Land of the Free

By Bobby Blakey on January 17, 2016

John 8:13-36

AUDIO

Land of the Free

By Bobby Blakey on January 17, 2016

John 8:13-36

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:00] Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave?

[00:00:10] This is America and this is a free country. We're pretty excited about that around here.

[00:00:15] And one of the things we do in our country is we celebrate Martin Luther King Junior Day as anyone thankful for this day that we celebrate. He had a dream and we get a day off and it's a good deal. And he gave a very famous speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial, referring to Lincoln about the work that Lincoln did to abolish slavery in this country. And he said that he had a dream that his children would grow up in a nation where they would not be judged for the color of their skin, but for the content of their character. And we still have that dream here in America today that the melting pot of the nations would not be a place of racism. But where everyone is embraced as a part of the red, white and blue, it's a noble freedom that we celebrate on Martin Luther King Junior Day.

[00:01:11] But the problem is here in America is this freedom has now gone to a new level and it's happening right now in our lifetime that not only is every citizen of this nation free, but you as a citizen are now free to do whatever you want to do, especially with your own body. No one can tell you what to do with your body if you want to abuse your body with substances that control it and make it feel or act a certain way. Well, there's a growing tolerance, a growing acceptance of that in our society. You are free to love whoever you want to love to marry whoever you want to marry. No one can tell you what to do with your sexual expression in this country. That is a freedom.

[00:01:58] Now, as we've taken freedom too far, yes, we were are against slavery.

[00:02:04] Yes. We want everyone in this nation to be free. But now you're free to do whatever is right in your own eyes.

[00:02:11] And this is a big problem in our nation right now. And it's actually a big problem in the church. Have you noticed this?

[00:02:19] That's usually when people are getting closer and closer to sin, then they start talking about how awesome their freedom in Christ is. And it's usually right when they're about to cross the line into something questionable that they start bringing up the Christian liberties that we all enjoy in Christ, in how we're free from the law. And there becomes this idea that you and I, because we are free, we can do whatever we want to do, even as Christian people.

[00:02:46] Well, Jesus also gave a speech on freedom, and it's a speech we're going to look at here this morning.

[00:02:52] And in Jesus his speech, he said, if the sun has set you free, then you will be free in deed. He promised a real and true freedom.

[00:03:04] And we're gonna look at that in John Chapter eight. I invite you to grab a Bible and turn with us back to the Gospel of John, Chapter eight. We'll be picking it up in verse 13 of Johnny right where we left off. And we are going through this book, and I am absolutely enjoying studying the gospel of John with all of you. Anybody else here enjoying this study as we work through the gospel? A smattering of applause for the gospel of Jesus here this morning.

[00:03:31] A lukewarm, tepid applause for Jesus here. Some of us were fervent. Others not so much. But we're enjoying this.

[00:03:39] And this is what's great. If you have been here for the five months that we've been studying the gospel of John now in Chapter eight. Today, you're going to see a lot of the themes that we've been looking at that we've preached on, repeated as if they're very important, as if they're not just worth looking at once, but again and again to make sure that they get all the way into our heart and out into our life. And if you're just joining us here at Compass Bible Church, well, this is a bread and butter Sunday because you're going to hear a sermon that sounds like a lot of the sermons that we hear here as we go through the gospel of John, because there's some things that Jesus keep saying over and over again, as if people aren't getting it, but they must get it.

[00:04:21] And so he cannot move on from it.

[00:04:25] I mean, Jesus, we find out. Didn't just come and it wasn't just all happiness, I mean, yes, some people got saved. Yes, some disciples started to follow him. But we find out that Jesus went straight to the intersection of belief and rejection. And there was perhaps no more controversial figure than Jesus Christ himself, loved by some and hated by others, some who would give their lives for him and some who wanted nothing more than to take his life.

[00:04:54] And so we find a lot of controversy, maybe more than some of us thought there was about Jesus we found here in the Gospel of John. And we get thrown right back into the controversy as Jesus and these Jewish leaders are going at it again. Start with me and John, chapter eight, verse 13, and we're going to read all the way to verse 36. Let's pick it up here in this dialog that Jesus is having in the temple with the crowd and his enemies.

[00:05:20] So the Ferris's the enemies said to him, you are bearing witness about yourself. Your testimony is not true. And Jesus answered. Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going.

[00:05:37] But you do not know where I can't come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh. I judge no one. Yet, even if I do judge, my judgment is true.

[00:05:50] Virt is not I alone who judge. But I am the father who sent me in your law. It is written that the testimony of two people is true. I am the one who bears witness about myself and the father who sent me bears witness about me. And they said to him, therefore, where is your father?

[00:06:09] And Jesus answered, You know, neither me nor my father. If you knew me, you would know my father. Also, these words, he spoke in the Treasury as he taught in the temple, but no one arrested him because his hour had not yet come.

[00:06:24] So he said to them again, I am going away and you will seek me and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come to the Jews, said, will he kill himself? Since he says, Where I am going, you cannot come. And he said to them, You are from below. I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.

[00:06:53] So they said to him, Who are you? And Jesus said to them, Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. I have much to say about you and much to judge. But he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him. They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the father.

[00:07:13] So Jesus said to them, When you have lifted up the son of man, then you will know that I am he. And then I do nothing on my own authority but speak just as the father taught me. And he you sent me is with me. He has not left me alone for. I always do the things that are pleasing to him. And as he was saying these things, many believed in him.

[00:07:35] So Jesus said to the Jews who have believed him, if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

[00:07:50] They answered him. We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say you will become free and Jesus answer them? Truly, truly. I say to you. Everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. A slave does not remain in the house forever. The sun remains forever.

[00:08:13] So if the sun sets you free, you will be free.

[00:08:18] In deed.

[00:08:20] And here's an argument. This is an argument that's playing out in public. It's a debate between Jesus in the Jewish leaders of his day. And let me tell you that Jesus never lost a debate. He always won with these guys, but they kept trying. And the first thing that we debate, something that we've addressed before in the Gospel of John. But these guys don't get it. So it keeps coming up is who is Jesus?

