How to Be Truly Free

Freedom In Christ Is An Amazing Gift To His Believers.

Tim Lundy
Jul 4, 2021    42m
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Have you ever longed to feel truly free in your life? Contrary to what culture tells us, when we turn to the Bible, we will find that its message is that we can be free and that we can find freedom in Christ. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: [00:00:13] Happy Fourth of July Venture, I hope you're having a great holiday weekend. It's good to be back, I had some vacation time away and I'm glad to be back with you. I hope you're getting some time this weekend to celebrate as a family.

Tim Lundy: [00:00:27] I'm excited, not just because of the holiday, I am even more excited, next weekend, next Sunday, we're going to be back in our building in the worship center, and I'm excited about a 9:30 and 11:15 service. I appreciate your prayers, there's a lot going on, we've done a lot to renovate the space. we're still in process with that. We will ease into things as we go into summer, will begin launching those services. Hopefully, by fall, we're able to launch all the ministries in this building. But if you've been waiting, we'd love to have you come back, we'd love to be able to worship with you together. This Fourth of July weekend, we got the big picnic and one worship service on Kering Field. And then July 11th, we launch with our live worship services in the worship center, 9:30 and 11:15.

Tim Lundy: [00:01:16] In fact, why don't we take a moment and just pray, pray for all this going on, pray for our country, pray for our church and what God's doing through it. Will you pray with me? Father, I do thank you, I thank you for the freedoms that we often take for granted, I thank you for the freedoms that we have in this country. Most of all, I thank you for the freedom to be able to worship you and to gather your people in worship. Lord, I pray as we come to the end of a long season where we have been out of our worship center, we recognize that buildings are not the church. But you have given them as gifts, as tools, to foster worship, and to foster community, and foster connection together. Lord, I pray would you give us a great relaunch that we would be a people who are focused on the things that matter most, that we would enjoy the opportunity to be back together, but most of all, we would have the privilege of being in your presence as the people of God. This weekend on the 4th, as we think about freedom, I pray that we would focus on the freedom that matters most. We pray these things in Christ's name. Amen.

Tim Lundy: [00:02:32] Well, this weekend, I do want to talk about freedom, but not national freedom. I really don't want to go there, focus there, I think there's a place for that. But as I was praying about this message and thinking about it, I think there's a freedom that no matter what country you're in, no matter what your politics are, no matter where you are, there's a freedom that impacts all of us, I'm talking about a personal freedom. And the reason I bring it up is that freedom itself in a lot of ways has been redefined in our culture, and you feel it shifting and changing in it. I would say there is a false freedom that is presented to humanity, there's a false freedom.

Tim Lundy: [00:03:19] And what do I mean in that? When you talk about this modern sense of freedom is, when people use that, they say the freedom of self-assertion, the freedom that I should be able to do what I want to do, I should be able to be who I want to be, so it's the freedom of self-assertion. Another writer said, "It's the absence of any constraint." I mean, if you want to reduce them both down, it's basically I got to be me and I got to be free. And as a people and you hear this, this is one of the highest values today. That, man, you need to be you, you need to be you according to how you define you, and no one should put limitations on anyone else as long, and here's what we kind of throw in, as long as it's not hurting anybody. We should be able to have self-determination.

Tim Lundy: [00:04:12] Now, we act like this is a new thing. Os Guinness, in one of his books, I loved how he traced. He says, you can go all the way back to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, you just see this thinking coming, this sense of human self-determination. In it, he quotes just several people. He said, if you go all the way back to the Renaissance Pico Della Mirandola imagines God addressing Adam, listen to what he says, this is what God would say to Adam, You, who are confined by no limits, shall determine for yourself your own nature. You shall fashion yourself in whatever form you prefer. I mean, this is all the way back in the Renaissance time, this sense that instead of us being determined by God, as humans, we determine ourselves. And he kind of just traces it. Leon Alberti in the 15th century said, "A man can do all things if he will." Karl Marx said, "Man is free only if he owes his existence to himself." Marx said the only way that you're going to be free is that your whole existence has to start with you, your self-determining in that. Nietzsche said, "If there were gods, who could bear not to be a god, therefore, there are no gods." In other words, where the highest power in that. Even John F. Kennedy, I mean, I love the line in a way, but he says, "Man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings." Ayn Rand said, "Man's destiny is to be a self-made soul." E.O. Wilson said, in this century, "Humanity will be positioned godlike to take control of its own ultimate fate." I mean it's that modern definition, again, this freedom of self-assertion. That as humans, we control our destiny. And this absence of constraint, and especially the constraints that God, or religion, or somebody's morals, will place on you.

