Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. It's not a lot of choices that makes you happy, it's one good choice that makes you happy. It's a lie from the pit of hell to say, if you preach the gospel of grace, you're just going to give them a license to sin, because after all, that's what everybody wants to do, is just live a life of sin.
That's not true. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series Galatians, as presented at Rinaldo Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month made to Alan Wright Ministries.
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877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching. Here is Alan Wright. The prodigal son, we call him the prodigal son, who left and spent all his inheritance and wild living, because what? I'm going to keep my options open. I'm not going to stay here with my dad. I'm not going to stay here and do what he was like.
I'm going to go do what I want to do. He spends it on drinking. He spends it on women.
He spends it on everything, with the idea that he's free. But what we see standing back here looking at the story is, you're not free. You're a slave.
And when he finally comes home, and he falls into his father's arms, we realize, now you're free. This is... I don't got time to do this. I'm going to make mention of it though, because somebody needs to say something. Now, this is very subject to being misunderstood, so let me make several disclaimers. And please hear my disclaimers, especially the fact that probably about half the people here in my voice are single. And some are single by calling. Some are single by tragedy. Some are single by choice. And God may be calling you to be single. And especially I want to say this disclaimer, for everybody that is single and wants to be married, this is not about salt in the wound and those that have had a marriage that has failed and you're hurting. I'm sorry for any salt in the wound.
I'm not talking about any of those things. So is that enough disclaimers to say that I like the title of Lori Gottlieb's book? I've not read the book, and I have no idea what it says. I'm just saying I like the title. It's written for women.
It's called Marry Him. And the subtitle is The Case for Settling for Mr. Goodenough. Her point being that there is so much in this world of choice that it gets into the thing, like just the perfect person. But along with this is that the marrying age has moved up, up, up, up. And a lot of different reasons for this. I mean, granted, people are living longer and they want to get out there and live some of their dreams before they get married. But some of this is related to the fact that people are afraid of marriage. And it just seems like, you know, I'm out of my mind that I'm having to do this. But I have to talk to you about the benefits of marriage. I mean, because this is, I'm sorry, I'm just reporting the facts.
Again, all those disclaimers still apply, right, earlier that I made. But this doesn't apply to you if you're single, but I'm just going to still give you the statistic that in men who are alive, according to this one study that was done, men who are alive at 48 years old had a 90% chance of reaching age 65 if they were married, but only a 60 to 70% chance if they were single. That's a 250% higher mortality rate for the unmarried 48-year-old man. And I say this, I have no idea why that would prove to be true, but I'll say that in the face of all those people that are skeptics of marriage and think that marriage will kill you. And it is also important to know that married people, they actually, through other studies, show they have higher mental health.
One of the theories, you know, is that you just got somebody that's, you know, sitting there nagging you about you ought to go to the doctor. And married people are better off financially, according to all the studies. They have a better sex life, according to most of all the studies. They report themselves being physically and emotionally content more often than cohabiting people do.
Anyway, I'm out of my mind here having to say this, that there are benefits to marriage. But the reason I bring up this illustration, again, with apologies to anybody that's going through painful times and being single, is that I'm just a little bit tired of a culture that's trying to communicate to a young generation that if you want to really be happy, you need to keep your options open as long as you possibly can. So what the scripture announces is no, it's not a lot of choices that makes you happy, it's one good choice that makes you happy. It is a lie from the pit of hell to say, if you preach the gospel of grace, you're just going to give them a license to sin, because after all, that's what everybody wants to do, is just live a life of sin.
That's not true. And it's a lie to say that if you preach freedom, then what you're doing is you're just appealing to the fact that everybody just wants all these choices, when in fact what the freedom that we're announcing is, is that it's a freedom that comes by a seemingly narrow way. We need to get this right. We need to be famous for our love, and we need to be able to announce this correctly. Because it is breaking my heart that the world is so misunderstanding the church. And when we get labeled as being bigoted or judgmental, some of that has been earned. We get labeled as being intolerant and hateful, some of that has been earned. But a lot of it is a giant conspiracy from hell to bring a massive judgment against the people of God to misunderstand the gospel. Because when we announce the gospel, and we're announcing what seems to be such a narrow way, and so little choices other than the choice of Jesus, what we're announcing is a narrow gate that leads to a wide open life of abundance.
We really need to get this right. And we need not to be duped by our society, that's what I'm saying. Don't let anything interfere with your heart's ability to receive the grace of God.