[00:08:48] And he can't claim to be God all by himself because he needs someone to testify to witness to who he is.

[00:08:57] And so they're trying to say, well, we can't believe your claims to be God because you're saying it about yourself and you need other people to witness about you.

[00:09:06] And Jesus, he quotes the law, if you look back at verse 17 in your law, it is written, this is an Old Testament principle that you can find throughout the first five books of the Bible that the testimony of two people is true, that the way it worked is that no one should be found guilty.

[00:09:21] No one should be convicted without two or three witnesses. And that's the principle that they're trying to bring up on Jesus here is they're trying to say to him, hey, you're telling us your God, you're acting like you're D.A.. Well, you can't witness about yourself. Who's the other witness?

[00:09:39] And Jesus his answer over and over is, my father is the witness.

[00:09:44] My father and in fact, this is the first time that Jesus go so far as to say, hey, even if I do, even if it's just me witnessing about myself, that doesn't mean it's not true. What I'm saying about myself, like, I know where I came from. I know where I'm going. I know who I am. I'm telling you the truth. But if you need another witness, which you won't accept him because you don't accept me. Let me tell you who the other witnesses. It's the father in heaven who sent me. It's so important that we start with the right Jesus. It's so important that everybody here knows who Jesus is. And if you don't fully understand who Jesus is, we're never gonna be able to move past this point onto anything else because it all begins with what you think about Jesus.

[00:10:26] The most important question that anybody could answer in this room is who do you say Jesus is?

[00:10:32] That's the question. And it all flows from there. And these grise, this crowd can't get the right answer to that question. They've missed the whole point of everything that's been happening. Go back to John, Chapter one, and look how Jesus is introduced.

[00:10:47] Let's go back and let's remember, it's been about five months since we began going through this book. And if you're just joining us. Well, this will be great to catch you up. Go back to John one and look at how John wrote about Jesus from the very beginning. He said in the beginning was the what's the word he uses?

[00:11:04] Well, it was the answer was in the question.

[00:11:06] It's word in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. That's the whole point we're trying to make at the father and the son have had an internal relationship together. And then the son came to express to us, to manifest to us. He is the revelation of God himself. The father sent the son that we might be hold his glory, glory full of grace and truth, the very glory of God himself.

[00:11:37] Jesus is the revealer of God to man. He is the mediator between us and the Almighty. No man can go into the presence of God and live Moses. What? He could barely behold the glory of God. He had to be hidden in Iraq. He only saw a glimpse of it. And then his face shown after that, it radiated the glory of God. Cause no man can go into the presence of God.

[00:12:01] So Jesus came to us, and we worship Jesus as God. There's only one right response to Jesus. And that's worship. Let's get that down for point number one.

[00:12:12] And I and I, I wanted to elaborate because I feel like when we say worship, that becomes a word that is commonplace to us. And I'm really concerned that at a church where we talk about Jesus so much that we might start to feel familiar with Jesus and some of us might even start to think that we understand Jesus, that we know what there is to know about Jesus, that we kind of have comprehended him and our worship might become a little bit old, might become a little bit of something that we take for granted.

[00:12:44] Man, are you still in awe of Jesus Christ? Like, does he blow your mind?

[00:12:49] Could you say even when it's not Christmas time, even when he's not a sweet little baby in a manger? Could you say that you adore Jesus Christ? Like, are you in love with Jesus?

[00:13:02] That's what we're going for.

[00:13:03] The whole point here is that we would believe in Jesus and that we would get eternal life. And this is eternal life to know the Christ.

[00:13:11] That's the whole point of everything we're doing at this church is to know Jesus. Is that happening? Are we five months into this book?

[00:13:20] Like, can you say here this morning that from when we started the Gospel of John, if you've been at our church this time from when we started the Gospel of John to where we're at today, you clearly know and love Jesus more than you do than you did when we started.

[00:13:34] That's the goal that we're going for here. Like how much this week did you think about Jesus Christ?

[00:13:42] How much was he present there with you as you were going about your day, as you were considering how to spend your time, as you were considering what you were going to give your heart's affections towards and what you were going to delight in and what you were going to enjoy was Jesus at the top of that list.

[00:14:01] I think there's a lot of head knowledge, there's a lot of faith in Jesus Christ. But is there a lot of affection with Jesus Christ?

[00:14:09] Is there a lot of worship now? We gather together once a week on the day that Jesus rose to worship them here at the church. But that shouldn't be the only time that we're worshiping it. And we worship in spirit from our soul and we worship in truth from the word. And we do it all the time. Is the essence of our life. That is what eternal life is, a knowledge of Jesus that requires a response of worship. I can't help but worship. I have to worship Jesus or I'm going to get cranky is the attitude.

[00:14:39] I don't want to know more about it.

[00:14:42] I want to be blown away by it. I mean, I hope we haven't gotten used to the idea, something that we've learned a couple of times throughout the gospel of John, that Jesus created the world.

[00:14:52] The Jesus right now, the reason the world is still spinning the way it should be in the sun and the moon and the universe is all still going in orbit, is because Jesus is upholding it. How?

[00:15:04] By the words that come out of his mouth. By the power of his expression, the universe was formed and is sustained and he can turn water into wine like that. He can heal a man like that. He can feed 5000 like that. He can walk on water. This is Jesus Christ. We should be in honor of him, and yet then he wants to come down and he wants to live is one of us, and he wants to seek out this woman, a Samaritan woman, the person the Jews would have looked down on a half breed. They would have been racist towards this woman. And she was a questionable woman of character.

[00:15:41] She was out social outcast, getting her water at the well in the middle of the day at the hottest time of the day, trying to get it maybe when nobody else was around. Here was a woman that the world had forgotten at Jesus came to the world to seek her out because he loves her, because he has compassion for her, because he feels her pain inside of his own body. Do you love Jesus during Jesus that he loves you?

[00:16:11] Does it matter to you?

