Finding Freedom in Purpose - The Source of Freedom

Finding Freedom in Purpose  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  33:53
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The Source of Freedom

This is an exciting week for our country as we celebrate FREEDOM! Every person on earth is searching for some form of freedom. The freedom to make the choices they want to make: dream job, where to live, who to marry, what time to go to bed, mayo vs mustard. Freedom from some form of bondage: debt, work, laws, taxes, mandates, oppression, slavery.
Freedom is very powerful. It carries inspiration to do things you would have never thought possible otherwise. It offers hope and joy to give you strength in dark moments. It cultivates peace that can hardly be explained. It stirs up creativity and the desire to create good. It moves us to love others. Throughout history, freedom has moved some to love so much that they would be willing to give their lives to win and preserve freedom for those to come.
Today we are kicking off a new series based on a bible study by River Valley Church called, “Freedom: Moving Forward in Purpose.” Today we will be talking specifically about freedom. Living here in the US we are definitely no strangers to the idea of freedom. One could argue that we take it for granted. Having not experienced the opposite of freedom, we probably don’t appreciate being free like someone living as a slave on the other side of the world would.
This week we get to remember some of the sacrifice that others have made for our freedom and independence. I want to read this quote recounting some of the stories of people who were committed to the founding of our country…

Toward the end of the Declaration of Independence we find a summary sentence which places everything in perspective: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

This is a unique creed. The signers believed something very special was happening and that God would see them through. It was a new and courageous covenant, men mutually pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor! This is breathtaking and inconceivable in the fermentation of today’s world.

Have we forgotten the high price some of our founding Fathers paid for their freedom? Have we forgotten that nine signers of the Declaration of Independence did not survive the war? Many lost their homes and fortunes.

Thomas Nelson of Virginia directed bombardment of his own mansion at Yorktown. It was occupied by Cornwallis. Nelson also undertook to raise $2 million to repay the French fleet for its assistance. The war notes he redeemed cost him his fortune. He died in poverty. This was his sacred honor.

Francis Lewis, a wealthy New York trader, lost everything he had. His wife was thrown into prison and died shortly after her release.

Richard Stockton of New Jersey, a Princeton graduate, lost his wealth, property, and magnificent library. He was imprisoned and died following the war.

These illustrations of sacred honor should suffice to remind us that the Fourth of July commemorates a costly freedom, one that documented the rhetoric of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

The stories of the founders of this country can be very inspirational and motivating, but they were just fighting for the freedom of a country. In the NT the author of Hebrews recounts the stories of some of the faithful ambassadors of God’s freedom. Afterward he makes a statement that paints us an amazing picture of what it looks like to be truly free. If you are taking notes, this is our driving scripture for this series…
Hebrews 12:1 ESV
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
I love the imagery of a “cloud of witnesses.” If you have ever been working on a very hot and sunny day you know how encouraging it can be to have a great cloud give you some shade. Some days when I ride my bike the sun can be very hot and draining, but a cloud can give you a second wind and inspire you to push a little harder. To ride with nothing holding you back and finish the ride with endurance. The author of Hebrews talks about a runner running with nothing holding them back. What a picture of freedom. Letting go of the baggage and weight that drags us down, holds us back, and slows us to a crawl. Having endurance to do what we were created to do.
If you look it up on Merriam-Webster’s website, the first definition of freedom you will see is this…
Freedom: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
According to David Copperfield, freedom is magic...

On April 8, 1983, before a live audience and on television, in a dramatic effort to illustrate the tragedy that would ensue should America lose her freedom, David Copperfield, the renowned magician, created the illusion that the Statue of Liberty had disappeared. Following the incredible feat, the young man spoke briefly, spontaneously. He declared that he was a son of immigrants, and that his mother pointed with pride to France’s gift of the statue to America. The unveiling was October 28, 1886. That which impressed David Copperfield’s mother was not its enormity—the statue and pedestal is 305-feet, six-inches tall and weighs two-hundred-twenty-five tons—but a portion of the poem by Emma Lazarus articulating the basic philosophy of American democracy, especially these two lines: “Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Mr. Copperfield continued that America would remain free so long as people remembered to communicate, to care, and to show compassion. True freedom, he declared, “is magic.”

