Are we free? Doing we truly seek liberty or freedom? Christ brings freedom to us, but do we keep getting ourselves tangled up in the bondage and yoke of sin? We need to continue in the Law of Liberty and not be forgetful of the freedom and vision God has given us.
These are the notes taken live during services as captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing. This is not a word for word transcript. For the exact wording, please consult the audio recording.
No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrance’s have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight!
An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! These are excerpts from the speech Patrick Henry made to the convention at St. John’s Church in Virginia. He is credited with swinging the balance in favor of war. They shouted, to war, to war! Liberty is a great thing. It symbolizes freedom. In 1775 and 1776, the colonies wanted freedom from the tyranny. I recently talked to someone from another area who wanted freedom from the persecutions. They wanted to be liberated from those issues. Are we free? Do you seek liberty? Freedom? Do you actively try to obtain those? Isaiah 61:1-2 Isaiah 61:1-2  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
American King James Version×Vs. 2 – This prophecy is a messianic prophecy; it is symbolic of Christ.
Luke 4:16-21 Luke 4:16-21  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
 And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
 And he began to say to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
American King James Version×Here Christ is about to quote Isaiah. Jesus brought liberty to the captives. He has brought liberty and freedom to us. To you and me now; later on to all humanity. Patrick Henry spoke of the oppression of the British government. They wanted freedom from that oppression. In our sinful lives, we are tied to a certain sinful way of life. For those who are baptized, you can be free from the penalty of those sins. You can have the liberty from Satan’s influence. We already have freedom. It is within our grasp. What are you doing with the liberty that God gave you? That Jesus paid for? What are you doing with it? John 8:31-36 John 8:31-36  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, You shall be made free?  Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin.  And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever.  If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
American King James Version×Vs. 31 – We have to continue. Not to make something new or alter it. This word means to remain or abide. G3306 μένω menō men'-o A primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): - abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), X thine own. Thayer Definition: 1) to remain, abide 1a) in reference to place 1a1) to sojourn, tarry 1a2) not to depart 1a2a) to continue to be present 1a2b) to be held, kept, continually 1b) in reference to time 1b1) to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure 1b1a) of persons, to survive, live 1c) in reference to state or condition 1c1) to remain as one, not to become another or different 2) to wait for, await one Part of Speech: verb A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: a root word Citing in TDNT: 4:574, 581 Vs. 32 – “Free” means to liberate, to deliver, or to make free. G1659 ἐλευθερόω eleutheroō el-yoo-ther-o'-o From G1658; to liberate, that is, (figuratively) to exempt (from moral, ceremonial or mortal liability): - deliver, make free.
Thayer Definition: 1) to make free 2) set at liberty: from the dominion of sin Part of Speech: verb A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G1658 Citing in TDNT: 2:487, 224 Truth is the same as freedom. Vs. 33 – Never in bondage means not at any time a slave. They were never bound. They were always exempt. Vs. 34 – When we sin, we are no longer free. We are placed back into slavery. We are bound to the penalty of that sin. We have an obligation that must be paid. That is the penalty of sin. We are no longer free. We have given up that liberty. Vs. 35 – Sinners cannot inherit the kingdom of God. They can’t be a member of the God family. They are bound to a penalty they must pay. They are not free. Vs. 36 – The Son is Jesus Christ who provides that liberty. Through His sacrifice, we have freedom from the penalty of sin. Jesus is the God of the Old Testament. He left us a perfect example of how to live. He lived at the total will and submission to His Father. Even at the point of death, not my will, but yours. It was a perfect example for Him to leave behind for us.
Hebrews 2:14-15 Hebrews 2:14-15  For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
American King James Version×Jesus came to liberate mankind from slavery to sin. English Standard Version – Hebrews 2:14-15 Hebrews 2:14-15  For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
American King James Version×: “(v14) Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, (v15) and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” Part of this is the freedom from the bondage to sin and the guilty feeling. Without Christ’s sacrifice, freedom would not be available to us. Many of you dream. I don’t usually remember mine. But freedom would be a hopeless dream without Christ. Baptism is not a point in time. It is not a one time event. The process should live on. That repentant mind. Striving to put on God’s mind and personality. It must be a constant struggle to hold onto that liberty. Satan wants nothing more than to reach in and snatch your freedom. Galatians 5:1 Galatians 5:1Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
American King James Version×Through liberty, Jesus has made us free. We are encouraged not to entangle ourselves with that life. This phrase, yoke of bondage. Yoke – Bible Manners & Customs – “The ‘Yoke’ refers to the custom of raising the yoke from the neck and cheeks of the oxen so that they can more readily eat their food. It not only included the piece of wood on the neck by which the animal was fastened to the pole, but also the whole of the harness about the head which was connected with it. The yokes used in the East are very heavy, and press so much upon the animals that they are unable to bend their necks.” This yoke of bondage here is an exceedingly heavy piece of wood and the harnesses they would place on an ox. Don’t put this heavy thing back on to the point you can’t move your neck or eat. The yoke prevented the animal from eating. Sin adds guilt. We drag it with us. We can’t let things go. We may ask God to help us forget it, but the next day we bring it up again. The physical yoke prevents the animal from eating. The spiritual yoke does the same thing. We must not put that yoke back on thinking that way of life is easier. Don’t return to the way of sin.