[00:16:13] There's only one right response to Jesus its mouth on the floor. Fall to your knees. Worship of Jesus Christ and the Kraut. Like so many people in America right now doesn't get it. You don't know me. Jesus is. You don't know my father. You don't know where I come from. You don't know where I'm going. And it's all about knowing me. Jesus says. And then he says, and it's not just like your life would be better if you knew Jesus. It's not just like, hey, we think this is like the next level for everybody in 2016. If, you know, Jesus know, here's our Jesus roles. Here's the kind of thing that Jesus says. You're gonna die in your sins if you don't know me.

[00:16:56] That's what Jesus says.

[00:16:57] And he says it straightforward. One impression that I've gotten as we've gone through the Gospel of John. Go back to Chapter eight and look at what Jesus says here in the next paragraph in verse 21. One impression I've got from a lot of people, some of them who have just joined us in these last couple of months as we're going through the gospel of John is Jesus is pretty straightforward.

[00:17:17] Anybody want to say amen to that? Like, there's not a lot of bushes that were beaten around here in the Gospel of John. Like, we're just telling it like it is.

[00:17:25] And you can take it or you can leave it. In fact, sometimes we've had been forced to admit that Jesus is saying things on purpose to raise a rock as he is being incendiary. He is being inflammatory, like he wants to stir it up.

[00:17:42] That's what he's doing. There's no other way to say it.

[00:17:45] Like Jesus speaks with a commanding authority, like no one else has ever given a speech in the history of the world. Now, when they sent people to arrest Jesus to to go and get him because he is in public, he's in the temple, he's saying whatever he wants to say against the religious leaders of the day out in public. And they send men to arrest him. And the men come back and they don't have Jesus. And they're like, why did you bring Jesus back? Because nobody speaks like this man. Like, if you just heard him, you tremble a little bit. It shakes you up from the inside out like it causes you to reconsider everything you thought you knew. When you hear Jesus speaking. I mean, there's an authoritative straightforwardness about Jesus Christ, that many Christians today is a foreign idea in their mind.

[00:18:36] No, I thought Jesus Jesus was easy acceptance. I thought Jesus was just cool with us. However, we were. Ah, here's the real Jesus if you want to get into the gospel of John, if you want to see who he is. This is what Jesus says. Where I'm going, you cannot come. And this is so ironically, verse 22. So the Jews said, will he kill himself? Will he commit suicide? With which is the classic example here of Johanna, an irony. John loves to be like saint, showing that their bad guys are always saying the most stupid things at the wrong times.

[00:19:07] Is he going to kill himself as what are they plotting to do while they say that kill him?

[00:19:13] Oh, is he going to kill himself? Like they're not even plotting to kill him. And then look at Jesus. He just goes off on these guys like there's there's no I mean, if he said this here today, we would think he had sinned really because of how straightforward it is, because he doesn't hold anything back. Here's what Jesus says. You're from below and I'm from above.

[00:19:34] You're of this world and I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins. And you know what? Unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins. Eight Jesus. Where's the love? Man. You see how maybe the version of Jesus that we're running around with in our brain doesn't match the version of Jesus that is right here on the pages of scripture.

[00:19:54] Hey, guys, I'm tired of having this conversation, and I told you before, and let me tell you again that there's only one way out. You have to believe that I am God. You have to believe that I am he. And if you don't, let's not beat around the bush. Let's make it very clear here this morning.

[00:20:08] You either believe in Jesus or you die in your sin. That's what he said.

[00:20:13] That's what he said.

[00:20:14] There's only one right response to the understanding that we have seen, to the understanding that we have fallen short of the glory of God, that we are not perfect people. And the one response to that is we put our faith in Jesus Christ.

[00:20:27] That's the one thing we can do. Let's get that down for point number two. Point number two here.

[00:20:32] The right response to sin is faith, its belief in Jesus Christ, starting with the fact that he is God, that he was sent by the father. But then as we continue on in the paragraph, we get very specific as to what we are supposed to put our faith in as the thing that's the highlight of everything Jesus did. He's God. He lived a perfect life. He rose from the dead. But here's the centerpiece of it all in verse 28. So Jesus said to them, when you have lifted up the son of man now in the Gospel of John, whenever it talks about the son of man being lifted up, that's not a reference to his resurrection. That is a reference to him being lifted up on the cross to die for are saying that is a crucifixion reference every time in the Gospel of John.

[00:21:18] So he's saying, here's what you need to believe in. You need to believe that the son of man is going to be lifted up. In fact, you're going to lift me up.

[00:21:27] And then after I die, when you see me die on the cross, after you're done mocking me and saying save yourself and calling me the king of the Jews in some kind of sarcastic way, well, then you will know that I am he. Then you're going to see I'm God. And then I do nothing on my own authority. But I speak just as the father taught me.

[00:21:47] So when I die, that's what you're going to realize, that I'm God and you're gonna believe in me.

[00:21:54] I mean, here's Jesus prophesying that some of his enemies that he's saying, unless you believe in me, will die. You will die in your sins. Now, here he is prophesying that some of these people who are so against him and want to kill him when he dies, they will believe in him and then they'll understand who he is when they see him lifted up.

[00:22:13] And I hope you have put your faith in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

[00:22:18] I hope it's true for you that it's by his wounds that you are healed because he died. You now think that you have life because you have put all of your trust, not in your own works, not in coming to this church, not in reading the Bible. Not all of your faith is in the fact that Jesus took the punishment on that tree for you. That's what you believe.

[00:22:40] That's your ticket to heaven right there. And you're trusting it. You're clinging to that. Good news. Nobody here has to die in your sins. Anybody want to say amen to that? Your sins have been nailed to the cross. They've been paid for once and for all. And you trust in Christ. You transfer your trust to your own life. Living the way that you thought you should live and you transfer your trust to Jesus and now you live the way that he tells you to live.

[00:23:08] And so he's prophesying long before it ever happens.

