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Freedom this Way!

9 Flavors 1 Fruit  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:06
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Good Morning, I Hope you had a great 4th July.… One of the Holidays that we know how to celebrate well as a nation is Independence Day....... Have you ever wondered how money gets spent over the Holiday? Well Wallethub.com had some interesting numbers... Apparently, we spent about…
$6.8 Billion: on food.
150 Million: on hot dogs
$1.6+ Billion: on beer and wine.
$1+ Billion: spent on fireworks
$5.4 Million: on American flags i
47+ Million: On travel --- Where the average person traveled about 50+ miles from their home on the 4th
The 4th of July is one those Holidays that remind us that even though things are far from perfect in our Nation. We are still Extremely blessed to be living in a country that upholds and believes in Freedom.…
A couple of weeks ago Carol handed me this news article from Zimbabwe… The clipping had to do with how the economic crisis in Zimbabwe is impacting people’s ability to get passports and to travel…. The title was “We are Trapped.”
When we lived in Zimbabwe it would take about full day of waiting in a long line to hand in your application for a passport, then it would take a few months for the officials to issue you with a passport.
Today the lines at the Passport office are nearly a mile long.... and it is taking more than a year to be issued with a passport. Without a passport, you are literally trapped in the country, … even if they wanted to leave you can’t…
Can you imagine just for a moment being stuck in California…even if you had ability and resources to visit friends and family members let’s say in Oregon or Nevada… you simply couldn’t leave…that kind of thing we talking about…
We are in a Series on the Fruit of the Spirit –9 Flavors 1 Fruit. from Galatians 5:22-23... The Fruit of the Spirit is in Context of Paul admonishing the Church in Galatia to stand Firmly in the Freedom they had Received.
Read our Text.
Galatians 5:1–2 ESV
1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.
• A Problemhas cropped up in the Galatian Church. The church was growing and many Gentiles were coming to faith … Most of them were coming out of strange belief systems and idolatrous religious cults.
• These new Christians were being set Free from things that held them in bondage.… Paul encouraged them to keep on the path of Freedom… Christ had set them Free so that they might continue their lives in Freedom..
• Paul was careful not to add any set of rules or do’s and don’ts.. but stand in the Liberty of Christ… When we come to Christ we come into a life of Freedom… We no longer have to be Stuck… we no longer have to feel constraints… The scripture tell us that whom the Son sets free is free indeed..
· While the Genitle Christians are experiencing Freedom the Jewish community was wondering if the Gentiles that were now part of the Church were truly Covenant People of God…
• .. Was faith in Christ Enough to be considered the people of God??? ...
• …To confuse matters further there was a group of false teachers called the Judiazers..(simply means to live as do Jews)… were teaching that in order to be considered part of God’s people the Gentiles had to live according to the Mosaic law and had to be circumcised….
• Paul pushes Back....on legalism... He tells them even if they got circumcised it would be no advantage to them… because they wouldn’t be any closer to Jesus..
• He uses even stronger language in chapter 5:12…
Galatians 5:12 ESV
I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!
• Why is Paul so passionate… about fighting legalism!!!
• The reason is that Legalism unravels the power of Grace in our lives… and turns Christianity into a works based religion.
• The Gospel they had received was one of Grace and freedom. Paul’s message was that it wasn’t Christ plus something.... It was simply that you were saved by grace through Faith alone…not by works.
Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
… Paul tells us that we have been Saved for FREEDOM.
Here is the weird thing about Freedom…
• If we are not careful Freedom can lead us back into captivity.
• Every criminal that is released from prison has the challenge of what to do with new found freedom. There is freedom to start a new chapter or possibly commit more crimes.
• Paul tries to make it clear that Freedom doesn’t mean a license to sin…
• but rather our Freedom comes with Responsibility
• In theology there are two views that are juxtaposed that relate to responsibility…
• One is nomianism —Which simply means for the law…our responsibility is to Obey the law..
• and the other view is anti-nomianism - which means against law…The position is that we are not bound by any law, whether related to religious practice or ethical behavior.
Both these positions are extreme positions. One leads us into the bondage to laws… legalism --- the other is that one uses ones Freedom as a kind of license to Sin…
Freedom can be something that is missundertood..
• Since the 1950’s there has been a movement away from Traditional values in this country… at the time it it was coined “the New morality.”
• — in the 60’s and 70’s millions of Americans embraced free sex, drugs and general revolt against morality as it had been… the slogan “if it feels Good, do it” —
• In the 1980’s the baby boomers matured got jobs and started families.. and there was a somewhat return to more traditional values…
• But, by the beginning of the 21st Century we saw another wave against traditional values which has been called… “The radical New Morality” — acceptance of beliefs and philosophies wouldn’t have even been tolerated in the 70’s —
• Today secular humanism has firmly entrenched our educational systems… it impacted our views on marriage, gender, abortion. morality and ethics.
Paul teaches that...
• Freedom without Responsibility in not real freedom…
In Romans 5…Paul tells us that when the law came it increased sin… because it made us aware of sin… but grace abound even more.... Grace is always greater than sin… So, in our Freedom should we continue to sin?
Romans 6:1–2 ESV
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
Paul answers the question By no means.
Paul tells us that freedom needs to be tempered with responsibility.
T/S Paul shows us the way to Freedom… Freedom comes by making the Right Choices.

