Born Free Living Free

BORN FREE, LIVING FREE
(Pastor Lee Jackson FFWC)

IT IS NOT VERY OFTEN THAT WE HEAR OF ABOUT CHRISTIANS THAT PUBLICLY ANNOUNCE THAT THEY HAVE HAD ENOUGH, THAT THEY ARE TURNING BACK. THESE DECISIONS ARE TYPICALLY NOT ANNOUNCED, BUT MADE IN SECRET IN THE DEEPEST RECESSES OF OUR HEART, BUT THE RESULTS ARE QUICKLY EVIDENT TO EVERYONE OBSERVING OUR LIVES. PAUL, THE APOSTLE, STARTED MANY CHURCHES IN HIS MISSIONARY JOURNEYS, BUT HE DIDN’T JUST START THEM AND LEAVE THEM. HE KEPT HIS HAND ON THEIR SPIRITUAL PULSE, THROUGH WHATEVER MEANS WAS AVAILABLE, TO ENCOURAGE THEIR GROWTH AND MATURITY. FREQUENTLY HE SENSED THAT CHURCHES AND INDIVIDUAL BELIEVERS HAD MADE A WRONG TURN, DEVIATING FROM THE GOSPEL HE HAD GIVEN THEM. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT THE PROBLEM OF CHRISTIANS THAT WERE BORN FREE BUT NG LIKE SLAVES AND CHRISTIANS WHOSE SPIRITUAL VITALITY HAS BEEN DIMINISHED BUT HAVE BEGUN TURN BACK TO THE FORMER WAY OF LIFE. THIS WAS A PROBLEM IN PAUL’S DAY AND IT IS CERTAINLY A PROBLEM TODAY. THE AFFECTS ARE DEVASTATING TO THE INDIVIDUALS, THEIR FAMILIES AND THEIR CHURCH. WE WILL TAKE OUR TEXT FROM SEVERAL OF PAUL’S LETTERS TO CHURCHES THAT HE STARTED, BEGINNING WITH GALATIANS, EPHESIANS AND CONCLUDING WITH ROMANS.

1. OUR FORMER CONDITION CONTRASTED WITH OUR PRESENT CONDITION
(TEXT: GALATIONS 4:1-7, EPHESIANS 2:1-10))
A. PICTURE OF SOCIETY DEVASTATED BY SIN (ISAIAH H 59:1-15)
GOD GAVE IT ALL TO US (THROUGH ADAM) BUT WE HAVE BEEN DECEIVED
OUR INIQUITIES SEPARATED US FROM A HOLY GOD
OUR SINS HID HIS FACE FROM US
OUR LIPS SPEAK LIES AND UTTER PERVERSE THINGS
NO ONE UNDERSTANDS OR CALLS FOR JUSTICE
WE RELY ON EMPTY ARGUMENTS AND SPEAK LIES
WE HATCH THE EGGS OF VIPERS (SATAN’S VENOMOUS OFF SPRING)
WE SPIN A SPIDERS WEB THAT PROVIDES NO COVERING
QUICK TO SHED INNOCENT BLOOD
OUR THOUGHTS CONTINUALLY OF EVIL
JUSTICE FAR FROM US
WE GROPE ABOUT LIKE BLIND MEN TRYING TO FIND OUR WAY
WE GROWL LIKE BEARS AND MORN LIKE DOVES
WE LOOK FOR JUSTICE BUT WE FIND NONE
OUR SINS TESTIFY AGAINST US
REBELLION AND TREACHERY AGAINST THE LORD
JUSTICE IS DRIVEN BACK
RIGHTEOUSNESS STANDS AT A DISTANCE
TRUTH IS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND
WHOEVER SHUNS EVIL BECOMES A PREY

B. THIS WAS WHERE WE CAME FROM, THE SOCIETY WE LIVE IN
WE WERE ALL SLAVES BOUND BY OUR SINFUL NATURE AND HABITS
LIVING UNDER THE BASE PRINCIPLES THAT OPERATE IN THIS WORLD
SATAN WAS THE UNMERCIFUL SLAVE MASTER
EXCEPT FOR CHRIST WE WOULD SERVE HIM UNTIL WE DIE

C. GOD SAW OUR PITIFUL CONDITION AND TOOK THE INITIATIVE (ISA 59:16, ISA 61:1,2)
WE COULD NOT HELP OURSELVES (AS ONES THAT WERE BOUND))
HE SENT HIS SON TO REDEEM US FROM OUR DESTRUCTIVE LIVE STYLE
PROCLAIM FREEDOM TO THE CAPTIVES
BIND UP THE BROKEN HEARTED
RELEASE THE PRISONERS
COMFORT THOSE THAT MOURN
PROCLAIM THE DAY OF GOD’S FAVOR AND MERCY
HE PURCHASED OUR PARDON AND REMOVED THE CHAINS
WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST
WE WERE MADE ALIVE IN CHRIST EVEN WHEN WE WERE YET DEAD
THE EXACTING REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW HAS BEEN SATISFIED
SATAN HAS NO POWER OVER US NOW (EXCEPT WHAT WE GIVE HIM AND THEREIN
LIES THE PROBLEM

C. GOD WANTS TO SHARE HIS FUTURE WITH US – HE HAS GREAT PLANS FOR US
HIS THOUGHTS TOWARD US ARE THOUGHTS OF GOOD AND NOT EVIL
HE HAS ENABLED US TO BECOME HIS SONS AND DAUGHTERS (V5-7)
WE HAVE THE SPIRIT OF HIS SON IN OUR HEARTS, CALLS OUT “ABBA FATHER”
WE HAVE BECOME HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM (JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST)
WE ARE NO LONGER SLAVES BUT SONS

