Sermon:  Dependence Day     

Summary:  What some people call freedom is actually a form of bondage and is not 
freedom at all.  True freedom can only be found in submission to God and his 
instructions for all of life and in total dependence on him in humility.

Text:  Multiple

Scripture Reading:  Gal 4:3-7

1.  Many of you watched fireworks
	a.  It was the fourth of July, called "independence day"
	b.  Freedom is one of the most highest values we have
		- This country was born in a fight for freedom
		- Many have laid down their lives to preserve freedom
	c.  We value freedom second only to life in this country
2.  Over the years, there have been different ideas about freedom
	a.  Older view - Freedom to go good and serve God without interference
		-  View began to change, nearly meant free from Govt - Led to 
		-  Immigrant in 1775 said of Americans "They are all Liberty Mad"
		-  According to Declaration of Independence, Liberty second only to 
		-  However, Patrick Henry said "Give me Liberty or Give me Death!"
	b.  19th century, came to mean Opportunity to develop innate talents fully
	c.  20th centry - Freedom to choose 
		-  Whether clothes, lifestyle, sexuality, religion, etc.
		-  The latest "revolution" in the 60's was an expression of 
		    this belief about freedom
	d.  Fathers acknowledged freedom endowed by God in declaration of ind.
		a.  They never defined freedom
		b.  It was not applied equally - Native Americans, Africans, Women
		c.  The idea of what freedom is has changed drastically over the 
3.  Want to go over some thoughts about freedom and independence from scripture

I.  Freedom is slavery 
	A.  The two words seemed diametrically opposed
		1.  You are either free or in bondage
		2.  How can you be both?
		3.  Will see how the two or more closely related than you think
	B.  Start with scripture
		1.  (Rom 1:18-31) - People insisted on being free from God
			a.  Not acknowledge God, worshipped creature, not creator
			b.  After a time, God said, "fine" and "gave them over"
				- They wanted to be free, so God let them be free
				- v.18 - The wrath of God is revealed (present tense)
				- God allows those who rebel unrestrained freedom
			c.  Result - v.26-32 - Read these carefully
				- Imagine living in a society like this
				- Not good place to live, to raise family, etc.
			d. Not have to imagine, we already do live in society like this
				- Many are in bondage to sin
		2.  (Jn 8:34) - "Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin"
		3.  If point this out, will get mocked, ridiculed
		4.  Many in bondage think they are not 
			a.  Bondage?  Hah!  Look, you get to do your own thing
			b.  Free to do whatever I want!
			c.  This demonstrates the dark deceitfulness of sin
	C.  ILL:  Many are caught and stuck in a trap and don't even know it
		1.  Go to the drunk wino on street and say, I want to set you free 
		     from your alcoholism
			a.  He will say, "thank you, I need someone to help set me 
			     free" ... Probably Not!
			b.  He will say, "I'm not a slave to anything, give me back my 
		2.  The prodigal son can to his father and wanted to be free
			a.  Said, "Give me what is mine"
			b.  Left home saying, "I'm free!  I'm free!"
			c.  Found himself enslaved to gentile taskmaster and to a 
			      bunch of hogs in the pig pen
		3.  Much of what people call freedom is not freedom at all
			a.  Look at this paper money 
				- Used to be green, but added colors
				- Look at all the security features
				- Put in so you know it is genuine
				- Some people cheat, try to make fake money - 
				   counterfeit, fake, phony
			b.  Why accept something fake and phony
				- Fake has no value or worth
				- Fake has no substance
				- Fake is worthless
	D.  Don't accept the world's counterfeit version of freedom
		1.  It is not freedom at all, it is just the opposite
		2.  Unrestrained freedom brings bondage
			a.  Applies to us socially, politically
				- Unrestrained freedom makes a "free" nation ripe for 
				   going back into bondage
				- History has demonstrated this time after time
			b.  Applies to us personally
				- Unrestrained freedom enslaves you to sin
				- Enslaved to destructive habit, such as drinking, lust, 
				  anger, bad speech, etc.
				- But it is deeper than this, even if you kick the habit, 
				  sin is still there in you 
				- Rom 6:23 - Wages of sin is death - Can't "unearn"
		3.  **Freedom can only be found in submission to our Lord...

