Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

16
Feb

DEBTORS PRISON

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Therefore, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh” (Romans 8:12).

Back in the old days they had a ‘Debtors Prison’. If you couldn’t pay your debts, they locked you up in prison. For good. The modern idea of bankruptcy comes from the Old Testament idea of the Year of Jubilee. Every 49th year (7×7) all land sold to settle debts reverted back to the original family. God is the God of the second chance.

Since we were dead in our sins, and Jesus paid our debt for us, we are now in debt to Him. We owe Him something. Salvation wasn’t really free.

We are not in debt to the flesh, to live in bondage to our sensual appetites, but we are in Debtor’s Prison. I will be eternally in debt to Jesus Christ. I must live my life bankrupt to the world and in servitude to Jesus.

There can be no escape from this prison. It is the way to eternal life and spiritual freedom. And why should I want to escape? He’s the best Owner any slave could have. He loves us.

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22
Oct

LIBERATED

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

We live in a consumer-driven society. The market-place has so many options and such competition, that we consumers often don’t know which way to turn. Perfectionists like me have a terrible time shopping because we never have enough information to know we’re getting the best deal. And the accumulation of “stuff” becomes a life goal, as if it will somehow save us.

There’s an old illustration about a technique Africans use to capture monkeys. They put a banana in a small-mouthed jar chained to a tree. The monkey will reach in to get the banana, and get his hand stuck in the jar. Because he refuses to let go of the banana, he is captured. He could have easily set himself free if he had just been willing to let go of his prized possession.

When people release their grip on the things of this world, they are so liberated.

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4
Jul

TAXES IN A FREE LAND

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I’m reading the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson. I thought it would have more personal anecdotes about his upbringing, but it is mainly a history of the process of independence and how the new nation was established. One of the fascinating things I’m learning is how the nation’s founders determined to raise money for the new federal government.

Some states were larger and some smaller, some richer and more populated and some the opposite. How could they agree on a fair assessment of taxes that each state would approve? One of the difficulties was that farmers in the northern states, who had few slaves, invested in cattle, while plantation owners in the southern states invested in slaves.

The compromise that drew all the states into agreement was to tax cattle and chattel (slaves) as property equally. Thus, the northern states were as guilty as the southern states in establishing the custom of slavery in the new United States of America. The abolition of slavery came 109 years later during the Civil War.

The lesson: sometimes compromise locks us into something that cannot survive. Let’s make wise decisions.

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22
Aug

FREEDOM OF (OR FROM) RELIGION

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I’m a patriot! I love this country and would die to defend the values passed down from the founding fathers, if necessary. But I think sometimes we forget what those values were. I hear a lot about what the founding fathers believed and stood for from people who are trying to rewrite history. Did our founding fathers establish a ‘Christian nation’? Let’s listen to founding father Thomas Jefferson as he remembered the intent of the founding fathers in his autobiography:

“Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.’ The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.”

Does that really sound like the founding fathers intended the United States to be a ‘Christian’ nation, or one which tolerated anyone’s beliefs in a free land? You decide from a founding father’s own words.

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2
May

FAITH IN THE DOCUMENT

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The great Chicago evangelist Dwight L. Moody, himself a veteran of the Civil War, once used the following illustration in a church service:

“When President Lincoln signed the proclamation of emancipation, copies of it were sent to all points along the Northern line, where they were posted. Now, supposing a slave should have seen a copy of that proclamation and should have learned its contents. He might have known the fact, he might have assented to its justice, but if he had still continued to serve his old master as a slave, his faith in the document would not have amounted to anything.

And so it is with us. A mere knowledge of the historical events of Christ’s life, or a simple intellectual assent to His teachings and His mission, will be of no help in a man’s life unless he adds to them a trustful surrender to the Lord’s loving kindness.”

That was a current-event method to teach about the freedom we have in Christ. Could you illustrate it better?

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7
Jan

RELEASED

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, known as the great “prince of preachers”, once told the story of a duke who boarded a galley ship and went below to talk with the criminals manning the oars. He asked several of them what their offenses were. Almost every man claimed he was innocent, blaming someone else or accusing the judge of taking a bribe.

One young fellow, however, replied, “Sir, I deserve to be here. I stole some money. No one is at fault but me. I’m guilty.” Upon hearing this, the duke shouted, “You scoundrel, you! What are you doing here with all these honest men? Get out of their company at once!” The duke ordered that this prisoner be released. He was set free, while the rest were left to tug at the oars. The key to this prisoner’s freedom was his admission of guilt.

That’s also true of 0ur salvation. Until a person is willing to admit, “I am a sinner in need of salvation,” he cannot experience freedom from guilt and condemnation. In Luke 18:13, Jesus praised the man who prayed, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!”

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4
Jul

PERFECT FREEDOM

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Today is Independence Day. It took bold men to stand up to King George and officially declare their independence. It meant forcefully defending that declaration against the world’s foremost military power. Or, lose your home and be hanged for treason if you failed. Freedom always costs somebody something.

This weekend we looked closer at the Book of Philemon and how Onesimus found freedom in Christ. What’s your opinion? What would you add and how does your experience support our message?

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