POTLUCK TODAY: This is our usual first Sunday potluck day and we brought lots of food for everyone to enjoy plus leftovers from 4th of July celebrations. Please stay and enjoy fellowship and food with God's people.
TIMBERS TODAY: At 2:30 P.M. this afternoon we will have our monthly devotional with the patients and staff at Timbers nursing home. We need you to give 45 minutes of time to sing, pray, and encourage a group that loves for us to be there. Come early to help set up and to greet the regulars.
CLASS TONIGHT: Richard Hoyt has a strong background in the Old Testament and has been leading us through an understanding of Elijah, Ahab, and Jezebel. Richard is a gifted teacher and his knowledge of this part of biblical history is extraordinary. Come and enjoy the class which meets at 6:00 P.M.
THANKS to everyone who worked on our Family Fun Fair outreach to the community. We had 372 people come, an all time record for people on our property. We have had three call backs already from visitors. Praise God for the good that was done, and pray for the follow-up we are engaged in.
INTRODUCTION — July 4 — a celebration!
A. Birthday of our country — a political celebration.I. WE ARE FREE FROM RELIGIOUS ENSLAVEMENT.
B. Religious freedom — we are told what to do.
Each person decides what their response to God will be.C. Acts 2:41-47 — Worship in the first century — “with gladness and singleness of heart.”
D. Satan enslaves us in many ways.
1. Uses religion to enslave — Galatians 1:6-8
2. Satan is an “angel of light” — 2 Corinthians 11:14.
A. Galatians 5:1 — No “Yoke of bondage”II. WE HAVE FREEDOM FROM THE TERROR OF DEATH.
1. The new gospel of Galatians 1:6 was obeying the Law.B. We are free from bondage.
You become a debtor to the Law (verse 2).2. Man-made denominations enslave people.
Man-made rules, celebrations, titles.3. Romans 8:1-2
1. Galatians 5:13 — New joy found in service.C. We are justified — 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (justification of a page analogy).
2. We are new — 2 Corinthians 5:17.
3. We are a “new man” — Colossians 3:9-10.
No time in life when you cannot start over.
D. Atheism is a religious enslavement.
A. 2 Timothy 4:6-7 — His course is not your course.
Philippians 1:21-24III. YOU CELEBRATE YOUR FREEDOM BECAUSE YOU ARE A CITIZEN!
We are secure!B. Romans 8:37-39
C. Hebrews 13:5-6 — Do not fear what man may do.
D. Psalm 53 — God helps, even in death.
A. Why do we have an immigration crisis?
Benefits are only available if you are a citizen.B. Acts 2:37 — “What shall we do?”
Acts 2:38 — Become a citizen in God's Kingdom!
THE BACK PAGE
CHRISTIANITY — REAL FREEDOM
This past Thursday was a celebration of the birth of this country/nation. As you look back at this past week, what did you do to celebrate? Did you enjoy the fireworks? What did the fireworks mean? For some of us the fireworks remind us of a time when we suffered personal violence. Our brother John Quick used to talk about the time when rockets hit his ship killing many of his friends including a man standing five feet from him. John used to like to spend a quiet time in prayer on the 4th, being thankful to be a part of this country and thanking God that he was alive and was free from all the violence he saw on television and read about in the media.
In Acts 22:23-29 Paul avoids a flogging because of his citizenship. We too have certain protections and blessings because of our citizenship. Because of human weaknesses, other people do not always allow the freedoms we should have been able to enjoy. God wants his children to be free, and we can choose the freedoms God wants for us. God wants us to be free of social boundaries. Galatians 3:28 tells all Christians that, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” The congregation in Corinth violated this freedom, forming cliques (1 Corinthians 1:12) and social classes (1 Corinthians 11:21). In the first century church ritualistic meals were to be avoided (Romans 14:17-19) and peace and mutual edification was the goal of all activity.
Christians were to be free of political restrictions on what they believed and did with government. Galatians 3:28 and Romans 13:6-7 makes this clear and Jesus dealt with it in Matthew 22:17, 21. Christians were also free from man made spiritual boundaries. We are a child of God. 1 Corinthians 10:23 gives a key and Colossians 2:13-14; 20-23 makes it clear. We are free from rituals, pilgrimages, mandatory giving, and physical abuse.
Above all we are free from sin. Sin enslaves, but God calls us to real freedom. Read Romans 6:1-7; 19-23 and thank God for the freedom he has given you, real freedom, far beyond all enslavement.
— John Clayton
Our sign by the street!
Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.