What Makes Us Free?
What Makes Us Free?
What Makes Us Free?
In the 16 and 1700's the Americas Colonies started to grow. In 1760, George III became King of England and by 1765 there were numerous "Acts" that had been imposed on the American Colonists. The Sugar Act, the Molasses Act, the Stamp Act and many others. These were imposed taxes upon the people in an effort for England to raise funds to support having troops there and also to pay governors and judges so they would remain loyal to England and help keep the colonists in line.
1765 - The colonials started to protest strongly with a push calling for "no taxation without representation."
1770 - The Boston Massacre took place. An angry citizen mob surrounded a British sentry, verbally abusing and harassing him. Eight more soldiers came out and they were hit with clubs and snowballs and the British soldiers opened fire on the crowd without orders, killing 5 people and wounding others. Eventually the soldiers were put on trial, defended by future president John Adams. Six were acquitted and two were found guilty of manslaughter.
1773 - The Boston Tea Party takes place.
1774 - The Patriots set up their own government to resist Great Britain.
1775 - February, the British government declared Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion.
1775 - April 19, around 5 AM. 700 British troops under the command of Major John Pitcairn marched into Lexington, Mass., on a secret mission to seize patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock and seize an arsenal that was supposed to be there. As the came into Lexington, they were met by 77 patriot militiamen under the command of Captain John Parker on the town's common green. The British major ordered them to disperse and after a moment's hesitation they began to break-up when a shot rang out. It is unknown to this day who fired that shot but it would become known as "the shot heard 'round the world." The British troops began firing and when the brief battle ended, eight Americans would be dead, ten wounded and one British soldier wounded. This short-lived battle would be the beginning of the birth of a nation and the American Revolution.
Battles would continue that day as the British troops marched on to Concord, meeting resistance from the patriots along the way. They would march back to Lexington and the patriot marksmen picked them off throughout the day as the trekked back some 16 miles to Boston. By days end, over 300 British troops would be dead and fewer than 100 patriots would lose their life.
1776 - July 2nd, the Second Continental Congress voted to declare independence from Britain after more than a year of fighting.
1776 - July 4th, 56 delegates of the Second Continental Congress gather at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence declaring that the thirteen colonies regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer under British rule. Instead forming a new nation—the United States of America.
1783 - September 3, parties from the United States and Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris in which Britain agreed to recognize the sovereignty of the United States and formally end the war.
From that time on, The United States of America would become the beacon of freedom throughout the world
God has certainly had a hand in and blessed this great nation for the last 241 years. It has come at a cost but then again, freedom will always come at a cost. God has blessed this country with freedom. Freedom in our political process and freedom in our personal lives. Freedom is good. But like all good things, freedom gets abused.
God gave Adam and Eve freedom in the Garden of Eden. They were allowed to do as they desired and eat what they wanted...with one exception. They were not allowed to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The greed of Eve to desire something she was not supposed to have caused her to be deceived into believing that she needed more than what she had. She was promised that when she ate the forbidden fruit that she would be like God. The problem was, she already WAS like God. She had all the freedom that she needed to live her life and she had the abundance of the blessed land in which she lived, a land blessed by God Himself.
In America today we see the same happening. People are not satisfied with the freedom that they have and desire to seek beyond what they have been blessed with and all that they need. We take for granted daily things which billions of people around the world are longing and dying for. We are not satisfied with what we have been blessed with and instead are angry at and denying the very God that has blessed us with those very things. We feel entitled to have more, more of everything.
The problem seems to be that we don't really understand freedom. We don't understand what it means to be free and we don't understand what makes us free. The people who are fighting against what we have as not being enough are placing their value on what they can possess and what they can do. But God's idea of freedom is different. What makes us free? Let's look at what God says.
I. God's Word makes us free.
A. , Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” NKJV
1. This is a well known quote that many people today don't realize is from the Bible. Most people don't realize what the truth is that is being talked about here.
a. They believe that what they say and more importantly, what they believe is the truth.
b. They believe that the truth is relative to beliefs, cultures, times and places.
c. They believe that the truth can change and what is true today isn't necessarily true tomorrow or what was true before isn't true anymore because we don't like it.
2. These words are directly from the mouth of our Lord Jesus. The truth is found in the Word of God. In reality, the truth IS the Word of God.
a. , Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” NKJV
b. We are to abide in what God's Word says. Abide, we are to live there, in what God has said.
