However deep and wide you think the freedom offered to sinners in the gospel is–it’s more, not less. As my friend Dane Ortlund says, “It’s time to blow aside the hazy cloud of condemnation that hangs over us throughout the day with the strong wind of gospel grace.”
Robert Capon expounds on this:
Saint Paul has not said to you, “Think how it would be if there were no condemnation”; he has said, “There istherefore now none.” He has made an unconditional statement, not a conditional one–a flat assertion, not a parabolic one. He has not said, “God has done this and that and the other thing; and if by dint of imagination you can manage to pull it all together, you may be able to experience a little solace in the prison of your days.” No. He has simply said, “You are free. Your services are no longer required. The salt mine has been closed. You have fallen under the ultimate statute of limitation. You are out from under everything: Shame, Guilt, Blame. It all rolls off your back like rain off a tombstone.”
It is essential that you see this clearly. The Apostle is saying that you and I have been sprung. Right now; not next week or at the end of the world. And unconditionally, with no probation officer to report to. But that means that we have finally come face to face with the one question we have scrupulously ducked every time it got within a mile of us: You are free. What do you plan to do? One of the problems with any authentic pronouncement of the gospel is that it introduces us to freedom.
So, what are you going to do now that you don’t have to do anything? The secret of worship is that it’s only when you deeply grapple with the pride-smashing fact that you can’t do anything for Jesus, you begin wanting to do everything for Jesus. True discipleship happens when you come to terms with the fact that you are so unconditionally loved, forgiven, pardoned, and free that you say “yes” to whatever God wants.
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