Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Freedom That Christ Brings

I recently finished preaching a four part series on what it means to be free in Christ. The series just scratching the surface, but I hope that that the links to the sermon notes posted here provide a  helpful way to think - or begin thinking - biblically about a concept that can be tricky, especially considering how our culture so often portrays freedom.

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Free - From The Penalty And Power Of Sin

"Because of the sacrifice and forgiveness of Christ, we are freed from the eternal PENALTY of sin; a overwhelming debt we build all our lives will be covered because Jesus has gone to the Cross to take our just penalty upon himself. The wages or cost of sin is still death; it’s just that Jesus paid it for you.

Because of the sacrifice and forgiveness of Christ, we are freed from the present POWER of sin. We were once dead in sin. We were incapable of bringing ourselves to life, and we were going to inevitably default to sin. Because the Holy Spirit is now in us, we have God’s power to break what the Bible calls “chains” of sin. We will struggle with temptation, but we are not doomed to failure. God will work in us (sanctification).

Because of the sacrifice and forgiveness of Christ, one day we will be freed from the very PRESENCE of sin. In heaven, shalom will be restored.  The New Heaven and New Earth will not be broken, and neither will we. This is the solution that frees us from a life of brokenness and sin and an eternity of despair."

Free - From Saving Ourselves

"If you want to keep relying on your ability to ‘do work’ to save you, you are in spiritual slavery and outside of God’s promise. You are meant to be free – and that freedom comes from Heaven. Heaven will fulfill the promise in God’s power, not yours."

Free - From Slavery To The Shadows

"Shadows aren’t bad things in and of themselves, because they point toward the real thing. In a drought, you want to see the shadow of clouds across the land. On a hot day, you want to see the shadow of a tree. But those don’t exist without the cloud or the tree; we would be foolish to exalt the shadow and ignore that which cast it.

The same it true of spiritual realities. The Old Testament was full of shadows: the Law; various people whose lives we now see as in some ways prophetically revealing of God; the promise of physical blessing to Israel that pointed toward spiritual blessing in Christ.

So shadows aren’t bad things. They point us toward the Shadow Caster. But a "shadow" is an imperfect representation of the thing it reveals. Problems arise when people mistake the shadows for the Real Thing."

Free Indeed

"Christian freedom is a directed, purposeful pursuit of the life given and empowered by God that allows us to increasingly participate in the character of Christ. We are created in the image of God; genuine freedom, then, is found in conforming to that image, not rejecting it.

When we say, “I am a Christian,” what we say, what we do, what we post, what and how we picket, what we laugh and cry at, how we show Christ’s love, how we balance justice and mercy, how we balance law and grace, how we prioritize our life, how we engage in relationships, the kind of person we commit to becoming in our homes, our workplace, at church, in sports leagues…. These all matter. Every moment leads us further away from or further into the likeness of Christ, and with it the freedom Christ offers."



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