Freedom, therefore, is freedom not to have your own way, but freedom to serve others for God's glory.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, friends. How in the world are you? Doin’ alright? Well, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you, seated with you as you drive in the car, or seated across from you at the table, or if you were just waking up, let me be the first one to say, “Good morning. God loves you, and so indeed do I.”
Wherever you are and whatever your circumstances may be, please remember, your relationship to the Word of God is what makes the difference in your lifestyle and in your habit patterns. That’s where we were the last time we got together. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The blind, naive pride of these people shows up in Verse 33, they said, “We’re Abraham’s seed and we were never in bondage to any man.” Well, right that minute while they were talking, they were in bondage to Rome and they knew it.
But the Lord Jesus was not talking about political or societal freedom, he was talking about a different kind of freedom. And so he goes on to say, “Verily, verily I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant,” that’s our word, doulos, slave, “is the slave of sin. The servant abideth not in the house forever, but the son abideth ever. If the son, therefore, shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. Whoso committeth sin is the slave of sin.” A slave? Yes, they had slavery in those days, and a slave was owned by someone else. A slave had no rights of his own, no property of his own, no plans of his own, no opinion of his own, no schedule of his own, and no future of his own except to obey what his master said. That was a slave. Jesus said, “Whosoever committeth sin is the slave of sin.” Now he said, “There’s somebody that is not a slave, and that is the Son who is in the house, so to speak, of God.” And he said, “He’s always there, the son abideth ever.”
The slave comes and goes, he has to sleep outside in the barn somewhere, but the son of the family, he stays in the house. And he says, “If the son makes you free, then you’ll be free indeed.” Now and then it would happen in those days that a free person, say, the son of a rich man or the rich man himself would decide to free a slave, and would give him his freedom, and he would have then documents guaranteeing that he was now a free person, no longer a slave. He says, “If the Son of God now makes you free, you’ll really be free.” Free from what? From the slavery of sin. So we have dreadful drug habits that are victimizing millions of people around the world, cocaine and its derivative, crack, are with us now. And very frequently on the news, you’ll see people saying, “Well, I can’t help it. I lie, I steal, I’m willing to kill, I’m even willing to die for this habit.” And they say it quite frankly, “the slave of their habit.”
On a milder level, you and I oftentimes are the slave of our fears, or of our deceit, our tendency to lie. We’re the slave oftentimes of our pride. You would get right with that person, but you’re too proud to say, “I’m sorry.” We’re the slave of our greed. “I’ll try once again on life’s Wheel of Fortune.” We say, “I’ll take one more spin.” And then it turns up bankrupt, doesn’t it? Yes. “Slaves,” Jesus said, “of sin.” Now what’s the answer? Our Lord Jesus Christ is the one who can set you free. “Thanks be unto God which giveth us the victory through our lord Jesus Christ.” Paul says in Galatians 5, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.” Free now to serve a master who has it all planned out for us. Free to become the joyous servant of your Lord. Paul signed his letters, “Paul, a bond slave of Jesus Christ.”
To serve the Lord, it’s the verb form of the noun that we call slave, douleuo, to serve like a slave. This is what Paul considered the high privilege of his calling, and yours, and mine as well. Finds its highest fulfillment in serving the Lord Jesus. The fact is, surrender is built into your bones, you’re going to give up to something or somebody inevitably. Most of us end up giving up to ourselves and to our habits, and to our desires, and to our temptations. We try, we fight it for awhile and then we collapse and give up. The Christian genius is to give up, but to do your giving up to the Lord Jesus. Romans 6 says, “As ye have yielded,” given up, “your members, slaves to unrighteousness, even so” same method, same experience, same action, “even so now yield,” that means give up, “the members of your body slaves to righteousness. And the end will be holiness.” That’s what Paul says in Romans, Chapter 6. So surrender is built into your own system. You may as well give up, but give up to the Lord Jesus Christ. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
“Now,” he said, “If you continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” Let me emphasize the necessity of continuing with your blessed Lord. There’s a comment on that. Let’s turn momentarily to Galatians, Chapter 5, will you? And find Paul saying, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. The keeping of the law in the hope of getting some brownie points with God.” He says, “Don’t get entangled again. You’ve been called unto liberty only,” here’s the second thing, “only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh but by love serve,” it’s that word, serve like a slave, douleuo. “By love serve one another just as though you were a slave.
He said, “Stand fast in the liberty.” What’s the point? Number one, don’t get tangled up in legalism. A lot of people are, do’s and don’ts. They think that makes them more holy. Well, we have a few rules at the college, house rules: No smoking, no drinking, no drugs, no dancing, no gambling, and moral conduct expected. These are rules. They’re house rules. But you could keep all those rules and still be unsaved, you know that. I’ve told the young people through the years that I served there as president up until 1985, 23 years of presidenting. [chuckle] And I told the young people repeatedly, “Listen, you can keep all the rules and still end up being a fake.” Keeping the rules does not make you a Christian. It reveals what kind of a person you are, your attitude toward the rules reveals what kind of a person you are, and where you are in your spiritual development. That’s for sure. But keeping the rules doesn’t make you holy, it doesn’t make you Christian.
“Don’t be entangled,” he said, “with legalism.” That’s the first thing and standing fast in this liberty. Jesus said, “The Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. Continue in my word, you’ll be disciples indeed.” How do you stand fast? Number one, don’t get entangled in legalism. Galatians 5:1 and the verses that followed. Then he says, “Don’t use your freedom as an opportunity to just have your own way and live it up. I’m free now. Free from the law, oh happy condition. Jesus hath died and there is remission.” “Christ hath redeemed us once for all,” that’s what the song says. “No,” he says, “Don’t. Don’t use that freedom as an occasion to your old sinful nature.” But he says, “By love, serve one another.”
The freedom, therefore, is freedom not to have your own way, but freedom to serve others for God’s glory. Freedom to be a blessing. Galatians 5 and Verse 13, “Then there’s freedom to be truly fruitful.” Galatians 5:22 and 23, “Freedom from dead works, the works of the flesh are manifest which are these,” Paul says, “moral breakdown, religious breakdown, social breakdown.” All of that ugly list of things that happen to the unsaved heart and life. But he says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against such there is no law.” So it’s freedom to be truly fruitful and free from the old works of the flesh. You don’t have to do something to have God like you better. There is nothing you can do that will make you any more attractive to God. “All our righteousnesses,” The Old Testament Prophet Jeremiah said, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Everything you do that’s good is like a dirty rag to God.
So, you need His redeeming power and the presence of the Holy Spirit of God to make you at all acceptable and when Jesus sets you free, when you trust Him as your Lord and your Savior by faith and the Holy Spirit of God comes to dwell in your life, the result of that,” said he, “is something that God can accept.” What is it? Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. So it’s freedom to be truly fruitful, free from trying to do anything to please God and instead, free to serve your blessed Lord with joyous abandon because the Holy Spirit of God is living His life through you. And so Jesus said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” No longer the slave, but now set free. What is your own condition today? There’s just 30 seconds left before this broadcast is going to wind down and I wanna ask you, what is your own condition? Are you still enslaved by some things in your life? Habit patterns that refuse to quit? Memories that refuse to stay under? Feelings that refuse to be controlled? Still freeze up with rage or fear? Still try to detour around some things? Still vanquished by habits that refuse to quit? Would you not trust the Lord Jesus today to get hold of you? Turn these things over to Him by faith. “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Do it.
Dear Father, today, oh, may we be set free by the wonderful truth of God as found in Thy inerrant Word, the Bible, and as found in the Lord Jesus Christ who by his Holy Spirit dwells within us. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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