If there’s one thing that has generated a huge amount of motivation in human history, it’s the quest for freedom. For most of the world, that quest has involved the establishment of political systems guaranteeing individual rights over against a reign of tyranny. So, naturally, we think with gratitude of the millions of people who have fought and died to liberate their people from dictatorial regimes.
We might think of the French Revolution and its cry in the streets of, «Liberté!» (“Liberty!”). We might think of the American Revolution and its cry in the streets of, “Don’t Tread on Me!” Or we might think of Franklin Roosevelt’s fourfold definition of freedom in his famous address to Congress in 1941. Freedom, he said, means:
- Freedom of Speech
- Freedom of Worship
- Freedom from Want
- Freedom from Fear
Freedom, according to Roosevelt, was something we have to achieve through democratic reform—which is how most people think of it today. But when Jesus spoke of freedom in the New Testament, politics wasn’t his primary focus. In John 8:34, he says, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” In other words, in Jesus’ mind, the most vicious form of bondage to which human beings are enslaved is not bondage to an oppressive political system. The fundamental slavery of the human race, he said, is bondage to moral failure—a slavery to sin.
On top of that bombshell, Jesus has the audacity to say, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (v. 36). He was saying, “The only way you’re going to find true freedom is to believe in me and submit to my rule in your life.” The claim was unparalleled and bold. And his teaching for us today is clear. Only when Jesus Christ is your master will you be truly free.
The birthday of America is called “Independence Day,” but the birthday of a Christian is “Dependence Day.” The birthday of America was the day we achieved self-rule. The birthday of a Christian was the day we relinquished self-rule. That’s the true road to true freedom, says Jesus. Happy Independence Day.
Let Freedom Ring (Sermon Outline)
Let Freedom Ring (Sermon PowerPoint)