Jesus had just recently been baptized by John the Baptist and he had been tempted by Satan. Then Jesus returned to Nazareth where he grew up as a child...and went into the Synagogue. And Jesus stood up to read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, and he read these words in Luke 4:18: "THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE HATH ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR, HE HATH SENT ME HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED, TO PREACH DELIVERENCE (orfreedom) TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET AT LIBERTY THEM THAT ARE BRUISED, TO PREACH THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD." And then Jesus said, "TODAY, THIS SCRIPTURE IS FULFILLED IN YOUR EARS"!
The Gospel is a message of freedom... It is a message of good news for the poor; freedom for the prisoners; sight for the blind and release for the oppressed. It is a message that is still needed today...because far too many are still not free. The word FREE appears in the bible 101 times is various forms. Freedom is a powerful word, it is a driving concept. Men have fought battles, gone to war and sacrificed greatly in order to gain freedom for themselves - or for their country...
In 1776, 50 men signed in congress "The Declaration of Independance", which was written by Thomas Jefferson and declared America’s freedom from the oppressive rule of England.
Since then, "Freedom" has been the battle cry of this country!...But unfortunately today, many in our country have a much different idea as to what this freedom is, than did our founding fathers... Many in our society today are clueless as to what freedom is. They think that freedom means they are free to do what ever they want - whenever they want!
*Millions of unborn babies are murdered by abortion each year and its called the freedom of choice.
*Pornography fills the magazine racks, movie screens and intrernet, and they call it freedom of speech!
*Cults are formed, magic practiced, the physic network grows, black is worn and satan in worshipped and they call it freedom of religion.
And many believe that freedom means that they are free to do drugs and have sex with whoever or whatever they want! They think it means that kids are free to do whatever they want to do in school or to their parents-(the NANNY!); while others think that freedom means - you can do whatever you want behind closed doors or whatever it takes to get a ahead...(and you could probably add more to those list.)
Tragically the things that are supposed to be evidence of their freedom, have in reality enslaved them..Many who get involved in drugs and drinking find themselves enslaved to: addiction, prison, lost homes, lost families...etc And sex; anytime, anyplace, with anyone has led to: aids/death/std’s, unwanted pregnancies, destroyed families, broken hearts from being used... and the inability to enter the marriage bond pure and undefiled. You see, for many their pursuit of freedom resulted in even greater slavery!
When man sinned in the Garden of Eden, he lost his freedom, and became a slave to others and to his own self apart from God. (Hebrews 2:15 says that Jesus came to "deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.")
(1)-THE UNAPPRECIATED PRIVILEGE OF FREEDOM-
Websters defines the word "FREE" in many ways: "not subject to restriction or official control" "having the legal and political rights of a citizen" "not bound, confined, or detained by force" "not obstructed, restricted, or impeded <free to leave>" "having no obligations (as to work) or commitments" "not costing or charging anything" "enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another".
Freedom is a many-faceted, positive term encompassing the ability to act consciously, in a well-balanced manner and with self control in a given constructive direction. BUT NOT EVERYONE IN THIS WORLD KNOWS FREEDOM!!! There are many types of freedom:
POLITICAL FREEDOM...(outward) such as freedom of assembly, association, education, travel, the press, religion, speech, and thought. A society is free if people have the right to express their views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm
PERSONAL FREEDOM...(inward) that only comes when a person responds to the call of the Holy Spirit for forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ. David said after his sin with Bathsheba ("Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy FREE SPIRIT."-Psalm 51:12) Paul said in (Romans 6:18-"Being made FREE FROM SIN, ye became the servants of righteousness.")(Romans 8:2-" For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me FREE from the law of sin and death.")
Patrick Henry said in the Virginia house of Burgesses, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Paul told us the same thing in the bible!....("Stand fast in the LIBERTY wherewith Christ hath made us FREE, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."-Galatians 5:1)
In the 60's and 70's songs were written and sung about freedom by the world's standards:
Mick Jagger sang, "I'm free to do what I want any'ole time" Lynard Skynard sang, "Freebird".....The sexual revolution sent a message that people sould share FREE-LOVE with no strings attached and today our society is paying a dear price for that ideaology! The same crowd said that the OCCULT and drug abuse wouldn't hurt...but today we are reaping the consequences of freedom abuse!
(2)-THE UNAVOIDABLE PRICE OF FREEDOM-
(1 Corin.6:20-"For ye are bought with a PRICE!")