1. Freedom Chooses love Over Selfishness .

• Most us go into marriage full of optimism! And Rightly so but we are not always prepared for the challenges along the way.
• The adage Good marriages might be made in heaven but the maintenance is done on earth… rings true because... Every marriage is a work in progress.
• One of the challenges in marriage is that you bring yourself into the relationship… Before you are married you have this noble idea that you are an easy person to live with… The Truth is that we are not that easy as we think… Why… Because each of us is inherently selfishness.
• David Brooks in NY Times writes that
• Good marriages happen when one identifies one’s own selfishness as the fundamental problem --- it not about reforming or changing your spouse but it is about learning to cultivate selfless love.
Marriage is all about selflessness.
• Brooks says that
“marriage isn't about two individuals trying to satisfy their own needs; it's a partnership of mutual self-giving for the purpose of moral growth and to make their corner of the world a little better.”(CT)
• T/s Paul is pointing us in the True way of Freedom… and the First thing he tells us that we are to choose love over Selfishness.
Galatians 5:13–15 ESV
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
Paul tells these New Christians that they were Called to Freedom…
• FIRST OF ALL… Christianity is a CALLING to Freedom.
• Our Christian life didn’t begin with our decision to follow Christ but with God’s call us to Salvation.. this is part of this mystery of election — Paul tells us that...
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus took the initiative in His grace while we were still far from God in rebellion and sin. God demonstrated his love by dying for us on the cross… We have been Called to Freedom. but…our Freedom is not to be consumed on ourselves… Paul tells us in...
• - vrs 13 "Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.:
• The word OPPORTUNITY is a military word it speaks of a military base for launching an offence….
• Freedom is our Platform-- Our pretext to Serve and love others.
• As Americans we tend to think of freedom primarily in political or economic terms. We live in a “free country,” people will say, or we’re living “debt-free.”
• Biblically speaking, however, freedom is essentially RELATIONAL. You’re free insofar as you’re rightly relation with God.
• It is paradoxical...We were called to freedom when God called us into relationship with himself.... When God calls us to himself, he frees us from ourselves…so that we might love others…
• The only way we can love other in selfless, self-giving love. Is with God’s Agape love.... Agape loves that person the way that God would love them.
John Stott says it like this.
‘Truly to love somebody is not to possess him for myself but to serve him for himself.’
• Agape love is always looking for opportunities on How to serve.. There is intentionality with loving others…
• WE need to Ask Who is it that we are to be loving...
Paul is quoting Jesus here…14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Who are we to love are those who are our Neighbors…those who are those closest proximity to you..... Think through -
Who is your Neighbor?
- Our Family
- Our Friends
- Our Street
- Our Work place
- Our Social Circles. ie..Schools.. sports..
We can do this in a very practical way… take a moment Jot down a name or two. In each of those areas…start praying for them...How?
Through loving them..
• Love, ought to mark our lives as Christians. Indeed, love ought to be the hallmark of the Christian. We ought to be known by how we love one another—and the world.
• It has been said that the opposite of love is not hate its indifference.... Paul would say the opposite of love… is Selfishness…
Freedom is the — pre- text to love others — opposed to using our freedom for opportunities for the flesh...
Paul says...
“Do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh…
What is the Flesh? The flesh is that part of us which is not fully submitted to the Lordship of Christ. We might say it is our carnal nature… or our lower nature…
As W. Barclay, aptly expresses--The flesh is what man has made himself in contrast with man as God made him. The flesh is man as he has allowed himself to become in contrast with man as God meant him to be.
What happens when we use our Freedom to serve our selves is that we end up
1. Competing with others
2. Promoting discord.
3. Consuming each other.
Whenever you find a failed relationship — whether its in the work place, a friendship gone sour, or a marriage..
You will find Competing views… You will find discord… You will find… back biting and consuming one another…
That is the nature of the flesh… To walk in freedom, the Flesh needs to come under subjection or Control of the Holy Spirit....
WE as Believers Have been Called to Freedom…
T/S … Often we get lost on the path to Freedom and Paul in Galatian is directing us back to the path of freedom
1. Freedom Chooses love Over Selfishness .