Here's another misconception, the third one I mentioned. And that is that freedom is the absence of responsibility. Freedom is not the absence of responsibility. Freedom is defined by the ability to respond, which is responsibility. It might be the one person that says, I want to be free from having to go to work. It might be to say, I want to be free from having to report to anyone. Someone else might say, I want to be free to not take care of myself or not exercise. When you begin to think that what freedom is, is freedom from some responsibility, then rethink the definition of freedom. Because all you have to do, if you ever had that feeling like, man, I just wish I didn't have to go to work, too much responsibility. All you have to do is talk to a man in this economy who has been looking for work for two years, and ask him what is the definition of freedom.
Is freedom defined by I don't have to go to work, or is freedom defined by I get to go to work? When the people came out of their bondage in Egypt by the power of God that was demonstrated through the blood of the lamb, it was interesting that God had them come out, and as they came out of Egypt, He told them to plunder the Egyptians. I've always been curious about that.
Can you imagine that scene? They're coming out, all these plagues have come against Egypt, and the final plague of the first born sons that are being killed in Egypt, and finally Pharaoh says, okay, you go, you're free. And they're coming out, and what are they doing? They said, plunder them as you go. It's like, pardon me, I'd like to have that silver jewelry there also, lest the Lord bring another plague against you, and they're going out, and they've got these sacks on their back. I don't know what, they've taken gold and silver, and they're coming out rich.
They're coming out rich. In other words, here's the picture, they were not just being set free, they were being turned into owners as they left, which was prefiguring what they really were being called to, was to take responsibility for a land that God had given them. And they didn't want to take responsibility for that land because it was very scary. They sent 12 spies in, and they said, there are giants in the land, and we can't do this, and they wandered in the wilderness. Their freedom was pictured in that land, but in that land of promise, there were many battles to fight. Isn't that odd?
Isn't that a paradox? That the place of freedom had more battles to fight than they were fighting. They had less battles to fight when they were slaves. They had more battles to fight in the promised land, but when they were slaves, they weren't free.
When they were in the promised land, they had battles to fight. What I'm saying is that your responsibilities are not a sign that you don't have freedom, they are an expression of your freedom. Your responsibilities are your privileges. Every time that I walk out of the hospital after visiting one of the saints, and I walk out into that garage, and I walk out into that parking lot, I look down at my legs and I thank God that I can walk. Anybody that's ever been sick, anybody that's ever been confined and their body can't be used, when you realize how precious it is, you realize that the exercising or taking care of your body is not a burdensome responsibility, it is a privilege.
Ask somebody who's been confined to a hospital bed for weeks whether it is freedom to be able to lie around or whether it's freedom to get up and work and exercise. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales, but this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The Gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. Here's our fourth misconception. That freedom is manifested by how much you're able to get. In other words, that freedom is the same thing as being selfish.
See, if you say, well, if you preach the gospel of grace, then you're just going to give people license to sin. What that's saying is that freedom is defined by the extent that we are allowed to be selfish. But what I'm suggesting to you is that freedom is not defined nor manifested by our selfishness, our self-absorption, but freedom is actually measured by how much you can give away of yourself. In other words, freedom is manifested in love. That's what Paul's saying.
That's what he's saying. He's saying do not use your freedom as an opportunity to the flesh. That's not what freedom is. But through love, serve one another. Here's how you know you're free.
You love, for God is love. Here's what freedom is. Freedom is when you are so inwardly fulfilled in the Lord, when you're so full of the Holy Spirit, and the love of God is shed abroad in your heart such that you, without trying, without even realizing it, you love people and you care about people, and you're not always on your own mind, and you're not always having to worry about what you didn't get or what you didn't do or about how people are treating you, but instead something has happened where now you are able to love others freely. When you are able to let go of the burden of self-absorption, of a life of selfishness, of me, me, me, of the tyranny of the mind that was always worried about your own little world and your own little circumstances, and something happens, and your life gets exploded with love, and you see that there's a greater purpose than you just accumulating and you just getting, getting, getting. What happens is you begin to see the truth of Jesus' words. If any of you would be the greatest, let him be the servant of all, for the mystery of the gospel is unveiled in this, that when you really get grace, when you really get the gospel, what happens is that you are so loved by God that love starts taking over in your life. And when love starts taking over in your life, it manifests itself in giving and serving and doing and praying and watching and caring and showing compassion and serving in a thousand different ways. And all of this, Paul is saying, if you want to understand the gospel, what you're going to see is that it is going to be manifested in love.
It's never a gospel that says you must obey the rules or else God punishes you. You get instead a message of grace that comes into your heart and it says God has so loved you. And when you receive such love, you love others. And when you love God, you want to obey. This is what Paul is talking about.
