It's all over on the blogs I subscribe to. The message of freedom! Check out some examples, from today alone:
On Internet Monk, "Monkshank Redemption," Jeff Dunn writes:
In grace alone are we enabled to truly follow Jesus. It is not a case of, “Well, now you’re free so you had better not screw up again.” Or as I heard often growing up, “Your life is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” Sorry. God has given me a museum masterpiece, and I return to him a clay ashtray? No, I don’t think so. In grace we are free to receive God’s masterpiece he has for us and live in that without trying to impress him with our less-than-great efforts.
It’s your choice. You can spend your life in jail, telling yourself just how good you are doing in your efforts to obey the Bible and be a good person. Or you can follow Jesus. The Jesus portrayed in the Bible, from Genesis thru maps, is not one who keeps score of how well you do. He has already won the game.At On the Journey, "Free," co_heir writes:
Sin is no longer the defining force in my life. I still sin, but I also have a Savior that has freed me. When I do sin, it's not because sin is controlling me. It's life. It's part of being a man who is still learning how to follow Jesus and live in God's grace. Fortunately, my Father doesn't condemn me, he is not disappointed with me. He sees me as his beloved son. He teaches me and leads me, and continues to fill me with his love.Earlier in the day, again at Internet Monk, "Jail Break," Jeff Dunn also writes:
It never ends. The only way to stop the madness is to die. Die to your identity as a sinner. Stop embracing the idea that you are still in sin. Instead, embrace the notion that God has forgiven you totally: Your sins of yesterday, your sins of today, your sins of tomorrow. It really is true, you know. The Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world. We were forgiven from the start. The prison doors are unlocked. The only thing keeping you behind bars is your refusal to see yourself as dead to your sins and alive to Christ.(Oh, and by the way, you will totally want to watch and listen to the Johnny Cash video he's posted!)
At Cerulean Sanctum, "True Freedom in Christ: Breaking The Bonds of Legalism," Dan Edelen writes:
Freedom in Christ is letting everything else go, letting it die, so that we can live by the Spirit.Maybe I got so excited about all this, because Father has been teaching me about freedom too - especially about the freedom that is found in Jesus, His Son. Earlier today, in my post "How do we so easily become indifferent to Jesus?," I asked:
And when our physical bodies finally wear out, we won’t be judged by God for how much we know or for how well we applied “godly principles” and rules to life. As Jesus Himself said, it will all come down to whether we lived a life that showed we loved Him and loved other people.
That’s true freedom.
And why would people want to accept Jesus and get through the gate, and then spend the rest of their lives "trying to stay" by their own righteousness, in whatever form they think that involves?And a day or two ago, in "Trying to find fulfillment in things 'related to' Jesus," I mused:
I am missing You, dear Jesus. Only You can fill this emptiness, this feeling of loss that has been dogging me. I've tried to fill it in church. Not just the church "systems," the "doing church" which I was deeply involved in for years, but found in the end that that just didn't fill me. But also in "being part of the church" which I was surprised to find hasn't done it either. You have not allowed me to find the joy or fulfillment I've been hoping for, even there, even though it was so much "better" than the former "doing." You have kept me wandering in this empty wilderness. For a purpose, I am beginning to see.I've seen a lot of other blog posts recently focusing on the freedom we have in Jesus. When the Spirit speaks to many different people in different places about the same thing, seems to me that maybe we should tune in and listen carefully. And turn our eyes fully on Jesus' face, the one to whom the Spirit always points.
By the way, I'd also recommend checking out http://eric-carpenter.blogspot.com/2011/02/house-church-flexibility.html in which Eric talks of the flexibility possible in home churches. And of course that opportunity for flexibility is a direct result of our freedom in Christ!
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