*These are US statistics only:
American Revolution (1775–1783) Total servicemembers 217,000, Battle deaths 4,435...War of 1812 (1812–1815) Total servicemembers 286,730, Battle deaths 2,260....Indian Wars (approx. 1817–1898) Total servicemembers 106,000, Battle deaths 1,0001..Mexican War (1846–1848) Total servicemembers 78,718, Battle deaths 1,733.......Civil War (1861–1865) Total servicemembers (Union & Confederate) 6,000,000, Battle deaths (Union & Confederate) 700,000!.....Spanish-American War (1898–1902) Total servicemembers 306,760, Battle deaths 385.........World War I (1917–1918) Total servicemembers 4,734,991, Battle deaths 53,402 Other deaths in service 63,114.......World War II (1940–1945) Total servicemembers 16,112,566, Battle deaths 291,557 Other deaths in service 113,842..........Korean War (1950–1953) Total servicemembers 6,720,000, Battle deaths 33,741, Other deaths in service 2,827......Vietnam War (1964–1975) Total servicemembers 12,144,000 ,Battle deaths 58,410, other deaths 32,000.....Gulf War (1990–1991) Total servicemembers 2,925,000, Battle deaths 529 ,Other deaths in service 1,565...Over 2000 deaths in Iraq so far!!!!
*America's Wars Total Military service during war 42,348,460 Battle deaths 651,008 Other deaths in service (theater) 13,998 Other deaths in service (nontheater) 525,256 Nonmortal woundings 1,431,290 Living war veterans 17,578,5004 Living veterans 25,038,459.
In WW1 alone, 70 million people were mobilized to fight and over 50 million died over that word "FREEDOM"! In WW2 over 90 million mobilized to fight, and over 17 million died! TODAY SOMEONE FROM AMERICA WILL DIE FOR YOUR FREEDOM!!!-(while you shop, go out to eat, do your hobbies, etc.!).....THIS IS JUST AMERICAN STATISTICS...What about the 6 million Jews who died in Holocaust???
(2 Peter 1:18-19-"But ye were not redeemed by corruptable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot!")
(3)-THE UNADULTERATED PROMISE OF FREEDOM *Freedom From The Law ("Do to Be")
ROMANS 7:1-7 Being under the law is like holding on to a long chain over a steep cliff, it only takes one bad link to kill you, it only takes one sin to condemn you. WE can never be good enough or do enough on our own to made righteous in the eyes of God apart from Christ. The lost sinner is in a dark, hopeless and desperate situation. The world is telling Him he has to do something to be something, to have value, to be accepted AND he tries to please the world to do what it wants , but he continually finds himself coming up empty! Jesus came to SET YOU FREE from the worry of all of that! *Someone has said, "worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s trouble."
Jesus said don’t worry - (ha ko na ma ta ta - Lion King)
*Freedom From Fear-- When we fear God, We fear nothing else...When we don’t fear God, We fear everything else!!! When you fear God you come to Him and love him and as John says in 1 John 4:17; "perfect love casts out fear..."
*Freedom From Hopelessness
*Freedom From Condemnation "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" -Romans 8:1 If you are still in your sin when you stand before God. God will bang the gavel and pronounce you guilty and sentence you to eternity in hell. Christ frees us from that condemnation... he paid the debt we owed. When are we freed form this condemnation....the day we recieve Jesus into our heart by faith!
*Max Lacado put our rescue from condemnation this way: It happened too fast. One minute Barabbas was in his cell on death row playing tic-tac-toe on the dirt walls, and the next he was outside squinting his eyes at the bright sun....."you’re free to go"....Barabbas scratches his beard. "What?"............"You’re free, they took the Nazerene instead of you." Barabbas has often been compared to humanity, and rightly so. In many ways he stand for us; a prisoner who was freed because someone he had never seen took his place. But I think Barabbas was probably smarter than we are in one respect. As far as we know, he took his sudden freedom for what it was, "an undeserved gift." Someone tossed him a life preserver and he grabbed it, no questions asked. You couldn’t imagine him pulling some of our stunts. We take our free gift and try to earn it or diagnosis it or pay for it instead of simply saying "thank you" and accepting it. Hopelessly stranded on death row, he wasn’t about to balk at a granted stay of execution. Maybe he didn’t understand mercy and surely he didn’t deserve it, but he wasn’t about to refuse it.