Free at Last

Sunday, July 5th-Morning Service

Speaker: Clint Woolsey

"Free At Last"

With this being the 4th of July weekend I want us to take a look at what it means to be free.

But more specifically what it means to be free in Christ.

Amazing Grace (My chains are gone)

Amazing grace

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now I'm found

Was blind, but now I see

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace my fears relieved

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed

My chains are gone

I've been set free

My God, my Savior has ransomed me

And like a flood His mercy rains

Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me

His word my hope secures

He will my shield and portion be

As long as life endures

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow

The sun forbear to shine

But God, Who called me here below

Will be forever mine

Will be forever mine

You are forever mine

2 Corinthians 3:17 (New International Version)

17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Romans 6:11-18 (New International Version)

11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

16Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.

18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

We are free but yet we are slaves?

This seems like a contradiction!

In submitting ourselves to serving the kingdom of God we are actually setting ourselves free.

In order to gain such freedom we must become slaves to righteousness.

2 Peter 2:18-22 (New International Version)

18For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.

19They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.

We are all slaves!

We are slaves to whatever or whoever has control over us.

We are either slaves to the righteousness of God or to the evil of Satan.

Being a slave of Satan means being in the bondage of sin.

Sin consumes your entire being.

It starts with just a “little” sin.

But once that “little” sin takes control it becomes your master.

The sin then has full control of you.

That sin will take control of your mind.

It will cause you to fear “freedom”.

An Arab chief tells a story of a spy who was captured and then sentenced to death by a general in the Persian army.

This general had the strange custom of giving condemned criminals a choice between the firing squad and the big, black door.

As the moment for execution drew near, the spy was brought to the Persian general, who asked the question,

"What will it be: the firing squad or the big, black door?"

The spy hesitated for a long time. It was a difficult decision.

He chose the firing squad.

Moments later shots rang out confirming his execution.

The general turned to his aide and said,

"They always prefer the known way to the unknown. It is characteristic of people to be afraid of the undefined. Yet, we gave him a choice."

The aide said, "What lies beyond the big door?"

"Freedom," replied the general. "I’ve known only a few brave enough to take it."

But there is freedom from the bondage of sin through Jesus Christ if we'll just ask for it!

So many time as sinners we “Fear the Unknown” things of being a Christian.

What if I become a Christian and God calls me to become a preacher?

What if He calls me to sell everything I have?

What if I have to give up this habit?

We get comfortable with our lifestyle of sin!

We know how to live in sin.

But that sin has control over you.

It holds you in bondage!

Until you know true freedom it is hard to know you are trapped!

John 8:31-36 (New International Version)

The Children of Abraham

31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

33They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants[a] and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"

34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.

36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Once Jesus set us free we are “FREE INDEED”!

Once we our saved by through the blood of Christ we are given dominion over sin!

Romans 8:12-17 (New International Version)

12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.

13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,

14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.[a] And by him we cry, "Abba,[b] Father."

16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.

17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Once we become children of God we no longer are slaves to our sinful nature!

Not only that but we become heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ!

Who is your master this morning?

Do you serve the devils and demons of Hell?

Or do you serve the Christ and His Kingdom?

One author put it like this:

The kingdom of Christ ‘is a kingdom not of oppressive control but of dreamed-of freedom, not of coercive dominance but of liberating love, not of top-down domination but of bottom-up service, not of a clenched iron fist but of open, wounded hands extended in a welcoming embrace of kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, and grace’.

You serve one or the other!

Do you serve in the bondage of sin?

Or do you serve in the freedom of righteousness?

The Enemy of the world, Satan, was on the side of life’s road with a very large cage.

The man coming towards him noticed that it was crammed full of people of every kind, young, old, from every race and nation." Where did you get these people?" the man asked.

"Oh, from all over the world," Satan replied.

"I lure them with drinking, drugs, lust, lies, anger, hate, love of money, and all manner of things. I pretend I’m their friend, out to give them a good time, then when I’ve hooked them, into the cage they go.”

"And what are you going to do with them now?" asked the man. Satan grinned. "I’m going to prod them, provoke them, get them to hate and destroy each other; I’ll stir up racial hatred, defiance of law and order; I’ll make people bored, lonely, dissatisfied, confused and restless. It’s easy. People will always listen to what I offer them and (what’s better) they blame God for the outcome!" "And then what?" the man asked.

"Those who do not destroy themselves, I will destroy. None will escape me."

The man stepped forward. "Can I buy these people from you?" he asked.

Satan snarled, "Yes, but it will cost you your life."

So Jesus Christ, the Son of God, paid for your release, your freedom from Satan’s trap, with His own life, on the cross at Calvary.

The door is open, and anyone, whom Satan has deceived and caged, can be set free.

Do you want to be set free this morning?

Set free from the drinking, drugs, lust, lies, anger, hate, love of money, or whatever has hold of your life?

Jesus Christ has paid for your release…the door is open…all you have to do is walk out!

This morning we are going to sing a song, if you want to be set free won’t you come and pray at the altar.

Let Christ free you from your bondage.