Home Columnist SUNNY THOUGHTS FROM SUNSET by Rev. Vance Drum 7-6



We hope your Independence Day was blessed.  We praise God for our freedoms in America.

 The Sunset pastor on Sunday continued our “Raised with Christ” series with a message, “Triumph by the Cross.”  The text was from Colossians 2:15:  “Having disarmed powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

 Sunday was our Sunset Patriotic Sunday, a day in which we celebrated our country’s freedoms.

 Today, even though our country has many freedoms, many remain bound, prisoners of sin, unable to function in the way that God intended.

How can we be personally free on this Freedom Day, and every day?

 The pastor made three points:  (1) Alive and Forgiven; (2) Freedom from the Law Code; and (3) Triumph by the Cross.

(1) Alive and Forgiven.  V13:  “When you were dead in your sins…, God made you alive with Christ.”  We don’t like it, but it’s true—as seen in Scripture and in life:  Sin will kill you.  Paul declared:  “You were dead in your sins.”

 Sin separates from God.  When we practice it, not trusting in Jesus, we die spiritually, and, perhaps, physically before our time.

 As a chaplain in a prison, I would often walk down the hall and see hundreds of men who were walking dead men.  Sin had killed them.  They showed no life in their faces and no joy.  Their spirits had died.

 But when they came to the Lord, their spirits came alive!  Their faces brightened, the joy of the Lord was evident in them, they began to sing, to walk with their head up, and they began to enjoy being alive, even though physically they were still in prison!

 Paul said:  “God made you alive with Christ.”  One big reason:  God had forgiven them of all their sins:  V13b:  “He forgave us all our sins….”  When you’re forgiven of all your sins, even the really “big bad” ones, that will lift you up, and cause you to praise God.

 (2) Freedom from the Law Code.  V14: Having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us…; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”  The Old Covenant was a covenant of law.  God had said: “Do this and you will live.”  We all failed to live up to the law’s requirements, and so found ourselves condemned by our failure.

 Since God’s law was a good law, having to do with our relationships with God and our neighbor, we found ourselves in broken places when we broke His law. We have lied, cheated, stole, hated, disrespected, slandered, gossiped, coveted, assaulted and killed one another, as well as destroying ourselves with many life-controlling addictions.  We were a mess.

 But Jesus, when he died, died for us.  All our sins, brokenness and failure was on him.  “He bore our sins in his body on the tree.”

 Now that the law code is cancelled, we no longer trust in how well we keep God’s law for our salvation.  Instead, we trust in Jesus, who kept the law perfectly, and who died in our place.  As a result, we have freedom in Jesus, now and forever!

 (3) Triumph by the Cross.  Not only that, but Jesus leads us in triumphal procession in front of the whole world. V15: “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

 The language is military — a picture of a triumphant army where the conquerors lead, and the vanquished are in chains at the procession’s end.  Jesus has disarmed the devil, guaranteeing that the devil has no power over the believer.  The cross brought life and victory.  Praise the Lord!

 Our Sunset Music Director Jerry Hinson sang the beautiful “Look for Me at Jesus’ Feet” on Sunday.  Thank you Jerry.

 We at Sunset mourn the tragic untimely passing of Gus Kennon.  We prayed for his family on Sunday.

 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  [2 Corinthians 3:17]

 May you know the Lord’s true freedom in your life today — our prayer for you from your friends at Sunset Christian Church.