[00:23:10] When I die, then you will believe in me. These are the things we've been preaching throughout this book over and over. And it's a great way to review, a great way to join us. If you're just getting here, there's two points of us going through the gospel of John. One, we want to know Jesus. And we want to worship him in the way that we come to know Jesus is we put our faith in his death for our sin. That's what we're all about here at this church. Now, after reviewing those things that this crowd is still seemingly not getting. Well, some people, it says believe in him. Look at verse 30. Here's some good news along with the rejection. We have the intersection of belief. Here it is. You see that wherever Jesus is, people are going in polar opposites away from it. Like some people are going away from Jesus and they hate him and they want to kill him. And some people are going away from Jesus and they believe in him. And now he's their entire life. That's what Jesus does. And here in the midst of this debate where Jesus is saying intense words like you're going to die in your sin. People start believing in.

[00:24:10] And so when people believe in Jesus, what Jesus does is he brings them in and he gets them a hug. Any affirms that they're saved now. And he gives them a new Bible and he says, just go and be filled and everything's good from now on. Is that what he says?

[00:24:24] See, Jesus is a radically different evangelist's than a lot of the work going on today.

[00:24:30] Don't these people there, they're claiming to believe in them. They're saying they want to follow him and Jesus says it like this. Look at verse 31. Now we get to Jesus his version of freedom. Here's Jesus his speech on freedom. Jesus said that the Jews who had believed in him. These are people who are now on his side.

[00:24:46] They're there believing if Jesus says if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you what is Jesus promise right there free if you want to be free. Jesus says there's kind of it's almost like a conditional clause here with the if in front of it here, you can get the freedom.

[00:25:11] But before you get to freedom, you got to know the truth. And where do you find the truth? The truth isn't just out there. There's not just truth all over the place. Know, the truth very clearly is in the word. And so if you want freedom that comes from the truth and the truth is the word. Well, then what you have to do is you have to abide in the word. If you abide in the word. Then you'll have the truth and the truth will set you free others a condition. Hey, we want to believe in you. Jesus. Great. Here's what you gotta do. Yeah. You can believe in me if say.

[00:25:42] There's an expectation.

[00:25:44] The minute we say we want to follow Jesus Christ with our life, the minute we say I believe in you, Jesus. He says, here's what I want you to do. And it's very clear.

[00:25:52] I want you to remain in my word. That's what he goes right after.

[00:25:56] Now he's promising freedom, which is what everyone clearly wants, which is why we celebrate it so much here in America. But look at their response in verse 33. And it appears that these are the people who like to versus ago were saying, we believe in you, Jesus, your God save us from our sin because we believe that you're gonna do that. Well, now look what they're saying. They answered him, hey, we're offspring of Abraham. We're Jews. We're descendants of the nation of Israel. We have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say you will become free? Now, that has to be one of the statements that I can not understand any. I mean, the Jews, out of all people on planet Earth, the Jews are saying they've never been in slavery. I mean, just think about that for a minute.

[00:26:46] Just let your mind wander, my friends, back to the pages of the Old Testament. Back to this land called Egypt. What do we call that? I mean, the whole nation came out of slavery. That's the whole point, is that God delivered you out of slavery. And he set you free. But now we've it. What about King Nebeker Nasr? What about the Babylonians? What about 70 years of exile where you weren't in your capital city? Hey, knock, knock, Jews. Hey. Hello, McFly. Anybody home? The Romans are over you right now at this time. You don't even rule yourselves. You've got puppet governors. The Romans are over you.

[00:27:26] Do you see the pride here? Do you see the audacity?

[00:27:30] Do you think see how we're thinking one way. And Jesus is talking about another way.

[00:27:37] Welcome to America. My friends. The Land of the Free.

[00:27:42] We think exactly like these people.

[00:27:45] We think that we can do whatever we want to do and we're going to get away with it. There are no consequences for what our Supreme Court did in 2015. That's what we think in this country. We still think we're gonna be the greatest. We still think nobody else can take us down. There is no fear of God before the eyes of America. What do we need to be free from?

[00:28:09] Who's over us? Who's over us?

[00:28:14] We have this same exact additive. And what we're talking about keep reading here with me. Look at verse 34. Let's get even more into the freedom Jesus.

[00:28:25] Answer them. Truly, truly. I say to you. Let me. OK. You guys clearly aren't getting it. So let me say, whenever he says truly, truly, I say to you, that means he's about to say something that you're not going to believe, but he wants you to know it's true. So pay attention to what it's gonna be tough to swallow. But here it is. Truly, truly. I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. He's not talking about nations. He's not talking about races. He's talking about the souls of human beings. And he's saying, if you practice sin, then you are still a slave to sin. And the slave isn't last in Amen forever. The slave doesn't remain in the house forever. No, the sun remains forever.

[00:29:05] And then that's a way that Jesus asserts his own authority to refer to himself as the sun. And he says, if the sun is in myself, Jesus is saying, if Jesus sets you free, then you will really be free. Indeed, there's only one way to real freedom.

[00:29:20] And that's through me Jesus you say. And here's the kind of freedom that I'm promising.

[00:29:24] I'm promising to everyone who comes to me. A freedom from a practice of sin. That's what the freedom that Jesus is talking about.

[00:29:35] Now, if the sun has set us free, then we are free in deed.

[00:29:41] So we need to celebrate your freedom, everybody. That's point number three. All right. Let the good times roll.

[00:29:47] Let's celebrate the freedom, OK? But I've only lived in Huntington Beach now for a year and a half.

[00:29:54] So I'm not really a local yet. I'm working on my local status. I'm trying really hard. Right. But I already by far and away have a favorite day of the year in Huntington Beach. It's the Fourth of July. That's my favorite day. Not I mean, first of all, there's this parade that I really enjoy. One float in particular I was really pleased with. Right. And then as if like a massive parade, I mean, there's nothing like it if you've never been to the parade here in Huntington Beach. I mean, the amount of people that come out from this town to be a part of this event, it's overwhelming. Like all this is what's going on in all of those houses, these people. I mean, it's it's powerful to see the community come together. But not only do we celebrate in the morning. No. At night we start blowing stuff up. And I have never I have never experienced explosions like Fourth of July in Huntington Beach. I mean, even when it was illegal, nobody cared. Nobody cared.

