God’s Declaration of Independence – Aaron Viscichini
Sermon Preached on October 6, 2013 for our 1st Regional Service in Berkeley
Notes & Scriptures
(1) Life Comes from God’s Mouth
(2) Liberty is Allowed by God
(3) The Pursuit of Happiness is the Pursuit of God
Our nation’s declaration of independence was published by Congress on July 4th, 1776
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
1. For American colonies at the time, this was the beginning of a radical charge and stand against Great Britain
2. But, were these claims unique? Answer: Yes and No
NO: Because not the first time a revolutionary document was published by a people seeking independence
YES: Because inside the document is a universal appeal to an absolute truth about God and mankind
As Abraham Lincoln said, (1859), “All honor to Jefferson . . . [who] had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there, that today, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling block to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression.”
Where did these truths come from? Why are they self-evident? How did they enter the minds of these men?
#1 – Life Comes from God’s Mouth
- Day 1 – heavens, earth, water, light
- Day 2 – sky
- Day 3 – land and sea, plants, fruits, vegetables
- Day 4 – sun, moon, stars, celestial bodies (cosmos)
- Day 5 – marine animals, birds
- Day 6 – land animals, humans (man, then woman)
- God created all things in the world and in the material universe
- Alive and dead, animate and inanimate
- How did God create physical existence of all things?
- By declaring its existence in words!
- His words are life!
- Hebrews 4:12 (“Word of God is living and active”)
- John 6:63 (“The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life”)
- When God created man – how did man come alive?
- By receiving the breath of God!
- What is the breath of God?
- See 2 Timothy 3:16 (“All Scripture is God breathed”)
- It is the Word of God!
- Spirit and Life (John 6:63)
- Our Spirit, our Soul, our Life is from God’s mouth
What if . . . Imagine if . . .
<< Jael’s songs were living and active >>
<< Teddy’s drawings came to life >>
- The Bible is more than just words on a page!
- God’s power is more than a cheap magic trick!
- It is life!
- That why when you read the Bible and live it out you have a real relationship with God!
- How is your relationship with God?
- Do you read the Bible every day?
- Do you apply it to your life?
- OR – do you think it’s just words?
- Have you ever seen someone read the Bible every day and apply it every day?
- What happens to that person? (New life!)
#2 – Liberty is Allowed by God
- God determines the times and places of all men
- Why? So we will “perhaps” seek him, reach out for him, and find him
- God gives us all the perfect opportunity in one way or another to seek him
- Therefore, we all have a choice
- In fact, being in this room right now is not a coincidence!
- Why are you here?
- To seek God!
- But, it’s your choice what you will do when you leave this room! Not mine! Not God’s!
- The question is not do you have a choice . . .
- The question is what you will choose to do with the opportunities that God is giving you!
If you have “free will” and you choose to “seek God” – what’s so liberating about that?
John 8:12, 21-24, 30-44
- What are we enslaved to?
- What liberation does God desire in our life?
(1) Liberation from Darkness
(2) Liberation from Sin
How are we liberated?
v. 24 Believe
v. 12 Follow
v. 31 Obey and Hold To
- Which one saves?
- You need them all!
- You must (1) believe (2) repent (3) be freed from sin!
Why doesn’t the Bible say that in ONE verse? It does!
Acts 2:38, 36-41
- Those who believed were commanded:
(2) Be baptized for the forgiveness of your sin & receive Holy Spirit to live holy life
The Tyranny: False Doctrines on Campus
One. “Pray Jesus Into Your Heart”
- Pray a prayer with these words – then Jesus will be in your heart and you will be saved
- Not anywhere in the Bible!
- Based on Revelation 3:20
- But, not correct context, See Revelation 3:14 (addressed to disciples)
Two. “Accept Jesus Into Your Heart”
- Same as above just different terminology
- Based on Romans 10:9
- But, not correct context, See Romans 1:7 and Romans 10:9-13; Acts 22:16 (addressed to disciples and to the unbelief of the Jews who will obey and understand baptism)
- Have yet to meet any disciples on campus not in our group
- Been here for 1 year!
- We are here to deliver God’s Declaration of Independence from Satan’s lies on this campus
- As for campus groups: Christianity is not just a fellowship; it is discipleship!
- Study the Bible!
- Apply it to your life and you will be set free from your sin!
- Otherwise, you will die in your sin!
#3 – The Pursuit of Happiness is the Pursuit of God
- Blessed means superlatively happy
- Happiness is not the goal
- It is the by-product of seeking God with all of your heart
- Seeking God means to “keep his statutes”
<< Documentary “Happy” >>
|Stories||Sources of Depression|
|(1) Woman run over||(1) Focus on self-image|
|(2) Louisiana boat man||(2) Focus on status|
|(3) Japanese father||(3) Focus on money and working for self beyond needs|
Common Threads of Happiness
- Needs met
- No worries
- Close relationships
- Belief in something greater
- Shared responsibility
- Acts of kindness
- Personal growth
- Community that betters the world
- None of these common threads of happiness are present in one place or community in the world!
- But – guess where they are all present?
- In the Word of God!
- The pursuit of happiness truly is the pursuit of God according to his word!
- True happiness is found in the Word of God declared since the beginning of time!
- Declared for your life and for your freedom and the freedom of the world!
- If this is God’s declaration for U.C. Berkeley – what should be our declaration on campus?
<< UCB Crest says, “Let there be light!” >>
“There are two freedoms – the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought.” (Charles Kingsley)