Experiencing Freedom In Christ
Experiencing Freedom In Christ
Texts: Isaiah 61:1-2; Luke4:18-19; Galatians 5:1
I understand that today is your independence day. Have you ever stopped to consider what it cost to have freedom? In much of the world, people have developed a shallow view of freedom. The worldly view of freedom tries to convince us that we must look out for ourselves and no one else. Freedom is dangerous in the hands of those who don’t know how to use it. That’s why barbed wire, steel bars, and concrete walls confine criminals.
In the past, freedom was seen as the ability to make responsible choices. It was being able to choose without someone else’s force or pressure to conform.
A friend of mine used to tell a story about a town where all the residents are ducks. Every Sunday the ducks waddle out of their houses and waddle down the main street to their church. They waddle into the sanctuary and squat in their favorite pew. The duck choir waddles in and takes its place, and then the duck minister comes forward and opens the duck Bible. He reads to them: “Ducks! God has given you wings! With wings you can fly! With wings you can mount up and soar like eagles. No walls can confine you! No fences can hold you! You have wings. God has given you wings, and you can fly like birds!”
All the ducks jumped up and shouted, “Amen!” And then they waddled home.
Tonight I want to talk about freedom, but not freedom in a political sense, freedom in Christ. In Christ, fear, worry, and guilt are replaced by peace, forgiveness, and liberty.
In Isaiah 61:1-2 the prophet foretells of the one who could set us free, and in Luke 4:18-19, Jesus uses those same words to declare his ministry. Jesus says, “The Spirit of the Lord has appointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and to announce that captives shall be released and the blind shall see, that the downtrodden shall be freed from their oppressors, and that God is ready to give blessings to all who come to Him.”
Jesus in His first sermon, said, “I came to bring good news.” He said, “I’ve come to set people free.” He said, “I am the truth, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” In John 8:36, He said, “If the Son will set you free, you will be free indeed.”
In Galatians 5:1, Paul tells us that, “Freedom is what we have. Christ has set us free.” Jesus promises real and lasting freedom but from what?
Tonight I want to give you five things that Jesus said, “I’ve come to set you free from.”
1. Jesus said, I want to set you free from the burden of Guilt.
There are a lot of people bound up by guilt. The fact is all of us make mistakes and all of us are guilty of sin. The problem is that we cannot live very long by holding on to that guilt.
Jesus said, “I want to set you free from it.” Ephesians 1:7-8 says, “For by the death of Christ we are set free. That is, our sins are forgiven. How great is the grace of God which He gave to us in such large measure.” Guilt robs you of happiness. It causes depression. It can make you sick. Doctors say a large number of people would get well faster if they could get rid of guilt and bitterness. I’ve talked to a lot of people who just need to be forgiven. They don’t know how to get rid of the past. They are afraid that someone is going to find out about it.
I’ve made mistakes. So how do we get on with life? Jesus says, “I want to set you free from the burden of guilt.”
The Bible says that the moment we come to Christ. He takes us and forgives us instantly, He forgives us completely, and He forgives us without question. The Bible says, “I’ve taken your sins and put them all behind My back.” Out of sight. “I’ve separated them as far as the east from the west.” Out of reach. “I’ve put them where I remember them no more.” Out of memory. Once you learn that God can forgive and forget, what God forgets then you can forget. The Bible says in Psalms, when we confess our sins to Him; He takes them and puts them in the deepest part of the ocean. Then he puts up a “No Fishing” sign. You see God doesn’t want you pulling them back out.
If you come to God and say, “God, I’ve really made a mess of my life. I’ve made mistakes and this is what I’ve done wrong and please forgive me.” You are forgiven. God will not only forgive you he will wipe the slate clean. Then if you were to die and go to heaven and say, “God about that sin…” He’d say, “What sin?” or if you were to ask about a mistake, He’d say, “What mistake?” That is the freedom of forgiveness. When you become a Christian, you experience joy that comes from knowing that you’ve been forgiven. But that’s not all.
2. Jesus says, I want to set you free from the pain of resentment.
3. Jesus said, He wants to set you free from the expectations of others.
4. Jesus says, I want to set you free from the control of desires.
5. Jesus said, He wants to set you free from the fear of death.