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Life of Paul Part 22 - Enjoying our Freedom in Christ

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2020 7:00 am

Life of Paul Part 22 - Enjoying our Freedom in Christ

So What? / Lon Solomon

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I think most of us here know the plot of the movie saving Pvt. Ryan Pvt. James Ryan parachuted in the to Normandy on D-Day and within several days. All three of his other brothers were killed in action, and so the military brass decided to send out a platoon of eight men led by Capt. John Miller, Tom Hanks, to go behind German lines and find a private Ryan saved his life and then getting headed home safely to his mother so that she would have at least one surviving son well in the process of trying to save Pvt. Ryan. Six of the eight men and that platoon lost their lives in his captain Miller lay dying he says to Ryan in this is that we sacrifice our lives to save you now earn it well.

Pvt. Ryan spent the next 50 years of his life trying to earn it, but we need you ever done enough for me when if you ever been good enough when if you ever performed well enough to earn something like that and so as we saw in our clip nearly 50 years later, Pvt. Ryan is still in prison to those words still trying to earn it. Still trying to perform up to that standard that he was put on that day on the bridge because I don't know if you ever thought about it but just think how much different the world would've been for private Ryan, if instead of saying Burns is Capt. Miller would've said to him, enjoy this. We sacrifice our lives to save you now enjoy this and I think Pvt. Ryan was still going on to be a good person.

I think he would've still gone on to live a good life. What he would've done it as a Freeman with joy in his life. You know, 2000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ sacrifice his life on the cross to save you and me and and his followers of Christ. My question is which of these two phrases does he say to us does he say to us earn this or does he say to us, enjoy this. Well that's what we want to talk about today because our whole Christian experience, whether we live it in liberty, or whether we live in slavery is all based on our understanding of the answer to this question. And so today I want you to put your theological thinking On what I want to challenge, perhaps with some of you been taught your whole life about the way the Christian experience.

The way the Christian life is supposed to work to do it with biblical truth. The result of all this is when were done.

I hope you walk out of the year to understanding a little bit better today.

How to live the Christian life. But how to live it. According to real biblical truth now to got a Bible.

Let's open it together to ask chapter 15. If you're in our overflow were so glad to hear today. God bless you guys would appreciate the common acts chapter 15 because all of this grows out of the Jerusalem Council, the first church council ever held and that counsel grew out of the conflict. A disagreement that we see here in verse one of acts chapter 15. Some men came down from Judea, from Jerusalem to Antioch and they were teaching the Gentiles.

There, unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be say you cannot have eternal life. You cannot go to heaven, will the apostle Paul and Barnabas didn't agree with this and so they took the matter to Jerusalem and the Council of all the church leaders met together to really consider two issues issue number one is just how the laws of person did eternal life, and they answered it in verse 11 when Peter Rosen said no. We believe that it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus, that we are say, just as they the Gentiles are the declaration of the Jerusalem Council is that salvation, eternal life. Going to heaven coming in the personal relationship with Christ is a function of the grace the undeserved mercy of the Lord Jesus plus no human works of any kind and that mercy and grace is activated when we place our faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross so issue number one, they settle now issue number two is related to that in that he is once a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ. What is the basis of that person's ongoing relationship with God, or to put it another way is a follower of Jesus Christ.

Three. To act any way they want without endangering their relationship to God or is there some right way that a Christian has to act in order to stay in God's good graces in order to continue to receive the love of God. Well, let's see them answer that question. Verse 13 when they were finished. James spoke up, and here's what he said. Verse 19 he said, it is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. I like them translation from the message it says. And so my judgment is that we should stop traveling the Gentiles who turn to God, troubling them with what will troubling them with this system of Christian performance that these false teachers in acts 15 one were trying to lay on them.

James says these false teachers went to Antioch and they tried to put the Gentile believers there on a performance trip, not just in terms of how they start their relationship with God.

But in terms of how they continue their relationship with God in James this here, the Jerusalem Council. We need to state once and for all that the Christian life is based on the unconditional love for us as his children through Christ that is not based on our performance that it's 100% grace is 0%. Christian performance and this is exactly what the rest of the Bible teaches Romans chapter 8 verse one.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who belong to Jesus Christ. When you gave your lives to Christ, you were adopted into God's family as dear children, therefore, you no longer need to act like towering slaves.

But you're here today and you run a company or your employer of any kind, you know, of course, if there's a huge difference between your relationship to an employee and your relationship to your own child. Hey, if an employee doesn't perform the way you want to, you can sever that relationship and fire them if you want to, but if your child doesn't perform the way that you want them to. If you're a good parent. You can do that because your relationship with your child is like no relationship anywhere else in the universe is on the severable.