I understand that David Copperfield was playing on his show to the impressed audience, but in truth freedom is much much more than “magic.” Like love, true freedom comes from God. God is love, love could not exist without God. God is also freedom, freedom could not exist without God. Freedom is one of God’s creations. One could say that it is a byproduct of His love. We can look to scripture for a solid definition of biblical freedom...
John 8:32 NLT
32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
We know that God’s truth sets us free, not managing sin by tipping the scales one way or another. And we know the truth to be Jesus...
John 8:36 NLT
36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
Christ is the truth. He is the only way to be set free, but what exactly is freedom? According to the English definition in 2022, freedom is the absence of something. Specifically the absence of anything that would keep you from acting in ANY way you choose. According to Paul, freedom is the presence of something...
2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT
17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
I love the way River Valley Church says it, “We see in these passages that freedom isn’t simply the absence of something, but freedom is where the Spirit of the Lord is. It is His presence dwelling in us that brings us freedom.” Paul dives a little deeper with a great analogy of a veil. He says there is a veil that covers the mind and keeps people from understanding the truth that sets them free. The only way to understand the truth of Christ is to believe in Him. He says…
2 Corinthians 3:16 NLT
16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
In other words, we have a veil over us like a bride on her wedding day. When we turn to God, He lifts the veil. While the veil was down we couldn’t see the truth, but once it has been lifted what do we see?
2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT
18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
If you are taking notes, here is the takeaway for today:
Freedom is being in God’s presence, seeing the truth, and reflecting His glory.
*light bulb* You could think of freedom being a lot like electricity. If I want to turn on a light bulb, it will never operate the way it was intended unless I find a power source. As soon as I plug it in to a power source it will work. I could even try plugging it into a potato or one of those wind up emergency batteries, but it will never fully work the way it was meant to until I find a power source. *screw in light bulb* In a similar way, we are like the light bulb and God is our power source. We were created for a purpose and we have to be plugged into the power source to function the way we were intended.
My garage has two separate overhead doors. I never use one side because there is so much stuff piled behind it, so I have to use the other. Unfortunately, the light in that one doesn’t work properly so I really don’t like using it at night. When I use the good door the light comes on and illuminates the garage and I can see all of the junk that’s blocking that door.
When I use the other one the light just barely comes on and every now and then it will flicker and flash like it is trying to work. You can tell it is doing the best that it can to light up and work the way it is supposed to, but it just can’t. I’ve tried new bulbs, I’ve tried talking really nice to it, I’ve even tried smacking it. There is something in the electrical system of that light that is keeping it from having a solid connection to the power source. A veil, if you will. No matter how hard it tries, it will never be free to operate the way it was intended.
For the rest of our time this morning we are going to talk about the source of our freedom.


As humans, we tend to think of freedom in the same way we define it. Free from any influence but my own. Taking what has been given to us and essentially tweaking it just a little so that it becomes what I want it to be rather than the gift it was intended to be. MY definition of freedom makes ME the source of freedom. “I can be or do whatever I choose. My life is what I make it.” The truth is that God has created me for a purpose and He is my source of freedom.
We can go all the way back to the beginning to see this truth played out. When God created the earth and everything in it He created us different. He set us apart from the rest of creation. He called everything He created “good” and then called us “very good.” God created Adam & Eve in His own image. God gave Adam authority over everything He created. He spoke this kingdom into existence then fashioned us with the special purpose of ruling over it.
Adam & Eve were plugged in to the Source. Living the life they were created for in freedom. In the creation story, we are told about two trees that are representative of our choice between God’s definition of freedom and our definition of freedom. The tree of life and the tree of knowledge. The tree of life signifies living with God forever and relying on Him as the source for righteousness. The tree of knowledge signifies knowing of good and evil, but relying on yourself to make a right decision for a righteous life.
I know you all know this, but I bring this story up to point out God’s command giving them free will. God’s words that give them the choice to trust in Him and live in His freedom, or to choose to walk away from His life giving presence. Verse 16...
Genesis 2:16–17 NIV
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
In other words, in God you have freedom. As long as you stay connected to your source of freedom and be who you were created to be you will experience true life and true freedom. Part of that freedom is the ability to make the wrong decision and choose the opposite of freedom. If you choose bondage to your own knowledge of right and wrong you will no longer be connected to the the true power source. *unscrew bulb* Because God is life, being disconnected from Him is death. We can try and try and try with our own knowledge, but at best we will only ever be a dim and flickering garage door light.
If you are taking notes, I have a question for you to ponder… Where do you look for freedom?


