondage so much that he does not want freedom. Only the Spirit of God can make the sinner unhappy about his fallen condition. Only then will the sinner seek freedom from his bondage, and the only freedom is through redemption --- through the sacrificial payment of Christ.

1) Freedom from the bondage of sin

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

The person who can continue in sin without guilt or conviction has never been set free from the power of sin through Christ. Salvation provides the Grace of God to break the hold of sin. However, a Christian can continue in that hold.

Romans 6:1ff.

Note V. 16, bondage to sin results in personal, physical death, and it results in the death of a society.

2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

2) Freedom from the captivity of Satan

2 Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Here he does with his servants as he will.

3) Freedom from the fear of hell, the wrath of God and damnation

1 Thes. 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. 9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

4) Freedom from the guilt of sin

Heb 10:14 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.

Confess and forsake sin.

5) Freedom of children with a father

Heb 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Civil liberty is firmly anchored in spiritual liberty. The spirit of liberty is salvation through Christ.

All we need to do is look around and we see that the Spirit of the Lord is not in society, so bondage must replace his spirit of freedom. Though over 80% of Americans claim Christianity, all you need to do is speak to a few to find what kind of Christianity they have --- it is paganism. They believe they can have the love of God while they are at war with God's word.

Our fourth celebration is a celebration of the day we saved.

Notice the purposes of freedom from the power of sin:

First, Gal 5:1, 13-16

God's spirit of liberty permits us to threat one another as we would have them to treat us. It allows us to work at building one another up in the most holy faith. It allows us to encourage one another. God's spirit of liberty allows us to do this free from envy, strive and other ungodly motives.

Second, Isa 61:1-4

The converting Spirit of God sets people free. But that freedom is not just so they can treat their fellow man properly, and then go to heaven with a clear conscience. That freedom is to be applied into every area of life and thought.

The purpose of Christian freedom is so God's people can take God's word, study it, and then apply it into society. The result will be civil liberty and freedom.

National civil freedom starts on the personal level. Our bondage to those sins that we feel are unimportant results in the loss of civil freedom.