Vernon Advent Christian Church
Thursday, March 21, 2019
A Unique Church of Understanding People

070311-Free Indeed-John 8:31-36

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FD, FE CF - Free Indeed John 8:31-36 Thanks be to God for the freedoms He has allowed us to enjoy as citizens of the United States of America! Yet, how free are we really? Webster's Dictionary - Freedom: "The state of being free; exemption from the power and control of another; liberty, independence." But how free are we really? Many people on foreign soil are freer than most Americans. We are encumbered by our stuff or want of stuff. 3 Weeks ago: James 1:1 - "Bondslave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." To be fully devoted, fully engaged Christ-followers, we must surrender our all to Christ, see ourselves as bondslaves of Christ. Today, on the eve of Independence Day, let's consider what it means to be free, but not just free - free indeed. As illogical as it seems, being bondslaves of Christ and being free indeed are vitally linked. Important distinction between "freedom" as Webster defines it and being "free indeed." It a matter of the heart. Being free indeed means having the liberty to be who we were meant to be and do what we were meant to do. John 8:31-36 - Freedom comes from relationship with Christ (Savior and Lord), being His disciples, and abiding in His Word (and in Him!). Jesus was speaking to those Jews "who had believed in Him." They claimed not to be enslaved by anyone (Egyptians? Romans?) They were not slaves of the Law of God (given to reveal God, guide and protect), but slaves of sin (vs34). They were also slaves to man-made laws and traditions. You and I fall prey to the same encumbrances. Many Christians do not live free. Enslaved to sin (though set free from its penalty and power). Enslaved to many man-made laws and traditions (easier to follow than to know Christ and maintain relationship with Him). Clothing is just one example. There are not Scriptural laws about clothing except the admonishment to be modest and gender specific and what priest were to wear (you may disagree). But I was taught: Wear you "Sunday best," no hat in church - Biblical law or man-made tradition? Tradition! What are we to do? Only one correct answer. 1)Be weighed down (and weigh others down) by man-made laws and traditions, convinced that God doesn't accept us otherwise (No!). 2)Cast of restraints, thinking that will set you free (won't!). 3)Know Christ (surrender and abide), know the truth, be who you were meant to be (child of God, disciple of Christ) - correct answer! Galatians 5:1, 13 FD, FE CFs see themselves as bondslaves of Christ and enjoy the freedom He brings to be who we were made to be.