What is freedom?
Freedom is the ability to make choices.
In jail your freedoms are taken away you are told what to do, when to do it.
As a Christian there are freedoms that we have access to that we can take for granted.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit
of the Lord is, there is freedom.
John 8:31-36 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my
word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the
truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of
Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that
you say, 'You will become free'?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I
say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave
does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if
the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
If Christ has set us free, what are some of the freedoms we have?
1) We have free to access God.
The first Freedom is the ability to have direct relationship with God.
Adam caused a separation between God and humanity, but because of the cross we now have direct access to God and direct access to the Father.
In the Old Testament we see thousands of years where people never had this, and they would have done ANYTHING to have this freedom
2) We are free from the penalty of sin.
We live in a world of sin - sin has consequences. When we do the wrong thing there are consequences.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in
Christ Jesus our Lord.
The consequences of sin is death - but we have eternal life. As believers we are no longer due the penalty of our sin.
We are free from the eternal separation
This is why we need to share the gospel, we bring people to church to hear the message of Christ.
We have this freedom, and others need it too.
3) Free from guilt and condemnation
Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
This is hard for us to understand - it is a freedom we have, that is the forgiveness of a saviour.
We don’t need to live with shame and guilt that is associated with sin.
Because of Jesus living in us, God does not condemn us.
Does this mean we can sin and do whatever we want?
Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Not at all.
Because of this freedom we should avoid sin.
A child that doesn't know the hot plate is hot will eventually find out - but the child that does know should avoid it in the first place. This is the same with sin. Because we know it's wrong, we should avoid it all the more.
However it does mean that we don’t have to carry around the guilt when we do make mistakes
This is a freedom we need to accept + thank God for.
4) We are free so that we will love and serve others.
1 Peter 2:16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
Freedom is given to us so that we can choose to love and serve people.
Jesus came not to be served, but to serve - he was the most free person that has ever walked this earth - he was perfect.
Ironically, the message if Jesus is that we are set free to serve God and others.
True freedom is in the choice to serve others - ability to make this choice.
God doesn’t make me serve others, he gives me the choice.
5) We are free from our past.
Psalm 103:10-13 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
This is prophetic statement over out lives.
God does not hold our sins against us, but casts them as far as the East is from the West.
My past doesn’t determine my future. This is a freedom we have access to in Christ.
My past has been forgiven, I can live as a new person.
6) We are free to preach the good news of Jesus to others.
One of the freedoms we enjoy as Australians is the ability to openly share the Gospel.
This freedom however is something that we can take for granted.
More than ever the Christian church is facing opposition.
Christianity is now the most persecuted group in the world.
Attack on marriage, families and faith are at an all time high.
With the up coming election it is important that we keep these
freedoms as a priority. In Australia religious freedoms are not written into the constitution, this means it is something that can be changed - it isn't fixed.
What can we do?
Three things we can do to make a stand for Religious Freedom:
Prayer should never be the last resort, but the foundation of our faith.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
We must pray for those in authority over us our Senior Pastors + government.
Pray that God would send his people to govern our nation.
Pray that God would be sovereign over decisions and legislation.
In this up coming election it is important now more than ever before to know who you are voting for, and what their positions are on religious freedoms.
Encourage you to research who your local candidates are and vote. I cant tell you who to vote for, but I can encourage you to make an informed decision.
Write to your local member, tell them your concerns and reason for your beliefs. This is a spiritual fight over souls.
Imagine a nation that stops my children from witnessing to their friends at school, that could get fined or go to jail for sharing their faith...we cant imagine, but that is where we are heading.
We are not fighting against people, but against principalities and the enemy.
I want to do everything i can to protect this freedom for the next generation.