2.Freedom Chooses the Holy Spirit Over Fleshly Desires

When Pam and I were newly married… One Evening we had invited our churches youth Group over to our house… for games night. After the event, we were exhausted from all the activities… and so we decided to leave all the dishes until the next. day.... That would have been fine, but we had forgotten that we had invited a Pastor friend and his wife over for breakfast the next morning… You can imagine the panic and embarrassment when they arrived at our house in the morning and the dishes weren’t done…
• Sometimes Churches can be a little messy… God has a way of working through our Mess.. David Tripp and Timothy Lane in their book on Relationships...
“While we would like to avoid the mess and enjoy deep and intimate community, God says that it is in the very process of working through the mess that intimacy [and true community] is found”
The Galatian Churches had sure made a mess of things…they were a mess theologically… they were a mess relationally...
The question is not is it messy…. but how do we work our way through the mess?
Paul points them to the Power of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:16–17 ESV
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
• Paul tells the church that the way that you deal with the Flesh is to walk in the Spirit…
• While the Judaizers were wanting the Gentiles to get circumcized as a kind of badge (proof) of being part of the covenant community…
• Paul tells us that the evidence of being Christian isn’t some ceremonial marker...But rather the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the real evidence of being a Christian… Notice that even though you have been given the Holy Spirit you still have to walk in the Spirit.. some translation say walk by the spirit… It Basically mean to walk in line… or alignment with God Spirit..
The Reason that we must walk with the HS is that there is a battle that is going on within Each of us between the Flesh and the Spirit.. Paul tells us that “the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit”… The Flesh is always trying to keep you from doing what you need to do…
• The flesh is always looking for a beachhead in our lives --- to become the operational base to undermined every single of our relationships… whether it is our relationship with God, our spouse, our children, our neighbors…
Flesh is wanting to keep us Trapped…. Paul gives us tools so that we can recognize the Works of the Flesh..
Galatians 5:19–21 ESV
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Paul often used virtue and vice lists to help as a kind of a tool... Each one of these vices leads us away from God and into bondage…. From sexual sins – to rage - Divisions --- all these are traps… Satan’s greatest desire is eboblize us in the Kingdom… If he can take away our Freedom… It’s like taking away your passport… you have very little impact.. Paul gives a warning…
.. Those who are controlled by the flesh .... have no place in the Kingdom of God… Strong words.
• The answer to the Flesh problem is be Filled with the Spirit..
Romans 8:12–14 ESV
12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Paul tells us here in Romans… we have no obligation to the Flesh…When you are a debtor you keep on making payments… You are at the mercy of the lender… In Christ we have been forgiven from the all the debts… and the works of the Flesh… No obligation… So instead of living in the Flesh… We simply declare our freedom in Christ… And the way we put to death the deeds of Flesh is through living in the power of Spirit
Paul’s point is practical: “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
• It is a mathematical certainty that the extent to which we depend on the Spirit is the extent to which we will defeat the flesh.
• . As we yield more and more to the Spirit we are freed from the self.. and the desires of the flesh.
• Instead of Works of the Flesh our lives will be full of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit…
c. Produce Fruit of the Kingdom.
Galatians 5:22–23 ESV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Notice that it is the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Where there are many works of the flesh.
There is only one Fruit - Singular of the Spirit.. In other words.. we don’t get to pick and choose what kind of fruit we are going to produce.... Because it’s the Spirit that going produce all these attributes… These are all communicable attributes. these are all part of God’s nature… and they going to lead you to eternal life...
T/s 1. Freedom Chooses love Over Selfishness .
2.Freedom Chooses the Holy Spirit Over Fleshly Desires

