Liberty! – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

Liberty!

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Intro: In Luke 4:14-21, Jesus became the fulfillment of that prophecy.

His ministry was multi-faceted. One of them was to proclaim liberty to the captives and opening up the prison to them that are bound.

One of the reasons that Jesus came was to proclaim LIBERTY!

The Spirit of God provides LIBERTY.

  • 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

The Word of God is called “the perfect law of liberty.”

  • James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Today is July 4, 2021. This nation was founded 245 years ago TODAY! I love my country. I love America! It is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. Our nation is a beacon and a light for the world because of our liberty!

We have LIBERTY today because of…

I. The Beliefs of our Founders

Our founding fathers were men of principle.

They were vocal in their beliefs that freedom and liberty were worth fighting for.

They believed liberty was worth dying for.

Their sacrifice was invaluable because it was backed up by a belief that all men should be free.

  • George Washington, July 2, 1776 – “Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the world that a free man, contending for his liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.”  
  • Benjamin Franklin – “Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety. Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”
  • Samuel Adams – “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
  • Thomas Paine – “It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”
  • John Adams – “Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.”
  • Patrick Henry – “The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, Sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable; and let it come! I repeat, Sir, let it come!”

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

We have LIBERTY today because of…

II. The Basis of our Freedoms

            A. The Bible

  • Thomas Jefferson – “Political interest [can] never be separated in the long run from moral right. Can the liberties of a nation be sure when we remove their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these liberties are a gift from God?”  
  • Fisher Ames author of the final wording for the First Amendment wrote, “[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a schoolbook? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.”
  • John Jay, Original Chief-Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, “The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.”
  • James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice, “Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine… Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”
  • Patrick Henry – “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

            B. The Constitution

  • John Adams – “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
  • Patrick Henry “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
  • Benjamin Franklin – “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
  • Alexander Hamilton – “The Constitution ought to be the standard of construction for the laws, and that wherever there is an evident opposition, the laws ought to give place to the Constitution.”
  • Thomas Jefferson – “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”
  • James Madison – “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution.” 

            C. The Bill of Rights

“(T)he foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; …the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained…” George Washington, First Inaugural, April 30, 1789

                        1. Freedom of Religion

The Pilgrims and the Puritans came here in the 1600’s for religious freedom.

Gives Americans the freedom to worship God.

  • Thomas Jefferson – “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”  

No state-run or government mandated religion.

                        2. Freedom of Speech

  • John Adams – “The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.”

The freedom to preach, to teach, to proclaim the Gospel.

The freedom to have church and meet with our families and sing and worship God.

                        3. Freedom of the Press

  • Thomas Jefferson – “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

The freedom to publish the Word of God; to print the gospel; to propagate the Good News.

The right to say what we want – to speak our mind – to give our opinions.

                        4. The Freedom to Bear Arms

  • Thomas Jefferson “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” 
  • Patrick Henry “Those that hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.” 
  • Patrick Henry “The great object is that every man be armed.” 
  • Alexander Hamilton “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” 
  •  Samuel Adams“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the U.S. from keeping their own arms.” 
  • George Madison“To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
  • George Washington“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American peoples’ liberty teeth and keystone under independence… From the hour the pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable…The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.”

We have LIBERTY today because of…

III. The Benefit of our Faith

Though we as American’s celebrate liberty and freedom today, that liberty may be taken away.

The day will come when the liberals and the Marxists will outnumber the patriots in this country.

Our liberties and freedoms are being stripped away from us almost daily.

As an American, that breaks my heart.

But I take great consolation in one fact.

The liberty I have as a Christian can never be taken away.

We can celebrate the fact that through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are free!

When you and I put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we were made free.

We are told that repeatedly throughout the Scriptures.

Jesus came to proclaim liberty to the captives.

  • Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Jesus said in John 8 –

  • 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
  • 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
  • 33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
  • 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
  • 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
  • 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Before we were saved, we were slaves to sin.

We were in bondage.

Jesus came to set the captives free.

We have been made free from:

               A. The Penalty of Sin

  • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

               B. The Power of Sin

Romans 6

  • 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
  • 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
  • 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
  • 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
  • 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
  • 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.