[Due to technical difficulties we do not have a recording of this week's message. This sermon was a stand-alone message. The current message series should resume next week. A brief summary of the message is provided below.]
This special 4th of July message from Luke 4:14-21 leads us to consider what we do with the freedom that has been purchased for us.
Deep within our hearts we all have an innate desire and longing for freedom, but we have all been in bondage before; some might still be right now. How can this be when we live in the freest country in the world? Jesus says everyone who sins is enslaved and imprisoned by that sin. We can achieve true freedom through Jesus Christ. Why, then, do we spend so much of our lives in prisons? Some don't realize they're not free, and others realize but don't see a way out. We must see the process for finding liberty.
In Luke 4:14-21 Jesus visits a synagogue in Nazareth and reads Isaiah 61, a passage in which God had promised freedom many years before. One day, it said, there would be someone who could open the prison and offer freedom for all. As soon as the first sin occurred, God established a plan for redemption. God made us a promise that we can be forgiven our sin. But simply showing up wasn't enough to free us from our sins. We are genuinely guilty; He have indeed committed the sin we are changed with. Our freedom, consequently, had to be purchased, and it was because Jesus took our place, paid our debt, and served our time.
But sometimes the door to the prison cell is open and still some stand inside the bars, wondering if it is true. Although Jesus has opened the door, they are not free. It is not enough to know promised freedom has been purchased for you- you have to possess it. You have to place your life in His hands for what He has done for you. God has prepared a gift for you, but you have to go to Him to receive it. God has opened the cell door but liberty can be found only if you walk through it yourself.