Independence Day

Posted on 07/03/2016 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


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JESUS SET ME FREE

I'm so glad Jesus set me free (x3)
Singing Glory, Hallelujah
Jesus set me free!

I'm so glad...

Satan had me bound...

Religion had me bound...

I'm so glad...


SET FREE TO WORSHIP

I'm Set free to worship
I'm set free to praise him
I'm set free to rejoice
around God's throne

I'll laugh, I'll dance,
I'll shout, I'll sing
Hallelujah, praise the Lord,
let the heavens ring
Set free to worship
I'm set free


FREEDOM

Where the Spirit of the Lord is
There is freedom
Where the Spirit of the Lord is
There is freedom

There is peace, there is love
There is joy (there is joy)

It is for freedom He's set us free
It is for freedom He's set us free

I'm free! (I'm free! I'm free!)
I'm free! (I'm free! I'm free!)
I'm free! (I'm free! I'm free!)
I'm free

We will walk in Your freedom, walk in Your liberty
We will walk, Lord
We will walk in Your freedom, walk in Your liberty

We will dance in Your freedom, dance in Your liberty
We will dance, Lord
We will dance in Your freedom, dance in Your liberty

We will jump in Your freedom, jump in Your liberty
We will jump, Lord
We will jump in Your freedom, jump in Your liberty

Where the Spirit of the Lord is
THERE IS FREEDOM!!
Where the Spirit of the Lord is
THERE IS FREEDOM!


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Tomorrow, In the United States, we will be celebrating Independence Day. Many of us will have BBQs and set off fireworks. But why?

Just briefly, since most of us listening live in the U.S., I'd like for us to remember the reason behind this holiday, and then we will take a look at what true freedom really means.


On July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress made the declaration that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and that they were no longer a part of the British Empire.

Legally, this separation happened on July 2nd of that year. After that vote for independence, the Congress turned its attention onto the Declaration of Independence, which explained their decision. This document was prepared by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston.

And the second sentence contains these well-known words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

But what was the purpose for this declaration?

Well, history documents 27 specific abuses by King George III, including:

- the removal of the right to trial by jury,
- the prevention of free trade,
- the confiscation of American ships at sea,
- high taxation (and without representation,)
- denial of the right to form laws and self-govern,
- British soldiers were allowed to stay in American houses without the owners' permission,
- and so-on.

So on July 4th, the day the declaration was finished being written, The United States of America was born.

But that declaration was not without a price. Over the next few years, we engaged in the Revolutionary War. Blood was shed and many lives were lost
securing Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness.

Freedom from tyrany does not come without a cost. And regardless of where you live in the world, the same is true for you -- for us.

In John chapter 8, we read the following words of Jesus:

John 8:31-36 (NKJV)

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, 'You will be made free'?"
34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Jesus came to give us freedom from the tyrany of sin. He declared that freedom, like a Declaration of Independence.

But it did not come without a price. That cost began with the shedding of His own blood to pay the price for our sin.

When we are told that we should leave our lives of sin, many of us see this as a cost that is just too great.

Some of us reject the idea of following Jesus altogether. Others pretend that their own actions aren't really all that bad. And still others claim to follow Him, but some or many of our actions make it plain that we do not REALLY follow Jesus.

If we follow Him only when it suits us or we find it easy to do so, then we do not truly follow Him at all.

But the price has already been paid. And God Himself fights on our behalf, meaning we are completely safe and secure. So the only battles WE fight, are the wars we wage with our own selves on the inside.

In the Temple of God, your body, God Himself resides. Not in theory or in principle, but quite literally. The problem arises when we do not dwell in the Temple.

Instead, we dwell in the head. The earthly mind: and I don't mean the mind that has not been Christianized; that is an ongoing process; but RIGHT NOW, not just in the future, RIGHT NOW, freedom dwells in THIS place -- the temple where God dwells, the temple where we are seated with Christ in that heavenly place.

Worry, fear, dread, resentment, unforgiveness, impatience, complaining, excuses, self-justifications, carnal lusts, blasphemies, and the like, can be FELT in the body, but they EXIST in the head.

So we COULD say, your only real problem, and all your suffering and struggles, are all just in your head.

But where God is, freedom reigns supreme and unchallenged. The price has been paid. The victory has been won. The battle, after all, is not ours, but it is the Lord's.

So if you battle, it is all in your imagination. Imaginations the Scripture tells us to cast down. Or we could say, let go of.

The mind is not you, nor is it your voice. It is a tool, and you can identify with it and get lost in its activities, or you can return your attention to the Temple of God, dwell in His Presence, and allow His victory and His freedom to disolve the endless imaginations that run through that mind; as we observe it, and realize that it is not us; it does what it does, and that's okay.

We are dwelling with Christ, in God's Presence, and as we dwell in that place, HE will transform that mind, little by little.

And so, since HE is the one doing the work, we can rest assured that the job could not possibly be done better, and the place your mind is right now is absolutely perfect.

Trust in HIM to guide you, to empower you, and to transform the tool of your mind, as you dwell in perfect liberty, in perfect independence from the silly mind, in the Holy Temple where God Himself is Present in all His glory, holding you securely in this day we call "Today," which is always and forever your eternal Independence Day.