Truly Free

November 18, 2001 AM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

People of God, turn with me this morning in your Bibles to the book of Saint John chapter eight. Saint John chapter eight. And when you reach Saint John chapter eight, please signify by saying, "Amen." In John chapter eight, we're going to begin with verse twenty-eight. It says,

28. Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

29. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

30. As he spake these words, many believed on him.

31. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Let us pray. Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, Father, we thank You for the opportunity to be in Your house one more time. We thank You, Lord, that Your goodness and Your mercy follows us all the days of our lives. Oh Father, we ask that Your Word would go forth today in power and boldness and love and assurance in the Holy Ghost. Father, we thank You that the devil is bound today.

Father, hide your son behind the cross this day. And Father, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus' holy and blessed Name.

Jesus said in verse thirty-two,

32. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

What does it mean to be free? It means (glory to God) to be free from any signs or forms of enslavement. When we look into the body of Christ and we realize according this Word Jesus said He has made us free... But many saints of God don't feel that they're free. You're not truly free until you're free on the inside of you.

Many saints of God day in and day out, they're in a place of bondage. They feel as though there are chains (glory to God) that have been placed upon them. They feel that there are shackles on their feet. But Jesus didn't say that, "I set you free." Jesus said, "I made you free."

You may consider yourself to be a free person today, because you can go where you want to go, because you can do the things that you want to do. But saints of God, I'm not truly free until I know that greater is He that's in me than he that is in the world.

I want you to know today that First Peter second chapter and verse nine, it tells us that we are a chosen generation, that we are a holy (glory to God), a royal priesthood, that we are a holy nation, that we are a peculiar people. But no nation is truly free until the people are free.

When we come into the house of God, many of us bring baggage into the house, because we don't know how to leave that baggage (glory to God) where it's supposed to be up under our feet. Many of us don't realize (glory to God) that all I got to do is lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting my God, and that everything that Satan means for evil, the One that loves me is going to turn it around for my good.

When we look at the church at Galatia, the apostle Paul was trying to inform them about certain things. They were in a place (glory to God) where they had received the unadulterated Word of God. They had received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

But there were Juditers that came into the midst. Every now and then you're going to have somebody that's going to come into your midst and try to confuse you about the things that are true. They began to tell those Galatians that were at the church of Galatia it was alright to believe in the Messiah, but you need the laws and the rules and the regulations to go along with it.

But the apostle Paul said, "Oh, foolish Galatians." In chapter three, "Who has bewitched you? You started out in the Spirit, so why are you trying to go back to the flesh?" Your freedom was expensive. It cost God His life. But we look at freedom today as if it's just something that we say because we don't really understand it.

In verse, chapter two and verse sixteen, it said,

16. Knowing that a man that is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

When Paul wrote this to the church at Galatia, it was a form of a declaration of independence to them. Today, saints of God, we need to look at this Word of God. Because we need to realize that there's a declaration of independence that has been signed by Blood, the Blood of Jesus Christ.

What have we been delivered from? Having to work for our salvation, having to measure up to standards and rules and regulations. The Bible says the letter killeth but it's the Spirit that maketh alive.

Saints, you have been called to liberty. In other words, you and I have been called to freedom. So why do we continually allow ourselves to be bound by the cares of this world? Why do we continue to allow Satan to have the victory when the victory has already been won? Christ has made us free.

Whenever there's a fight for freedom, there's normally going to be blood shed. When we look at our nation, many soldiers have given their lives for the freedom of this country. When we look at our Bible, many patriots that are in the Word of God have given their lives (glory to God) for our freedom.

I heard a preacher say it was the blood, sweat, and tears of our forefathers in the Scriptures that has caused us to be free. We worry about our natural freedom, but it's time that we get it together about our spiritual freedom.

When we look at our natural freedom, we can see that Ossama Bin Ladin, or however you say his name, he has infringed upon our natural freedom. He has infiltrated the ranks of the United States with spies and murderers, trying to steal our freedom (glory to God) away (glory to God) that has been given to this nation. There has been a lapse in our physical (glory to God) army.