Tim Lundy: [00:06:19] Guys, you hear this everywhere, and I would say this specifically to young people, this is a core value. That you have to have this kind of freedom, as long, and again, we always throw this out there, as long as it's not hurting anybody else, as long as it's consensual, I should be free to do what I want to do. But here's my question, what if it's actually killing you? What if the person this kind of freedom hurts the most, are the very people who are striving for it? The very ones who bought into this, that your boundaries are artificial, let me be free.

Tim Lundy: [00:07:01] You know, one of the greatest examples I can give of it, several writers talk about, I mean, you look at these fish back in this tank. Now, the reality is this tank is a boundary that we've put in place. I mean, we've limited the world of these fish. And what if in the name of freedom, I took this hammer and I go, mean, no one should bind these fish, they should have the same freedom we have here, and I take the hammer, and I just, I'm not going to do it because I care more about the fish. But you get the picture, don't you? What would happen in a moment? Every one of these fish, they'd be free, they're kind of flopping on the floor, and for a little while, they'll be OK. But from the moment they fall, they're dying because they weren't made for this kind of environment, they weren't made for a world where you breathe oxygen with your lungs. God designed it so they need to be in the water, and they get the oxygen through their gills in it.

Tim Lundy: [00:08:04] You know, as you think about it, again, this goes back to the Renaissance, you really can go back to the very beginning. This is the story, guys, of what happened with Adam and Eve. When God placed them in this perfect environment, but an environment with boundaries. And that boundary, and there weren't many of them, there weren't many walls on the boundaries if you think of two little fish, Adam and Eve. But He says you guys have freedom, but here's a boundary I don't want you to cross. I don't want you to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, I don't want you to cross this boundary that, you know evil in that way, you would no sin in that way, because the moment you do, you know what happens, you'll start dying. And Satan came along and whispered in their ear, hey, God's holding back on you. God doesn't want you to be really free. God doesn't want you to experience all that he has. And he plays on their emotions, he plays on their jealousy, plays on pride, and basically, he gives them the hammer. And Adam and Eve were the ones that destroyed their world, and our world by the way. And in that moment, they started dying, and we started dying. I mean, maybe it's not immediately, we get this thing called a lifetime. But whether we want to admit it or not, we're under a rule of death. And I think part of the delusion is we keep telling ourselves, no, no, no, no, this way of freedom, being in control, it feels right to me, I should do what feels good to me.

Tim Lundy: [00:09:50] You know, one of the greatest lies out there, look out Proverbs puts it, I love how it says, "There's a way that seems right to a man." There's a way that seems right to humans, we read all those quotes, that's why you see it through history. We keep falling for it over and over again, we go, yeah, this feels right to me, I should be free like that. And, you know, what the end of it is? It's like that fish that's out of the water, it's death. And I think the great trick on all humanity that the enemy plays, is it's the collective blind spot of all people, that this freedom that feels right is ultimately leading to our death. And so that's why I'd say to you, when you put that caveat, as long as I'm not hurting anyone else, what if it's killing you? What if you're enslaved and you didn't even know it?

Tim Lundy: [00:10:47] I love how Goethe, the German philosopher, puts it. It's just a classic line, listen as he says, "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." And I think we live in a culture, and I just hear me and especially as young people, I just really want you to hear me, I think we are more enslaved now than ever before, I think there's more blindness than ever before, I think we're seeing the impact of it in so many ways, and I think so many of you feel it in your life. And the lie keeps telling you that you're anxious, or you're afraid, or you're feeling that, because of the constraints that religion or somebody else has put on you. When the reality is, we're dying because we were never made to live this way, like the fish that's out of water, we weren't made like this. We're enslaved, you know what that Scripture says, you're enslaved not only to sin, this fallenness that we feel, but you literally enslaved to death. We're on a path to not only death in this life, but death in the life to come.

