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The Truth That Sets Us Free - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
February 26, 2024 12:00 am

The Truth That Sets Us Free - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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February 26, 2024 12:00 am

Recognize the devil's snares and choose to live in the freedom Jesus Christ gave you.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Monday, February twenty-sixth. Are you enslaved by damaging emotions or trapped by lies? Listen closely to the truth that sets us free. Would you consider yourself a free person?

More than likely you'd say, Well, sure I do. I don't have any shackles on my hands, on my feet. I'm a free person. Well, you may not have any of that, but you could still be very much imprisoned, very much in bondage. Many people are in bondage and don't even realize it.

They don't quite understand why things are going the way they go, why they just can't seem to get it together, why they have turmoil on the inside, why things just don't seem to go their way. And no matter what they do, they don't have any real peace, any real joy, but there's anxiety and frustration, fears and all the rest. And yet they say they're free.

Wouldn't you like to be free of all of that? You see, because until you are free spiritually, you're not free. The Bible says people walk in darkness, they're not free. The Bible says that people are blinded by sin, they're not free. When you're in darkness, that is without Christ, you're not free.

Oh, you think you are because the devil, he blinds people's eyes, Paul said, to the truth. So, what I want to talk about in this message is this. I want to talk about how Jesus can set you free of the bondage that you're in. And you may reply, but I'm not in any bondage.

Listen carefully and let's see if that's really true or not. Because one of the reasons Jesus said He came is to set us free. So, if you'll turn to the fourth chapter of Luke, and I want us to read about Jesus early in His ministry. And He went around to the synagogues preaching because that was sort of like church in those days. And that's where the groups were and the people were.

So, the Scripture says beginning in verse fourteen. And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit and news about Him spread throughout all the surrounding district. And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. And He came to Nazareth where He had been brought up and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him and He opened the book and found the place where it was written.

And this is what He read. The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.

Jesus said, I came to set people free. And then in John the eighth chapter, it's interesting what Jesus said here. And He's speaking to His disciples and those who are listening. And here's what He said, I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak those things as the Father taught Me. Then He said, And He who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him. And He spoke these things, and as He did, many came to believe in Him.

Now listen to what He said. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. Jesus said He came to set the captives free. We're not talking about people who were in slavery necessarily, though many of them were. We're talking about people who were in all kinds of bondage. And I want us to think about it for just a moment because as we do, more than likely, you may find yourself saying, You know what?

That sounds like me. So when we talk about things we need to be set free from, set free from what? Well, first of all, set free from error. There are many things that are being taught today that are error. They're false. They're not true.

And there are people who are in bondage to it. For example, one of those things that people are teaching today, which is absolutely untrue, is that there's more than one way to get to heaven. And that is Jesus is one way, but there are many others. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me. Now, if that's true, which it is, and Jesus said it was true, which it was, and someone comes along and tells you, Oh no, there are many other ways.

God isn't so narrow-minded just to make it Jesus. Then either Jesus was a fraud and a liar or He told the truth. He said, I am the way. I am the truth.

And He says, I am the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. One of those errors is that there are many ways to get to heaven. And a lady was telling me not long ago, she said, listening to my pastor, she said, he said, there are two ways to get to heaven. Number one, by Jesus, and secondly, by good works, which is the second error that I want to talk about that many people believe.

In fact, a majority of people believe this error. And that is if I do good works and God is pleased, I'll get to heaven. So, when we stand before the judgment, here's what God's going to do. He's going to put all of my bad works over here and all of my good works over here and He's going to weigh them. And the one that weighs the most, I'm either going to be lost for all eternity or I'm going to be saved.

Now, it's easy for a person to think that because the truth is all of us know somebody, we can say, well, I know that I do better than they do, and you can always measure yourself by people and look pretty good. But you see, if God chose to accept us on the basis of our good works, let me ask you this, how many works? Which works? How long the works?

How often the works? You would absolutely never know where you are in your relationship to God. False teaching. We're not saved by works. He said, by grace are we saved through faith, that not of yourselves, not of works lest anyone should boast. And because God knows that people boast about what they do.

He's no salvation in works, but by Jesus. A third error is this, that I am accepted in the eyes of God on the basis of my performance. When I perform well, God accepts me. If I don't do very good, God rejects me.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Again, how would you ever know that you're accepted if it's on the basis of performance? Because all of us can do our very best at times. At other times, we don't do our very best. All of us sin at times. And so, if my acceptance is based on my performance, I will never know whether God is pleased or unpleased or whether I'm accepted or unaccepted.

