freedom

Recently I read an article that had a clear and thought out explanation of grace and responsibility.  It was written by Gary Wilkerson.  Here is a valuable portion of the article as well as a link below if you would like to read more.

“God’s grace has to cover whatever he calls us to do. See if these words describe your walk with the Lord: Burdened. Stressed. Heavy laden. Mentally drained. Physically fatigued. These are the outcomes whenever we re-double our fleshly efforts to please God. They’re clear signs that the law, not God’s grace, is in operation. Now consider these words: Obligated. Dutiful. Indebted. Guilty. Ashamed. Condemned. Do these words describe someone who has been set free?

The freedom Christ won for us on the cross isn’t just good news for the lost. It’s good news for every believer. Yet many continue to live under a cloud thinking they’re not a quality son or daughter to God. They think he loves them because he has to, not because he likes them.

The gospels tell us differently. Jesus called all twelve of the sinful, flawed, imperfect disciples to him because he wanted their friendship: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

Jesus chose to share the deep desires of the Father’s heart with these friends. He has also done that with you when you chose to follow him. So when you go to him in prayer or walk into church, his attitude isn’t, “Not you again.” The opposite is true! He wants to be with you, to sit beside you, to be your friend, because he is actually pleased with you.

You may think, “How could that be? Nothing I see in my life could possibly be pleasing to the Lord.” That’s why Scripture tells us, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4). It’s impossible for anyone to live according to the law for very long. We may keep telling ourselves, “I’ll get it right tomorrow. I just have to reenergize myself ” — but we can’t maintain it. Eventually we’re overcome by an impossible burden, and we come to the end of ourselves.

As the “end” of the law, Christ is its very fulfillment — meaning he has made right all that the law would correct. And Jesus is the one waiting for us at the end of all our self-efforts. Only in him do we find true freedom — not in any “works” we seek to accomplish.

Now let me ask you: Do the following words appeal to you? Life. Joy. Delight. Boldness. Liberty. Unselfconsciousness. Can you imagine having this kind of enjoyment in your service to Christ? How can you obtain such empowering joy?

It doesn’t come through works of righteousness. We don’t have the power to be righteous on our own. We may do our best, strive our hardest and offer all sincerely to God, but it still amounts to no more than filthy rags. Freedom comes through Christ’s righteousness alone. When his righteousness becomes ours, we are set free from striving. And his Spirit is in us, freeing us from the law of sin and guilt and making all things new.

That freedom is everything. It means liberty to carry out the godly responsibilities he calls us to do. Suddenly we are able to witness with abandon. We have a boldness not of our own making. Grace flows through us rather than a deadly, binding legalism.

There is only one way to walk in the freedom and joy Christ has won for us: by accepting his gift of righteousness. Doing this means embracing grace, not works. It doesn’t mean shirking our responsibilities; on the contrary, it’s the only way to take on real responsibility — by coming under the covering of his grace. We can’t accomplish anything in his name otherwise!”

Click here to read more:

http://sermons.worldchallenge.org/en/node/23238

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