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Senior Pastor Phil Roland


Pastor Ray Scott


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Proclaiming Liberty


          I went to bed last night (7/2) hearing the celebratory booms of display fireworks being shot off. I reminded me of a number of things as I drifted off to slumber. One was the 40 yeat friendship I've enjoyed with my friend, Ron Wasilchak. When Lois and I came to NE Ohio in the Fall of 1976 I discovered we both indulged in Pyrotechnics (Fireworks). Over the years I've been able to pursue my passion for Celebrating the Fourth in three church settings. I've probably introduced hundreds of kids to church picnics, personal and display fireworks. Interestingly, we've never had a serious injury in all those endevours.

          Another thing the display fireworks booms reminded me of is that tomorrow on the 4th of July we are celebrating our nation's 240th birthday. 240 years ago the United States was born. A nation based on the ideals of liberty, responsibility, godliness, and the freedom to become what God intended. The celebration of our nation's birthday is really a celebration of freedom. We celebrate the precious gift of freedom, because of the price others paid for us to enjoy its privilege.

          You see, we must remember that freedom isn't free. Freedom is very expensive. It has cost some people everything, including their lives. The original founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence pledging, "Our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."  It cost everyone who signed the document all of the above. Many lost their lives, all lost their fortunes and all were dishonored by their British antagonists. Freedom isn't free, but it is infinitely priceless.
          The United States is known for two things: Christianity and Freedom, especially religious freedom. The foundational story of this country and its founding has always been about freedom to worship God in the manner you choose, not something that is chosen for you. As a people our story is about liberty and our great respect goes to the brave men and women who paid freedom's price with their own blood. My sermon is dedicated to them.      Pastor Phil  <><<

July 3, 2016 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland


Proclaiming Liberty

Leviticus 25:10-12- Luke 4:17-21


“The fatal flaw of liberty is man’s freedom of choice to do exactly what he wishes as opposed to doing what he knows to be the good, acceptable and perfect Will of God. Real Liberty is found in the Lord Jesus Christ."           Pastor Phil <><<       

10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.    Leviticus 25:10


Liberty in Hebrew = דְּרוֹר‎ = "Duh-Ror" = Freedom, Deliverance

Pictographic Hebrew Language = "Woman spinning wool"


There are 4 glowing characteristics of Liberty that we have in Christ:

We Proclaim Liberty by:

I.  FORGIVING THE PAST  - Isaiah 43:25 / 1 John 1:9

          A. God Forgives Our Past

                25 "I, even I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own

                sake; And I will not remember your sins.    Isaiah 43:25
            9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins

              and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.    1 John 1:9

                   1. We give up the Guilt that torments us

                                    a. The nagging feeling we're not as good as others

                                    b. The Ball and Chain of our past that slows us down

                                    c. The hardest person to forgive is yourself

                        2. Because of Jesus' Blood shed on the Cross for your sins,                                  

                                    let go of the past and enjoy the Liberty you have in Jesus              

                        3. Remember when you accepted Jesus into your life

                        4. You embraced a forgiveness lifestyle

                                    a. God has extended to you His Grace

                                    b. You extend Grace and Forgiving Love to others

          B. Man Has A Long Memory - 1 John 3:19,20

                19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts

              before Him. 20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart,               

              and knows all things.


                   1. The hardest person you'll ever have to forgive is Yourself

                        2. We have great difficulty letting go of our own sins

                        3. Because of Jesus great love for us, we Release the Past

                        4. His Blood and His Love has granted us Liberty





We Proclaim Liberty by:

II. FORGETTING THE PAIN - Philippians 3:13,14

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,

forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which

are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


          A. Pain Is A Memory-Prompter

                        1. Pain Dynamics make it difficult to Forget

                                    a. Severe pain results in severe anger

                                    b. Anger leads to rage

                                    c. Rage leads to Self-Condemnation

                                    d. Pain causes us to reject ourselves

                                    e. We ultimately condemn God and rage at Him

                        2. Pain Jars Our Memory

                                    a. Eg. Like the little kid who touches a Hot Stove

                                    b. Shakes their hand and says, "Won't do that again!"

                        3. Pain can be our teacher if we forgive it and embrace it

                        4. Pain Helps Us Learn From Mistakes

            B. Pain Can Also Be A Curse

                        1. Remembering every painful incident in vivid detail

                        2. Instant Replay on a continuous loop

                        3. Healing Power of Jesus is needed

                        4. He causes us to Release the Pain of the Past

                        5. We remember the Pain, but we do not re-visit it again


We Proclaim Liberty by:


”Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me." NIV


            A. Followers of Jesus Are “Thick-Skinned”

                        a. We learn simple responses to what others say

                        b. "I hear your words, but I do not receive them"

                        c. You think, "Wow! They EAT out of the same mouth!"

            B. We walk away from Initial Responses from "Bullys"

                        a. Jesus taught us to initially "Turn the other cheek"

                        b. Walking away from a challenge can be

            C. Need Balance in overlooking offenses

                        1. Occasionally  Confrontation is needed - Luke 17:3

                        2. Sometimes we need to “let it go”

                        3. Walking away can save you a lot of Assault Charges

            D. Sometimes we need to "deal with" repeated offenders

                        1. Hitler in WWII

                        2. Pearl Harbor, 9/11

                                    a. How can we stand idle and do nothing?

                                    b. Am I my brother's keeper?



We Proclaim Liberty by:

IV. OBEYING THE LORD - 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.


          A. Thoughts of Revenge are the self-Indulgent Scourge of Mankind

                        1. Obsessions about Revenge can Rob you of Jesus' Peace

                        2. Revenge obsessions can block your creativity

                        3. Revenge can trap you in the moment

                                    a. You don't need bars to be imprisoned

                                    b. You can become straight-jacketed by yourself

            B. True Believers Do What Jesus Said - John 5:14

                14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well

              again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."

                        1. The prophet Samuel told King Saul,

                        2. "Obedience is better than Sacrifice"

                        3. Religious Observances without Obedience are meaningless

                        4. There is no Liberty w/o Obedience to God

            C. To Proclaim Liberty We Are To Go Forth - John 20:21

                21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am

              sending you."

                        1. We Proclaim Christ's Liberty Throughout the Land

                        2. We go forth as He has done to others

George Washington's Personal Prayer Book: Consider these words from his personal prayer book:

"Oh, eternal and everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb and purge my heart by the Holy Spirit. Daily, frame me more and more in the likeness of thy son, Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time obtain the resurrection of the justified unto eternal life. Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of thy son, Jesus Christ."