Why Jesus Set Us Free

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1

There are a number of ways to justify Jesus setting us free, but the Apostle Paul is says it was for freedom that Christ set us free. In other words, it wasn’t so we could be successful, have a clear conscience, or be happy, although those are all results of walking in freedom. Instead, freedom is its own reward. It doesn’t need to be justified on any other basis.

Freedom is its own justification because it was God’s original intent for man. Freedom is the state in which man was initially created and intended to live. Adam and Eve were truly free, freer than man has ever been since. There was only one thing they were told not to do. They were not encumbered with original sin, spiritual strongholds, or a culture tempting them to sin.

What Jesus did on the cross was not just to save us from the suffering of hell but from slavery to sin. It was a divinely orchestrated cosmic reset, designed to put us back in the condition we were in in the Garden of Eden, where we were truly free. GS

3 Reasons Christians Don’t Live in Victory over Sin

I’ve always had a high view of the power of the Holy Spirit to enable Christians to live in victory over sin. There is plenty of scripture to demonstrate that those who have been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit have the power to resist sin.

The Apostle Paul said that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead resides in Christians. So, why would I think that Spirit could raise Jesus from the dead but not be powerful enough to enable me to resist sin? Or, why would I think the power of the fall of man was more powerful than the resurrection of Jesus?

That born again, Spirit-filled Christians have the power to live in victory over sin, frankly, should be fundamental and axiomatic. The more interesting question is, “If Christians have the power to live in victory over sin, why don’t they?” I think there are three primary reasons:

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Is Once Saved Always Saved Biblical?

21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

Colossians 1:23-25 (NASB95)

This passage raises one of the most controversial questions in all of Christian theology, and I am referring to verse 23 and the question of whether a Christian can lose his/her salvation. 

Verse 23 states that Christians have been reconciled so Jesus may present us to God “holy and blameless and beyond reproach.” Then, as if to make sure we don’t miss what is about to come next, there is a hyphen, followed by an “if”: “—if indeed you continue in the faith.”

To Protestants who have been raised on sermons filled with declarations of God’s grace and great love for us, that hyphen and “if” can seem like a turd in the theological punchbowl. It has caused TULIPS to become TULIS and Dietrich Bonhoeffer to write about “cheap grace.” Debate over the “if” has caused Presbyterians to become Baptists, and Baptists to become backslidden. It inevitably leads to a question: “If one must continue in the faith to be saved, does that mean one can lose one’s salvation?”

The answer to that question is, “Why are you asking?” 

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How to Host a Kingdom (Adult) Birthday Party

Last Friday we celebrated my friends 60th birthday. He asked if we would host at our home because our home is large and well-designed for parties. He said he would take care of the rest.

He invited 30 people. Almost everyone he invited came, even those who came from out of state. Because of his background the invite list included a former NFL player, a former NHL player, a pastor, coworkers, his pastors, and his immediate family. It was the most interesting mix of exceptional individuals I had ever seen collected in one place.

He catered food from his favorite restaurants and cooked us tomahawk steaks. He served us. Then, once we were all seated, he went around the room, and for each person present, he said honored them with his word, explaining what they had meant to him. Then he gave them a present. That’s right he gave them a present.

When one of the guests stood up to honor him he said thank you but quickly shut him down and told him this was his party and this was what he wanted to do. He continued going around the room honoring each person and then giving them a gift. I had never seen anything like it.

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Musings in Adversity V – Epilogue

I am now about a month out from suffering from the medical scare that led to this series of blog posts.

I’m happy to report my vision continues to improve from the torn retina.

Every Thursday night The Wife and I go to the bar at an historic hotel downtown for martinis. We know the bartenders by name, and they know us. We sit there, chat, and just relax.

As I was sitting there last Thursday, I felt different. It was no big thing: a drink at a bar with The Wife and some familiars. In the past, I might have been thinking about all that needed to be done, or what was on the calendar for the next day.

This time though I just savored the moment. I wasn’t worried about losing my vision, or whether my vision was going to improve following surgery. That was behind me. It was a day of prosperity, and I embraced it fully. I was happy.

Will tomorrow bring prosperity or adversity? I don’t know. In His grace and kindness, He has not shown me. But I do know that goodness and lovingkindness will surely follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. GS