SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20140706: "Covenant Of Freedom"

This page streams the audio-only sermon, when available, in downloadable SWF flash format. 

It begins playing shortly after opening this page


Senior Pastor

Phil Roland


Pastor Ray Scott


Want a download or CD copy?  Read this.

The sermon outline is below, when available.

          Every July Fourth, Memorial Day, Flag Day or Veteran's Day, Turner Classic Movies goes into it's archives, and pulls out a movie, blows off the dust, and replays the 1941 classic film, "Sergeant York." They played it again last night, July 4th. I must have seen it five or six times. Some of the dialogue I repeat verbatim. I love that Academy Award winning film released on  the year of my birth.
          Reflecting on why I love the film so much, I believe it wrestles with many of the issues that contemporary Christian believers struggle with today. I weep when I see depicted on the screen the conversion of a rugged illiterate Tennessee hill country dirt farmer to a Bible-believing Christ-follower. Then, when he is called to fight for his country, his "conscience objector" reluctance is rooted strongly in his Bible-based ethics. His Major sends him home for a ten day leave with a Copy of the History of the United States
          York reads the U.S. history and finally finds Matt. 22:21 in the Bible that resolves his objections.

Alvin York: [quoting the Bible, in resolving to remain in the U.S. Army, and to fight in the Great War]:
"Therefore, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."  Matt. 22:21b


Major Buxton: York, What do you suppose (Daniel) Boone that was looking for when he went out into the (Tennessee) wilderness?
Alvin: Well, I never thought much on it.
Major Buxton: Was he looking for new lands?
Alvin: Might be.
Major Buxton: Maybe, maybe for something more, something that a man just can't see with his eyes, or hold in his hands. Something that some men don't even know they have until they've lost it.
Alvin: Yes, sir?
Major Buxton: To be free. Now that's quite a word, "Freedom" — I think that's what he wanted. I think that's what sent Boone into your Tennessee country.
Alvin: That… that what this here book's about? (Holds up a U.S. History book)
Major Buxton: Yep. That's the story of a whole people's struggle for freedom, from the very beginning until now — for we're still struggling. It's quite a story York, how they all got together and set up a government, whereby all men were pledged to defend the rights of each man, and each man to defend the the rights of all men. We call that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

          This morning's passage of scripture and sermon explores the Bible's teaching on how the Lord has given us freedom through his atoning death on the Cross. Most important, with freedom comes the power to choose. Our present (worldly) culture has chosen the devil's easy downhill path of sin that is taking away our most valued freedom of choice.
          It seems that in our country, individual freedom is frowned upon. It isn't "politically correct" to be an advocate for individualism that allows the freedom to chose traditional values and lifestyles. The Bible is clear in its admonitions to obey God and choose righteousness. 

Pastor Phil  <><<



Pastor Phil Roland   <><<

July 06, 2014 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland

2 Corinthians 3:12-18

"It seems that in our country, individual freedom is frowned upon. It isn't "politically correct" to be an advocate for individualism that allows the freedom to chose traditional values and lifestyles. The Bible is clear in its admonitions to obey God and choose righteousness."  Pastor Phil  <><<

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.    2 Corinthians 3:17

The Covenant of Freedom brings
I.  NEW LIFE IN CHRIST - 2 Corinthians 3:12
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
            A. We have great boldness in His Presence and with His Power
                        1. Dr. Frost  Sunday nite spoke about Godly "Boldness"
                        2. Greek - "par-rhay-see'-ah" - Confidence, Plain Speech
            B. Freedom brings Godly Ability to Proclaim Testimony of New Life
                 Acts 5:20
                 20 "Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people the full
                     message of this new life."
                        1.  Word "Martyr" is transliterated from Greek word for witness
                        2. Eg. Sudanese woman is a potential Martyr giving her                                                    testimony to the point of death
            C. Christ's Indwelling Presence grants us a New Life -  2 Cor. 5:17
            17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone,
               the new has come!

