RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      7/02/17
 
“Religious Liberty”
John 8:31-36
 
INTRODUCTION: Americans have basic rights guaranteed by our Constitution: freedom of worship, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.  As Americans we assume the first freedoms found in the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press: or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievancesAs Christians, we believe that true freedom comes through Jesus Christ who provides the basis for the freedoms we have as citizens of this world.  Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32 NRSV).  Religious Liberty Sunday celebrates our freedom in Christ, our freedom to worship and our freedom as citizens.
 
WE HAVE LIBERTY IN CHRIST.
 
            -Jesus used the image of slavery to describe you and me.  “Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples;   and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.   “They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, "You will be made free'?"  Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin(v. 31-34).
 
            -Jesus has the authority to set us free from sin“The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever.  So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed(35-36).
 
            -You will find true liberty when you come to know Jesus as your Savior and Lord: “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”  Truth is found in a Person, Jesus Christ.  “Jesus said to him, `I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6).
 
Have you discovered the freedom found in Jesus Christ?
 
WE HAVE LIBERTY TO WORSHIP.
 
            -Freedom in Christ assumes personal responsibility and dignity before God. “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery(Gal. 5:1).
 
            -The First Amendment recognizes our right to full religious
Liberty: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....”
 
You have the right under God to worship without coercion.
 
WE HAVE LIBERTY TO EXERCISE OUR CITIZEN RIGHTS.
 
            -Freedom in Christ assumes the right to know the truth and practice it. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free(John 8:32).   
 
            -Freedom of the press, speech, assembly and pursuit of justice are guaranteed in the First Amendment. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press: or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 
 
You are obligated in Christ to tell the truth and speak your mind.
 
YOU ARE
           
            ...free in Christ
 
                        ...free to worship
 
                                    ...free to stand for truth!
 
 
 

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