On this Fourth of July holiday when we celebrate our hard-won American freedom, let Christians also celebrate our freedom in Christ. Having been given the gift of reconciliation to God and new life in Christ by grace through faith in the One who is able to save, we are no longer slaves to sin. We are no longer enslaved by the impossible task of working to convince our Holy God that we are worthy — based on our obedience — to dwell eternally in His presence. Let us celebrate the immeasurable riches of His grace and His inexpressible gift. Let us live with hearts and minds transformed, in profound gratitude toward the incomparable Gift-giver.
“The gospel shows us that our spiritual problem lies not only in failing to obey God, but also in relying on our obedience to make us fully acceptable to God, ourselves and others.
Every kind of character flaw comes from this natural impulse to be our own savior through our performance and achievement. On the one hand, proud and disdainful personalities come from basing your identity on your performance and thinking you are succeeding. But on the other hand, discouraged and self-loathing personalities also come from basing your identity on your performance and thinking you are failing.
Belief in the gospel is not just the way to enter the kingdom of God; it is the way to address every obstacle and grow in every aspect. The gospel is not just the “ABCs” but the “A-to-Z” of the Christian life.
The gospel is the way that anything is renewed and transformed by Christ — whether a heart, a relationship, a church, or a community. All our problems come from a lack of orientation to the gospel. Put positively, the gospel transforms our hearts, our thinking and our approach to absolutely everything.” (Timothy Keller, Paul’s Letter to the Galatians: Living in Line with the Truth of the Gospel, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2003, 2)
For further reading: Ephesians 2:1-10; Romans 3:21-26; Titus 3:1-8