In 1520, Martin Luther wrote "The Freedom of a Christian." In this work he lays out one of his most brilliant insights:
"A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject of all."
In a world in which freedom is most often described as a freedom from things, Luther's definition of freedom might seem puzzling. Indeed, for many people Christianity and Christian faith seem to have little to do with freedom.
During this six week series we will explore at a specific freedom that Christ gives us. The Bible studies included on this page will work with an Old Testament story, leaving room for Gospel reflection in the preaching that morning.
Oct 22: Freedom is both a freedom from…and a freedom for
Oct 29 (Reformation Sunday): Freedom to repent
Nov 5 (All Saints Sunday): Freedom to grieve
Nov 12: Freedom to wait
Nov 19: Freedom to give
Nov 26 (Christ the King Sunday): Freedom to praise
This website includes
- Worksheets for Sunday morning small groups.
- Audio files that compliment the small group sessions. These could be listened to independently.
- Other web links to relevant videos, music and articles.
Week 1: Freedom is both a freedom from....and a freedom for!
Date Oct 22
Gospel Matthew 22:15-22 (Paying taxes; rendering to Caesar)
Theme Freedom is both a freedom from…and a freedom for
Quick Take The culture tells us that freedom is about autonomy, the freedom, really the right, to do what we want. Scripture teaches us that while we are radically free before God in Christ, we are radically bound -- freed for -- service to our neighbor. This sermon will lay out this tension and unpack the trajectory of the series: what freedom in Christ really looks like.
OT Story David fights Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
Cool YouTube Link Soup Dragons - Free!
You want to go a bit deeper Essay on Luther and Freedom
You really want to go deep Think twice before you click
Week 2: Freedom to Repent
Date Oct 29 Reformation Sunday
Gospel John 8:31-36 (Freedom in truth)
Theme Freedom to repent
Quick Take The culture tells us that sin is archaic concept. As we have abandoned the concept of sin, we have become no less judgmental of a culture. In fact, most people (especially parents) experience tremendous guilt each day. In Christ we are free to confess our sins and live in the hope of God's ensuring grace that can carry us and even transform us. We are justified by God in Christ alone. This means that no one has a right to judge us, except for THE judge, who has declared us loved.
OT Story David's Fall (2 Samuel 11-12)
Cool YouTube Link A Few Good Men
Week 3: Freedom to Grieve
Date Nov 5 All Saints
Gospel Matthew 5:1-12 (Beatitudes)
Theme Freedom to grieve
Quick Take The culture tells us to celebrate the death of loved ones, who are, in some weird way, still with us. We shame guilt and expect productivity to abound. As Christians who believe in the resurrection, we know that we will see our loved ones again. This means we are not simply saying goodbye, but until we meet again. This hope allows us to grieve them not being here now.
OT Story Naomi and Daughters (Ruth 1)
This week we will have art work provided by artist and pastor Rebecca Craig.
Week 4: Freedom to Wait
Date Nov 12
Gospel Matthew 25:1-13 (Parable of the Bridesmaids)
Theme Freedom to wait
Quick Take The culture tells us that we can have what we want, and have it now. In Christ we have the hope to wait -- to be mindful of the present even!
OT Story Joseph in prison (Genesis 40)
Cool YouTube Link Willy Wonka
Week 5: Freedom to Give
Date Nov 19
Gospel Matthew 25:14-30 (Parable of the Talents)
Theme Freedom to give
Quick Take The culture tells us that life is about consumption. Christ teachs us that live is about giving it away…and seeing it multiply!
Possible OT Story Widow at Zaraphath (1 Kings 17)
Cool YouTube Link George Bailey
Cool YouTube Link 2 Thrivent Video about generosity
Cool YouTube Link 3 Casting Crowns, Thrive
Week 6: Freedom to Praise
Date Nov 26 Christ the King
Gospel Matthew 25:31-46 (Parable of the Sheep and Goats)
Theme Freedom to praise
Quick Take The culture tells us we are physical beings whose fulfillment is found in self-exploration and actualization. In Christ we learn that our ultimate destiny is a life time of service that leads to an eternity of praise. We can let go and fall into the embrace of a loving God, from whom all blessings flow.
Possible OT Story Miriam (Exodus 15)
Cool YouTube Link Beautiful example of Doxology
Cool YouTube Link 2 Doxology in Spanish
Cool YouTube Link 3 Doxology in Chinese