Let Freedom Ring by James Merritt

Let Freedom Ring
James Merritt
Galatians 5:13-15; I Corinthians 8
07-03-05

Introduction

1. Last week I was in Philadelphia to speak for Promise Keepers and I flew in early since I had never been there before so I could spend some time sightseeing. I love American history and I went to see Betsy Ross' home, the gravesite of Benjamin Franklin, the Liberty Bell and then for me the grand Finale--Independence Hall--the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed.

2. I stood there and thought about the year 1776. When I mention that date to you - what comes to your mind? I guarantee at least two things - the Declaration of Independence and the 4th of July. Both a date and a document point to one thing that gives them such meaning even to this day and that is freedom.

3. When our Founding Fathers decided to risk life and limb to begin this "grand experiment" called America they did not know a lot about what they "did" want. They knew a lot more about what they "didn't" want. They didn't want tyranny. They didn't want taxation without representation. They didn't want an absentee landlord from an ocean away running their lives and calling the shots. They wanted freedom.

4. No one said it better than a red-headed, fair-skinned follower of Christ from Virginia named Patrick Henry. On March 20, 1775 the 2nd Virginia Convention convened at Saint John's Church in Richmond, Virginia. They had gathered there to discuss how to deal with the tyranny and oppression of Great Britain and
King George III.

5. On March 23rd, this 39 year old Christian stood to his feet and uttered some words that would become the spark that would light the fires of freedom that have burned brightly now for almost 230 years. He said,
"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God - I know not what course others may take; but as for me - give me liberty or give me death!"

6. Put another way, what Patrick Henry said in effect was "Let freedom ring", but wait a minute - what did our Founding Fathers mean by freedom? What kind of liberty did they want? How did they understand the concept of freedom?

7. Today you are going to discover that their understanding of freedom, the role of government and the rule of law lines up perfectly with what the Bible has to say about freedom. You are going to see today how our Founding Fathers understood clearly that the connection between God and government, freedom and faith was not only necessary, but absolutely indispensable. What Paul and the Bible say about freedom is what our Founding Fathers and our most important documents say about freedom as well.

I. Real Freedom Is Given By God

1. Listen to the first six words of Galatians 5:13.
"For you were called to freedom."
(Galatians 5:13, NASB)
Think about that - freedom is a calling and it is a calling on every person. Who calls ...


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