I walked into a respected pastor’s office at Northshore Baptist Church. I started reading titles in his library. The old books in the collection were deep doctrinal books, then came the section on how to preach, great sermons, sermon ideas for pastors, then came the section on counseling, saving marriages, raising kids, suicide, etc. The most recent books were on the love of God.
I believe I had just walked through his spiritual journey in two minutes. The pastor as a young man was interested in the great ideas on scripture and wanted to share these with his congregation. However, those coming into his office had far more down to earth problems with a divorce in the making, a suicide attempt, an unmarried pregnant teenager. Most appreciated the time he spent and then promptly ignored his biblical advice. He then realized as never before that the Gospel is the only recipe for Liberty for those shackled by sin.
Without a changed heart there can be no real or lasting reformation.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
“I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if they knew they were slaves”
Sin is a hard taskmaster. The Gospel of Christ brings liberty. One of Jesus’ first public acts was to read in the synagogue a portion of Isaiah 61. Even today, I have the same reaction the audience had then:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. Luke 4:18:22
One of the hardest things to do in life is to be balanced. Our tendency is to get too worldly, then too religious. The Gospel keeps you balanced. Remember worldly addictions and lusts cause a loss of liberty in the same manner as religious rules and pomp.
As a Christian you have been adopted into the family of God, a child of the King. Cherish your liberty.
The Gospel is simple.
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
This is how you can detect if you are getting out-of-balanced. Are you doing things that are not of Christ and living as a slave to sin? The opposite of Gospel Liberty is Sin Slavery. Are you doing things are self-destructive that cause addiction, less education, unnecessary debt, and hurt relationships? On the other hand, are you doing religious things to find the acceptance of God and in the process “frustrating the grace of God” by acting as if His finished work on the cross is not enough.