It is unconditional and this is all that the Bible is saying that when we become children of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ our relationship with God becomes on severable.

It becomes unconditional because we are God's children. His love and acceptance of us does not float up and down based on our performance. Melanie stop every just a second and say if you're here today and you never trusted Christ is real and personal savior.

Be careful you don't believe it when the world tells you that were all God's children. I'm sorry but that's not what the Bible teaches that all is matter of fact, the Bible teaches the exact opposite. The Bible teaches that as human beings yes were all God's creation.

But that being God's child with all the rights and the privileges that come Varian that that is only reserved for people with put their personal faith in the Lord Jesus John chapter 1 says that when we trust Christ.

Verse 12 we are given the authority to become the children of God, but the only people who have the authority to become the children of God are people trusted Christ to appear here today and you'd like to be a child of God, with all the rights and the privileges that go with that paper as God would love nothing more than to make you his child, but the only way into that relationship is to personal faith in what Jesus did for you on the cross that soon the no well, it's gone. As a follower of Christ as a child of God. The Bible declares that our relationship with God is nothing to do with our performance look Romans eight verse 35 what shall ever be able to separate us as God's children from the love of God, neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation, including my bad performance will ever be able to separate us from the love of God, that in Jesus Christ's.

The point here is that as God's child, I have the freedom to act any way I want without endangering my bond the love between me and my heavenly father. The folks it's this freedom that is what the whole book of Galatians is about. As a matter fact, the book of Galatians is often called the Magna Carta of Christian liberty. Galatians 2 verse four Paul says these false teachers which ones were the ones here in acts 15 they came and tried to put the Gentiles under Christian performance. These false teachers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom that we have in Jesus Christ and to try to make us slaves again verse five we did not give into them for a moment and the apostle Paul spends the rest of the book of Galatians urging these Galatian believers and urging us to to resist any and all attempts by people took to compromise our freedom in Christ chapter 4 verse eight.

Formerly, when you didn't know God, you were slaves. Paul writes, but now you are children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, so why now do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to a weak and useless system of human performance you're trying to find favor with God by what you do and what you don't do. Come on now, dear friends, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things in which you notice here how Paul defines slavery. He defines it as trying to find favor with God by what we do and by what we don't do. He says that the great news of the Bible is that as children of God as followers of Christ.

God has freed us from this kind of enslaving arrangement with God. Galatians chapter 5 verse one it is for freedom that God has set us free. Stand firm bed and do not let yourself be entangled again by this yoke of slavery not summarize what we learned. We learned that as followers of Christ as children of God our relationship with God is not based on our performance.

Romans chapter 6 verse 14 says for we are not under the law.

We are under grace. Which means when we perform poorly.

God doesn't love us any the less when we perform excellently.

God doesn't love us anymore.

It means that is what the Bible said in Galatians 4 Jesus has freed us from trying to find favor with God by what we do and what we don't do the news of the Bible is we have favor with God. 24 seven and the message of Jesus to us is paid. Enjoy. I set you free. Now enjoy. We want to stop right here because we need to bring this truth down the 21st century living, and that means we have a very important question that we need to ask so y'all still with me.

All right if I still wake.

Already nice allowed 123 right salon. So what would you put some handles on this for me make this truth real practical for me. Okay I love to do them friends with you realize it or not, most evangelical churches in America teach a system that has salvation by grace and the Christian life by works. Repeat that salvation by the grace of God.

The Christian experience by works you so I don't understand what you mean. I mean that they tell you if you really want to be a good Christian if you really want to be everything God wants you to be. If you really want to stay close to God. You can go to movies you can't play cards you can cut the grass on Sunday. You can gamble you can't play secular music and you can't do mixed swimming you can if you want God to really consider you a good Christian you can't wear short skirts get a tattoo or drive a new Porsche. If you want God to really think you're a good Christian you can't dance or drink or smoke or chew or hang around with them which do you want God to think you're good Christian that you know we left, but let me just tell you this is tragic.

This isn't funny. This is tragic because what this performance approach to the Christian life.what this works. Approach does is it robs people of their freedom in Christ and make slaves out of people. It's saps all the joy all the vitality all busying and all the sparkle out of the Christian experience and it makes the Christian life, a life of drudgery, a life of bland obligation. All these churches are doing is producing a lot of private Iranians all over the Christian world. People were living their entire lives in slavery to do's and don'ts, and performance.

It's been laid on them by somebody else. As I read the Bible, Jesus said, John 836 if I the Son of Man set you free. You will be free indeed.