B. Study a map sometime and see where Christianity spread and see the freedom that it has brought to that place.
1. That freedom remains as long as God's Word is lived where it has been preached.
2. This country is taking a decline as people get further away from God's Word and God's truth.
C. Let's look at God's timetable for the establishment of America. Is this coincidence?
1. Discovery of the New World by Columbus in 1492.
2. The invention of the printing press by Gutenberg in the mid-1400's. The first book every printed was the Gutenberg Bible, a copy of the Latin Vulgate version.
3. The birth of Martin Luther in 1483.
4. The beginning of the reformation in 1517 with Luther's writing of the 97 Thesis.
5. The translation by Luther of the Latin Bible into German in 1522 (New Testament) and in 1534, the complete Bible. Now the Bible was translated and being printed for the common people to read.
D. This reformation brought about persecution which would help lead to the dispersion of people fleeing the rule of the church state in England.
1. They came to America to follow the teachings of the Bible, not the church.
2. They came to found a nation based on biblical principles. Biblical truths that would provide freedom for them and others who followed.
II. The Savior makes us free.
A. , Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” NKJV
1. Freedom flows from the written Word and the living Word.
2. From inspiration to authority. We know what we are to do from the inspired Word of God and we have the authority to do it in the power of the name of Jesus Christ.
3. Christ sets people free:
a. Nicodemus was set free from religious bondage ()
(1). Not by power of man will you be set free, but by being born again. ()
b. Zacchaeus was set free from his lust for money. ()
(1). Tax collector, short guy, who climbed a tree to see Jesus and salvation came to him that day.
(2). The Son comes to seek and save that which is lost.
c. Woman at the well was set free from her immorality. ()
d. Mary Magdalene was set free from the bondage of demonic possession. ()
e. Peter was set free from his pride.
f. He has set free people in this room.
4. Our political freedom is a gift from God.
a. Who will lead us?
(1). Who will we follow?
(2). What must they believe?
(3). What will we stand for?
b. It seems the more we live in freedom, the more "freedom" we want. And we start to abuse the freedom that we have.
c. Our freedom, all freedom comes with boundaries. There were boundaries in the Garden of Eden.
d. Our country has boundaries and our rights have boundaries.
5. Spiritual freedom can be ours through faith in Christ.
a. Trust in Him and not in man.
b. Our spiritual freedom comes with boundaries also.
c. God set, God ordained boundaries and we are supposed to live within them.
d. We are free from the bondage of sin but we can still sin. We must see it for what it is, a trap for this mortal body, not our spiritual selves.
III. The Spirit makes us free.
A. , Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. NKJV
B. Man's long search for God through religious ceremony.
C. Christ came to free us from the law and give us the Holy Spirit.
D. We must guard against reverting to legalism. ()
, Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load. NKJV
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.
E. The fruit of the Spirit demonstrates our freedom. ()
IV. Samuel Francis Smith was in his last year of seminary at Andover and very poor. To make ends meet, he accepted literary work. That is how it came about that musician Lowell Mason asked him to translate some German verses for a songbook he was preparing. Among the tunes he handed Smith was a German patriotic hymn, "God Bless Our Native Land." When Smith read it, he immediately felt that the United states also needed a stirring national poem.
Writing on scraps of paper in February 1832, he finished within thirty minutes a poem he titled "America." Mason published it.
On this day, July 4, 1832 the children's choir of Park street Congregational Church in Boston sang it at a Sunday school celebration. Beginning with the now familiar words, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty. . ." It gained immediate popularity. One leader commented that since it was "strong in simplicity and deep in trust in God, children and philosophers can repeat the hymn together. Every crisis will hear it above the storm." (Taken from Christianity.com, June 30, 2017 http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1801-1900/1st-performance-of-samuel-f-smiths-america-11630412.html )
My country, 'tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty, Of thee I sing; Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims' pride, From every mountain side, Let Freedom ring.
Many don't know the fourth verse:
Our fathers' God to Thee, Author of Liberty, To thee we sing, Long may our land be bright, With Freedom's holy light, Protect us by thy might, Great God, our King.
A. Political freedom makes us free citizens.
B. Spiritual freedom makes us free Saints!
C. How free are you?