Come to me, Jesus said, when you're heavily burdened, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. What this means is that freedom is not the lack of submission, it is the freedom to be submitted. Interestingly, in Exodus 9, verse 1, the Lord speaking through Moses to Pharaoh, Let My people go, the actual text says, Let My people go that they might serve Me.
In other words, I'm setting you free so that you can be submitted to Me. The freedom that is pictured in the Old Testament is you do not have to be a slave of Pharaoh, you can come out and be free to worship Me, God. The picture in the New Testament, Paul says in Romans, is that you once were slaves to sin, and now that you've been set free, you're slaves to righteousness. In other words, here's the paradox, when you find yourself a slave to righteousness, when you're just wanting to do what God's will is in your life, that's freedom. When you want to do what Jesus does, say what Jesus says, feel what Jesus feels, when you're like that, you're free indeed, because He's good. And He has your good in mind at every point.
And He knows what's best. It is to say, Beloved, that we are in a culture that misunderstands the definition of freedom, and therefore the Gospel sometimes sounds so alien that people that want to have a more righteous life or have a more righteous society want us to mix in some law and fear into our Gospel of grace because they're so concerned that if this message of grace really gets out, that people are just going to go wild with their freedom. But to say that, and here's my whole point, is to totally misunderstand what freedom actually is. And once you understand what freedom really is in your life, you don't ever have to be afraid of grace. You don't have to be afraid of grace. Instead, lap up the grace of God. Get soaked in grace. You want to have less sin in your life? Get soaked in grace.
Soaked in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Here's what you're free from, Christians. You're free from the stain of a guilty conscience. I want you free from the stain of a guilty conscience so that you would never hesitate to draw near to the throne of grace in your time of need. You're free from the fear of punishment and God's wrath. In Christ, you're free from any fear of wrath and punishment from God.
You need not be afraid. He died for you. I was thinking about Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. You remember that great story where He says, Whoever is without sin casts the first stone. And all the Pharisees and teachers of the law start dropping the stones that were going to be used to kill this woman according to the law.
Did you ever think about the irony? There was only one person in that crowd who was without sin. Jesus. Whoever's got no sin, let him be the first one to cast a stone. And the one man who therefore had the authority to stone her said, Looks like all your accusers have left. I don't condemn you either. This is what God has said to you through Jesus Christ.
So what Paul means in Romans 8 when he says, Who is it that could condemn you but only Christ, but Christ died for you instead of condemning you. You are free from the stain of a guilty conscience. You are free from the fear of the wrath and judgment and punishment of God. You are free from shame that tells you that you must perform in order to be accepted. And you are free from the tyranny of sin. And beloved, you are free from all the powers of darkness that would hold you captive as a slave thinking that you are stuck this way in your life.
You are not. Jean Valjean stunned by that grace took the silver and for the rest of Hugo's novel does good. Because that's what grace does. It sets you free to love people. It sets you free from sin.
That's the gospel. Alan Wright and today's teaching on license not to sin. It's from our series on Galatians and Alan Wright is back here in the studio in a moment with us for additional insight on how this applies to our lives and today's final words.
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It's free and just a click away at PastorAlan.org. Ever feel like something's holding you back as if you lack an important key that could change everything? Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales, but this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Boy, when you teach grace, when you really dive into books of the Bible like Romans or Galatians, and we're in this series in Galatians right now, and you really start digging through that, you might get people who accuse you of being antinomian or saying that, well, you're just giving a license to sin when you're talking about freedom. And really, if you look at the power of the gospel, it is power, as you say here, licensed not to sin. It is, you know, something that we regularly hear is, well, if you just preach grace, you're just going to give people a license to sin. But what we've been trying to show, and I think this is what Paul proves through Galatians, and this is what the whole power of the gospel is all about, is that the more the gospel goes in to your heart and into your mind, the more power you have to have victory over your sin.
And it comes in all these various ways that we've been describing, but it really, in the end, is a redefinition for many people of freedom. We say again, freedom from the conscience's guilt, freedom from the fear of punishment, freedom from shame, freedom from the tyranny of sin, freedom from demonic oppression and rule. Well, when you break free by the power of the gospel from those things, what happens is that the besetting sins of your life just begin to fall away.
And it really, really is true. It's not to say, Daniel, that, OK, you just embrace the gospel and all of a sudden you're not going to struggle with sin anymore, period. But it is to say that the law arouses sin, but grace actually gives us victory over sin. So let's never, never be misunderstood for anyone to think that we're saying that the gospel of grace means it's OK to sin. No, of course, sin wrecks our lives. But what we're saying is that the gospel is powerful and liberates us from sin, licensed not to sin. This Good News message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
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