Hey guys! I am posting a YouTube video here that I made detailing my journey from death to life, and then from legalism to grace. I hope that it brings glory to God and that people can see how amazing He is — He can save anyone! Finally, the title credit goes to John Bunyan for his fantastic book “Pilgrim’s Progress” which I think is pretty great.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father.” (John 14:6, CEV)
Jesus is “the truth,” and we can grow in our knowledge of the truth by growing to know the Lord Jesus.
This life of faith begins when God calls us. When we were lost and dead in our sins, He called out to us and revealed to us the gospel. (Romans 5:10). If we respond to the gospel message with faith, if we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, then we can begin this brand-new life where God leads us “from faith to faith.” (Romans 1:17)
And like the Israelites who were set free from slavery only to wander around in circles in the wilderness for years and years, we too will have our years of wandering in the wilderness. For me, it was 15 years of being deluded by lies and false teaching, wandering in circles, passing my days as if I were stuck in a cage.
As Bob George used to say, “Truth sets you free. Error binds you.”
This captivity is alluded to in Isaiah 14, when Isaiah prophesied about Satan’s future by saying:
Those who see you will stare; they will ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made the kingdoms tremble, who turned the world into a desert and destroyed its cities, who refused to let the captives return to their homes?” (Isaiah 14:16-17, BSB)
He refused to let the captives return home! Satan is the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy. He uses lies and falsehood to destroy us, to turn Christians into captives. And he refuses to let his captives return home.
But JESUS the MESSIAH is the mighty warrior who sets us free from our cages! Who fights on our behalf using the TRUTH to set us free. In other words, HE sets us free because He IS THE TRUTH.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32, KJV)
After 15 years of being a captive, Jesus, the truth, set me free by leading me to discover my complete forgiveness (thank you, Bob George & Classic Christianity), and soon afterwards had me learning how to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (thank you, Aaron Budjen). We are forgiven people, and understanding this will totally transform your Christian life.
Since being set free, I have drawn close to Jesus; I have grown to know His peace and His rest . . . Even in the midst of life’s pains and problems — His peace which passes understanding remains with me.
I want others to know this joy that exists in the midst of suffering. This new life of freedom is so exciting! And it’s so real and true, that to me, it’s comparable to a Near Death Experience. It has been that life-changing for me. Just complete night and day.
So, my life today is about the freedom He’s given me. It’s not a freedom to sin, but a freedom to grow to know Him and His love for me. A freedom to receive all spiritual blessings, and to grow every day in the knowledge of His will: His glorious ‘last will and testament.’ It is a freedom to relax in the Promised Land of REST, freely enjoying His wonders, His beauty, His grace and His peace. Nothing can separate me from the love of God! And nothing can remove me from this land of peace.
Meanwhile, it hurts when I see my brothers and sisters living in cages. I write this blog today while somewhat heavy in heart; a good friend and sister in the Lord is being lured into a cage through the false doctrine of dispensationalism: the teaching that paints God as a schizophrenic madman who is mercurial and inconsistent. A God that is impossible to know. . . But I must let her go and let her stumble and learn; my friend is on her own journey of faith.
I can’t change anyone’s mind, but what I can do is write these words today and declare that there is a strong and mighty Lion who is fighting for us – the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He is fighting to set the captive free. He is the truth who can set you free.
“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6, 35-36, NASB.)
Do you love your enemies? God does. He loves His enemies because He is kind.
“For He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” (Verse 35)
Is all of your behavior good? God’s is. He always does good. Our attempts at doing good, on the other hand, are called “dead works” (Hebrews 6 and 9.)
How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14, NASB)
Are you a merciful person? Are you full of mercy and compassion and forgiveness toward others? Well, hallelujah! God is! He is the only One who is merciful. That is good news because we really need His mercy!
The first verses listed above, from Luke 6, are part of the famous “Beatitudes,” a.k.a., The Sermon on the Mount. In that sermon Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, trying to get them to see that they needed Him as their Messiah, their Saviour. But the fact is that they had already rejected Him and at that point in the story, they were already planning to destroy Him, to do away with Him. Why? Because, according to them, He “worked” on the Sabbath Day.
Yes. How dare Him, right? He actually walked through a grain field and allowed His disciples to pick wheat and eat it. In addition, He healed a man who had a withered hand . . . on the Sabbath day!!! Shocking, huh?
The Pharisees were like, “You evil unrighteous person! You picked wheat! You healed a man!” . . . uh? Okay.
It’s ridiculous to us, of course. But to them, it was audacious and wrong and against the rules!!!
And yet, all of us, at one time or another were just like the Pharisees. Blind, rule-following, religious, prideful jerks who rejected Jesus and saw no need for His love, His goodness, His mercy.
But . . . I can take a deep breath, take a sigh of relief and rejoice in His mercy to me.
“He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” (Luke 6:35)
I can be thankful today and every day, no matter what my circumstances are, because He has saved me by faith through grace.
I just want to praise Him today and remember that I am NOTHNG like Him. Neither are you, if you’re honest, and that is good news! Because He is God, and we are not.