Hope for Freedom (Mark 9:14-29)
When we look around us in the world, we see people with all kinds of problems. People do things that really don’t make much sense and hurt themselves and others. The Bible teaches us that people are in bondage to sin and Satan, they are not free to serve God. Even Christians can be in various kinds of bondage to sin. But Jesus came to set us free to serve God in the way He created us to live.
Today, we’re going to talk about “Hope for Freedom.” Sometimes, when someone has struggled to be free in an area of their lives for a long time, they can become discouraged. Today, God wants to bring hope to every person here, that you can walk in freedom in your life. He also wants us to bring hope to others around us in the world, who need hope for freedom from Jesus.
Galatians 5:1 (NIV) It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Even when you’ve been set free by Christ, it’s possible to get burdened down again by sin and Satan. God desires for us to walk in freedom and bring freedom to those around us. The ministry of Jesus bringing freedom is described in
Luke 4:18 (NIV) “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,”
Let’s look at what Jesus did. First of all, Jesus preached the good news of the Gospel which brings freedom from sin. Secondly, he brought healing to the sick which brings freedom from sickness. Finally, he proclaimed freedom for the prisoners and release for the oppressed, which speaks of freedom from Satan.
Today we’re going to talk about Jesus’ third ministry, setting people freedom from bondage to Satan. The verse we just read speaks of two kinds of bondage to Satan. The first of that of the prisoner, which I believe speaks of those possessed by evil spirits. The New Testament is full of stories of people being delivered from evil spirits by Jesus and His followers. And yes, people are still possessed today. There are still evil spirits or fallen angels that work with Satan to keep unbelievers in bondage. The second kind of bondage that Jesus spoke about is oppression. I believe that this is oppression by Satan and his evil spirits which is a lesser form of bondage than outright possession and can affect believers. Regardless of whether someone is possessed or oppressed, Jesus wants to set them free.
What kinds of bondage are people struggling with today? All kinds of addictions and bad habits are the work of the enemy. Addictions to drugs, alcohol, smoking, non-marital sex, anger, cursing, overeating and the list and go on and on. If something is a sin and a person keeps falling into it over and over, it is a bondage. The ministry of Jesus also shows that sometimes, sicknesses are caused by Satan, either through possession or oppression. God wants to set you free and use us to set others free.
Today, we’re going to look at a story of Jesus setting someone free. As we go through this story, don’t just view it as ancient history. God put this story in the Bible to show us how He wants to set people free today. This morning, keep in mind something that you want God to set you or someone you know free from.
Prior to the beginning of our story in Mark 9, Jesus and 3 of his closest disciples had just had an incredible experience with God as Jesus was transfigured before their eyes. However, when they came down from the mountaintop, they arrived to a scene of the rest of the disciples arguing with the teachers of the law about a boy tormented by an evil spirit.
Listen to or watch my April 29, 2012 message Hope for Freedom.