Are You Really Free?
by Loy Clements
(Springhill, LA. U.S.A.)
The Power of Freedom
Text: John 8:31-34
Introduction: As someone who has been blessed of God to be able to work with a lot of ministries of different kinds, and churches around the world, there is something that I, along with many of my brothers and sister in Christ, have to fight constantly. That thing is enslavement.
Enslavement comes against us in many forms, but it's purpose is always the same. Enslavement comes to stop the Gospel from going into all the world as a witness. If Satan can enslave the Gospel, then the cross was in vain. Jesus had to deal with being enslaved.
One example is God the Father, Who is a Spirit and can be in all places at all times. When Jesus became flesh, He was limited to the location where He was at in the moment; He was there. Have we been limited by time and space? Yes! Well, since our day of redemption is here, it is time we no longer be enslaved to time or space.
I. Enslaved to depression
The day we live in millions are depressed. I had a minister say to me one day: Loy, if you were facing all the financial problems I'm facing today you would be depressed also. He sounded like I had all the money in the world to carry the Gospel to the nations.
I have discovered that freedom from depression is as simple as making a decision to rejoice in the Lord. Why is it so simple? "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." The Psalmist David said that.
At Ziglag when everything had been destroyed, his family and possession had been stolen, and his own men wanted to kill him. David did three things that restored everything he should be depressed about. My friend this is how you and I can go free from depression.
First David sought the Lord for directions.
Secondly David worshiped, and praised the Lord. He stirred up his joy. Why? "The joy of the Lord is our strength."
Thirdly David pursued, overtook, and recovered all.
When depression comes from the enemy to enslave you in depression: first seek God, for He will reward those that diligently seek Him. Secondly stir up your strength by stirring up your joy. Paul in his great wisdom encouraged us to "rejoice, and again I say rejoice."
Why would the Apostle say such a thing. Sometime do a study on what Paul suffered for the Gospel sake. How did he always come out more than a conqueror in Christ? He knew the joy of the Lord, and he produced this fruit of joy in every situation!
Thirdly, we have to put actions to our faith. James teaches us that if we never do anything with our faith; then our faith is dead, and rots in the ground of this world just like a body of a dead man.
When your enemy attacks you with depression, you have to get up and move forward in faith. When you do, God's Holy Spirit power will never let you down. Change your world by being a hearer, and doer of the Word.
II. Enslaved by man's traditions
Jesus never went to the cross for religion. He died for sinners just like you and me. There is a scripture that says "all unrighteousness is sin." While studying and meditating on that little phrase one day the Lord said to me. Loy, you have never understood what being a sinner is.
Being a sinner is doing everything in your life wrong! Why is this true? Every since you and I were born into the earth, we have been lied to by preachers. What do I mean by this statement. I'm not just referring to the guy that stands behind the pulpit on Sunday morning at your church assembly.
In school our teachers preached to us their educational traditions. The policeman preached to us the law according to his traditions. The word preach simply means to make a public announcement.
My dad even tried to get me to do carpenter work after his traditions. It was a wrong teaching for me.
How was it wrong? My dad built houses. I worked on Paper mills, chemical plants, water and sewer plants. What is my point. The laws and principles that works for building a house won't work when you are doing what I call big construction.
Most Christian mix all the traditions they have heard both in church, and from the world, in a sack shaking it up, pouring it out calling it the Gospel. This is why most Christians are sinners. Remember that to be a sinner simply means your doing everything wrong. As long as we're in these mortal bodies, we are going to do things wrong and make mistakes.
God has made a way, where there seem to be no way! I John 1:8,9 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sin, He is faithful to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Don't let sin enslave you!
III. Continue in the Word
The key to freedom is found in our text. Jesus said, "if you continue in My Word, you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." Why is this true? John 1:1 tells us! "God is the Word, and the Word is God." Then in verse 14 we discover that God the Word is to became flesh, and live among us.
Don't ever bring God in from a church service, and put Him on a shelf not spending anytime with Him. Jesus said in John 15:7 "if you abide in Me, and My Word abides in you." How do we abide in Christ? Jesus teaches us right here in this verse! We abide in His Word.
Years ago when going through some serious times with my family, the Lord spoke these words to my heart. "The Word that I speak, the Father within Me, He does the work." If we need God to do something for us; He can only do by His Spirit what we need; as we speak His Word as our continual confession.
If we continually say what we have, then we will continually have what we say. "The power of life and death is in the tongue." Say only what God has said, and He will do for you only what He can do!
Conclusion: Acting and speaking like the world only brings the same depressed state that the world lives under. A true free man is one that builds their house upon the solid rock that Jesus teaches us about in Matthew chapter 5-7. It will take an attitude change for us to have the freedom of the Son operating in our lives.
Jesus was a free man! Through Calvary He made us free men. Today is the day of salvation! Start today living in the freedom of Christ. God paid a high price for our freedom, let us never reject the work of the cross! "He became sin that we through Him shall be made the righteousness of God." In Jesus Name Amen.