Oswego Christian Church
No Longer A Slave

Starter Image: #1       Blank Intro Slide with mountains and man.

July 6th. Tomorrow Renee and I will celebrate our 47th Wedding Anniversary. I think I will do something a little special. Maybe rather than McDonalds or Sonic Drive thru we will go all out and go to a Five Guys for a burger. Believe it or not a hamburger on our anniversary is a romantic thing. We ate supper on our wedding night at Bill’s Burger in Joplin.

Maybe I will look across the car seat and say something romantic like.

  1. You have hazel colored eyes.  
  2. Your birthday is May 21st
  3. You never burn our supper.

After that  I may not make it to anniversary 48 as smooth as last 47. Probably a  few cold stares from those hazel eyes and a couple of burnt or cook it yourself suppers.  I could use some  help!!!!

# Image 2 …….. Lord Byron 

I like the mustache But if I were to say something like Lord Byron  would say who knows. He  was British Romantic poet around 1800 …………………………..Now imagine the same situation with the me saying,

# Image 3         You walk in beauty, like the night
                        Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
                        And all that is best of dark and night,
                        Meet in the aspect and your eyes.

While I was romantically challenged in the first situation. And communicated truthful and  accurate  information                   I would have  failed to communicate the full intent of the situation.  

  1. the depth,
  2. the magnitude,
  3. and beauty of this amazing lady… the  love of my life.

# Image 4             Love is more than a list of factual information.

Love is a mysterious and beautiful relationship between two people.

Love is a concept.  We struggle conveying the full extent of our feelings. That is why poetry is often used to express how people in love feel toward each other.

I wanted to begin with the concept and use of poetry to introduce the idea of what Jesus is speaking about in John 8.

Jesus does not use poetry in John 8, ——  But

Image #5   In John 8: 31-36   – Jesus is proclaiming something explosive, emotional, and transformational.

John 8 has a lot to say about the concepts of truth, sin, and freedom, we know they are more than fill in the blank answers from a Sunday School quiz. Let’s look at how Jesus expresses these strong concepts.

Specifically  these  subjects discussed in John 8:31-36 are…used within a  illustrated discussion describing the difference with- in a relationship.

Image #6 …… John 8:31-36  is a discussion of the difference between a son and a slave.  

Jesus uses this relationship to proclaim freedom not from individual sins or a specific act of disobedience, but He offers freedom from the nature or condition that enslaves all people.

The truth that Jesus refers to is more than factually correct information. Or a list of the values of truth.  Many of us  can quote verses about evangelism, prayer, or compassion, yet it is hard to extend compassion. or to  bring the gospel to those living in darkness.

Image #7 ……. The freedom that Jesus offers is not a political system; it is a release from the chains that enslave one’s soul.

Overview of John 8:    A day in the life of Jesus .    Jesus leaves the Mount of Olives     He  is at the temple. People are everywhere.                 Jesus is Teaching          Temple is Like a college campus – not like our church

Early in the chapter we have a Adulterous Woman brought to Jesus by the scribes and the Pharisees. They want to trap Jesus and stone the woman. Jesus  stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. and  then said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” And they one by one leave.  Jesus  Straightening up, said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, [a]Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]

Next section covers Jesus back in  teaching mode with crowd….  He Is the Light of the World

12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world;    and then into His death

28 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that [h]I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. 

When he reaches this point something happens …………………

//////////  VERSE 30 As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.//////////////

That’s where we are today……… What did he say to them. What words would have an impact on them.  How would he convey the significance of this moment with them……

Image #8  and 9 ….. John 8:31-36                31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.   Stop here. verse 31-36

Freedom ————  Exodus 3:9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me,  Aspire to be a slave?

I. Let’s talk for just a moment for a person to be able to have  the Possibility of freedom

Jesus makes one of the most amazing Inspirational claims in history in ///// John 8

Image #10…….  and the truth will make you free.” 

Consider for a moment the incredible hope expressed in the promise that Jesus can set people free.                             Any person at any point in history.

Unless you have lived a sheltered life, we have probably all experienced some form of being enslaved or we  have known someone who struggles to break free from ungodly chains.

These ungodly chains can be easy to identify like an

  1. immoral addiction, drugs, alcohol, abuse…
  2. or the chains may be more “acceptable” like fear,
  3.  greed,  worldliness, doubt,
  4. anger, bitterness, legalism,
  5. racism, insecurity, despair, or depression.