Tim Lundy: [00:12:11] That's why I love teaching about Jesus. That's why I love teaching the Bible. Not because it's a religion, not because it's some artificial constraint, I love it because you know what the message of the Bible is? The message of the Bible is that you can be free, that I can be free, and we can experience true freedom. In fact, I want to talk to you as we just go through this message, how can you experience the kind of freedom I'm talking about? How can you experience the kind of freedom that, frankly, only Christ can bring? And if you look in your notes, I put, literally, I got four points, and that's based on free, F.R.E.E. And I don't often do that, I know it's kind of cheesy a little bit, but sometimes I need those things because they help me to remember and maybe you can remember it as well.

Tim Lundy: [00:13:08] So what is this freedom and how do you experience it? Let's look at it. True freedom, it begins with forgiveness from Christ. It begins when you have the forgiveness that only Jesus can bring. You know, the Scripture says that we are slaves to sin and death, and all of us need this forgiveness. In fact, there's probably no book that lays it out better, it's one of my favorite books in the Bible, it's The Book of Romans. And in the Book of Romans, Paul just walks through how everyone is a slave to sin, how everyone's been condemned. I mean, he says, "All have sinned and fall short of God's glory." He says, "The wages of sin is death.", we all earned that.

Tim Lundy: [00:13:49] In Romans 7, he kind of builds his case and he talks about his own life. He says, I don't do the things I want to do, and the things I want to do, I don't do. And at the end of the chapter he just cries out, he goes, "Man, wretched man that I am, who will save me?" I mean, do you feel that sense of desperation as he's crying out? Or maybe more honestly, do you ever feel that desperation? I know I do because I go, I'm not living the way I should. And you can feel that sense of guilt, you can feel the weight of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:14:24] That's why one of my favorite verses the whole Bible, it's right there in the middle of Romans. Some people say it's the greatest verse, in the greatest book, in the greatest chapter of the Bible. Romans 8:1-2, look how he puts it, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." That in Christ, in the forgiveness that only Christ can bring, instead of feeling that weight of sin and death and all that I've done wrong, there's no condemnation, there's no judgment. Look how he puts it, "For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus." And look what he set us free from, "The law of sin and death." See, you were trapped and sin, you were trapped in death. But because of Christ, because he was willing to pay, and the reality is, he did pay. It's not just, oh, he made a statement, says, OK, I'm going to forget about it, I'll just forgive the debt.

Tim Lundy: [00:15:26] You know, you think back to the last big housing crisis. You remember the housing crisis, and it was a combination of different things, bad banking practices, there were executives who are making a lot of money, different banks that had done some shady practices in the process. But our government looked at it, and even though the debt was huge, I mean, I think for Bank of America alone, it was like 17 billion, huge debts, but our government decided the banks were too big to fail. And so they came out, you remember, they said we're going to forgive the debts so that the banks don't fail. Now, they made the statement, but who paid for it? Well, if you're a taxpayer here in the US, you and I, we paid for it. I mean, they can make statements like, oh, yeah, we forgive the debt, but at the end of the day, somebody has to pay. That's the thing I love about Jesus, that's why I love it when he makes the statement, no condemnation, when we were set free from sin and death, there was a debt to be paid, and Jesus didn't just declare it and then make a bunch of other people pay for it. When God declared it. it's because Jesus was willing to pay for it. You talk about the greatest bailout in all of human history when Christ was willing to take on himself what should have been ours. And because he did that, we actually have real freedom.

Tim Lundy: [00:17:02] Some of you, you live every day with a sense of guilt all the time, some of you, you live every day with a tremendous fear of death all the time because you live under that debt, you live under the debt of sin. No matter how much you might convince yourself, no matter how much the media, or the world, or the culture will tell you, oh, those are artificial constraints, somebody just put that on you. No, do you know what your heart's telling you, do you know what your conscience is telling you? It's telling you that I am a sinner. There's a part of you that's afraid, so many people are afraid of eternity, they're afraid of death because they haven't experienced this freedom that comes from forgiveness in Christ.

