This is the audio from the July 5, 2020 sermon, “Let Freedom RING”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: James 1:19-27
Living in a land where we tend to worship freedom and independence, I believe it is important for Christians to deliberately pause from time to time and examine God’s perspective on the freedom we have been given in Christ. When we choose to celebrate freedom and to let it ring across the land, it is important for the Christ follower to make sure that Christ is at the center of the freedom we live and the freedom we proclaim.
So, living free in Christ means we let freedom:
- James 1:19-20, Colossians 3:15 — When we let freedom rule, we must apply that freedom in such a way that we are “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” When our freedom comes from Christ, we should quickly learn that the world doesn’t revolve around us and that others have the same freedom. Allowing freedom to rule for everyone means we will make every effort to understand them through careful listening and paying attention. The “quick, slow, slow” approach helps us to allow others the same freedom in life that we want for our self.
- James 1:21, Proverbs 20:11 — When we let freedom inspect, we open ourselves up fully to God so that He can deal with any remnants of sin and self that we are still enslaved to. Living free in Christ may make all things permissible, but God makes it clear that not all things are beneficial. We let freedom ring when we allow it to inspect how our thoughts, words, and actions build up or tear down those around us. An inspected freedom pays close attention to our actions so that they truly represent one who is a child of God.
- James 1:22-25, Galatians 5:13 — When we let freedom nurture, we gaze intently into the perfect law of God and allow it to teach and train us in all righteousness. When we are nurtured by freedom, we begin to see the laws of God as “safety fences” which define the boundaries of that which is good, pleasing, and acceptable to God. When we are nurtured by freedom, we soon discover that our ability to nurture others in their walk with God has grown and become more effective.
- James 1:27, Romans 6:22-23 — When we let freedom glorify, it is quickly apparent as to what type of freedom we are living by. A maturing freedom in Christ will always glorify Him, a selfish freedom found in the world will always glorify self. As we live life each day, we ought to be mindful of who will be glorified by what we set out to do. You see, we often think of freedom as being all about having the ability to do whatever we want, yet in practice it also means we have the freedom not to do the things which would dishonor God.
As you let freedom RING on this 4th of July and every day that you live, will you surrender fully to Christ and let freedom Rule, Inspect, Nurture, and Glorify in your life so that Christ is seen through you?