This 4th of July marks another year of celebration for the United States of America. Again our country and peoples celebrate “Independence Day.” This holiday marks the birth of our nation. This nation's freedom came at no small cost as the founding and framing fathers put their lives on the line, declaring as a colony of England, that they no longer would allow British rule.
The Revolutionary War then followed with much bloodshed and turmoil. Truly, the United States is a blest country, as none other with human freedoms guaranteed in the written documents of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. No where in the world in human history have a group of people enjoyed their freedom (s) as Americans have. To be true, our country is not perfect, but it has a historical foundation which continue to impress those who are intelligent and godly enough to appreciate it and to allow the rule of Constitution and law to triumph.
Note: At present though, the United States is under Constitutional siege because political leaders have allowed a foreign personality to usurp the office of president. He did not meet one of three requirements to be legitimate president. He is not a "natural born citizen." And, he has done our nation dirty by all his unpatriotic actions, agendas and policies. At this point it is this emeritus Christian pastor's opinion that our nation will only continue to survive as it was intended, only through the mercies of Almighty God!
A “freedom” that surpasses human [earthly] freedom
The Christian Scriptures speak of another type of “freedom.” [Gospel of John 8:31-59] This freedom is totally different than human freedom. Human freedom is only, a physical freedom. The freedom that Jesus Christ brings is a spiritual, all encompassing freedom:
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." - John 8:36
Freedom from sin is the all encompassing total freedom
Disobedience to the Triune God was never intended by divine design. However, the greatest gift (besides that of the Lord Christ and the Divine revelation- the Scriptures), was, and is, free will. [It is sometimes called “free moral agency”] That gift of God was abused in the very beginning [Genesis 3:1f]. Consequently, the inherited results of sin flowed from generation to generation. [Psalm 56:3 ; Romans 5:12] That is why our world experiences disease, death and disorder. Genesis 3:16-19 ; Romans 5:12-14 ; 1 Cor. 15:21
Freedom from sin can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ. Since we are all sinners by birth [nature] and practice, we can never meet the perfection standard to be absolved of our imperfections. Hence, we are totally estranged from our Creator God, headed for a just punishment in hell for our sins against holy God and our fellowman. That, in a nutshell, is the sinner’s present condition, dilemma and future destination damnation tragedy fate. The Scriptures teach that we are “dead” in our sins [Ephesians 2:1] and cannot help ourselves. Can a dead man cause himself to rise again?
Our freedom from sin and the corrupted conscience which naturally follows, can only be “found” by way of God’s grace [unmerited favor] through genuine faith in Christ, as Savior. The Triune God provided a rescue for sinners so that we can be forgiven and cleansed from our sinful daily disobedience against God’s commandments and wrongs against our fellowman. Only in the perfect life, and sacrificial death (and resurrection) of the promised Messiah, Christ, can we be free – totally, eternally, sin free. As the Scripture states:" - If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." - John 8:36
Please reference John 3:1-21 - and, see how this freedom is brought about! It is a freedom that cannot be manufactured and earned by ourselves. This freedom / forgiveness of sins - "salvation" is totally an act of God the Holy Spirit.
Please also note the precious and informative words of the great Christian Reformer in his explanation to the words of the Apostle's Creed and especially the explanation to the 3rd Article of the Apostles' Creed:
A Concise Explanation of the Apostle's Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
What does this mean?
I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, [bodily parts] and still preserves them; also clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and home,wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life; that He defends me against all danger, and guards and protects me from all evil; and all this purely out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which it is my duty to thank and praise, to serve and obey Him.
This is most certainly true.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, [Spirit] born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick [living] and the dead.
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned crature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; [Spirit] the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
What does this mean?
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ , my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost [Spirit] has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all sins to me and all believers, and will at the Last Day raise up me and all the dead, and give unto me and all believers in Christ eternal life.
This is most certainly true.
[Dr. Martin Luther [b. 1483; d. 1546]
May those of you hearing and / or, reading this message, have the ears to hear. May you by faith, embrace the Savior, Christ. May you place your faith in Him to rescue you from your sin bondage. May you believe the divine revelation that, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." [Gospel of John 3:14-21] Then, when you truly believe in Christ, will you find the most important freedom – a liberating and lasting freedom for your priceless soul.
Above Message and Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:
Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
Related Scriptures To the Message Above
Genesis 3:1f-- Free will exercised to plummet mankind into sin
John 8:31-59 -- Freedom in Christ Jesus
Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
Please note: Topical Messages, by subject
Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel
Please also note:
The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.