‘They may take away our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!’ cried William Wallace of Braveheart. Then he gave that inimitable yell: ‘FREEDOM!’ Just thinking of these lines makes one’s blood flow fast. The word freedom is important to our Western world and its culture. Unfortunately, though, there has not always been agreement on what freedom means. James Boice highlighted several ways we have understood freedom.
In his speech on the four freedoms, given on January 6, 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke largely of human rights:
“freedom of speech and expression – everywhere in the world…freedom of every person to worship God in his own way – everywhere in the world…freedom from want…and freedom from fear – everywhere in the world.”
William Murray, the first Earl of Mansfield, England, wrote in the eighteenth century, ‘To be free is to live under a government by law.’ Others of a more rebellious disposition have spoken of freedom as an escape from law. In American culture, the predominant idea associated with the concept of freedom is freedom from unjust oppression. This significant idea is captured in that well-known inscription found on the Statute of Liberty in New York harbor:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.
What is freedom? Or, more particularly, what does the Bible mean by freedom? At this point we can hardly escape either the question or the answer, for our text this week in John 8:31-38 involves a statement in which Jesus claimed to be able to set men free. His exact words were, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
I invite you to join us this week as Chad unfolds the text of John 8:31-38 helping us understand the Biblical nature of our freedom and the goal of this freedom. This week, Michelle and I are visiting one of our daughters and grandchildren and are grateful for the opportunity to go. Thank you for allowing us time away to be with our family and refresh our hearts. And thank you to our leaders who ensure that the work of Redeemer moves forward. We are praying for you while away and anticipate being back with you this next week.
Let me take a few moments to highlight some opportunities coming up through Redeemer:
Sunday March 10 – Time Change: Spring Forward!
New sermon series: Genesis: First Things Sunday mornings
Saturday March 16 – 9:00 am-12:00pm
New Members/Inquirers class
Sunday March 17 – 5:00pm-6:00pm
Men’s Study ‘Knowing God’
Monday March 18 – 7:00 pm
Calvin & Hops Returns!
Monday April 1 – 6:30pm
Ladies Study: From the Garden to Glory
Grace upon Grace,