FREEDOM IN CHRIST – OUR INDEPENDENCE DAY
PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH MATTHEW 22:37-39 JULY 5, 2020
You may have seen the animated movie, “Finding Nemo.” Maybe you watched it with your kids or grandkids. The movie centered around a little fish named “Nemo.” Nemo swam to close to a boat. The whole movie is about Nemo’s father, Martin, as he crossed the ocean seeking to find and save his son.
God has done the same thing for us. Satan wants to capture us and enslave us. His goal is our destruction. But, God would do anything to save us. He desires to bring us back in relationship and participation with Him.
He would do anything to save us. He would even give up His own Son so that we could be saved.
On the other hand, Satan’s goal for us is to cause us to be enslaved and to go to an eventual and eternal death. God’s will for us, however, is for us to know and experience freedom and eternal live.
So, how is that accomplished? We are going to look at a passage in Matthew 22:37-39 to how God’s plan for our freedom is possible.
Jesus gives us the key to freedom in Matthew 22:37-39 when He says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hand on these two commandments.”
We are going to look at several areas of our lives where we will experience true freedom. Freedom which is provided and paid for by our Father God, through Jesus Christ. We will also see how Satan can influence us to trust in him and follow his enslavement and captivity.
First, there is a battle for our minds – our Mentality.
Satan knows the battle for our souls begins in the mind. James gives us a very clear teaching on this battle for our souls in his letter, Chapter 1, verses 13-15. Hear what James says: “When tempted, no one should say, ’God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
Satan is very good at making sure evil things have a change to get into our minds. He puts things in front of us – things which are not; in themselves evil – such as books, television, movies, internet, even music – and so often we allow those things access to our mind so that they affect our thoughts adversely.
Satan would love nothing more than to enslave us to our thoughts and desires, so that we cannot love the Lord with our mind. God want us to be free in our mentality. He word says to “take captive every thought.” (2 Corinthians 10:5). What he says here is that we must watch very closely our every thought to be sure it comes, not from Satan’s influence over our minds, but from the mind of God.
Samuel Chadwick once said, “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.”
We must be a people of prayer if we are going to see any good come to America and our own lives.
The Christian is instructed to think on whatever is lovely, whatever is noble, whatever is admirable. We can only experience freedom in Christ mentally when we fully give our minds to God.
Second, a battle rages for our feelings – our Emotions
Satan also tries to enslave us by capturing our emotions. Especially, the emotions of:
Anger – Jealousy – Guilt
Satan loves for us to be filled with anger and hatred toward one another. And, isn’t Satan full of joy, kicking up his heels at the victory he sees in our country today with all the chaos, hatred and violence going on today. And so, he entangles us in sin. He lures us away from the straight and narrow path to his road to destruction.
Satan loves to see people full of envy and jealousy. He delights in us when we covet what someone else has, and when we lust over people and things.
Satan loves to see us dwell on our sins even after we know God has forgiven us. God can – and does – free us. His Holy Spirit helps us live a controlled live when we yield to Him. As in Matthew 22 which we read earlier – when we love Him with all our heart – the seat of the emotions.
And then, let’s look at the battle between God and Satan regarding the physical consequences of sin. Our Physical life.
The first consequence for Adam and Eve was physical. God had said His creation of the earth and of mankind was very good. And then, Adam and Eve looked at each other and realized they were naked. Sin began with physical consequences. Those consequences continue today in various forms.
Addictions – Health – Broken Relationships
Satan has used alcohol, drugs, sex and numerous other physical addictions to destroy the physical body of millions of people. People become controlled by these rather than clinging to Jesus for their physical strength.
As a result of our sin, our health is often affected.
Sin messes up our relationship with God. It also interferes with our relationships with one another. Often dividing families and other relationships.
Then there is the battle of our Spirituality. There are two aspects of this battle.
The first is Legalism – Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their legalistic ways of doing things just for appearances sake. Paul cautioned new Gentile Christians to not become enslaved by others after Christ has made them free. Jews wanted Gentiles to become Jews before they could become Christians. Paul told them – no – they were free in Christ, and not a slave to any man.
The second aspect of the Spirituality battle is Spiritual Apathy. Satan does not care if we are Christians – so long as we are ineffective Christians. He doesn’t want us reading the Bible. He doesn’t want us to pray, or witness, or worship God. If we want to be Christians, that’s ok with him. Just be Christian in name only.
God wants us to be free spiritually in Him. He gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us, to encourage us, to rebuke us, and to help us grow spiritually.
And, finally, there is the battle of Eternality.
Satan’s ultimate goal is to take as many people to hell with him as he can. He knows that there is no escape for him. He WILL spend eternity in hell. He also knows the pain he can bring on God, if he can take people with him.
Hell was created for Satan and his demons, not for people. But, Satan’s goal is to enslave people and dray them to hell with him. God’s goal is to make us free in heaven with Him for eternity.
So, today is your Independence Day. You are not dependent upon Satan and his lies. You don’t have to fight the devil. Jesus already fought him and won the battle! We no longer have to serve sin! We have been set free to serve the Savior, not because it is our duty, but because of His love for us and our love and devotion to Him.
Although we are independent and freed from sin, we are to be Dependent upon Jesus, not upon our civil government or anyone else. We are in Him. He is our life. We depend upon Him for victory, for peace, for joy. Without Him we are nothing. Without Him we can do nothing.
God tells us how we can become free”
Believe in Jesus, and believe His Word.
Confess Christ as Lord and Savior
Repent of our sins.
Be baptized in Him for the remission of our sins.
God tells us how we can stay free;
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”