FREEDOM IN CHRIST

Well, it’s July, and for us in the USA that means we celebrate our national Independence Day on the 4th. But God forbid those are the only FIREWORKS in your life! Like I, you are filled with the spirit of our Living Lord Jesus Christ, and if you walk with him, you can set off life-changing explosions in, and light up the hearts of, many men and women.

As I hope you know, and are praying for, Franco Bottley and I, along with a committee of brethren, are feverishly preparing to film our Jesus Christ: The Diameter of the Ages video. My personal goal is to so open my heart to my Lord that he can heal me of any deep wounds I do not currently recognize, so that I can most vividly set forth his magnificent love in this presentation. I want him to come off the screen and palpably touch your life. Honestly, I feel very inadequate to do this teaching, but I’m counting on Jesus to enable me.

Jesus Christ was without question the most loving human being who ever lived. He always personified the pure love of God. That is because his burning love for all men was centered in TRUTH. He is The Living Truth. Never forget that Truth defines love, and every other biblical concept. Without the Truth of God’s Word, people are adrift in a sea of speculation. The Word shows us that Jesus was a fanatic about “every jot and tittle” of God’s revelation to mankind. His motto was, “IT IS WRITTEN!” Check out the following verses:

John 8:31-36
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

This month we celebrate our national freedom, such as it is at this point in our country’s history. Since its inception, the forces of evil have been at work to achieve their goal of enslaving us, and our freedom, especially as Christians, is slowly diminishing. The good news is that our individual freedom in Christ CANNOT be diminished IF we choose to cleave unto our Lord Jesus and walk in his steps. And if we do, we will most assuredly be living “Life in the Fast Lane.” I looked up the definition of this popular contemporary phrase, and here’s what I found: “a very active or possible risky way to live; a way of living that is full of excitement and activity and often danger; an exciting and eventful lifestyle, especially one bringing wealth and success.”

Are you kidding me?! What a fitting definition of walking with the Lord! How do we know? We look at his own life, and the lives of those who sold out to following him, e.g., the apostle Paul—active, risky, exciting, eventful, dangerous, full of spiritual success, and, eventually, bringing great wealth, as per “treasures” that we are laying up for our future life.

As our “Prince,” our “Captain,” and the “Author” (Greek archegos=the first one in line in a rank or file”) of our salvation, Jesus paved The Truth Lane for us. As his followers, we are to live “Life in The Truth Lane.” More good news: there’s no speed limit in The Truth Lane! And you can go wherever you want to go with the Lord. The Truth Lane always takes us to our desired destination. It’s sad to say, but due to the lack of Truth in Christianity today, there’s not much of a rush hour in the Truth Lane, but hey, the more, the merrier!

As the risen Lord and Head of the Body, Jesus inspired the writers of the Christian Scriptures to echo his passionate penchant for Truth. Three pertinent examples follow:

2 John 1-4
The elder, to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father.

3 John 1-4
The elder, to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truththat is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

“Truth,” anyone? Wow, I’ll say. If you read the rest of each of those brief epistles, you see what particular truth is in sight. And then comes a most significant statement in 3 John in which Demetrius is contrasted to the counterfeit leader, Diotrephes:

3 John 12
Demetrius has a good report from all men, and of the truth itself…

In other words, Demetrius lined up his life according to God’s Truth—and lived it. Recently, I heard a prominent Christian teacher say: “If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it.” Now that is sobering—if I choose to meditate upon it, because too often I fail to live the truth I know. Ar-r-rgh! What each of us is called to do is to BE TRUE TO TRUTH, that is, practice it faithfully. Jesus did it so flawlessly that he could say, “I am the truth.” Here is his vision for you and me:

Philippians1:9-10
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.”

To achieve that lofty goal, we must first commit ourselves to knowing the Word of God. Did someone say, One Day With The Creator andThe End Times? Today, a well known, non-burger food commercial on TV exhorts us to, Think outside the Bun! God’s exhortation to us is, Think inside the Book! There you will find the heart of The Man of your dreams, The Lover of your soul, and your Mentor in the art of faith. Rejoice in the Lord Jesus, and enjoy his presence today.

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