Tim Lundy: [00:17:53] Now, it doesn't stop there, though, it's forgiveness and Christ, but also look at the second point, its relationship with Christ. This is the R of free, it's a relationship with Christ. The forgiveness of Christ is that one time event, that moment you come in relationship with him, you're forgiven forever. But to experience true freedom, to live in freedom, you go on in a relationship with him. This is how the Bible describes it, is that relationship. I love how Jesus describes in John chapter 8, he's putting some words to what does this look like? Look at John chapter 8, "Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him." So he's talking to believers, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth." And then look at what the truth does in our life, "The truth will set you free." And notice, if you abide, so, that word abide means you live, you dwell there, this is a part of your life. And so when he's using abide here in his word, he's not just talking about like, oh, it's a passing, ok, I believed in him and now I'm done with it. He says, no, this is now part of your life, you live listening to him. You're truly my disciples, a disciple is someone who follows, a disciple is someone who patterns their life after the person they're following. So, Jesus said, man, you live and you do life with me, you patterned your life after me, and then you're going to know the truth, you're going to know what is absolutely true in the world. And as Christians, we know that truth was revealed through the Bible, that this living book, Jesus was the living truth, but this is his written truth that was given to us. And in this truth, this truth literally sets us free.

Tim Lundy: [00:19:42] Now, maybe you're hearing this, and you've not had a relationship with Christ, and a lot of times you get confused about this because you would go, well, isn't the Bible just like any other book? How can this static book that was written by humans, it has a freedom that it brings today? And this is where I would encourage you, and I don't know how to explain it, but if you don't have a relationship with Christ, it's hard to explain it. But the Bible is unlike any other book, because remember, we were dead in our trespasses, we were literally blind, that blind spot that seemed right but led to death. When you come to Christ in that forgiveness, he opens your eyes, he opens your eyes spiritually to the truth that's out there. He makes you alive, you're dead, now you're alive in him. And to keep us alive in him, his spirit literally is in us, with us. And so he opens our minds and our hearts to be able to understand spiritual things.

Tim Lundy: [00:20:41] So the same Holy Spirit that was in us, is also the same one who superintended, who led, the men who wrote this book. And when they wrote it, it says in Hebrews, Scripture is living, it's unlike any other book that's out there. Timothy describes it as, God-breathed. Paul, when he's writing, Timothy, he said, it's inspired by God. And that combination of the Holy Spirit within us, who's now given spiritual life, and this living book, gives us a truth to be able to abide in it. And then we know, OK, what are those boundaries? What is it that God's called us to? Where are those places that we would go, OK, if you cross that...And you read through the Bible, a lot of times he says, hey, this is life and this is death. If you'll stay in here, you're alive. Just like the fish, if you'll stay in these boundaries, fish, man, you can live and swim. But, man, if you want to shatter this, you want to go beyond it, you're experiencing death out there.

Tim Lundy: [00:21:48] Now, here's the key and I put in your notes on purpose, it's a relationship with Christ, we never want to reduce it. While there are boundaries and while there's truth in Scripture, sometimes the temptation, especially from spiritual people at times, or religious people, is we want to take those boundaries and in order to be really safe, we reduce them more than God ever would. That's what the Pharisees did, that's why Jesus and the Pharisees would clash all the time. Because they kept telling him, Jesus, man, you're breaking the rules that God set. And Jesus looked at him and he goes, I keep all of God's boundaries, I kept all of God's word, but you guys have reduced this thing from what was supposed to be this living relationship, to a religion, to a bunch of rules that you keep.

Tim Lundy: [00:22:42] In fact, even Christians get tempted with this. Paul had to right the church and Galatia, because even after they had come to Christ, they suddenly wanted to put a bunch of law back on it, and they wanted to put a bunch of rules. Look how he puts it in Galatians 5, he says, "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Paul says, hey, you're free now in Christ, why would you put a different form of slavery, religion, rules, reduction? I think often the picture for me if you think of this is life in Christ for these fish., man, there are boundaries, there's life in here. But what if we come along and we go, you know what, to be safe? We need to reduce that that much more. We need to take one of these fish and put them in here, and we're going to make it a little bit tighter and we're going to have the rules a little bit more, and we can control this. And a lot of times we do this as parents, a lot of times we do this with young people. We don't really trust a full relationship with Christ that God could lead them, and where God set the boundaries, let them be the boundaries, a lot of times we reduce it to a bunch of rules. And all of Christianity is kind of tight and compressed just like this, and we go, this is how you can be a good boy, and a good girl, and you stay out of trouble. And if we're really honest, as parents, this is how we can control you. And if we're honest, there's a lot of young people who are looking at this and they're going, if that's all Christianity is, it's just doing these right things and not doing those things, I don't know that I want to limit my life to this. And they look at this and they go, you know, that freedom the world's offering, that freedom to be who I want to be, that freedom out there, that sounded a lot more attractive. See, guys, that's why it's so dangerous when we add a layer of legalism, when we reduce the whole thing to rules. Now, am I saying there are no boundaries? Absolutely, there are boundaries, just like there are boundaries on this fish tank, just like there's boundaries here. But the key, and this is why it goes back to Jesus' words, that you know the truth and let the truth set you free. The key for all of us is, how do I let God's word determine where the boundaries are? How do I let God's word, through a living relationship with him, determine, man, here's life and here's death? And the freedom that we have in that, we let people live in that freedom.