Chuck Swindoll in his wonderful book, grace, awakening to be had read it. The article down on the bookstore and buy it for out sign up in order. It appears what he says and I quote he said there are grace killers on the loose. These are people who don't want us to be free before God accepted just as we are by his grace. They don't want us to be free to express our faith originally and creatively. They want everybody to act and talk and behave exactly like they do too many folks out in our world. He goes on are being turned off by this twisted concept of the Christian life. Instead of giving people permission to be absolutely free in Christ more people than ever are projecting this grim faced list of do's and don'ts, which resulted in believers who spend their whole life in a tight radius of bondage to many people in our world see Christians as still uptight people who live lives that are inflexible, colorless and unbending. He closes by saying in vain. I have searched the Bible looking for examples of Christians whose lives were marked by this kind of rigidity, inhibition, dullness and caution. Instead, in the Bible I find adventurous risk-taking enthusiastic believers whose joy was contagious because they understood God's grace and a new they were free." No Romans chapter 5 verse two says this it says to faith in Jesus Christ, we have gained access into this gracious position in which we now stand. There's a gracious standing that is given to us as as followers of Christ, which means that our relationship with God.

God's love for us. God's acceptance for us is all based on God's grace, not on Christian performance. Is it will.

Are we really trying to say here. I mean just put it right down rubber meets the road.

Okay, I will friends as a follower of Jesus Christ, you can play poker, go to the movies, play slot machines listen to rock music smoke cigars. You can do shots of tequila. You can buy lottery tickets get a tattoo you can wear 75 earrings and 25 studs.

If you want to and it won't change how God feels about you one bit dull.

Still, there are not want anybody with Satan rolling out in a lie when I say this, but it gets more radical than that friends you can smoke dope and the McLean Bible Church restroom and it won't change how God feels about you one bit. Now I'm not saying Gotto be through with your choice of activity, and lots of times I'm not thrilled with my children's choice of activity, but my relationship with them is not based on their choice of activity in God's relationship with you is in either pay as a follower of Jesus Christ on travel. You can order an adult movie in your hotel room and it will change how God feels about you one bit. As a follower of Jesus Christ, you can be unfaithful to your spouse and is said is that situation is, it won't change how God feels about you one bit you go okay okay okay stop right there. See, I knew this I knew if the elders of this church long gave you will not throw you would turn into a heretic. I knew it I knew it I knew what what about Chuck Swindoll when he is a heretic to well wait a minute, what about the apostle Paul. Romans chapter 6 verse one Paul says what am I saying here in my saying we should go on sinning that grace may abound may never be. Romans 615. What am I saying Paul said to my saying we should sin, because wonder grace is not on the law by no means here in Romans six, the apostle Paul is defending himself against those who accused him of license of freeing people to go commit sin whenever they felt like it because of the way he taught Christian liberty.

The present answer questions. The apostle Paul heretic Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones wrote he said the true preaching of grace always leads to the possibility of this charge of license being brought against if you're preaching of grace has not been misunderstood.

In this way you would better examine your sermons again to make sure you are preaching grace as it is really offered in the New Testament. Folks listen to me. I'm not up here trying to encourage you to exercise license to sin. I am not up here trying to encourage you to go disobey God, I mean I get up your Sunday after Sunday and my passion is to teach us to walk in the spirit to obey God to live out a Christian worldview.

But folks obedience to God needs to be based on biblical truth and biblical truth is this that because I'm a child of God, because I am under God's grace is a follower of Jesus Christ.

I am free to do whatever I want without ever endangering my eternal life or my relationship with God that is truth. Now before we close shop today. Let's balance this truth you say lawn please. Okay, I hear you.

Let's palaces.

First Corinthians 1023 Paul writes and says all things are lawful to me but not all things are profitable pulses. As a follower of Christ I can do anything I want to do without endangering my relationship with Christ all things are lawful to me but not everything is profitable and friends. There are two categories of choices that you and I make in our lives, to which this verse applies inside of our Christian liberty category number one is those things that might possibly offend other people.

These are things that are not spiritual issues with God. The Bible doesn't talk about them. They don't offend God, but they might possibly scandalize other people and get in the way of their coming to Christ. Things like what log will things like playing cards, going to movies about get the attack to smoking cigars and drinking margaritas or whatever. Now, do we have Christian liberty in this area absolutely without a doubt, and yet God says hey you know what all these things are lawful to you, but there are times, not that that all these things are not profitable and there are times I want you to limit your liberty. God says to us in these areas. Yes, you have liberty, but there God I want you to limited in deference to all the people for the sake of other people that were gonna come back after the holidays are working to spend a couple weeks looking at what the Bible teaches about those principles of how do you limit your liberty window.

