FreedomBro. David Chancellor
7/6/2003 11:00 AM
This week we took a day to celebrate our independence. Independence could be being on your own. Freedom is not necessarily the same thing as independence. We want to be free in the Lord.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
If we continue in Jesus word, then we are his disciples. We need to make his word a part of our lives. His word will teach us truth and will make us free. What kind of freedom is it? Jesus told them he would set them free from sin. They wouldnt have to follow it like they did before. While Jesus gave them freedom from sin, it wasnt freedom to do whatever they wanted. Men settle for a life of sin, when they could be free from sin. If youre still bound by sin, theres a freedom needed that government cant give you.
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
All men feel like they have freedom, but free from what? Some are glad to be free from righteousness, but theyre servants to sin. Some are glad to be free from sin, but theyre servants to righteousness. Youre free from one, and bound by the other. There are some things that still control our lives. Theres a spectrum that goes from anarchy to tyranny. There is something in our lives that provides control and direction. Righteousness brings some control to our lives.
1 Corinthians 8:9
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of your's become a stumbling block to them that are weak.
Anarchy doesnt work. In the freedom we enjoy, theres always some restraint. Take heed that your liberty doesnt become a stumbling block to the weak. We have to consider the impact of our actions. It matters a great deal how what we do affects others. Some cant seem to exercise their liberty correctly, so laws are put in place to help. The love of God puts some restraint on us. We dont want to be a stumbling block. When it comes to evangelism, our first goal is not to be a hindrance. People need to see the good of God in you, and want what you have. We dont want to be a stumbling block to those about us.
Deuteronomy 12:8, 28
Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes. Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.
Some think freedom is doing whats right in their own eyes. That isnt freedom. Freedom is doing what is right in Gods eyes. Focus on what God has to say. Our liberty is freedom from the ideas of men (including our own) and finding out what God says is right. We have to know for ourselves what is right. Search the word of God to see what is right. See what God has to say. Just because someone says a thing, doesnt mean that it is what God said. If God didnt say it, then you dont have to listen, but if he did, youd better listen. The man bringing the message isnt the issue. Listen to the message and determine if it matches what God says. Follow what is right in the sight of God. We have the liberty to hear the word of God and continue in it. Hear what God says through his word, and do it. If youre pleading for your own way, thats not good. It will go well with you if you follow Gods way.
And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
These told them not to speak of Jesus and truth. People try this pretty often. Peter and John asked whom they should obey: men or God? Our obligation is to do what is right in Gods sight. This is our highest responsibility. This doesnt mean that we wont suffer. Whats right in Gods sight may not be what is right in mens sight. We try to live by the laws of the land, but the question is, Is this right in Gods sight? We dont want to offend God. We want to do what is pleasing to him. There is a freedom in knowing and doing the will of God.
1 Peter 2:11-16
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
The freedom they taught wasnt anarchy. Their conduct was to be such as to not give the ones that would speak evil any foundation for their words. If you live a righteous and godly, people will eventually see that its a good thing. Be a law-abiding citizen. We work within the confines of government. Theres a balance here. We abide by the laws of the land insomuch as it doesnt conflict with what God says to do. Were free to serve righteousness. We can live without sin to bind us. In our country, for the most part, we can serve God in a way thats right. We can live out the will of God by the grace of God. Hold on to the liberty God gives. Weve been set free to do what is right in the sight of God. Were free, but dependent on God. We need his guidance and direction. The love of God in us makes us concerned about the effect of our lives on others. It controls our lives in a good way. Were free to serve God and live for him and please him.