But let me tell you something. There's also been a lapse in our spiritual army. Because if the spiritual was together then the physical would get together.

In many instances what has happened to us, we've become too contemporary. We've become too modern. We allow the devil to come into the church and do what he wants to do. We allow homosexuals to get up in the pulpit and preach to us. You don't hear me. We allow that spirit (glory to God) to sing to us. Oh, you don't hear me today.

Saints of God, we've become too contemporary. Just let them do it. Oh, no. I beg to differ. If you let them do it, you're opening up the door to Satan to come in, and Satan's going to have a secular seat in the house of God.

Saints of God, we allow people to do things that don't even intend to get out of their sin. You don't hear me. It's one thing to intend to get out of it. It's one thing to fast and to pray to get out of it. But it's another thing to plan on staying in it. Get out of it in the Name of Jesus.

The physical ranks of freedom in the United States has been attacked, because we let folks in. Oh, you don't hear me. Just like we let folks in in this nation, we let folks in in this holy nation (oh, you don't hear me), people that are peculiar, but not peculiar in Him. Saints, it's time to get right. We allow everything and anything to go on in God's house. He's not going to have it.

It's one thing to love on the person, but it's another thing to allow that spirit in that person to have full course in God's house. I heard Bishop McClinton say this, he said, "There is a continental shifting." Hallelujah, somebody. You heard it with me, didn't you? He said, "There's a continental shifting of principalities that's going on." He said, "Because we don't pray the way that we used to pray."

You remember how the old mothers used to get in the house of God, and they would the house of God until they got a breakthrough. But now we want everything quick, fast, in a hurry. By the time I finish preaching we're out the door. We ain't got enough time for God no more. We got time for everything else. Oh, I feel the Holy Ghost today. But we don't have time for our God.

He said there's a continental shifting. A continent is a great division of land. It's a territory. To shift means to move from one place to another. You see, we used to pray. Glory to God. The old saints used to pray. Glory to God. And they would keep us in a place where there was a hedge about us.

But now we stopped praying and now the hedge is gone. You don't hear me today. And now anything and everything is coming into the church. And anything and everything is coming into America.

You remember in Job the devil said, "You know why I can't touch him? Because You got a hedge about him." Do you hear what I'm saying today? "You got something around him. You got a wall around him. You got a fortress around him. I can't get through it one way. I can't go from the side. I can't go from the back. I can't go from the top." Oh, you don't hear me. "You got a hedge about him."

The Bible said that Job was a righteous man, and that Job rose up early in the morning. When Job rose up early in the morning, Job was praying a hedge about him, and not only him, about his children also. But when we stop praying, when we cry, "Peace and safety," when we cry, "Super power..." Oh, you don't want to hear this today.

A shifting of principalities. They used to be over there in Afghanistan in the middle east, didn't they? But now they're right here in good old America.

It's time for the church to get busy again. It's time for us to get down on our knees again. It's time for us to stop playing church, because we are the church. We deal with each other more than we deal with the devil. We wrestle with flesh and blood more than we wrestle with the devil.

Your freedom is trying to be taken from you. Many saints have been depressed not for a couple of months but for years. Your freedom's been taken from you. It's time to pray. It's time to fast. It's time to set ourselves aside and seek the Lord. It's time to pray that hedge up again.

You know what he said? And it blessed me so much. He said it wasn't a problem with America. He said it was a problem with the church. Because it's been proven that when the people of God pray and seek the Lord, then the Lord begins to prosper the land. The land begins to be blessed, and we have a hedge of protection against our enemies. But when we turn away from seeking the Lord He allows our enemies to hold us in captivity.

Our liberty is taken from us. Saints of God, stop checking your watch. I'm trying to bring you to your senses about your freedom. I'm trying to bring you to a point where you'll realize once again that this is a spiritual warfare. It's not time to be lax and slothful. It's time to be diligent and consistent and persistent about the things of God.

