St. Johns
The Quest to be Free: Take Credit
March 3, 2019

The Quest to be Free: Take Credit

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Speaker: Dr Jon Lovelady | Series: The Quest to be Free | We begin our Lent series this Sunday: The Quest for Freedom. How do you define freedom? Some in our society define freedom as a rejection of boundaries or moral restraint. The problem with this type of freedom is that it can make us different types of slaves. We can become enslaved to our anger, hatred, lust, or desire for control. In short, we become enslaved to the worst that the human spirit has to offer rather than the higher qualities of love, joy, peace and hope. It seems that the more we define freedom as simply “freedom for me,” the less we are able to find wholeness or peace in ourselves or in our lives. The season of Lent may not seem like a quest for freedom because in many traditions, “fasting” is part of this season. We give up something for Lent in order to challenge our definition of freedom and to find a greater, genuine freedom in God. It is a time to learn a new definition of freedom! In the first sermon, Take Credit, we realize that we are not free at all! We are hopelessly enslaved to the power of sin but God counts us righteous by grace or God’s unmerited favor. But what does this mean for our lives? How are we to respond to this gift? We turn to Romans 4:3-11 that focuses on Abraham believing God’s promise, yet it also tells us about God’s genuine freedom at work in our lives. Let this passage set you free to believe what God has done for you! Romans 4:3-11 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” 9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. (NIV)

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