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“The Son Sets You Free”


Isaiah 6:8-10; John 8:31-59; 1 Corinthians 2:14
January 10, 2016 (Big Springs URC) • Download this sermon (PDF)

Dear Congregation of Christ: Did you know that the great hymnwriter John Newton was a former slave trader? In 1744, when he was 19 years old, John served on a British warship. But he could not stand the harsh conditions on the ship, so he deserted. He was soon recaptured, publicly flogged, and demoted. Later, he requested to serve on a slave trading ship, which took him to the coast of Sierra Leone. His master, who was a slave trader, was cruel and brutally abused him. He was soon begging for food. In 1748 he was rescued by a sea captain who was a friend of his father.

John-Newton-bookHis mother, who had died when he was only seven, taught him the Bible. But in his younger days, he became arrogant, rebellious and morally corrupt. However, on a homeward voyage in 1748, his ship was overtaken by a violent storm. It was during this dangerous storm that he pleaded to God, “Lord, have mercy upon us.” In that moment, he experienced what he later called his “great deliverance.” He then believed that God’s grace had worked on him.

In our text today, Jesus discussed slavery with the Jews. But he was not referring to the slavery of Africans during the days of John Newton. He explained to the Jews that they were slaves to sin as long as they did not believe the word of truth spoken by him. The only way they would be freed from this spiritual slavery is by believing in him, the Son of God. And after being redeemed from slavery to sin, what kind of life does a person live?

This morning, our meditation will be on “The Son Sets You Free,” focusing on three things: first, Enslaved by Sin; second, Set Free by the Truth; and third, To Do the Fathers’ Works.

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