What Is Liberty?

Galatilans 5:1, 4, 7-10a, 12-15

Our founding fathers stood up and said that we have liberty under the law; therefore, with liberty under the law would come prosperity.   We will only prosper as we honor the King, as we live under the law but by grace.  Sometimes, in the modern age, we want to divorce one from the the other, but we can't.  Have you taken a lookk around at your country, at your state?  Have you looked at the world?  Do you see what happens when liberty becomes a license to do whatever you feel like?  We have gotten to the point of thinking liberty is "I can do whatever I want."   That was never the intention of our founding fathers and mothers.  It was the intention that we would live under the law of God, that we would live with grace and forgive those who don't, and give them a chance, a second chance if it was, to make it right.  This is why Jesus was able to be the one who would come to Isaiah 61:1-2 and read these words:

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and thr day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn."

Words read also at the Continental Congress, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  How about James, the brother of Jesus, who writes these words to us in 1:22-25:

"Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.   Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in the mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blesses in what he does."

The words of the New Jersey Congress.  Wow!  What a heritage we have!  We have this, and yet we let it go, because we hear a culture who says we need to be quiet, tolerant.  Let me tell you something about our modern age.  It is tolerant of everything but Jesus.  This country was founded by God, not by people.  It is tolerant of everything that says our rights do not come from people, but that they are inalienable, endowed by their (not the government) - Creator.

Start speaking up.  Do not be silent anymore, or the rights we have today will not be here tomorrow.  If we are not careful, this place will be outlawed.  Have brotherly love, but speak the truth.  Be bold enough to speak it, and be bold enough to love at the same time.  I will tell you what will happen.  They will think you're a five-headed hydrant.  What do we see, hear, and read from the media.  That if we don't agree with you, we don't like you.  That's not true.  We can stand the the truth, and love people at the same time.  We can tell people there's a better way.  There is liberty under the law.  And that's what St. Paul says to us.  Ironically, he was having trouble with the Church in Galatia.  Imagine a church having trouble.  I have entitled our sermon today, "What really is liberty?  Let's look at what St. Paul says in 5:1:

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

God will no longer give you grace if you keep trying to do it yourself.  What God want to hear from us is that we cannot make it without Him.  We need Him so desperately today.  We need to stand in the Holy Spirit's power, I need to listen to His voice, I need to be led by Him.  Only then will He create any perfection in me and in you.  It's a moment by moment, second by second reliance upon the Spirit of God.   For we, through the Spirit, eagerly wait the hope of righteousness by faith.  We eagerly waith to see what it will be like when we're glorified.  We also eagerly wait to see what it will look like on earth as we further His Kingdom as holy people of God. people of liberty, people who have not forgotten their past, neither from God or from their founding fathers.  Paul asked in in verses 7-10a:

"Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?  That kind of persuasion does not come from the One who calls you.  A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough. ("He means one bad apple spoils the whole bunch.)  I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view."

In verses 13 and 14:

You, my brothers, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge and sinful nature, rather, serve one another is love."

Think more highter of others but not yourself.  Always look to the need of someone else.-, and if you do you fulfill the law.  Verse 14 and 15:

"The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself.  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."

School shootings, shootings in public places, violence.  We're literally consuming our flesh now.  We have gone so far away from the law of liberty under the law.  So, what does it mean to be recalled to that?  Where would we begin to get a grip on what liberty even means nowadays?  How many know about historical revisionism? They rewrite history to say whatever they want it to say.  That's happening all over the place.  So where where does one actually get a grip on what the framers of our Constitution really mean?  Go back and review and read exactly what they said and what they wrote.  Look at the founding fathers, and mothers too.  Their letters to their husbands - 96% of the time they quoted the Bible or talked about God.  What were they thinking about always?  About being a follower of Jesus Christ--Christian first.  In letters to her husband, Abigail Adams would quote the Bible because she would say how much she loved it because of how much God loved her.  Her relationship with God the Father exceeded her relationship with him, but he was second to none.  THat's the way our marriages should be. Who should come first?  God, then our spouse, tthen our freindships and communities.

Our founding fathers established the principles upon which freedom is based.  People say you can't legislate morality.  President Thomas Jefferson stated that God gave us life, and can a nation be secure if we remove the firm basis on which it stands?  What is liberty?   A gift of what?  The God who is actively involved in your life.

How many times do you see self-discipline, self-control in the Bible. Over 3000 times. We sustain ourselves over the Ten Commandments.  Go to the LIbrary of Congress and read a private letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Evangelical Society of Pastors.  He saiys, "there exists ...an invisible wall.  Me dear comrades in the Congress,  the government shall never inform the church ever but the church shall ever inform government."  He is talking about a one-way wall where church is actively involved in government but the government is never involved in the church.  That is where separation of church and state comes from, not from the Constitution.  What is it based on?   The Ten Commandments.

If you don't have a habit of prayer, make it one.  Force yoiurself.  It is by God's Spirit that victory will come among us, that the Spirit of God wll invade this community, and the  people will be called to Him.  It will be in direct proportion to you and me getting on our knees, begging God and hearing from Him all together.  You will hear it coming frrom everywhere.  Ask God to give you different glasses, so when you see people, you will see their ;potential, not what they are.  

Where would we get a grip on understanding liberty in the Bible? Look at the inspiration of the writings of the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul in verse 1:

"...Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

Start living holy lives.  When the devil comes, there is a way out.  Ask the Spirit to defend you.  Live a life full of grace toward yourself and others.  Forgive yourself first.  Start grace toward yourself, and then you will have grace toward others.  Live a life surrendered to God.  Start living it now, so you will be glorified then.   

Live a life of eternal life.  In the morning, put on your spiritual glasses.  Look at everything with eternity in view.  Start looking at the world, at people, differently.   Look at their potential.  Live a life in God's trust.  Put on the mind of Christ.  Live a life of service tpward your family and friends.  Do not use your liberty to make good things for your own life, but through love serve one another.  Isn't that the whole basis of marriage?  Live a life of love toward your neighbor.  

We can live by liberty, which is living life the way our founding fathers and mothers did.  The world will come to know the truth in your life and in the llife of your Christian neighbors, the truth of the Word of God.  A nation will realize that it is born of God when they see you.  The truth of the gospel of Christ will be real, because it is found in a real person.  You.