D. GOD HAS APPOINTED A GUARDIAN AND TRUSTEE TO WATCH OVER US (VS 2)
AS LONG AS WE ARE CHILDREN (IMMATURE) WE ARE TREATED AS A SERVANT
GOD WANTS TO SHARE HIS PLANS AND PURPOSE WITH US

2. IF WE ARE FREE WHY DO WE LIVE LIKE SLAVES AND MOVE LIKE WE ARE IN CHAINS?
A. TALK ABOUT CIVIL WAR – POST WAR PERIOD
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MEN DIED IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY
LINCOLN PROCLAIMED EMANCIPATION (FREEDOM) OF SLAVES
FORMER SLAVES WENT ON LIVING AND ACTING LIKE SLAVES

B. HOW IS THAT WE SPURN GOD’S GRACE TO LIVE UNDER LAW (GAL 4:8-11,15. 19)
TURNED BACK TO WEAK AND BEGGARLY PRINCIPLES (THAT DID NOT WORK)
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOUR JOY AND ENTHUSIASM? (VS 15)
PAUL IN THE PANGS OF CHILD BIRTH THAT CHRIST BE FORMED IN THEM (VS 19)

3. JESUS DID HIS PART – WE MUST DO OUR PART (ROM 6:1-14, GAL 5:1,13-18)
A. DEAD TO SIN ALIVE TO CHRIST (ROMANS 6:1-14)
SHALL WE CONTINUE IN SIN THAT GRACE MAY INCREASE? GOD FORBIDS!
WE HAVE DIED TO SIN, BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST’S DEATH
OUR OLD SELF TO BE CRUCIFIED WITH HIM
DO NOT OFFER YOUR BODY AS INSTRUMENTS OF WICKEDNESS
COUNT (RECKON) YOURSELF DEAD TO SIN
RATHER OFFER YOUR SELF TO GOD
AS CHRIST WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD, SO HAVE WE BECOME ALIVE IN HIM
THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH BY THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE (VS 23)

B. STAND FAST (FIRM) IN YOUR FREEDOM (GAL 5:1,13-24)
IT IS FOR OUR FREEDOM THAT CHRIST HAS SET US FREE (VS 1)
STAND FIRM (RESIST); DO NOT BECOME ENSLAVED AGAIN TO SIN
DO NOT USE YOUR FREEDOM TO INDULGE YOUR OLD NATURE (VS 13)
SINFUL NATURE IS CONTRARY TO THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST WORKING IN YOU
LIVE BY THE SPIRIT AND YOU WILL NOT GRATIFY THE FLESH (VS 16)

C. THE ACTS OF THE SINFUL NATURE VS THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT (GAL 5:19-24
ACTS OF THE SINFUL NATURE (VS 19-21)
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT (VS 22,23)
IF THE OLD SINFUL NATURE KEEPS SHOWING ITSELF SOMETHING’S AMISS
IF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS NOT EVIDENT IN YOUR LIFE SOMETHING’S WRONG
THOSE WHO BELONG TO CHRIST JESUS HAVE CRUCIFIED THE SINFUL NATURE WITH ITS PASSIONS AND DESIRES (VS 24)
SINCE WE LIVE BY THE SPIRIT LET US WALK BY THE SPIRIT!

CONCLUSION – I WOULD ASK YOU TO BOW YOUR HEAD AND HEARTS BEFORE GOD AND ALLOW THE HOLY SPIRIT TO SPEAK TO YOU AS ONLY HE CAN. I HAVE DELIVERED MY SOUL THIS MORNING OF THE MESSAGE THAT I BELIEVE THAT THE LORD HAS GIVEN ME FOR THIS AUDIENCE. I BELIEVE THAT THERE MUST BE THOSE IN ATTENDANCE THAT WERE INTENDED TO HEAR THIS MESSAGE. I ARE ONE OF THOSE THAT HAVE MADE A SECRET DECISION NOT TO GO ANY FURTHER IN YOUR CHRISTIAN WALK I ASK YOU TO RECONSIDER. THE CONSEQUENCES ARE ETERNAL FOR YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR CHURCH. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS REACHING OUT TO YOU. IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE WHO NEVER MADE SUCH A DECISION BUT YOU KNOW YOU HAVE LOST THE PASSION TO LIVE FOR CHRIST – THE FIRE IS GONE, ALL THAT REMAINS ARE GLOWING EMBERS, I PRAY THAT YOU WILL LET THE HOLY SPIRIT BLOW ON THOSE EMBERS, TO BRING THEM BACK TO LIFE. IF YOU ARE OUT THERE AND YOU DO NOT KNOW CHRIST AND YOU HAVE SENSED THE SPIRIT OF GOD CALLING YOU TO A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST – LISTEN TO HIM, THIS IS YOUR DAY. HE HAS ALREADY PAID THE PRICE. YOU CAN FIND FORGIVENESS AND HEALING, AND A NEW ABUNDANT LIFE IN CHRIST. IF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS TALKING TO YOU TODAY COME. THE SPIRIT OF THE SOVEREIGN LORD IS CALLING YOU TO MAKE IT RIGHT. THERE WILL BE THOSE THAT COME TO PRAY WITH YOU. COME TO HIM TODAY, BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. WE HAVE NO GUARANTEE FOR TOMORROW.

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