[00:30:55] I came in like a complete noob, like a tour is like an out of town or just moving in just a few weeks before. And there is it. Just my kids are freaking out. It sounds like we are in the middle of a battle zone. And I walk out my front door and there's my neighbor in the middle of the street lighting Disneyland quality fireworks into the sky and the cop drives by and just keeps on dry.

[00:31:22] And now I was like, okay, this is what it's like around here in Huntington Beach. We know how to celebrate freedom. We blow stuff up. We parade it down the street.

[00:31:31] A Jesus is telling you if you're one of his people, he's telling you you're free. And he's got two ways that he wants you to celebrate your freedom. Two things that he says. In fact, if you're really going to be free, say if the truth is really going to set you free, then there's an F on this.

[00:31:49] There's something you gotta do to celebrate your freedom. You got to remember where your freedom came from.

[00:31:56] Your freedom didn't come from you. You aren't an independent operator to be free. No, your freedom came from Christ. And how do you stay connected in Christ?

[00:32:07] He says if you abide, in my words. So we're going to celebrate our freedom in Christ by doing two things here at this church. And the first thing we're going to do is we're going to celebrate it by declaring our dependance on his word, on Jesus his words. We're gonna celebrate our independence by declaring that the whole thing that makes us free is this abiding in the words of Jesus Christ. And this word is one of John's favorite words to you. Use this word for a BIID year, and I don't really like the translation abide because that's not a word that we use these days and it just has this spiritual connotation. But you could translate it. In fact, I'd encourage you maybe to even write in your Bible, this is the Greek word, Menno, and what it means is to remain or stay. That's really what it means.

[00:32:59] So if you want to celebrate freedom, then you're going to celebrate that freedom by staying in the words of Jesus. And as you remain, in the words of Jesus. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year of getting into these words, your truth is going to set you free. And here's what I see happen to so many people. They come to Jesus. They meet them through the word. They think they start a relationship with him. And then they just run off out there in the world like I'm free now. And here we go.

[00:33:34] No, no. It's as if if you abide, in my words, the truth will set you free. There's a way that this has to work. You have to remember where your freedom comes from and your freedom is in Christ.

[00:33:47] That's where it comes from. And so we gotta get in the word. The word is what sets us free.

[00:33:55] Go to the book of James, chapter one with me. I know that was a long time to preach without turning you somewhere in your Bible. I hope I apologize. Turn to James, chapter one with me.

[00:34:04] Everybody grab your Bible and turn there because it's going to call the Bible something that you might not have thought about it before. And this should make sense to us Americans, because we think that we have certain inalienable rights, certain freedoms of religion, of speech, to bear arms, certain freedoms that we are excited about.

[00:34:27] And where do we go? This should make so much sense to us, because where do we say we get our freedoms from the Constitution of these United States? Like, if any nation on the planet should understand that our freedoms come from a law, a way of saying this is how it's going to be in this land. It should be the American people who understand that the freedoms we enjoy come from a written document that declares those freedoms.

[00:34:57] That's what the Bible is.

[00:34:59] The Bible is the written document of God that shows you how to live free from sin in your life. It is actually the thing that cuts you loose and sets you free, like what it says in James Chapter one. Just jump to verse twenty five with me and then we'll build up to the whole passage here. But look at James. Chapter one, verse twenty five says. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of what's the word there. The Law of liberty. Can we all circle that. Can we underline that? Can we write that on our notes if we're taking notes? Those are two words that we would think are antonyms in the church today, law and liberty going together. How does that make sense if you're telling me what to do? How am I free to do whatever I want to do? See, that's wrong. American thinking right there. That's not Jesus thinking. That's not biblical thinking. No. One, God's telling me what to do. That's when I finally get free from myself, from the shackles of my sin.

[00:36:01] That's when I'm cut loose is when God instructs me in a new way, a way I would never go by myself, a way I would not naturally follow. No, I need to be corrected and I need to be redirected by the law of liberty. And then you've got to persevere. So here again, the idea is you remain in it. And again, this is a compound word and it's our word. Menno, again. You remain with the law of liberty. That's the idea. You stay in it.

[00:36:28] What do you what you read the Bible yesterday. What do you do the next day? Well, you just stay there. You don't move on from it. Being no hero who forgets, but a doer who acts. He will be blessed in his doing.

[00:36:42] Is that such a helpful breakdown right there? There's hearer's who forget and there's doers who act and we have those two type of people here at this church at CompassHB Bible Church. We got people who are going to the same church. Some of them go into the same home fellowship groups here in the same sermons. But there haven't two completely different experiences right here at the same church, because some of them, they hear it and they think, yeah, I kind of know that or that strikes me as familiar or maybe I learned this or that.

[00:37:10] But what it's about is it's about ascent to facts and information. That's what a lot of Bible teaching churches. That's the kind of people they attract is kind of know it all kind of people. Yeah, I know about the Bible. Let me impress you with what I know about it. See, those people are finding our experience here at CompassHB Bible Church a little underwhelming because we're not always highlighting new nuggets of information for our minds to just run wild with. No, with the kind of group that we're trying to be here at this church is people who it's not about necessarily knowing and less that knowing leads to doing.

[00:37:42] That's the kind of church we're trying to be. And see, some people are really picking up on that and they're excited about that and they're doing things that maybe they've known about, but they've never really done before. And it's exhilarating to them.

[00:37:56] They feel free. And they're loving the experience they're having here at this church. They can't get enough of it.

[00:38:03] They're getting here and they're sitting in the front rows and they're filling out pages of notes not to just put away, but to look at every day, to stay right there, to remain there, not to file away in the memory banks, but to do today in my life doers who act.

[00:38:20] These are the kinds of people that God is looking for, people who are set free by the truth to do things that I never thought I could do.

[00:38:30] We got people at this church that are saying no to things they never thought they would have power over before in their life.