3. Freedom Chooses the Cross Over Desires and Passions .

In 2009, a German scientist named Jan Souman did a study where he took a group of people into empty field , blindfolded them, and instructed them to walk in a straight line. Some of them managed to keep to a straight course for ten or twenty paces; a few lasted for 50 pace or a hundred. But in the end, all of them wound up circling back toward their points of origin. The study concluded people when blindfolded tend to walk in circles.. In fact, it isn't even limited to walking. Ask people to swim blindfolded or drive a car blindfolded and, no matter how determined they may be to go straight, they quickly begin to describe peculiar looping circles in one direction or the other..
Freedom in Christ means that the blind fold have been taken off... We don’t have to keep on walking in circles — We can see clearly the lines between the Spirit and the Flesh… We know what the Works of the flesh look like and we know what the Fruit of the Spirit look like..
With our eyes, wide open… we choose the Cross over our passion and desires… We understand our Calling is to live in the Freedom that Christ has won for us on the Cross…
Paul tells us that those who Belong to Christ have Crucified the Flesh…
Galatians 5:24–26 ESV
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
The cross is a powerful image…
…Jesus used the vivid image of the cross as a figure of speech of self-denial…
Mat 8:34If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Paul now takes this picture to a logical conclusion – not only do we need to pick up our Cross but no Paul tells us that ought to lay down our passions and desires upon the cross… The things that keep us trapped… you can just scan through the list of the works of the Flesh..
Those who belong to Christ understand the cross and what Christ did for us.. Paul says if you want to continue in freedom… You should approach his Cross…. There are three movements towards Christ.
1. Recognizing that our Passions and desires are opposed to Christ. That our lower nature is against God… Our flesh and sinful nature is offensive to Christ…
The second movement..
2. Freedom means Repentance.. ..
In order for there to be forgiveness there has to be repentance.
2 Corinthians 7:10 E
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
The biblical word for repentance is metanoia (from meta [change], and noia [mind])—resulting in “a change of mind.”
This is, however, no superficial change of thought: “I think I’ll have Boston Cream Pie, instead of chocolate glazed donut” Rather, it’s a transformation or transmutation of consciousness, the whole inner nature—intellectual, affectional, and moral.
Archbishop Richard Trench noted that from its initial Greek usage, metanoia increased in depth until, in the New Testament, it came
“to express that mighty change in mind, heart, and life wrought by the Spirit of God.”
It is critical to understand that regeneration is something that the Holy Spirit does that really and truly changes a person; it changes the very disposition of his soul. If a person is truly regenerate and manifests faith, it is impossible for that person not to bring forth some measure of obedience.
Lastly, we need to Acknowledge our Freedom..
3 The cross becomes the crucible the place where Christ the power of sin is defeated..... The cross was that pivotal moment when Christ defeated the power of sin and death…
The result of this kind of walk of crucified life… is how we walk in step with the Spirit...“We live by the Spirit”
• At the end of the movie Braveheart, Mel Gibson is getting tortured or executed, or a combination. He’s William Wallace, the great revolutionary in the thirteenth century in Scotland. I think he’s asked to recant. Instead of saying what his executioners, what his tormentors, what his jailers, want him to say, he yells, “Freedom!”
Paul would say to you that it is for Freedom that Christ has set you free… stand firm in the freedom that Christ has already purchased for you… don’t return to the yoke of bondage...
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