;;; Flip over to John 10:10

Image #11       John 10:10 … 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and [a]have it abundantly.

Whatever category you classify your slavery, the result is the same –  a failure to experience the abundant life promised by following Christ. Everyone who is  living in bondage, Jesus offers freedom. And His Freedom makes it possible to live an abundant life.

What is this freedom? How would you recognize it.   ——- Coyote Puppy release from pen  

Image #12  The freedom offered by Jesus is spiritual- Jesus can free you where ever you are.

His freedom is not a political revolution.  While that is what many thought in the beginning.

True freedom is not about changing our outward circumstances.

This is a significant concept because it reveals that Jesus can free us WHEREVER we are.

  1. Paul was on the road to Damascus persecuting Christians.
  2.  The prodigal son was in a pig pen.
  3. Peter was in a boat fishing.
  4. One woman was drawing water from a well.
  5. Another woman found freedom when caught in adultery.
  6. A thief was being executed on A cross when Jesus set his soul free!

Image #13…… Spiritual freedom is not dependent upon physical circumstances

Spiritual freedom is not dependent upon physical circumstances that might have led to  or been a part of getting you into bondage.

  1. Jesus can set you free in your marriage without causing a divorce.
  2. Jesus can set you free when you are overdrawn in your checkbook without making a deposit.
  3. Jesus can set you free from your failures without loading a U-haul truck leaving.

Don’t misunderstand this concept to mean something it doesn’t.

  1. We may need to make, and Christ may lead us to make, some physical or circumstantial changes.
  2.  But, one of the main truths of divine freedom is Jesus is more concerned about setting your soul free than defeating the Roman Empire or any other political or other external force.

Image #14   Jesus’ freedom is also purposeful it is the result of abiding in His Truth.

Abiding in His Truth……………….

  1. Freedom is not a lack of restraint that allows us  to fulfill a selfish desire,
  2. Genuine freedom takes place in the arena of divine truth.
  3.  As we abide in Christ in His Truth we are released from the chains of the world and
  4. released to be all that God created us to be.
  5. Like a fish has been created to swim in water, we are created to live in the truth of Christ’s love.

Consider me playing an instrument like the keyboard. I have never taken  a lesson but I can freely play on the keyboard and make something I could call music. But consider how Bev who has perhaps taken lessons, she can read music, she practices hours and more. She can create beautiful and worshipful sounds with the same Keyboard. Obviously, Bev a musician is free to play the instrument as it was designed.

We were created to walk in fellowship with almighty God, but sin hinders that relationship by enslaving us in a separated life from God.

Christ is the only one who can set us free to enjoy the life as a child of God instead of living as a slave of the world.

If Jesus’ Freedom is so available and so beyond the circumstances of this world … What is the hold up?

Image #15 ……. Perils of freedom – Ignorance

Even though Jesus clearly declared that freedom is possible, the sad reality is that even today very few experience it.

There are several perils or roadblocks that prevent the  freedom of Christ.

A. The first peril is Ignorance  Jesus speaking to the crowd……….. new information? 

Jesus is declaring new truth to some who did not know that freedom was available. The Bible describes those who lacked knowledge of Christ’s ministry as “living in darkness,” and Jesus came to bring light to those who lived in darkness.

What does ignorance look like today? ——– Covid 19 information covered the globe in a few days. Anyone who wanted to know could find the information. Our world has become able to spread the message faster than ever before. Still some don’t know. It comes back to you and me and that is a different sermon.

Image #16 ……. Perils of freedom – Arrogance-

B. A second peril is arrogance

The Pharisees’ statement that they had never lived as slaves is not just inaccurate; it is arrogant. Israel had experienced slavery under the Assyrian Empire, Babylonian Empire, Persian Empire, and now the Roman Empire. But their greatest slavery was to their own sin. They were unwilling to admit that they had failed to meet God’s holy standard. They lived by a legalistic code and arrogantly rejected the offer of God’s amazing grace.

What does arrogance look like today ?   —– As Americans Arrogance is probably one we understand. I don’t need it. I already have what I want  or can get whatever I need.

I have a brother- in- law that teaches school in Augusta. Told me about a young man in his class. He could tell he was not going to make it to graduation. Just not interested. Didn’t need school. He could take care of himself.   Tanner Braungardt  – He has 4.5 M subscribers on YouTube. And makes a lot of money. Drives a fancy sports car. Has hired his family to work for him.  Maybe he didn’t need school. He made out alright. But!!!

