ARLINGTON CHRISTIAN CHURCH
(Disciples of Christ)

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THE  ARLINGTONIAN
July  2022


TABLE OF CONTENTS
  (Click on a title to go to that article)
   
NEWSLETTER DEADLINE
MINISTER'S MESSAGE:  FREEDOM FROM GOD!
FATHER'S DAY "HABITAT FOR HUMANITY" DONATIONS
   
   
CONTENTS


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NEWSLETTER DEADLINE

The deadline to submit articles for the August issue is July 24.  Please email articles to the church office or to Brother Lee.

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MINISTER'S MESSAGE:  FREEDOM FROM GOD!

Freedom may be considered a type of personal independence.  We may think we are free if we can do whatever we want.  That's not what I think freedom means.  The headline for today can be understood in at least a couple of ways.

The first way many would interpret it, is that we are free from God and God's control.  And yes, that is a valid way to interpret it.  We are free from God - if we want to be.  I've said in many sermons that God does not force us to follow Him.  We have the ability to completely ignore God if we choose.  We don't even have to believe in God.  I just saw a poll result that indicated only 81% of Americans believe in God today.  I don't know if that is just the Christian God or any god.  So - 19% of our people are still alive and well (in the here-and-now) without God.  That is one kind of freedom.

Another way to interpret the title is to understand we have freedom BECAUSE of God.  This freedom does not depend on our life circumstances.  It can be ours even if we are confined to a hospital bed or are in an actual prison.  This is freedom to do what we ought to do.

John 8:36 (Easy-to-Read Version) So if the Son makes you free, you are really free.

Jesus wasn't setting us free to do "anything we want."  He was freeing us from the conflicts of the world.  He was liberating us from sin so we can walk in relationship with God.  He was unchaining us from our past so we can become the people God created us to be.  He was giving us the ability to obey God as we make decisions for ourselves.

Jesus said that all of us who sin (that means all of us) have made ourselves slaves to sin (from John 8:34).  Paul told the Romans (6:23) that, "The wages of sin is death."  Living as a slave to sin and being under an eternal death penalty doesn't sound very free to me.  It is only when we accept the gift God gave us -- Jesus Christ's death on the cross that was payment for our sins -- can we find freedom from the power of sin.  The more we are in relationship with Christ, the less sin can have control over us.

As we accept Christ's freedom, the hold that sin has over us begins to weaken.  We begin to realize that the self-destructive life we have been living doesn't have to be the life we live today and tomorrow.  We can learn how to stop our bad habits and replace them with new ones that are good for us and others.  The guilt we have carried will begin to melt away and we discover a kind of peace in our lives that will be there even when peace is not around us.

This True Peace is a part of gift that is found in Freedom From God.

It is a shame so many only celebrate freedom on July 4.  We should wake up every morning and thank God for our nation and the freedom we have as its citizens.

Brother Lee

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FATHER'S DAY "HABITAT FOR HUMANITY" DONATIONS

In Memory of:
Bob Darnell
Lawrence E. Scott
Given by:
Peggy Myers
Barb and Carolyn
In Honor of:
Allen R. Nevius
Given By:
Allen F. & Betty Nevius

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