God’s will isn’t just for you to be saved. Jesus didn’t come just so you could go to heaven. Heaven is wonderful, of course, and it’s the joyous prospect of every believer. But what God sent Jesus to do is to set you free, emancipate you, rescue you from sin and its power in your life. We’ve been liberated in this life, right here on Earth—we have been freed!
So why are so many still slaves?
You may say, “Well, we don’t have any slavery in America, Pastor!” Yes, we do. Some of us are slaves to our work. You know the drill: Work is all that matters to you. Even your time off is spent “on,” thinking about work, worrying about work. That kind of attitude is often called workaholism, but it’s more than an addiction—it’s slavery. You’re a slave to making a living when you should be free to make a life.
Others are slaves to things: You not only have things, but things have you. Or perhaps you’re a slave to other people. You have an inordinate desire to please people. What others think about you, what others say about you, what the world expects from you—that’s your master. Then there’s the deep-seated sin of slavery to ourselves. Perhaps it’s a selfish habit. Or fleshly pleasures that are out of bounds and out of the will of God.
There are any number of things you can be enslaved to. But let me share an incredible truth with you: You can break free.
I believe one of the reasons the Bible is such a magnetic and powerful book is because it is a book of liberty. In the Word of God we have God’s own Emancipation Proclamation. The Word of God tells us how to be free. It promises liberty. And it delivers!
[Pull quote] In the Word of God we have God’s own Emancipation Proclamation. The Word of God tells us how to be free. It promises liberty. And it delivers!
“But,” you ask, “why do we still sin? Why do believers break God’s laws?” I have a simple, homespun theory about that: We do what we want to do. Christians who want to sin choose to sin. And so often believers do it with their eyes wide open and minds made up, continuing to live under the power of sin in their lives. They are voluntary slaves!
Yet, in Jesus Christ that is never, ever the way to live. You have been emancipated and that is a fact! And in Romans 6, Paul points out our path toward freedom…
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness (Romans 6:11-13).
You are no longer in Christ a helpless victim constantly terrorized and victimized by evil. You are now a victor! Jesus Himself said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” and promises, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:32; 36).
That is sweet release—true emancipation from slavery—whatever it is, however it binds you. You are free, my friend! “Praise God,” as the old hymn goes, “from whom all blessings flow!”
As we have been learning from Ephesians in the series “Much More,” the “much more life” is a spirit-filled life, an abundant life. In his message today, Pastor Jack Graham teaches that God wants believers to have, not just a good marriage, but a great marriage; and not just a great marriage, but a godly marriage … a much more marriage.
All Sermons by Jack Graham