So, another one of those errors is this. And that is, after all, God is so good, one of these days because He's the God of love, everybody's going to get to heaven. Everybody's going to get there some way. And people will say, well, I don't know exactly how, but I'm just sure because He's the God of love that He's going to get us all there. What about rejection of Jesus? What about rejection of God? What about the rejection of the cross?

What about ignoring spiritual things? And everybody's going to get there? I don't think so. In fact, I know so.

Absolutely not. And another one of those errors that people are caught up with and it's bondage. All this is a form of bondage is that you can be saved today and lost tomorrow. That is, my salvation is based on my good works.

Now watch this. Our salvation is based on one thing. The fact that Jesus Christ went to the cross, laid down His life voluntarily, took upon Himself all the sin of all humanity in one moment in time, died for our sin, only one who could because He's the only perfect person. John the Baptist said, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, He died for our sin and salvation comes through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. Now, if I can be saved and be lost, here's what that means. Then how do I get saved the second time?

I must have to do something the second time. I either got to get better, believe again or whatever. You'll never know whether you're saved or not. You see, He says, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. What is eternal life? It is a quality of life, but it is also length of time. It's forever and ever and ever. So if He gives me the gift of eternal life, forever and ever and ever life, then if I can lose it, then His promise was inadequate, it wasn't true, and the death of Jesus Christ was not sufficient on the cross, which absolutely obliterated God's whole redemptive plan.

That is an error and many people are caught up in it. And once in a while I'll meet somebody who says, well, you know, I know I've been saved, but this happened in my life and that happened in my life. Well, how I know I'm saved today. I say, well, do you trust Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of His end? Yes. Well, are you saved?

Well, I hope so. Listen, there's no hope so salvation. We're talking about eternity. We're talking about for all eternity God didn't give us a hope so kind of salvation to live.

He gave us a know so based on what He did at the cross. So if you look at all of these forms of error, people living in bondage. Well, I don't know whether I'm saved or not.

Sometimes I think God accepts me, but I'm not too sure He does or not. I think somehow we're all going to get there. Listen, once you start believing those things, here's what happens to your mind. You start feeling confused.

Well, if everybody's going to get there anyway, then why don't I just live it up? Well, if I have to be good to be accepted, then how will I, in other words, none of that is true. It is all error. So one of the things that keeps people in bondage is the error that they've been taught. Sometimes they're taught by their parents. Sometimes they're taught by their teachers or professors.

Sometimes they listen to their friends. But it is a form of bondage. So one form of bondage is error we've been taught. A second form of bondage, very clear in the Scripture, are evil deeds in our life.

Think about it for a moment. No alcoholic ever started out to be an alcoholic. No drug addict ever started out to be an addict. No person who is sexually addicted ever started out to be that. These are forms of bondage, but so is lying and stealing and cheating and all forms of dishonesty and laziness, slothfulness.

All of these are forms of bondage that people get into. This is why people, you know, they come along and they get by a little while and they don't have to work. And after a while they think, work?

Why do I want to work when I don't have to work? And so before long they become very slothful. And so it becomes a form of bondage.

And they just think somehow I'm going to make it, I'm going to break out of this, but somehow they never break out of it. There are evil deeds. Now, some of those are detrimental to the human body. For example, like drinking and drugs and smoking.

Many people start very young in life. Oh, one drink won't hurt me. I too won't hurt me. It's one of those things that people find themselves in. Now, there's another form of bondage, and that's emotional bondage.

And this is the kind that oftentimes does so much damage that people not even realize. Oh, what's one form of emotional bondage? One form of emotional bondage is fear. Jesus had a lot to say about trusting Him and fear not.

Fear not, fear not, fear not. Fear is a form of bondage. There are people who wake up every morning and they think about driving down the expressway and they are fearful of what could happen to them. Many people grow up and they've been taught and they have been acclimated and they're thinking about don't do this, now watch out for this. I remember my mother used to say to me, they don't get in the street and get killed.

I don't intend to get killed. But I know what she was saying in her love for me. But I had to get over some of the things that she taught me.

Watch this, watch that, watch this, watch that. Probably things that I needed to do. But it's amazing how we grow up with fears. People have fear of old age. People have fear that they're not going to have enough late in life. People fear bad health. People fear of not having enough money. People fear about what's going to happen to their children.

You could just go on and on and on of the things that people are afraid of. God must deliver you from the spirit of fear. It is not of God. It is of Satan. He wants you to be afraid because you see, as long as you fear things, you're not trusting God. And it's a form of bondage to be afraid. Then there is false guilt.