Good News 1996 – “The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×). Christ paid the death penalty for us, freeing us from death row through His sacrifice. We have been set free, but, as Paul wrote, this freedom does not give us license or permission to continue to do the very things that brought on the death penalty.” We need to be careful that we aren’t using our liberty as a get out of jail free card. We can’t use it as license to return back to the yoke Christ took off for us. Hold your place in Galatians. Romans 6:11-23 Romans 6:11-23  Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.  What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.  Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?  But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness.  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity to iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness to holiness.  For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness.  What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life.  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×Vs. 12 – Don’t give it any opportunity. Don’t let sin back in. Vs. 14 – Not under law but under grace. Not under law means you are not responsible for the penalty. It doesn’t mean you can throw out the law. Christ paid that penalty. He liberated us from having to pay that penalty. We are not under that penalty but under grace. God sent His son so we would not be bound to that penalty. It is because of God being nice to us; because God is gracious. Vs. 15 – Paul asks the question. Is it okay to throw out the law then? Vs. 16 – You are going to be slaves either way. Do we want to be slaves to sin and get the death sentence, or be slaves to God and be free from that bondage? The choice is ours. Vs. 22 – This reminder of what is at the end of this road. Vs. 23 – This freedom is not something we can buy. It is completely a gift. From the graciousness of our heavenly Father.
Galatians 5:13-14 Galatians 5:13-14  For, brothers, you have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
American King James Version×Vs. 13 – We have been given the opportunity to live this way of life that produces great fruits. We celebrate that today. Vs. 14 – Don’t use liberty to our advantage or as an opportunity to sin. I had a Bible Study at the feast with young people. I asked, “Do we ever sin knowing that we have a safety net?” We know we can go home, pray and ask for forgiveness. On the other hand, are you holding off on baptism knowing that the safety net is there? That when you do get baptized, your sins will just get washed away? A lively discussion followed. It is a good question for all of us. Do we use our freedom as an opportunity for the flesh? Sometimes we make excuses. You can’t just come to church and expect to be in the kingdom of God. I’m afraid some of us may not be there. We can’t use the liberty God has given us to blend into society. Serious topic. Eternal death is on the line. The removal of our sins can be used as an opportunity for the flesh. We must not do that. Vertical Thought Jan/Mar 2006 – David Treybig: “[God] alone makes the rules and determines truth. We only get to decide whether we will accept His authority and live by His instructions or not. We don't get to reshape His rules for life and then judge ourselves as to whether we've been good or not. That is playing God. Regrettably, many today do play God. But that isn't going to get us very far when we each have to look the real God in the eye and give an account for our conduct.” Brethren, let’s make sure we are not falling into Galatians 5:13 Galatians 5:13For, brothers, you have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
American King James Version×. That we are not using the freedoms to further ourselves or to make life easier. Rather, we should use our freedoms to get to know each other, to share what we have.
Galatians 4:3-7 Galatians 4:3-7  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
 Why you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
American King James Version×Vs. 4 – If He sinned, He would have been liable for that sin. Vs. 7 – We are called out of a world of superstition. A world of depravity, ignorance. We are called from captivity to Satan and have been given freedom and liberty. We are called to liberty in Christ. We receive forgiveness through His shed blood. We have wonderful blessings. And as a free gift, in the future, eternal life. Three scriptures that sync together: Philippians 2:5 Philippians 2:5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
American King James Version×We have a goal in mind. We have to put on Christ’s mind. Romans 12:2 Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
American King James Version×Here we are encouraged not to be like the world. Don’t try to blend in. Don’t try to make things easy on us. 1 John 3:2 1 John 3:2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
American King James Version×With God’s spirit we are to take on the mind of Christ. We are to be transformed to something new and different in stark contrast to what we were before. We are to be sons of God. There is a great progression of events. We start by putting on the mind of Christ. As we move through life and put on that character, we become sons and daughters. Pentecost is biblical holy day. We practice ceasing our carnal nature. Now we live by the spirit with God dwelling in us. It is a pivotal holy day. On one hand, we have the human nature that is hostile to God and wants to use the safety net. On the other, we have God’s spirit working in us. How often will you choose to use that safety net? Satan is blinding societies all around the world. They have no hope. I did a funeral for the mom of a member back west. Mom was not converted. You stand there in a cemetery with thousands of graves. They have nothing of what we have – no hope. Their relatives think they are sitting on clouds strumming harps. What a boring eternal life! They don’t know what liberty is. The Canadian rock band sang a song that included these lyrics: Song lyrics (chorus) “If everyone cared and nobody cried If everyone loved and nobody lied If everyone shared and swallowed their pride Then we’d see the day when nobody died.” [Editor’s note: The above lyrics are from the song “If Everyone Cared” by Nickelback.] It is a dreamy hope. There is no substance in the hope of society. We have so much more. We have freedom. Liberty. God’s spirit helping us get to eternal life.
James 1:25 James 1:25But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
American King James Version×We are encouraged to follow God’s laws. To be obedient. To continue in the walk of life we have committed to. We cannot be a forgetful hearer. We cannot forget what God’s plan means to mankind. We don’t have to hope. We know. We have God’s true liberty now. If we persevere and stand fast. These spring feast picture liberty as sons and daughter of God. Jesus’ sacrifice allows freedom from sins. Pentecost is another step in God’s perfect plan. Remember Christ’s sacrifice makes all of God's plan possible. We can be reconciled to God the Father. Today, we celebrate the Holy Spirit. That is a pivotal thing that makes the new covenant possible. As Patrick Henry rallied the convention and allowed the troops to enter the war, we to have that choice. Give me liberty or give me death is what God is doing here. Choose liberty. Choose life.