The Source and Sacrifice of Freedom
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 7/4/05
It is a message about liberty. It is a message
about freedom. Far too many of us take freedom for granted! We go
from day to day just assuming that freedom will always be there. We give
little or no thought as to how our freedom came to be and what it takes to
continue to be free. In this brief message, I want to stir us from our
apathy and motivate us to realize that freedom and liberty
must be ACTION words. Consider this.
The Bible Teaches That God Grants Liberty To Those
Nations Who Acknowledge Him And Keep His Commandments And Precepts.
The Bible Teaches That God Grants Liberty To Those Nations Who Acknowledge Him And Keep His Commandments And Precepts.
This principle is scattered throughout the Old and New Testament. Consider theses verses -- Psalms 119:45 "I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts." Psalms 127:1 "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." Psalms 33:12 "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…" John 8:32 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Our Founding Fathers recognized that Freedom Is From God, and they were not squeamish about acknowledging it!
In September of 1774 at the First Continental Congress, Rev. Douche, a local preacher was asked to open with prayer. He did, and he read Psalm 35. John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail and told her, "It seemed if Heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that morning."
He also said that there was not a dry eye in the meeting room as the preacher besought God to intervene.
The Declaration of Independence makes four
specific references to the dependence of our nation on God. It says, "all
men…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
rights." It refers to God as "the Supreme Judge of the
world." They further claim that they had "…a firm reliance on the
protections of divine Providence."
The Liberty Bell is a national symbol of our Freedom! It was purchased in England 1751 and shipped to Pennsylvania to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of William Penn’s 1701 Charter of Privileges. Pennsylvania’s original Constitution speaks of the rights and freedoms valued by people all over the world. In 1753 the bell was recast in this country and, at that time, inscribed with the words from Leviticus 25:10 "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."
When the 1st Constitutional Convention was deadlocked, June 28, 1787, Benjamin Franklin rose to his feet and urged that the members appeal to God for help. He said in part –
Let me let you in on a secret. The phrase "separation of Church and State" does not appear any place in our Nation’s founding documents! It is not in the Declaration of Independence. It is not in the Constitution of the United States. While it is true that Thomas Jefferson answered a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association assuring that the Congregational denomination would not become the approved religion of the United States of America, our founders had no intention of ever separating the God and the Bible from the matters our Government. They knew our freedom, and our governmental system was a blessing from God! Alexander Hamilton said it this way; "I sincerely esteem it (our form of government) a system which without the finger of God, would never have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests."
Our freedom is in danger today because an increasing of people have forgotten or refuse to acknowledge that freedom is the blessing of God accorded to those who acknowledge Him and keep His Commandments. President Calvin Coolidge foresaw the problem. He said, "The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country."
I concur with Thomas Jefferson who said, "Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and His justice cannot sleep forever."
That brings me to my second and last point…
The Price of Freedom
Freedom is not free! There is a price to be paid for freedom. The lust for power, jealousy over our prosperity, and the riches our nations resources have lead many to attempt to harm or destroy our nation and our freedom. General Douglas Mac Arthur said, "A man who will not protect this freedom does not deserve to be free."
I will never forget the pictures of 9/11. Terrorists brought war to our shores. Now we are in a war against these terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. While there may be differing opinions about this war, I am proud of our troops who are fighting the enemy in Afghanistan and Iraq. More than 200 have lost their lives in Afghanistan. More than 1700 have lost their lives in Iraq. Our hearts go out to that families of all those who have lost their lives in this cause for freedom. As I speak, one young man from this church is preparing to head to Iraq at any moment. But there is one important thing I want you to note. There has not be another terrorist attack on our shores since 9/11.
Thousands have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy today with their life’s blood…
Freedom is not free.
Giving God his rightful place in the national life of this country has provided a rich heritage for all of its citizens. Yet, as wonderful as the benefits of that heritage may be, a true relationship with God is not merely a matter of a national declaration – In God We Trust, but rather the personal responsibility of each citizen. Salvation from sin is a matter of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. The same Bible that provides the glorious principles of liberty for this country declares:
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
1 Timothy 2:5 "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"
Acts 16:31 "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..."
John 1:12 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
If you have never called upon the name of the Lord
Jesus Christ in prayer and asked Him to save you from your sins, I’d urge
you to do so today.