It's a bondage. For example, sometimes we have expectations of ourselves that we place upon ourselves. We want to do our best at this point.

We want to reach this goal or we want to accomplish this. And sometimes those things are things that God didn't place upon us. It's expectations of ourselves. And sometimes we want to play this sport or we want to teach this or whatever it might be. Maybe we're not gifted in that area. And so we try and we don't do very well. Put expectations on ourselves God never puts on us.

Then we fail at it. And we think, well, what happened to me because you had expectations that God did not even have of you. And so what happens is you feel guilt.

It's a false guilt. He didn't have that expectation of you. That's what you thought. That's what you figured.

That was your plan instead of His plan. And so false guilt is very, very damaging to a person's life. Expectations God doesn't even have. Then of course, when I think about all the things emotionally that bind us, here's one of the worst, jealousy. Jealousy is a terrible form of bondage.

Because here's what happens. Let's say that there's somebody you're jealous of. You know, the other person may not even know it. And here you are hurting and suffering and going through all kind of emotional traumas.

And the other person doesn't even know you exist. But you feel it because you have the wrong attitude toward them. Maybe you're jealous of them and their position. You're jealous of their grades. You're jealous of where they're headed. You're jealous of what they have. You wish you had what they have. And you don't like it because they have it and you don't.

And so you have ill will toward them. Jealous is a form of bondage. And I think about people, for example, if you are dating somebody and the other person shows some interest in somebody else and you just come apart. And jealousy sets in in your life. Listen, if you allow jealousy to become a part of your life, you will be in terrible, painful bondage. You will not be able to be happy and jealous at the same time.

You can't be. And you may be happy about a few things, but if jealousy's there, you know what it does? It colors everything. It colors everything in your life because somehow you're not going to get it, somebody's going to take it from you or whatever it might be. And there are many people who are living in bondage. For example, let's say that you are jealous of somebody that you work with. Well, tomorrow morning, you walk in and there they are.

They don't have to say anything. They may be nice, the nicer they are to you, the worse it feels. Because you see, you have something going on inside of you that is not of God. It is a form of bondage. And it's not right, it's a sin. Jealousy is a sin. It's a sin against the other person, a sin against yourself, and a sin against God.

In other words, somebody says, well, wait a minute. What about the Bible says that God is jealous? Well, He's not jealous in a selfish sort of way. When He says He's jealous, that means that His love for us and His desire to bless us and His desire to do good for us is such that He doesn't want anything doing what? Driving us away from Him because He has the best plan. And He wants the best plan for us. He loves us.

And He loves us absolutely purely because He desires to express Himself toward us in love and kindness and generosity and good things that come our way. I wonder if there's anybody that you could think about today that you're jealous of. Now, we've named some other things, these erroneous ideas. Maybe you've had some of these other habits and so forth. But what about emotional things? What about anxiety? If we knew how much money was spent every given year on pills, capsules, shots, you name it, they keep people from being anxious and worried about this, that and the other and so forth. And so they go to the doctor, the doctor gives them something to calm it down.

Well, in about three months, they've got to have twice as much because the first one has run out. Remember this, the grace of God never runs out. The power of God to set you free never runs out.

And taking pills because of anxiety and worry. Listen, what did Jesus say? My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives.

Because that doesn't work. My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives. Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God? He says, believe Me.

I will give you a peace that passes all human understanding. And yet anxiety and worry is a form of bondage. And so no one's perfect. We're not going to succeed at every single thing in life.

We'll succeed at the things that God wants us to succeed at. And so when I think about bondage, I think about people who live in this bondage. Guilt over past actions. Things that happened in the past. If you had to do it over again, you wouldn't do it.

If you could not say it, you wouldn't say it. You look at situations and circumstances that you would change in a split second if you could, but you can't. And so you live with a guilt. And you live with a regret. And you live with deep, deep sorrow in your heart, but you still live with it. And you feel guilty. And so you've brought it to God several times. Lord, I thank You for forgiving me. I know You have.

And then You add a three-letter word, but, because you can't lay it down. Listen, whatever's happened in your past, no matter what it is, and you are a child of God, and you've asked Him to forgive you, He has forgiven you. Now, I could give a lot of excuses if I wanted to, but when He says He's given to me everything I need to live a godly life, that means He's ready to deal with any bondage the moment I'm asking Him to. Amen? Amen. Thank you for listening to The Truth That Sets Us Free. If you would like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-26 02:28:20 / 2024-02-26 02:37:15 / 9

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