[00:38:37] And they look at them now and they say, I don't even want to do that. I don't have to do that. They have they are free from the power of sin over their life.

[00:38:45] And it's an amazing thing to say.

[00:38:48] And then we got people who are free now and they're starting to run harder for Jesus like the law is not becoming a burden to them anymore. It's not like these lists of commands that are weighing them down. No, it's actually something they're delighting in. And they're trying to take it to family members. They're trying to take it to friends. And it's like the word is running through these people to others.

[00:39:09] It's fascinating to watch.

[00:39:13] This is what's happening right here at this church. People are being deceived because they hear the truth. They think they're fine. And then some people are realizing that the point of the truth is to cut them loose into action for Jesus Christ. Which one of those people are you?

[00:39:28] Are you a hero or you would do.

[00:39:30] Look what it says, go back to verse 22, let's get the whole passages.

[00:39:33] But we doers of the word and not here's only and here's the terrible thing about being in here is you deceive yourselves.

[00:39:42] Do you think you're free because you've heard about what freedom is? You think you're free because just because you live in America, just because you go to the church, you hear the information. There's a self-deception where you think you're further along than you really are.

[00:39:57] But it says in verse 23, if anyone is a hear of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mere four. He looks at himself and some of us when we look at ourselves in the mirror. There is a lot of work to do. And he looks at himself and he goes away and at once forgets what he was like. Some of us can't afford too many days like that. But the one who looks into the perfect law. You know, when I'm talking about a Amir and we're talking about the mirror for our hearts. Now we're talking about the thing that cuts straight to our soul.

[00:40:25] Now we're talking about the truth, which sets us free, which tells us who we really are and empowers us to stop being that old person and to be somebody new in Jesus Christ.

[00:40:38] That's what this book does. It's the law of liberty. Now, I can try as hard as I want. I can talk about it as many times as it comes up in the scripture. I can do all these like this. Now we're gonna read this and then let's all read this and then let's go read this. I can try to be the biggest cheerleader to get everybody to read their Bible here at this church, but I can't make anybody do it.

[00:41:00] Unless you want to for your own sake, for your relationship with Jesus Christ. Unless you personally want to remain, stay, abide. I just want to live in the words of Jesus, unless you want to do it. This church is going to be kind of a rough experience because it's gonna be like the pastor and the small group leaders and your friends.

[00:41:23] There's all this external pressure to get into the Bible here at this church. Let me ask you, is it external pressure to get in the word or is it a ter internal delight to get into the word?

[00:41:35] Which one is it for you?

[00:41:36] You want to know where you're at with Jesus Christ? How do you feel about here in a sermon? How do you feel about reading the Bible on your own? How do you feel about talking about the Bible with other people pressured to do it?

[00:41:47] Like this is what we have to do, or this is what I do because it sets me free and I can't get enough of it. And I just want to stay here in the word.

[00:41:57] Which one is it?

[00:41:59] So we're doing this thing right now. We did what we do in Scripture of the day all the time. You got your hand out, pull out your hand out there and open it up and flip it over to the back. If you're taking notes, just flip it over. If you haven't been taking notes, will you just look at this real quick? Because we do this thing called Scripture of the day, and we don't always talk about it. We don't always promote it, but it's always happening.

[00:42:19] And so far, we're not trying to make it a burden like we are purposefully trying to make it accessible. Like, I've got some zealots here at this church sending me emails and attacking me because we're not reading more scripture. I thought this was CompassHB Bible church man. And I'm saying, hey, let's get everybody on board. We're just gonna read five chapters a week. We're just gonna read one chapter.

[00:42:39] Monday to Friday until we get a sense that everybody's doing it. And right now, we're doing this thing to try to help everyone here at this church get the big picture of the whole Bible. We're kind of just taking a chapter from each book of the Bible every day so we can kind of cause some people haven't even heard of Ezra or some people didn't even know who Esther was. And so we're kind of just given the big picture and initial exposure to the whole Bible. And this is our fourth week of doing it. And this week we've chosen. So if all of you people who want more scripture to read, you're going to love this, because on Thursday we've chosen Psalm 119 to be the representative of the song. That is your. Just live it up. Thursday is gonna be the best day ever for some of you. It's the longest chapter in the Bible and it's all about the Bible. That's a whole point of it. Like this book is where it's at. OK. Go to Soman 19. Let's let's turn there right now. Everybody turn there with me. And it's one hundred and seventy six verses slow.

[00:43:42] OK. So double up your quiet time on Thursday, everybody, or start reading now. Get ahead.

[00:43:49] OK. Here's what it is. It's the biggest acrostic that you've ever seen. There's twenty two letters in the Hebrew out Abbett each letter. They have eight lines that start with that letter. So it's twenty two times eight which is what gets us to a hundred and seventy six. So it's just you know, sometimes you do an acrostic where you start with a letter and it comes out from there. Well every you can see the Hebrew letters above the eight verse kind of stanzas. And if you were reading it in Hebrew and you would be reading it from right to left in Hebrew, every one of those eight lines would all start with that Hebrew letter. It's the biggest acrostic ever.

[00:44:22] And the point is to get you excited about the Bible, because here's what we believe at this church. Revival comes from the Bible. That's what we believe.

[00:44:33] The only way that we're gonna get stirred up, the only way that we're gonna get set free. The only way we're gonna see God do a great work here among us is he's going to speak to us through the word specifically the gospel of Jesus. Who Jesus is and how he dies for us is gonna come leaping off these pages and into our hearts. That's what we believe.

[00:44:52] We believe there is a power in the word of God that literally has a physical effect. And it plays out in our life.

[00:45:00] And there's really nothing you can do to stop it once it starts to do its work in you. We think this is the power.

[00:45:07] I was at one of our home fellowship groups this week and I shared with them a story that once when I was working at a church, the first church I ever really worked at my dad's church where I was an intern. But this was like I worked at this church and over time the church seemed to be going I was starting to get concerned about the direction of the church. And I had a meeting one day, one on one with the pastor.

