A Celebration of our Freedoms

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Freedom for Kids:

This is 4th of July weekend were most of us will set off fireworks,
or watch firework displays in celebration of our country’s freedom.

What does freedom mean to you?

Does it mean you can do anything you want to do?
That you have no rules anymore?
. . . .
-Can you post ALL your opinions on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube? NO!
-Can you choose to fly, climb on your roof, jump off and expect to fly? NO!
-Can you choose never to waist time sleeping again and always stay awake? NO!
-Can you go to school naked and not get in trouble? NO!
There are all kinds of things we can’t do
All kinds of things we shouldn’t do
Even if we are living in a free land.
I see none of you have shackles and chains this morning, so I figure none of you are slaves!
Am I right?
But all have sinned
All have done bad things and
fallen short of God’s expectations for us.
The Bible tells us that our sins
make us slaves to sin.
It also tells us, that
the wages of sin is death.
That means we won’t go to heaven without God’s help
None of us will.
But God has given us a way to escape the penalty for sin and death and
That is accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Repenting of our sin and asking Jesus to forgive us.
When God frees us from the penalty of sin
When He gives us Freedom from our
desires to do bad things
He frees us
not to do everything we can think of doing
But frees us to do
what we ought to do.
He frees us to do good things
in His power.
As you grow older, you will get more freedom.
I hope you will use your freedom wisely.
Let me pray for you.

Birthday Celebrations

Last week we were able to celebrate a couple birthdays and anniversaries.
It is fun to honor people and their milestones.
That is a freedom that smaller churches have.
Think of a church with 1,000 people.
Could they honor all the Birthdays and Anniversaries of the people present on a given Sunday?
Not likely!
They might be free to do it,
but people wouldn’t stay seated for 90 minutes of birthday wishes!
Today’s theme is a Celebration of Freedom
First, Celebrating the Freedom we have as Americans
The country has some warts and wrinkles,
yet people still flock here to live because of better opportunities.
We live in a country that was founded by people primarily with Christian Convictions.
With Christian culture and
with Christian understanding.
You can read books of personal accounts of God’s Blessing and protection of the colonies in their rebellion against England.
Some have no faith in those stories,
but hey, they probably don’t believe in the crossing of the Red Sea either.
Others look in awe and wonder at God’s providential support.
Back to the founders understanding of man,
as influenced from their bible reading and their cultures.
They understood, better than many of us, that man has a sin nature,
So, when they built this new nation,
they put checks and balances in so that no branch of the government
could have absolute power like a monarchy.
They set up 3 branches of government.
Each branch having it’s own job and some checks and balances on the other two branches.
*So, if congress passes laws that are unconstitutional, such as establishing a King of America, or
if congress established one denomination as the only church in the USA,
The court system can knock those laws down as un-constitutional.
*If the Executive branch becomes a dictatorship
The Legislator and the Courts would object and correct things.
The Supreme Court apparently thought some of FDR’s actions and bills sent to congress were too overreaching and they eventually opposed him.
Likewise if the courts appear out of control, and legislating from the bench,
. . . . .in time the judges can be replaced.
If enough people dis-agree with the court’s actions,
impeachment can be attempted.
All these checks and balances because of a belief in the sin nature of Man.
If the Founders all believe every man was 100% good,
there would have been no need for checks and balances.
Or at least a lot less need. Even good people can dis-agree strongly.
I may ruffle some feathers today with some specifics, but please be patient with me.
I know I don’t have full understanding of politics but
I understand that the Supreme Court took exception to the EBP making:
rules and
laws and
and penalties with fines
All on their own
When the job of setting rules and laws is the legislators.
So, if the EPA really likes their rules, which the court just kicked out,
Then the EPA needs to convince a majority of congresses members to pass their current rules,
Or they will have to make do with whatever rules the legislator is willing to approve for them.
Tenth Amendment
The founding fathers put in the 10th Amendment to limit power grabs by this new federal government.
Sinful men and women might want to grab all the power they could,
even in good causes.
The 10th Amendment says:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Abraham Lincoln assumed more power than was granted to the Executive branch and he knew it.
He did it to win the Civil War.
When it was over,
President Lincoln Apologized to Congress but justified his actions with words like
“What was I to do?”
I believe the 10th Amendment had a lot to do with justifying returning to the states
the right to legislate abortions.
Freedom Defined
Freedom is often defined as
Freedom = Being able to do, what ever I want to do.
But can any of us do that?
Do, whatever we want to do,
no matter what?
NO of course not!
As we shared with the kids freedom has limits
There are
*Natural Rules limit our freedom
like gratity keeping us from jumping to the moon.

*Social Rules limit our freedom

My old Dean told the story of a student at Berkeley who started coming daily to class naked and it made a lot of people uncomfortable to be around him.
His behavior was disruptive and distracting,
but the school officials were afraid to limit the man’s rights, his freedoms.
So they put up with it.
Until some brave student complained that she didn’t feel safe.
The school said great, this is a violation of the girls rights
They labeled it harassment.
And they told the guy to get dressed or get lost.
It figures the intellectuals would have more trouble dealing with public nudity then the grade school.

