Freedom from Sin
Freedom – Message 1
January 3, 2021
A. Introduction (Galatians 5:1)
- Good morning, my name is J.C. Thompson and I am starting a 2 week mini-series this morning entitled Freedom.
- As you may know last year, funny to say, our rights and freedoms were talked about extensively. Right to wear a mask, Freedom to live the way I want.
- These words are essential to our identity as Christians, but they get used flippantly without understanding the depths of meaning that these words truly possess.
- It’s why I wanted to do a series on freedom, to remind us of what being free in Christ means and to help us navigate how to use that freedom for the benefit of the world around us.
- It’s especially challenging because these words are also intertwined with what is somewhat unique and particular about the country that we live in. Namely, that we are free.
- But what does that mean? And is there a difference between American freedoms and the freedoms that Christ affords to us?
- So this is what I’ve been studying over the past few months and I’m praying that it will sharpen not just how we use our words, but our witness and ultimately our resources given to us by God.
- Today we will launch from one verse from the book of Galatians.
- Galatians 5:1 (ESV) - For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
- This verse indicates that freedom is the end of Christ setting us free, in other words, Christ set us free in order to experience freedom.
- Not only that, but we should be actively living out of freedom and fighting against submission to anything other than freedom.
- Paul gives both an affirmative action and a negative action, something to do and something to avoid.
- We should be free and not become enslaved to anything that would take our freedom, but what is that freedom that he is discussing?
- Freedom here is the Greek eleutheria (el-yoo-ther-ee-ah), and it simply means that Christ did not bring us out of bondage to be in bondage to something else. We are completely free.
- But that also means that before faith in Christ, we were not free.
- Today let’s see what Christ has freed us from
B. We are free from sin’s…
Power. (John 8:34; Romans 6:18)
- When God made human beings, He made us free. Free to enjoy all the fruits of His created world, enjoy the community of human relationships and an unhindered relationship with God Himself (Genesis 2)
- However, Adam sinned and threw the world into a tailspin. Sin entered the world through one man’s sin and it caused consequences throughout the world.
- Selfishness, Sickness, Disease, Hatred, and Death. Sin haunts the world. And yet as negative as all of that is, we cannot stop from doing the very thing that kills us. We are enslaved to sin.
- John 8:34 (NLT) - Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.”
- We cannot serve two masters, and because of our sin, we sin. We don’t desire the things of God, we desire the things that we think are best.
- Yet we have some inkling, that life shouldn’t be this way. We know that choosing to do the wrong thing is the wrong thing, but we can’t choose the right thing.
- Our hearts are against us. We are under the power of sin. But it’s not only us, all of creation is under the power of sin. Creation is groaning, waiting and wailing for Christ to return and rid us of the presence of sin. And we wait for that, but if you are a follower of Christ there is also a present reality that we are living in until the fullness of that time.
- Romans 6:17-18 (NLT) - 17Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 18Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.
- Through Christ we are FREE! Through faith, we become a new creature with new desires. We desire not to serve our flesh but to serve Christ.
- There is a new power driving us and it’s not the power of sin it’s the opportunity to serve our savior and to live according to his will.
- But J.C., Slavery to Christ is just slavery to something else, that’s not freedom.
- 2 things I would mention: 1) If you don’t want to serve Christ, you probably don’t have true faith. Everything about Christ is worthy of service. He humbled Himself to become like a human on our behalf to suffer and die to pay the penalty for our sins. That is a Savior worthy to serve. 2) Any true follower of Christ voluntarily offers their life of service to Christ. We are His. Our new heart, given freely to us by Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) motivates us to serve Him freely not under compulsion. If your heart isn’t freely given to Christ, it is not truly given by Christ.
- APP: Do you find yourself struggling against sin’s power and you don’t feel free? Are you experiencing the power of service to Christ?
2. Penalty. (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 1:7)
- Not only are we free from sin’s Power, we are also free from Sin’s penalty
- Romans 6:23 (NLT) - For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
- The consequences of sin is death. Death forever. Separation from God.
- Perry speaks on the idea of separation from God often but things like unrelenting regret, lack of peace, constant anxiety, pain of the awareness that you rejected the free sacrifice of Christ on your behalf, forever and always is what hell will look like.
- Sunshine not breaking through, no hope, burdens that grow heavier and heavier with no relief. That is what the consequences of your sin are.
- Yet, Christ presents us a better way. God compassionately saw our plight and together with the Son’s service to become human on our behalf and the Spirit’s power to empower Christ’s obedience, offer hope to the hurting and giving us new hearts broke through and offer us eternal life.
- If it seems too good to be true, well, it is too good and it is also so miraculously true. As my favorite children’s Bible says, “It is the story of God’s never ending, never stopping, always and forever love.”
- Ephesians 1:7 (NLT) - He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.
- Through the blood of Christ we are no longer serving the life sentence of sin, but instead receive an eternal inheritance with the down payment of the fruit of the Spirit.
- We are free.
- App: Are you trying to repay the debt that your sin owes on your own? Hoping that your righteousness will cancel out your sinfulness? It never will. Receive Christ by faith.
3. Parenting. (John 8:44; Galatians 4:1-7; 1 John 3:9-10)
- Not only are we free from the power of sin and the penalty of sin, but we are free from the parenting of sin.
- John 8:44 (NLT) - For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does.
- We look like our father.
- See this is not simply just declaring a relationship, but as children of the devil you do what he wants you to do and in the case of Satan, it is only to serve his desires, goals, and purposes to thwart the kingdom of God.
- Satan does not do things for your benefit. Nothing.
- I think this is the most overlooked portion of what new life in Christ means for us. We are adopted by the Father. We take on His name, we are given His Spirit, His inheritance, and we serve the family purposes which is to be blessed and to bless the whole world. (Genesis 15)
- Our new family doesn’t just change our relationship to God, but it changes our relationship to all of creation.
- The Holy Spirit given to us as believers in Christ, becomes our confirmation that we are truly children of God (Romans 8:15-16) and we await to realize that sonship even further when Christ comes again to give it to us.
- Adoption signifies that we were not born into the family of God, but God grants us admission into His family.
- Regeneration lets us know that we have new life, adoption gives us new privileges.
- This sonship also changes the way that we relate to our sin. Before sin separates us from God, now sin is used by God for our discipline and growth. This discipline from the Father confirms that we are His children. (Hebrews 12)
- 1 John 3:9-10 (NLT) - 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.
- God’s name becomes our family name. We are free.
- APP: Are you a child of God?
- Today we have an opportunity to be reminded of Christ’s forgiveness of our sins through partaking of the Lord’s Supper.
- If you are at home, get your elements out. If you are here onsite with us and did not receive the Lord’s Supper elements raise your hand so our ushers can bring you a kit.
- The Lord’s Supper is one of the sacraments of the church to strengthen the faith of the children of God reminding them of Christ’s work on the cross through the sacrifice of His body on our behalf.
- Let’s take a moment to reflect on Christ’s work, our lives, and spend a moment with God sharing any unconfessed sin and express your appreciation for His sacrifice and provision in your life.
- Take out your elements, first the bread.
- 1 Corinthians 11:23-24 (NLT) - 23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord Himself. On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this to remember Me.”
- Take your cup.
- 1 Corinthians 11:25 (NLT) - In the same way, He took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood. Do this to remember Me as often as you drink it.”
- 1 Corinthians 11:26 (NLT) - For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until He comes again.
- Make the most of not only this year, but today. If you need to speak with someone, our care volunteers and pastors would love to pray with you and share Christ with you.