[00:45:27] And he said to me, you know, we're gonna have to figure out another thing to do besides teaching the Bible to grow this church. There's a pastor this is my pastor telling me this.

[00:45:39] And I don't know what I acted like on my face. I forget what I said. The rest of that conversation. But the first thing I thought in my head is I got to get me and my wife out of this church. Because a church that doesn't teach the Bible is no church at all. The truth is what sets us free. And I get any man from anybody on this.

[00:45:59] This is why we're Compass Bible Church and what it says here over and over in Psalm one hundred and nineteen. I look at verse twenty five. Okay. I want to want you to start underline something in your Bible and it says this. My soul clings to the dust. I feel like I'm dead. I feel like I have no life. Give me life. Do you see that phrase there? Another way that's translated is revive me.

[00:46:23] Give me life. Underline that circle. That that's revival right there. Revive me. According to your what? What's going to revive me? Okay. When you're having a bad day, when your soul is clinging to the dust, you've had bad news on a relationship, physical problem. You've just had one of those days where you're not excited about life. Turning on the television will not bring you life. Eating more food will not bring you life. Trying to look out into the world for entertainment will not give you life. No. The word of God will give you life.

[00:46:57] That's what it says here.

[00:46:59] Revive me. How do I get stirred up in my soul to feel like I am free, to feel like I am alive. To really live the eternal life of Jesus Christ according to his word. In fact, for all of us who think that looking at something else is going to bring us enjoyment or satisfaction, the Gipper's 37, it says, Turn my eyes, please. This is a prayer to God. Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things and revive me.

[00:47:25] Give me life. There it is again.

[00:47:26] Circlet. Underline it. Revive me. Give me life in your ways, man. I'm going to have to spend less time on television, on the Internet, on the things of this world and more time in God's word. If I want my soul to be revived, if I want the truth to really set me free.

[00:47:46] That's the idea here. Verse 40.

[00:47:49] Behold, I long for your precepts. Here's someone with a passion for the law of God in your righteousness. Give me what does it say there. Give me life. Revive me circle and underline it. I mean, that's the big theme. If we have to summarize, what is the theme of all of these 176 verses about the Bible, whether true? Clearly trying to get us excited and passionate about God's word, but over and over again. I'll let you read through the rest of it on Thursday or perhaps sooner. And every time it says Give me life circle that underline that that's talking about revival and always know where it says that resurgence of life, that renewed sense of freedom. The truth that's going to set you free. Where does it come from? God's word.

[00:48:33] That's where it comes from. Now, if you want to live in slave to sin, if you want to live like half excited for Jesus, but being just kind of like caught up in the things of this world, not really active in your service of Jesus Christ, but kind of half in half out for Jesus, then the easiest way to be like that is just don't read the Bible that much.

[00:48:52] Just don't listen to a sermon ever more than once. Just don't go back and look at your notes. Don't go to home fellowship group prepared with the questions answered. Ready to say something. Just do nothing from the Bible and you'll fit in with the world. Pretty good.

[00:49:07] But we need a revival. We need a revival in this nation because the scene is out of control and God is going to judge America. And the only way we're gonna see some kind of turning from the worthless things that our eyes are looking to is if this book starts to become the source of freedom once again. It's own way it's going to happen.

[00:49:30] Now, the freedom is very specific. This isn't just a good feeling. Go back to John Chapter eight, because it's very specific. What the freedom is about. And this is gonna sound like, oh, boy, man, the Bible reading and seen all in the same sermon. This is like all these guys ever talk about it. CompassHB biologic.

[00:49:49] Like it's like they're from the Department of Redundancy Department, like I get a little bit of repetition. But we're overkilling it now, you know. You know, here we're just going through the book. We're just saying what the book says. I mean, every once in a while, we pick a special sermon here. But usually we're just hitting the next passage. So this isn't what we think is something to be emphasized over and over. This is what the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle John to write for us so that we would hear it over and over. And here it is in John, chapter eight. Look at verse thirty four with me. It says, truly, truly. I say to you and he says it like that because you're going to not believe it. Even people at this church won't believe it.

[00:50:32] Everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. Sen.

[00:50:37] No, we're not. We're talking about a practice of saying we're not talking about one sin. We're not talking about stumbling into this or tripping up over that. We're talking about the habit of someone's life, the way that they walk, the way that they conduct themselves. The content of their character as Martin Luther King Junior would say, that's what we're talking about.

[00:50:54] And if someone is walking in a pattern, in a habit where they continue in the practice of sin, yeah, maybe they sin. They feel bad about it.

[00:51:01] But the truth is, if we were to look at their life over a period of time and get to know them, they continue on in that same practice of sin. Well, Jesus makes it very clear here in this passage, then you're still a slave of sin. Or you can call yourself a Christian and you can claim to believe in him. But he says, what is your practice? And he makes it very clear that if the sun is set you free, then you are really free. And so we will see that freedom in your practice. There will be freedom from sin. Free to be what? Not yourself. Now free to be righteous. That's what you're free to be in Christ. You now have a new ability to say no to the things that you used to be shackled to. And I don't know if you've ever really gotten a good lick. Look at what it's like for someone to be enslaved descent. But you can really see it around here in Huntington Beach with some of the things that people are addicted to. Have you seen somebody who is just hopelessly addicted to something to like you've consider yourself this person's friend. But if you get in between then and that thing that they need, man, they will start cussing you out.

[00:52:09] They will start yelling at you. They will get violent if you step between the addict and the thing that they are enslaved to, man.

[00:52:16] Just be careful if you're in that situation. It gets intense.

[00:52:22] And we live in the rehab capital. It seems to me, of Southern California. And the reason we live in the rehab capital of Southern California is a lot of people are enslaved to substances right here where we live.

[00:52:36] I got somebody who used to go to our church while I'm working on the sermon on being free from sin. I literally have someone texting me. I need Zanuck's. Now they're telling me.

[00:52:48] I need it now. I'm going crazy. And if I don't get it now, all I want to follow God or I want to live for Jesus. But if I don't get Xanax now.

