1. Tomorrow, as we celebrate the 4th of July, let us reflect upon the freedom that we enjoy as Americans, and let us be grateful for it. 2. Today, as we worship God, let us concentrate on a type of freedom that is even more special -- "spiritual freedom."
I. BEFORE WE CAN BE SPIRITUALLY FREE WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE ARE IN BONDAGE
A. Spiritually speaking, sin causes us to be in bondage (vs.34). 1. (1 John 3:4) Sin is the transgression of God's law. 2. Sin is a widespread problem (Romans 3:23). 3. Sin produces tragic consequences (Romans 6:23a). B. We need to be grateful that Jesus can make us free (vs.36). 1. However, before Christ can make us free, we must acknowledge that we have been in bondage to sin. 2. The prodigal son is one who did this (Luke 15:17-19). C. It is difficult for some people to acknowledge sin. 1. The people that Jesus dealt with in John 8 had this problem. a. (vs.30) Many people who heard Jesus believed on Him. b. (vs.31-32) Jesus let them know that something else was required for them to be free. c. By saying this Jesus implied that they were not free. d. Notice how they reacted: 1) (vs.33) They denied ever being in bondage [they had been under the power of Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome]. 2) (vs.39a) They trusted in their relationship with Abraham. 3) They attacked the Lord (vs.48, 52a, 59). 2. Jesus had the power to make these people free. a. However, they would not admit that they were in bondage to sin. b. (vs.37b) Jesus revealed at least one of the problems -- His word had no place in them. D. Jesus still has the power to make us free from sin, but before we can receive this freedom we must acknowledge that we are sinners. 1. This requires humility and removing all pride from the heart. 2. After we acknowledge our spiritual condition, . . .
II. WE MUST TAKE THE NECESSARY ACTION TO ACHIEVE SPIRITUAL FREEDOM
A. (vs.31-32) We must continue in the Lord's word so we will know the truth that will make us free. B. (Romans 6:17-18) The Lord's doctrine must be obeyed from the heart. C. We are made free when we obey the Gospel (Romans 6:3-7). D. After we have been made free, . . .
III. WE MUST EXERCISE CARE IN MAINTAINING OUR SPIRITUAL FREEDOM
A. We must heed the warnings given in Galatians 5:1, 13. B. We must follow the instructions given in James 1:25. C. If we fall into sin, we can become free again by following the instructions given in 1 John 1:9.
1. Have you allowed the Lord to make you free? 2. If you have, are you maintaining your freedom from sin?