Photo. Eric and Jodi. August 6, 1994
How can we be assured that God loves when we pray? “God always gives his child what they would have asked for if they knew all that he knows.” Tim Keller.
Photo: Grace reading the Christmas story – 2012
Liberty in Christ – living in true freedom and joy.
Intro. true freedom is doing what makes me exceedingly happy for all eternity – quote based from a John Piper quote. We were made to be exceedingly happy IN God, enjoying Him forever. Temporary pleasure can only give us happiness not joy but only for a moment, not for all eternity.
I. What are we free from?
Sin lies, promising us way more than it can deliver. Sin is bondage not freedom. Eph 2 – we are dead in our trespasses and sins. not alive. not free.
Sin make us turn inward on ourselves – we become a “kingdom of one” where we look at everyone as either tools to get us what we want or obstacles keeping us away from what we want – quote based on Paul Tripp’s book What did you Expect. Sin is selfishness.
As Christians, we are free from God’s wrath against us. Yes, we are saved from Hell as believers in Christ, but salvation is MORE than that. We have been saved from God’s just wrath against us.
We can be saved from our functional saviors who never save but ironically lead us to more slavery. As Christians even, we may confess that Jesus alone saves us but live as if other things more important to us can give us life, meaning, purpose in life, honor, respect, power that we were only meant to get in God through Christ: a. we are freed from living to please other people
b. we are freed from living to build a resume or record good enough that others will like me more, therefore I will like and accept me more, therefore I will have more meaning. that is a functional savior.
c. we are freed from pleasing God with our record. We can even use religion and knowing much good doctrine to impress others, impress ourselves, and ultimately we think then that God is more happy with us too. this too is a functional savior.
II. What are we free FOR?
We are blessed by God with the joy of true freedom IN ORDER to be a blessing to others.
2 Cor 5:15 – we have been saved from no longer living for ourselves but now free to live FOR the one who lost all that we might be saved and brought near to God.
Genesis 12 – Abraham was blessed to be a blessing to the nations
Galatians 4: use your freedom in service to others
III. How do we grow in freedom?
Consider the beauty of the rescue story of your own life by the Living God sending the most dear son of his to rescue you from you and save you from his wrath. It is when we consider and meditate deeply on what Christ did unselfishly for us to gain our freedom that our hearts are melted in love and gratitude and appreciation that the Holy Spirit begins to change our hearts, setting us free.
If sin is slavery, we were set free from living for ourselves which promises to give us freedom and life but leaves us dead, empty, unsatisfied, and broken, often breaking those we love around us in the process. 2 Cor 5:15 says Christ died to free us from this death in slavery to ourselves and our sin that binds not frees. HOW did he do that? through dying for us. He gave up his ultimate FREEDOM he had in the splendor of heaven, took on flesh to be born in a poor part of the country and world in a place where cattle are fed to bring you out of our slavery to our true freedom in knowing God. On the cross he was bound hand and foot, losing all his freedoms, hanging there naked for your sin. On the cross the freedom of eternal joy with and in the Father was crushed and lost when the Father turns his back on his own son he loves for the payment for your sin. Why did he do this? he did this to redeem you! He lost his freedom on the cross so that you could gain true freedom in knowing God.
Run to God through Christ where your true freedom awaits – this will cause you to flow over in the freedom of love to one another – you have been blessed to be a blessing! Consider deeply your true savior that lost his freedom for you so you could have true freedom in God!