We limit our liberty under what circumstances do we limit our liberty when were doing these things that are not issues to God, but they certainly sometimes or issues to other people don't come back and deal with this another category of things where our verse applies, all things are lawful, not all things are profitable bees are those things in the Bible that God says are just flat displeasing to him. They offend him. These are things that are just flat wrong. God says, adultery, pornography, stealing, lying, cheating, embezzling, now is a is uncomfortable as it makes us feel the Bible says we have liberty in any one of these areas to do these things, that it will not. It will not affect our relationship with God.

But God says to us in the Bible, all things are lawful, but definitely these things are not profitable and I'm asking you to stay away from these things. I'm asking you not to use your liberty in these things, not only because these things offend me.

God says, but because they'll bring consequences on your life that you will be really sad. First Peter two verse 16 be holy because I am holy God says I don't want you doing these things.

I want you to be to do the things that are holy Galatians chapter 5 verse 13 you, my brothers and sisters were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge your sinful nature. Use your freedom to serve God and to serve people friends as three people. God calls us to avoid doing these things that offend him that our spiritual issues to him, not because we have to, but because we love God so much.

We want to see I commit as much adultery as I want to I want to commit adultery. I smoke as much dope as I want to I want to smoke to high bezel as much money from a claim, Bible churches, I want to I want to. And the reason I don't want to is not because I feel guilt or obligation or that I have to comply with some rules. No no no, I have a God who gave his life on the cross for me.

I have a God who died not only to give me eternal life but to take my life. Which one worth a plug nickel and make it worth living again and I love that God so much that if he asked me not to do these things even though I'm free to do he says not doing out of love for him. I'm not going to do, see Christian liberty folks is not about having the freedom to sin against God, if that's what you think it is you completely misunderstand Christian liberty Christian liberty is about having the freedom to obey God for the right reason, not for guilt or obligation not for duty but because we love you we have the freedom not to what we choose to obey God because we love it. That's Christian liberty but summarize what we learned today number one we learn that when we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we become God's child in a way that the rest of the human races number two, we learned that is God's child, I have the freedom to to act in any way I want without endangering the bond between me and my heavenly father. Number three. We learn that God wants us to know that where free and to enjoy our freedom. He says to us from the bridge. Enjoy it, but number four God out of love for him asks us to be willing to limit our liberty number one in those areas that patently offend God and number two in those areas that will possibly offend and damage. Other people the unstable were saying. That's what we learned today. Now I understand why churches teach a different way. I understand why churches teach. Don't you dare do this. Don't you dare do this and don't you dare do this because they're afraid if they teach liberty the way it's supposed to be taught that right after the service will have people fall around in the restroom smoke and thereby to be down there blowing joints. I understand that but you know what prayer you can't deny truth in order to try to keep people not to behave wrong.

You understand what I'm saying. All that doesn't damage people listen my sons when they turned 18 I was. It was pretty risky to let them go off and exercise their freedom to make their own choices. Frankly, if they left it up to me. I could've made better choices than they're making in many cases up to the time they were 50 or 60 years all I could of done is: but the problem with that is they don't grow up. The problem with that is they say infants their whole lives and so is risky as it is I do take my hands off and just trust God that year, they might make a mistake or two, but the result would be, they develop their own convictions, they develop their own walk with God and they would grow up to be mature men and women of God. If a church is always telling you what you can do and what you can't do.

You never grow up. You'll be a child. The rest of your Christian life.

And so God says no you have freedom yet, you may make a mistake or two with you in my spirit together will develop your convictions will teach you how to make good choices for the right reason and will help you grow up to be a woman of God to be a man of God. That's what we want to do your friends and so, in what may be my last message of McLean Bible church with were going to teach a true and we want you to go out and live the Christian experience and make the right choices, but three in the making. In truth, and if you were taught different someplace else and just let me say you were taught wrong teacher right to try to help you grow up to be men and women of God is pretty good for Jesus, thanks for the privilege of talking today about this incredible subject that we need to understand we need to know that where free and then to limit that freedom when you tell us to Lord, out of love for you, not out of duty or obligation by prayer is that you would challenge our thinking about the Christian life today that you would challenge our understanding of the Christian experience that you would liberate us from a life of drudgery and guilt and obligation and liberate us Lord into a life of freedom, we still make the right choices out of love for you, not out of duty God change our whole approach to Christian living. Because we were here infuse our Christian lives with freedom, joy and vitality as we live it the way it was supposed to be live and we pray these things in Jesus name, amen

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