Jan

28

2013

Tullian Tchividjian|2:01 pm CT

Freedom Is Serious Business

A golden word from Robert Capon–a word that the church must heed:

If we are ever to enter fully into the glorious liberty of the children of God, we are going to have to spend more time thinking about freedom than we do. The church, by and large, has had a poor record of encouraging freedom. It has spent so much time inculcating in us the fear of making mistakes that it has made us like ill-taught piano students: we play our pieces, but we never really hear them because our main concern is not to make music but to avoid some flub that will get us in trouble. The church, having put itself in loco parentis (in the place of a parent), has been so afraid we will lose sight of the need to do it right that it has made us care more about how we look than about who Jesus is–made us act more like subjects of a police state than fellow citizens of the saints.

16 Comments

  1. Amazing comment/insight. I really want to read some of R. Capons’ books… we keep hearing about them…

    thanks Tullian! – another great article

  2. RFC makes a good point.

  3. For me it is ironic that you wrote this piece! I feel like God in all His glory scares some people. Christians are more comfortable with boundaries and rules; stay within the social norms and do not deviate. Yet, Jesus was all about deviation with love. I enjoyed how you are encouraging believers to play their own spiritual song because God has made them unique. If he wanted us all to be bass drums His kingdom would be very loud and boring.

  4. “It is when God’s grace actually sinks in, at a real-life level, that it starts freeing us and we start looking like real Christians”. Ray Ortlund

    “The church, having put itself in loco parentis (in the place of a parent), has been so afraid we will lose sight of the need to do it right that it has made us care more about how we look than about who Jesus is”. Pastor T.

    Hmmmm? I think Grace at a real-life level will free me not to worry if I am looking like a real christian but point to who the real Jesus is. God BLess.

  5. There is precious little freedom in churches today.

    Everybody is trying to shackle you with something besides Christ, whether it be Popes, serious decisions for Christ, 3rd uses of the Law, inerrant Bibles, or…whatever.

    Christ and Christ alone brings real freedom. NO ADD-ON’S.

  6. Only those under the terror and threats of the Law act as though they live in a police state.

    The blood-redeemed saints are truly free!

    But now we are released from the Law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. Rom 7:6

  7. Mitchell Hammonds

    I really enjoy how Capon only quotes Bible verses when he has to and the rest of the time… he simply talks doctrine in real life language.

  8. Pastor
    Because when your looking around at others you miss Jesus. Please don’t expect so much from me I can’t take the pressure.

  9. It is important not to mistake emotion for grace or self discipline for legalism. Some of us very quickly get grace but need to discern when we are using it for an excuse to do whatever we want as long as it can be called gray in some way. That it may be allowed but is it beneficial to me verse can be vital for me.

  10. Mitchell Hammonds

    I find few to none who try to excuse adultery or murder by way of Biblical analysis. What I see more often than anything else is the false assumption that they personally are obeying to a degree that justifies their being numbered among the saved… usually over and against someone who is worse than they are.
    What the Law does for the Christian is completely and utterly level the entire field of humanity to failure – we have all been consigned to disobedience so that God can have mercy on us. “Be perfect just as God is perfect” we are told. Our answer is “I can’t.” Now you need a Savior who will guarantee your salvation – Christ. This is only known by faith – trust in other words. How is it known to be personal? Well it certainly can’t be by maintaining a positive acknowledgment of the fact. Instead, it is given through our senses… hearing it over and over, tasting it through bread and wine, and Baptism. Word and Sacrament – without them one is completely left to dwell inward to find whether or not Christ and the individual are abiding.

  11. “How is it known to be personal? Well it certainly can’t be by maintaining a positive acknowledgment of the fact. Instead, it is given through our senses… hearing it over and over, tasting it through bread and wine, and Baptism. Word and Sacrament – without them one is completely left to dwell inward to find whether or not Christ and the individual are abiding.”

    Re: this comment, with all due respect and not to diminish the means of sacraments,the word, other means given us, but in the same spirit of your zeal to boast only of God’s work – it is the SPIRIT who makes all known personally. Christ in us, our every hope.

    but just as it is written, “things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared or those who love Him. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit” 1 Cor 2:9-10

    The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God Rom 8:16/Heb 10:15 By the Spirit whom He has given us, we know that He abides in us. I John 3:24; 1 John 4:13

    May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you. 2 Cor 13:14

  12. Mitchell Hammonds

    Sacraments cannot be spoken of independent of the Holy Spirit. They are how He works. Otherwise any attempt to know whether or not it is given to you is completely subjective. That isn’t to say there is no place for the subjective – I think there is. But when someone struggles with assurance it has to be spoken of in terms of something given through a tangible means – the Sacraments. To attempt to experience God primarily through “feeling Him” or “experiencing Him” is mysticism. Purely opinion though.

  13. Amen, Mitchell.

    Freedom is such serious business that He didn’t leave it up to us, but took it completely out of our hands. Instead, He washes us with it, and puts it in our mouths.

  14. one final thought re: the couple comments above..we’re told the greatest way of abiding is-

    This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 1 John 3:23-24

    No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 1 John 4: 12-13

    Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him… And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. I John 4: 15-16,21

  15. Mitchell Hammonds

    And that is just the point… we don’t keep the commandments given to us. If what we “do” is the standard bearer of what “keeping His commandments” means then Christ’s death meant nothing in reference to being of any value for our salvation. It becomes strictly an example to follow. If we truly loved God – we wouldn’t sin – ever. But we do sin therefore it is proof we do not love God. At least not in the way God defines what “Loving Him and our neighbor” actually is or looks like. That is Christ alone. Read Romans 12 – I know of only one person who ever lived who can lay claim to that list of virtues – Christ.
    When I begin to think “I’m actually doing all God expects of me” (which does happen) I know it’s time to stop thinking for awhile or maybe lie down until that thought goes away.

  16. Mitchell,

    You have asserted that the work of the Holy Spirit is not directly experienced in the saints but is only mediated through the “means” or vehicle of the sacraments.

    “Sacraments cannot be spoken of independent of the Holy Spirit. They are how He works.”

    Using the Scripture alone, can you please show me where baptism and Lord’s supper is first defined as a Sacrament, and then how they serve as the mediatorial means through which the Spirit works?

    And how do you reconcile your view with the overwhelming volume of NT Scripture which shows the Spirit working directly and mediately in the lives of the saints? And with the many Scriptures that speak of the Spirit’s powerful indwelling/sealing/teaching/life-giving/sanctifying presence *in* the saints?

    How can the Spirit permanently indwell the saints if He is not reallly in the saints, but works only in/through the sacraments?

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