*Moral Rules limit our freedom

Many men and women have wanted guiltless abortions but
over time, they have found unexpected:
and depression,
until they turned to God for forgiveness.

*Governmental Rules

I live on a hill and I sure would have a nice view if I remodeled my place into a five story Tower.
But my neighbors just might have something to say about my blocking their view with a house that does not conform to the neighborhood.
You live in community,
you live with rules.
Today I am thankful for the national freedoms we have in America
for the personal freedoms we still have and
the religious freedoms we have.
Someone put out an index of freedom vs. slavery of all the countries of the world,
I was surprised america wasn’t number 1
or even in the top 10 list.
They listed the USA as 15th in their ranking.
I assume they looked at taxes, regulations, citizens rights vs. the state to produce their ranking.
2021 Human Freedom Index
Top 10 Freest Places
Switzerland 9.11 New Zealand 9.01
Denmark — 8.98 Estonia — 8.91
Ireland — 8.90 Finland — 8.85
Canada — 8.85 Australia — 8.84
Sweden 8.83 Luxembourg 8.80
I have some doubts on their ranking but I’m not surprised the USA and near the top.
What kind of obligations do Christians have in a free country,
or a not-so-free country
1 Timothy 2:1–3 NIV
1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
We need to pray for our county.
We are a very divided country right now and
civilly disagreeing, is becoming a thing of the past.
*We need to pray for unity and tolerance of the tolerable.
Another scripture to guide our actions toward the USA is
Psalm 33:12 NIV
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.
We are not the Jews, Gods chosen people,
yet in the founding of American God’s hand appears to have blessed us.
We may continue to have problems like inflation and pandemic, until a majority of us humble ourselves and turn to God.
God promises to help when we are humble
2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
our obligations would include
Romans 13:1–14 NIV
1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
It won’t seem like a celebration of our country if we don’t sing at least one patriotic song.
Please stand and join me in singing My Country Tis of Thee, before the service continues.

My Country 'Tis Of Thee (America)

Verse 1

1.My country 'tis of thee Sweet land of liberty Of thee I sing Land where my fathers died Land of the pilgrims' pride From every mountain side Let freedom ring

Verse 2

2.My native country thee Land of the noble free Thy name I love I love thy rocks and rills Thy woods and templed hills My heart with rapture thrills Like that above

Verse 3

3.Let music swell the breeze And ring from all the trees Sweet freedom's song Let mortal tongues awake Let all that breathe partake Let rocks their silence break The sound prolong

Verse 4

4.Our fathers' God to Thee Author of liberty To Thee we sing Long may our land be bright With freedom's holy light Protect us by Thy might Great God our King
CCLI Song # 46582
I hope you celebrate our country’s founding with fireworks
safely and sanely.
Not mixing alcohol with fire,
which you know if flammable.
As much as we have to Celebrate the freedoms with have in this country
blemishes and all

Celebrate our Heavenly Freedoms

Not of this world

Philippians 3:20 NIV
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
As Christians we have dual citizenship with our country and
with heaven.
Jesus said
John 18:36 NIV
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
and when push comes to shove, who do we obey
Acts 5:29 NIV
29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!
Christians have another freedom that even greater
It freedom from guilt and shame
1 John 1:9 NIV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
It’s freedom from sin and bondage
Romans 6:18 NIV
18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
If we can only be one one team or the other, I want to be on God’s team
Matthew 6:24 NIV
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
There is so much more that could be said about our freedom in Christ
freedom from guilt and shame
freedom from hell tomorrow and
bondage to sin today.
Our God does a good job of saving us,
to the uttermost.
won’t you join me in closing singing Freely Freely and then Ill close in prayer.

Freely Freely

Verse 1

God forgave my sin in Jesus' name I've been born again in Jesus' name And in Jesus' name I come to you To share His love as He told me to


He said freely freely You have received Freely freely give Go in My name And because you believe Others will know that I live

Verse 2

All pow'r is giv'n in Jesus' name In earth and heav'n in Jesus' name And in Jesus' name I come to you To share His pow'r as He told me to
CCLI Song # 13209
Father we come to you now with thankfulness in our hearts for this nation of ours.
Like any human endeavored, it’s not perfect
but we have seen your hand in it, and we thank you for the sanctuary of freedom it is in a very un-free world
we pray for our country that as the Psalmist said
Psalm 122:7 NIV
7 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”
Father the world is changing quickly now and we look to the future with nervous eyes.
We have seen our cities in chaos,
we have seen them sheltering in fear and
our systems falling apart so we ask with the Psalmist
Psalm 51:18 NIV
18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
Lord my these words cover our towns, cities and capitals too.
Help us to sanely celebrate our freedoms in America and
our freedom in Christ.
And all God’s people said
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