II.  Submission is freedom 
	A.  Once again, this seems like a contradictory statement
		1.  How can submission be freedom?
		2.  Will see that the two are inseparable, go hand in hand
	B.  Scripture
		1.  Look at first time God freed his people from bondage
			a.  Enslaved in Egypt, cried out, he freed them (Dt 7:8)
				- God redeemed them from slavery
			b.  (Ex 19:3-5) - Redeemed to be his possession
				- To be his possession?  I thought he freed them?
				- Then God gives them LAWS!
				- 10 Commandments in Ex. 20 was just for starters
				- God gave them the "Torah" to live like free people
					-- Ex 22:21 - Not oppress a stranger
					-- Lev 19:34 - Love the alien
					-- Lev 19:36 - Just balances
					-- Lev 25:35-43 - No slaves for life in the 
	 				-- Dt 15:12-15 - Not send slave away empty 
					-- Dt 24:5 - Newly web excused from military 
					-- Dt 24:6, 10-13 - Humane pledges
					-- Dt 24:14-15 - Not oppress hired servants
					-- Dt 24:17-18 - Not pervert justice (must be 
					-- Dt 24:19-22 - Provision for the poor
			c.  God redeemed them from bondage and brought them into 
			     submission to him and his law
				- As you can see it was for their good
				- No longer belong to Pharaoh, an oppressive ruler
				- They now belong to God, a good ruler
		2.  (Titus 2:11-14) - v.14 - He redeemed us
			a.  Now we are to be in submission to God's will
				- Deny ungodliness, accept godliness
			b.  (Tit 3:1-3) - Be obedient, ready for every good deed
				- We once were disobedient
				- We once were enslaved to our own flesh
		3.  Freedom is only found in submission to God
			a.  Whether on a national level
			b.  Whether on a personal level
	C.  ILL: Notions of freedom before Revolutionary War were in line with this
		1.  Year - 1645, in a speech to Massachusetts legislature by John 
			a.  Spoke of Natural and Moral Freedom
			b.  Natural Freedom - Freedom to do what you want - is evil
			c.  Moral Freedom - Freedom to do what is right - is good
				- It meant submission to God
				- It meant submission to Civil Govt
			d.  The most common civil crime was contempt of authority
		2.  Most early Americans (and ancient Greeks) saw doing whatever 
		     you wanted whenever you wanted as slavery
			a.  Amounts to lack of self-control, indulgence 
			b.  Leads to slavery and bondage
			c.  Freedom was submission to a moral code
	D.  Only way to be free is through Christ
		1.  Jn 8:36 - If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed
		2.  How he make you free?  What did we read in Titus 2?
			a.  Gave himself to redeem us from every lawless deed
			b.  Purify for himself a people for his own possession
		3.  ***Freedom is through submission to God...

III.  Freedom comes with dependence 
	A.  Freedom is not independence, but dependence on God
	B.  By now, it obvious depend on God to be free
		1.  (Gal 4:3-7) - Before Christ came we were slaves
			a.  He redeemed us from bondage
			b.  Now we are no longer slaves, but sons
			c.  It was God's doing, not our doing
		2.  God frees us from sin so that we can start process of change
			a.  Gal 5:17-24 - Gives us the Spirit to free us from flesh
			b.  Free when we walk by the Spirit
	C.  ILL:  1863, President Lincoln designated April 30th as a day of national 
	      humiliation, fasting, and prayer. 
		1.  Had some very insightful and timely words
		2.  Here is a portion of what he said:  "It is the duty of nations, as 
		    well as of men, who owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, 
		    to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured 
		    hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize 
		    the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by a history 
		    that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. The awful 
		    calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment 
		    inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our 
		    national reformation as a whole people. Intoxicated with unbroken success, 
		    we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and 
		    preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. We have grown 
		    in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has grown, but we have 
		    forgotten God."
		3.  Lincoln recognized the need for utter dependence on God
 	D.  Freedom can only come through God, need to depend on h im

1.  Freedom begins with the Gospel  (inv)
2.  Remember that Christ sets us free, not to be independent
3.  He redeems us to God to belong to God, to depend, be like and love him
4.  Don't accept a fake version of freedom, but turn to only place you can...Our Lord