Signs of Freedom

Romans 6:15-23

15 So since God's grace has set us free from the law, does this mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don't you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you have obeyed with all your heart the new teaching God has given you. 18 Now you are free from sin, your old master, and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness.

19 I speak this way, using the illustration of slaves and masters, because it is easy to understand. Before, you let yourselves be slaves of impurity and lawlessness. Now you must choose to be slaves of righteousness so that you will become holy.

20 In those days, when you were slaves of sin, you weren't concerned with doing what was right. 21 And what was the result? It was not good, since now you are ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (1996). Holy Bible, New Living Translation.

Preached by Albert Harmon at FBC Toulon, IL July 1, 2001 see it at toulonbaptist.com

This week, as a nation we will celebrate the day of independence from British dominion. Our founding fathers considered freedom something that was worth dying for. Not only were they willing to die for freedom, they did die for freedom. Freedom for their families and friends and even for us. Untold thousands have died for that freedom.

The cause of freedom has had many facets. Some were interested in freedom from taxation. Others in their persons to do and become what they wanted. But throughout history millions have lived and died in servitude to another. And even today it is so.

But many others desired freedom to worship God. People have always had freedom to worship God but in many times and places it came with a price. Many have been persecuted, put into prison & tortured. Millions continue to face death even today.

One day Jesus was talking to a group religious leaders. He told them that if He would set them free, they would be free indeed. They responded that they had never been in bondage to anyone. Then Jesus dropped the bombshell on them. He said that those who sinned were servants to sin.

It is kind of funny that the freedom the founders of this nation were contending for was based on the freedom that God intended us all to have. But today, in this nation, when people speak of freedom, it is freedom to sin that they think they are entitled to. People do not realize that sin is the cruelest master and although sin promises freedom, it only brings bondage.

Let us consider this great passage on human freedom.

 

  1. Our past bondage
    1. Everyone is a slave to those principles they choose to obey. V-16
      1. You can choose sin and that leads to death.
        1. We all have a predisposition toward sin because of our sin nature.
        2. But at the same time we have a choice and we choose sin, and for that God will hold us accountable.
      2. You can choose to obey God which leads to righteousness
        1. There is no third option.
        2. Paul wants them to understand it is imperative for eternal life.
    2. Once we were slaves to sin v-17
      1. It was a slavery to impurity and lawlessness v-19
        1. Those people involved in these types of lives think they are free, but the fact that they cannot escape means that they are slaves.
        2. The drugies get kids involved in drugs by telling them they can be free from their parents etc. but it is a terrible sight to see someone controlled by drugs.
        3. Almost everything that is promoted as a path of freedom is often turned into a system of bondage.
      2. We were not concerned with doing what was right v-20
        1. Entire industries spend billions of dollars to get kids to get hooked on their products.
        2. Just in case you think the cigarette companies have had a change of heart, they use much more open methods of enticement in other countries to get kids hooked. Why?
        3. Do you think that all those cute commercials makes a 40 year old man go out and buy his first bud-dumber.
        4. And as a nation we are more concerned by the supposed right to choose, without proper information, than we are concerned about the life of an yet to be born baby.
      3. The result was not good.
        1. Look around us, see robbery & larceny, hatred and murder.
        2. A world given over to every vice.
        3. Because the people are given over to every form of evil.
      4. We are now ashamed of those things we used to do. V-21
        1. Things that lead to eternal doom. V-21
        2. Choosing sin, which leads to death v-16
    3. Sin has certain wages, death. V-23
      1. He is referring to eternal death, or eternal separation from God.
      2. So sure is this that we live in a body that is dying every day.
      3. Every funeral is a testimony that we live in a sinful world.
  2. Our present freedom
    1. The cause of our present freedom
      1. Is the result of the free gift through Jesus Christ our Lord v-23
        1. It is Jesus who sets us free, " He makes us free"
        2. It has to be free because we could never afford it.
        3. If we paid for our own sin it would be with our own death.
      2. God's grace has set us free v-15
    2. The result of being set free from sin and death.
      1. On the negative side.
        1. Now you are free from sin, your old master v-18
          1. No longer must we obey sin, it is no longer our master.
        2. Even though it is by grace, that does not mean that you can go on sinning. V-15
      2. On the positive side.
        1. It is obeying with all your heart the new teaching God has given you v-17
          1. Notice it is with the heart.
          2. Desire comes before action.
        2. You have become slaves to your new master, righteousness v-18
          1. Willing slaves.
          2. Bond servants
        3. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. V-22
          1. Sin once had power over us but now no more.
        4. Now you must choose to be slaves of righteousness so that you will become holy v-19
          1. When God saves us, He does not take away our freedom of choice.
            1. We can still despise the humble.
            2. We can still hate those we disagree with.
            3. We can still look at the things we should not.
          2. We are called upon to choose what is right.
            1. Often times it is just that simple.
            2. We must choose what is right.
            3. Even when everyone else is choosing what is wrong or expedient.
          3. Those who are saved will make the right choice.
            1. The point of the passage is that those who are saved will make the right choices.
            2. Not necessarily every time, but most of the time and they will repent and express regret for sinful decisions.
        5. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. V-22

Are you in bondage to sin today?

Jesus can set you free.

And if he sets you free, you will be free indeed.

 

This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com