Many of you wonder why I always stand up here and make a fool out of myself. I'm trying to get you to see something. Paul said, "I'm a fool for Christ's sake." He was trying to bring the Galatians back to their senses.

When we look at that word (glory to God) "foolish," it means to be acting without sense. Plain and simple. Acting as if we have no sense. And he wasn't talking about a carnal sense. He was talking about a spiritual sense.

He was saying, "Now you've been given a spiritual sense about God." So what's the problem? How come you're going back? The law has been fulfilled to the coming of the Messiah. Why are you going back?

"Well, you know, nobody loves me. Well, you know, I've been hurt over and over and over again."

Let me tell you something. As you continue to walk in Christ, you're going to be hurt over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Get over it. It'll keep you from praying. It'll keep you from being in His Presence. Let the past go. The past is in the past. We're pressing on to the future.

Saints of God, our freedom, it was expensive. But we keep on wrestling among ourselves, one trying to outdo the other, one trying to outshine the other. And while I'm looking and you and you're looking at me, the enemy done looked at us both and done walked on in and sat down.

Stop wrestling with your brother and your sister. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Paul told them in Galatians chapter five and verse one, he said,

1. Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

He said, "Don't even be entangled that way any more." You know one of the things that I always talk about, the things that we talk about in school. And one of the things we talk about is how no one can hurt our feelings, no one can hurt our feelings. We choose to allow our feelings to be hurt.

Because that lines up with the Word where we don't go by our feelings. I choose to feel the way that I feel. And people would rather be right than to be happy. I'd rather be right about it than to have my happiness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

We sacrifice our freedom in Christ too much, to allow this flesh the opportunity to be god, little g. Saints, you are free today. Contrary to what the world is telling you, you have been made free. Contrary to your situations and your circumstances, you and I are free today.

I have a destiny in God. Paul said, "I don't know the things that befall me, but I've got a destiny in God. And I'm going to finish my course with joy." I'm not going to let these things that I'm going through take away my freedom. I'm not going to let my mind be held in captivity. My freedom is too important.

Saints of God, in Revelations chapter twelve, beginning with verse seven, it told us that there was a war going on in heaven. (Tongues.) Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought. And the dragon's place being Satan was found no more in heaven.

Satan, old Lucifer had devised a plan. He said, "I will ascend unto the heavens, and I will be like the Most High." But God had eyes all around the throne room. Because God refused to allow His freedom to be taken away from Him.

We have been given eyes in the Spirit. And we do battle with Satan every day. But Satan's place is not to be found in us any more. Captivity should not be found in us any more. I should not be bound any more. I shall not be held in chains any more. I choose to be happy. I choose (glory to God) to be with the joy of the Lord. I'm not going to let the enemy have this territory, because it's been bought with a price.

You've been held captive too long. You've been trying to figure it out, but He done already worked it out. Grace. It's His grace. It's His grace, learning how to walk in His grace. Hallelujah. No matter what's going on around me, learning how to stand in His grace. If I learn how to walk in His grace, I don't have to worry about the devil binding me up. Because yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me, no matter what comes my way.

You've been bound for too long. If you don't know what to do, do the Word. No matter what it looks like, do the Word. And whatever's going on is going to work out for your good.

You're free today. You're free. You are free. You and I are free. Don't let no man, no woman, no devil hold you in bondage. You are made free. You are made free. Let me say that one more time. You are made free. Now learn how to walk in that grace.

Saints of God, He fought for us. The Bible said He went to hell and led captivity captive. He fought for us, that we might have our liberty.

Somebody needed that today, because you've been all bound up. You've been bound up for the longest time, some of you by the traditions of man, some of you by Satan and his imps. But some of us are our own worst enemies. We've been bound by self. Get self out of the way, and put Jesus on the throne. And no matter what comes your way, you can stand fast in your freedom.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise today.

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