Saturday, October 19, 2013

“You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free”  John 8:32

How often do we struggle with our behavior, thoughts, attitudes and actions? Others may not be aware of our struggles but they are hiding just below the surface. Many years ago a visiting pastor stood behind the pulpit, sharing the Word of God. He was unknown in the church. In appearance he seemed unremarkable. A man in his fifties, glasses, dark hair, dark suit.
            His message was tearing at our facades; who we really were when we were not at church. Did our neighbors see us as our Christian friends did? How about or fellow workers. What version of us do they see?
            Then he drove home his point vividly: “Here at church, people see me as I am right now, smiling and friendly, standing upright, the picture of Christian behavior. But what about on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and throughout the week, is this what they see?” As he said this, he stepped from behind the pulpit and walked slowly across the stage, revealing to us his deformed and crippled right leg. Each step required effort as he drug that leg sideways, causing his entire body to lope along with effort. “Do my neighbors and co-workers see a different person from the one I present at church?”
            Faith in Christ CAN set us free if we walk in the truth.

·         John 8:36  So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!
·         Romans 8:1-2  So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.
·         2 Cor. 3:16-17  Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away. Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom.
·         Gal. 5:1  Freedom is what we have—Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free men, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.
·         Gal. 5:13-14  As for you, my brothers, you were called to be free. But do not let your freedom become an excuse for letting your physical desires rule you. Instead, let love make you serve one another. For the whole Law is summed up in one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
·         1 Peter 2:16-17  Live as free men; do not use your freedom, however, to cover up any evil, but live as God’s slaves. Respect all men, love your fellow believers, fear God, and respect the (President).
·         Romans 7:6  Now, however, we are free from the Law, because we died to that which once held us prisoners. No longer do we serve in the old way of a written law, but in the new way of the Spirit.
·         Romans 6:20-23  When you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness. Well, what good did you receive from doing the things that you are ashamed of now? The result of those things is death! But now you have been set free from sin and are the slaves of God; as a result your life is fully dedicated to him, and at last you will have eternal life. For sin pays it wage—death; but God’s free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.

Freedom is one of the primary pillars on which America was founded. Over the decades, those freedoms have been eroded and the original foundations have given way to vicious assaults by evil men who do not walk in the freedom of Christ. “Thinking themselves wise, they became fools,” according to Romans 1:22.

True freedom, freedom in Christ, can NEVER be taken away from one who has put their faith in Christ. Just as Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice for our sins (Jn. 10:18), he also guards our lives for all eternity.

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