[00:52:58] This crazy.

[00:53:00] When you see what it's really like when the veil is taken off and you see that this person, even if they kind of want Jesus, even if they don't really like the way their life is going, they cannot stop. They are enslaved to their own sin. It's heartbreaking when you see it up close.

[00:53:18] It's tragic.

[00:53:21] And Jesus is saying, if you are still enslaved to sin, if that is your practice, if you would like to change but you can't change, see, then you haven't been set free. Not really. Not free, indeed. Got a Romans Chapter six. And we'll see that Paul elaborates on this idea here in Romans Chapter six. Look at verse fifteen, Romans chapter six. Verse fifteen. Notice the heading here of slaves to righteousness. This is something the scripture makes incredibly clear. In fact, it's too clear for some people that you are either a slave to sin.

[00:53:56] That's either your master. That's the pattern that you follow or you are a slave to righteousness. There is no in the middle slavery. You are either a slave to one or the other. And that is the proof of whether your belief in Christ is is really genuine or not. Because if the sun has set you free, then you are free in deed and you can practice righteousness.

[00:54:19] Not perfectly.

[00:54:21] Seems like every time we try to say we expect people who are Christians to live righteously, the complaint right away that we get is, well, you're not saying anybody's perfect. I have never said nor has any pastor ever said. No one who has preached from this pulpit has claimed that anyone here is perfect or even can be perfect.

[00:54:38] That's not what we're saying. That's that's a gross exaggeration of what we're saying. That's bouncing from one extreme to the other. No, what we're seeing is the pattern of your life can really change. As what we're saying. You can really be a new person. You can be the kind of person that needs Zanuck's now and you can never needed again. That's what we believe here at this church. That's the power of Jesus Christ. And if you don't believe in that power, you don't believe in the gospel because the gospel is the power to set you free and you will be free. Indeed. Look what it says here in Romans, chapter six, verse 15.

[00:55:11] What then are we to sin? Hey, we're free now. We're not under the law. We're under grace. So shall we just go sin by no means. Absolutely not. Do you not know? Haven't you understood? If you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey. So if you obey sin, which leads to death, you're a slave of that or of obedience, which leads to righteousness. You're a slave to that. So thanks be to God that's worship Jesus. Let's praise him. Thanks be to God that you who were once slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed. Can I get any man from anybody on it? Thank the Lord. Man, I used to be a slave to sin, and now I can obey God from my heart. I can really do it.

[00:55:59] I want to do because he set me free to be righteous.

[00:56:05] Verse 18 and having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I'm speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. Because this is art to get for just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity. Remember when sin used to be the course, the pattern of your life to lawlessness and it led to more lawlessness and it just got worse as you were going towards death and it was spiraling out of control. Now present your members as slaves to righteousness. This is something you can do. You're free to do it, leading to sanctification, to a real position of life where you are becoming set apart from sin and more like Christ in his perfection. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So we have this idea that freedom is me doing whatever I want.

[00:56:49] No, freedom is when you can not do whatever you want. That's what freedom is. And it's you now being able to do what God commands you to do. What is right?

[00:57:00] What fruit were you getting? Hey, where was all that slavery of sin getting you? At the time? From the things of which you are now ashamed. Hey, the end of those things is death.

[00:57:08] But now that you have been set free from sin and you are a slave of God, now you produce this fruit and it leads to sanctification. And the end of this is eternal life for the wages of sin is death. But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ, Jesus, our Lord.

[00:57:27] And let me tell you this, if you know Jesus and you worship him and you believe in him, that he died for your sins and he rose again. Then let me tell you what. I don't care what some Christian says. I don't care what some church says. I don't care what America says. Let me tell you what Jesus says, that you are really free. And don't you let anybody, including yourself, tell you differently, if Jesus says you are free, then you are free. Indeed. What if every person at this church who claimed to be a Christian really lived this week like they were free from the shackles of. Like, we could really say no. To our own temptations in the power of Jesus Christ, and every day we got up and we cling to this word and we say, I don't wanna turn away from it.

[00:58:15] I want to stay here. I want to remain here, because here is the revival. Here is the power. Here is the energy to do righteousness.

[00:58:25] Real freedom.

[00:58:27] So I think our second dash here is with the practice of righteousness, we're gonna celebrate freedom here at this church. The real freedom, the freedom that Jesus entitles us to. And we're gonna celebrate it by staying right here, in the words of Jesus, every single day, every single week. We're gonna go away on a weekend and we're gonna do it four times in one week because we just want to stay in the word and then we're gonna walk in a pattern of righteousness. Free from sin. Ready to live the way that Jesus calls us.

[00:58:56] America is not the land of the free. Oh, don't get me wrong. I love America and I love to see the Star Spangled Banner waving. But America is not the land of the free know.

[00:59:07] America is the land of the fake freedom where so many people are slaves to their own desires and they cannot stop. Now the land of the free is coming. It's in the new Jerusalem where there will be no sin and only righteousness and you will be there. If you've been set free by Jesus, you will be free indeed. Gary, thank you so much for your word. And we thank you. That it speaks in such a relevant way, even to the situation of our day that we do. Thank you. For a nation where we enjoy religious freedom, where we thank you. For a nation where we enjoy freedom of speech. But, God, we do come to you right now and we ask for a revival in this nation. We ask that you would turn many hearts away from the worthless things, from the sins that people are enslaved to. And God, that you would revive us according to your word, that you would teach many Americans what real freedom is to be able to say no to your old life of sin and based on the truth of God's word, based on the truth of this book, God, based on the pattern of righteousness that you've now called us to. We can walk in a new way. We can exercise a new pattern of life. Real freedom from ourselves and from our own sin. God, I just pray for everybody here that they would know this freedom, that they would experience it, that they would celebrate it this week. And God, that you would do a great work of revival through this church to draw many more American citizens to real freedom in Jesus Christ. And we worship Jesus. We thank him for setting us free. And we declare that if the sun has set you free, then you really are free here. This morning, we pray this in Jesus name.

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