In what ways do you find it difficult to trust God? When you face a huge obstacle? A small one? Heart ache? Strong desires or lusts? When do you disconnect from God’s source of freedom to go after your idea of freedom? What’s your addiction? Your crutch? What fruit do you grab from YOUR tree instead of waiting for God’s tree to produce the fruit you need? Where do I seek freedom?
Talking about Adam & Eve, one thing that has always amazed me is the amount of freedom they enjoyed. It’s almost like a kid before Christmas. They may have a room full of toys that they love, but as soon as they see a present under the tree they can’t wait to open it. They become professional negotiators, “Hey, if we can open presents early I will clean the house today. Just one present. Let me open one and I will even cook dinner. I don’t know how to cook, but I will learn!
They’ll shake it to guess what it is. They will devise crazy schemes to open it and then return it to the box where nobody would know. Every time they walk by the tree, they will stare at it. Wondering what it would be like to enjoy that present. How many times did Adam and Eve walk by the tree of knowledge and wonder what it would be like to enjoy that fruit. Think about the freedom they already enjoyed. There is one freedom we all know Adam probably LOVED!
Genesis 2:25 NLT
25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
Tell me Adam wasn’t a fan of that one. The author of Genesis didn’t write anymore about it because he didn’t have to. It is pretty easy to follow God and live in His freedom when everything is going well. As soon as we hit that difficult obstacle or that opportunity to take the present from under the tree early it becomes more and more difficult to live in God’s freedom. That’s when the father of lies comes and encourages us to find freedom somewhere else. That’s when the enemy shows up to help us unscrew the light bulb from God’s power source.
Genesis 3:1–2 NLT
1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” 2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.
Did your parents really say you couldn’t have the presents under the tree? They have your name on them! Technically they are already yours. You don’t need to wait for 2 more weeks. Time is just a social construct anyway. Everyone knows that, kid.” Did God really say you shouldn’t buy this house? Didn’t He say to build your house on a solid foundation? Look at that stem wall! Did God really say not to eat from any of the trees in the garden? Eve said, “No, just the one tree because we will die.” Then Satan said, “You wont die. Your eyes will be opened and you will know good and bad like God.
We know that death is being separated from God, so why didn’t God just say that? Satan is crafty. It wouldn’t matter what God said. He would have just told Eve the same thing he has said to all of us at one point, “Separated from God? He isn’t with you right now, so it looks like He has already separated Himself from you. Did you really hear God’s voice? How would you know? Look at God’s standard. You will never be able to live up to that. You will never be good enough.
After they ate the fruit, they didn’t lose their freedom. They retained the freedom to choose and do what they wanted, but they lost their true freedom that was a part of being connected to the source of freedom. The fruit looked great! It had to be wonderful. If it was going to give wisdom to boot, then it had to be a good thing. Wisdom is a good thing, right?
Genesis 3:6–7 NLT
6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
God gave them a true freedom that I can’t even fully understand. They could enjoy freedom to it’s fullest with no shame. Now that they are no longer trusting God for their freedom and must rely on themselves, they can see the imperfection of their bodies. Now feeling shame, they sense the imperfection of their hearts and minds. Then they try to hide. When God asked them why they hid, Adam said that he was afraid. If you are taking notes…


God creates freedom, but when we rely on our own knowledge the result is fear. The first mention of fear in the Bible came as a result of knowing good and evil. Knowing what is good leads to knowing we aren’t good enough. That knowledge creates fear for those who are not connected to the One who is good. What better way could their be for the enemy to keep someone captive than holding them hostage with fear.
Satan is the father of lies and he does not want us connected to the source of life. He will tell you lies, distract you, tempt you, trap you, and lead you away from the truth of God and the source of life and true freedom. If you pay any attention to politics at all, you get to look into the window of a house built on lies. It’s not hard to find politicians who have said one thing in the past and today say something completely different. Lately it’s not difficult to find these examples on a day by day basis.
When you think about the lies they will sometimes tell, it feels like they must live in an alternate reality. When they say they don’t see an inflation while inflation skyrockets behind them, it feels like we are living in a movie. Just like the storm troopers who were looking for the androids in the Star Wars movie when the Jedi said, “These are not the droids you are looking for.” Then the troopers repeated, “These aren’t the droids we are looking for.
“Eve, you won’t die by eating this fruit.”
“Hey Adam, we can eat that and not die!”
If Adam and Eve, who physically walked in God’s presence, were not exempt from Satan’s lies, then we clearly aren’t exempt either. What lies am I believing today that are causing me to live in an alternate reality to the true reality that God want’s me to experience? How has the enemy tricked me into fully believing something today that may not be completely true so that he could separate me from God’s truth? If you are taking notes, this question will drill a little bit deeper than the question I had you write earlier… What lies are you believing?


There is freedom that comes when we recognize that we aren’t good. Anything in us that is good comes from God alone. Life isn’t about being “good enough,” it’s about being in a right relationship with the one who is and defines “good.” A man came up to Jesus once and asked what he had to do to get eternal life. Jesus responded by saying, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only One who is good.” Who do you believe? Do you believe what God says about you or what the enemy says? Listen to the way God asks this question to Adam...
Genesis 3:11 NLT
11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
Who told you that you were naked?” Who told you that you were stupid? Who told you that you could never succeed? Who told you that you are unlovable? Who told you that you are a failure? A bad mom? A bad wife? A horrible husband? A lousy father? Never be good enough? Who’s voice have you been listening too? Have you been listening to the cunning serpent? The crafty enemy? Or are you listening to and believing what the loving Father says about you?
Freedom doesn’t come from being good enough. For Adam it didn’t come from being naked or knowing that he was naked. It came from trusting and believing what God said about him. It doesn’t come from being good enough or knowing that my best will never be good enough. *screw in light bulb* It comes from trusting and believing what God says about me. Who are you listening to? The liar? Or, like Paul, are you listening to Christ?
Galatians 2:16 NLT
16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
Jesus came to set us free from a religious way of thinking. Without Him we are just a dimly flickering garage door light trying to accomplish a work that he has already completed. True freedom in Christ comes through an authentic, life-giving relationship with Him. God generously offers us His freedom. All we have to do is trust Him.
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