 But for every Tanner who made it work . How many countless thousands drop out of school because they just don’t need it.  And they fail. We live in a very arrogant society!

Image #17……. Perils of freedom – Reluctance

C. Reluctance

Reluctance is the third peril that prevented some of the Jews from responding to Christ’s offer of freedom. Remember verse  30  As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him     this reveals that some had placed their faith in Christ they believed what Jesus was preaching but they had not taken the                                                                                   next step    placing their faith in Him.    This group was not ignorant. They were not arrogant because they recognized a need for Christ, but they were unwilling to surrender to the lordship of Christ.

Why would people be reluctant today? —– The offer can’t be true.  Too good to be true..                                              People don’t want to accept the lordship of Jesus. We can do it later………..

Image #18 ……. Perils of freedom – Complacency

D. Complacency  – Remember our discussion centers around the difference between a slave and a son.

35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 

Contained in the text is the exhortation to be free indeed or complete freedom.

we might  accept a partial freedom. A little bit of freedom for the Jews might be something like  …..

Attending synagogue, offering some sacrifices, and celebrating the traditional “holy day” festivals was okay for most people. They were doing enough they thought to please GOD….

Take some time to read the last part of John 8. It ends with them wanting to stone Jesus. He doesn’t engage in their political argument.  

He brings them back to the spiritual reality. Much more than freedom from Rome, they need freedom from sin

 Rom 6:16-  16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 

Jesus as the Son . Here in John 8 as we are reading today offers this freedom.

 But he offers them more than the status of being freed slaves.

They can be sons with a permanent place in the household of God.

Image #19 …………… What is the process of freedom?   “If….then.”

III. Process of freedom THE HOW!!!

 “If you continue in My word, thenyou are truly disciples of Mine; 

Jesus identifies a process for experiencing true freedom with the words, “If..then.”

The process should not be confused with a legalistic formula. He does not say,

  1. “If you have a daily quiet time with thirty minutes of prayer,
  2. tithe faithfully,
  3. and only miss Sunday School twice a year, then you can be free.”

While Jesus does not prescribe a formula, His words do reveal a way things operate in His kingdom.

For example, I enjoy getting  to watch the sun rise in the morning, but I have to do two things to see it.

  1. I  must get up early in the morning,
  2. and I have to  face east.

You are just as Free to watch as me. However if you sleep until ten o’clock and look west, you will miss the sunrise even though you are free to watch it. Why? Because there is a way things work.

The little word “if” is a big concept in the kingdom of God.

The word represents an invitation. True freedom will not attack you;

instead we have to respond to God’s invitation to accept His complete freedom.                                                     

This is something most don’t accept.

If we what?????????????????????

NKJ and American Standard Version reads If ye ABIDE in my word, then are ye truly my disciples.

NIV: Hold to my teaching,   / NASB: “If you continue in My word,     / NLT: if you remain faithful to my teachings

Jesus has an expectation for us to abide.

Two concepts emerge about abiding in truth.

  1. First, abiding refers to perseverance. …. Hold… Continue… Remain……..
  2. True freedom is not found through a casual glance at the claims of Christ, we must be willing to “dwell” in the Word of God (v.31). This is not a 30 day trial of faith. Jesus is not talking about a 12 week Bible study. Jesus offers freedom to those who abide in His Word.
  3. Abide comes from the root word abode meaning home or dwelling place.                                                        The word picture communicated is one of moving to a new home.                                                                               That is a significant and ongoing change in our life.
  4. XXXX  The second concept of abiding is place or location.
    1. Jesus declares that true freedom is found in, “MY word.”
    1. Freedom is not found in self-help programs,  legalistic religion,
    1. the teaching of Buddha, or Muhammad.
    1. Freedom is not found in the pop psychology of Dr. Phil, Oprah,
    1. or through selfish indulgence of unrestrained sin.

Go back to Verse 20 again

Image #20 …… John 8:31  31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 

then you are truly disciples of Mine . Jesus has been talking about Disciples.                                                                          A lifelong love relationship with him. People who want to be more and more like Jesus.

Renee and I have been together over 47 years. We have become more and more alike. I want to spend time with her, doing things together and doing things for her.

A true disciple of Jesus has moved into a new house.  Abides in HIs Truth. And is learning more and more about Jesus. A true disciple will want to spend time with Jesus. Share life with Him.  

As we learn and do more with Jesus our Freedom expands. Just like a great musician we learn to experience the abundant life he has planned of each one of us.

And that is Freedom Indeed.