The Covenant of Freedom brings
15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.
            A. Reading of the Law brings conviction, guilt and condemnation
                        1. Healthy Guilt - Godly sorrow that leads  to repentance
                   2. Ungodly Guilt - Devil's accusations / condemnations
            B. Willful Deliberate Sin makes the sinner sin's slave - John 8:34-36
                34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.       35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it                   forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
                        1. Eg. Every new year I receive a booklet from the PA Fish and                                       Game Commission about the laws governing legal and                                         illegal activities connected with fishing and boating for                                               the year. If I break the law, but didn't read the booklet, I                                       am still a violator and under conviction.

                        2. If I become a "Poacher: begin to harvest illegal fish, that                                               makes me a willful transgressor of the law. No licensed                                        lawyer can set me free, because I deliberately chose to                                             break the law. I am a slave to poaching until I am                                                            apprehended.
            C. Jesus frees us to be servants of Righteousness - Rom. 6:15-18
                15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to
            someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-
            -whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience,
            which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you
            used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching
            to which you were entrusted. 18 You have been set free from sin and have
            become slaves to righteousness.

The Covenant of Freedom brings
16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
            A. With God's Law there is a standard that brings Awareness of Sin
                        1. Moses' Veil protected people from God's reflected glory
                        2. God's desire was for Moses' teaching about the law be First
                        3. God's people were distracted by the brilliance of Shekinah
                        4. Through continued teaching about righteousness, they too,
                                    began to shine and wore the veil
                        5. The veil took on a different meaning
                        6. The veil said to others, "I have knowledge of what is right"
            B. With Jesus in our Life, we hunger for and devour the Word of God
            16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking,                   correcting and training in righteousness,       2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)
                        1. From God's Word we are Taught
                        2. From God's Word we are Rebuked
                                    (Censure, chide, Blame given to the face)
                        3. From God's Word we are Corrected
                        4. From God's Word we are Trained in Righteousness
            B. With our knowledge of Righteousness we learn to DO IT!
            James 4:17 (NIV)
            17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
                        1. The Apostle Paul is torn in Romans 7
                        2. We too, are often torn concerning practicing righteousness
                        3. You BECOME what you look at
                                    a. Look at the world and be DISTRESSED
                                    b. Look at yourself and be DEPRESSED
                                    c. look at Jesus and be AT REST



The Covenant of Freedom brings
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
            A. Jesus' Presence in us yields a deep hunger for what is right
                        1. We long for the establishment of God's Kingdom
                        2. We see the turmoil and say, "Lord Jesus! Come quickly!"
            B. The apostle Paul yearned for God's Righteousness - Rom. 7:18-20
                18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I
              have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
            19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-
            -this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I
             who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."
                        1. Paul declares his helplessness against the world/flesh's sin
                        2. The desire for righteousness is real, but self and sin block
            C. James, Jesus 1/2 Brother says we must both HEAR and DO
            James 1:22-25 (NIV)
            22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it                   says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is
              like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself,
              goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who
              looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do
              this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in
              what he does.

The Covenant of Freedom brings
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
            A. God's growing Presence thru the Holy Spirit makes you sensitive
                        1. Your inner human spirit joins with the Holy Spirit
                        2. Spiritual growth is a natural part of walking w/Jesus
                        3. "Red Flags are not party favors!"
                        4. The sensitivity is God working in you to bring discernment
            B. We become free to make healthy choices for ourselves
                        1. Unhealthy choices take away our freedom
                        2. There is an almost audible groan within when we disobey
                        3. The Holy Spirit's sensitivity brings the power of freedom
                          Zechariah 4:6
                          6 So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:
                          'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD                                      Almighty.


Emma Lazarus wrote this poem in honor of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The last four lines are engraved on its base.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus




2 Corinthians 3:12-18 (NIV)
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away.
14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away.
15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.
16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.