Tim Lundy: [00:25:24] See, to experience freedom starts with forgiveness, the second part is it moves to a relationship with Christ. Here's the third part of freedom, it's in exchanging my life with Christ, this is this active part every day. Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China years ago, and faithful, but was so faithful he almost burned himself out, almost left the mission field. Until later, his son described it, he discovered this joy, discovered this way of life, he discovered in it, and he described it as the exchanged life. And when his dad was asked about it, his dad just said, you know, I realized I was trying to do everything in my power, I was trying to do everything just within me. And I realized that all of scripture speaks about Christ in me, talks about this exchange of who I am and truly living in him every day.

Tim Lundy: [00:26:21] And frankly, I'll just be honest, I think there's a lot of us, even as Christians, we miss out on the true freedom of Scripture because we don't experience this exchange. Paul puts it in Philippians 1, I love how he says, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." He's writing this from prison, by the way, he has a death sentence over him. And when the Philippians asked about him, he's writing this letter to him, he says, don't worry about me, I'm good. I'm so good, because every day that I live, it's just about Christ. And so if I'm alive, it's about Christ, and if I die, guess what, I get to be with Christ. Do you feel the freedom of that verse? For so many people, who we've lived under this pandemic, and we've lived under the fear of death, and we live under a lot of fear out there. And you got a guy who literally has death hanging over his head, and he goes, yeah, I'm all right because I've exchanged life in a way that life is about Christ, so death doesn't scare me anymore.

Tim Lundy: [00:27:36] How do you experience that? What do I mean when that exchange? It is as simple as, and I have to do this in my prayer life more, as I get up in the morning, as I think about it. I go, OK, how do I exchange my life today, what I would do today with what Christ would do today? And I pray, hey, Christ, exchange my desires, you know what I want, but I want what you want, so, you're going to have to do that work in my heart. And as he does that, man, it brings such freedom. Exchange, here's a hard one, exchange about expectations, help me to expect today what you expect from me today. Because see, so often, my expectations are if I'm doing the right things, and having my quiet time, and I'm being good, and I'm staying within the boundaries, today supposed to be a good day. I'm not supposed to have bad things, and then bad things happen.

Tim Lundy: [00:28:34] And then I remember Christ's expectation, do you remember what Christ said, he says every day has trouble. Then I remember, he actually wants to use suffering, and he wants to use those hard things, to make me more like him, to actually fulfill that exchange. It's the exchange of control, this is probably the key prayer I have to pray the most, is Jesus. help me give you control today, instead of me being in control. Help me have your outlook today, help me see people the way you do, help me live for others, and live for you, like you did when you're on this planet. Because my natural propensity is to make life about me, and my schedule, and what I want. And whether I would call it this or not, you know, what researchers would call that kind of orientation, it's the hedonic life, it's the life where I'm trying to gratify self. And like the fish in the water, our bodies weren't made for that kind of life, our souls weren't made for that kind of life. And when you are not living in Christ in the environment you were made for, man, you literally die, you're like a fish out of water.

Tim Lundy: [00:28:34] It's interesting to see this played out both on a physical level, but also emotional, social level. A couple of studies and these aren't Christian studies, but it just shows the impact of this kind of orientation in life. One of them that was fascinating to me, it was a study in 2013, UCLA and the University of North Carolina did together. It's the study of the impact of happiness on the body, but two different forms of happiness, what they call eudemonic wellbeing and hedonic wellbeing. And here's the difference between those two. eudemonic or eudaimonia is an orientation of life where you are a life-giver, where you're serving others. Hedonic is that orientation of life where you're serving yourself, you're trying to gratify self. Now, here was the fascinating part, the eudemonic, the unselfishly happy people whose feelings of well-being involved a deep sense of purpose in life, they also had a strong presence of antiviral and antibody genes, their body literally reflected it. The discovery that you're more tethered to your purpose despite any physical or emotional pain it caused, even if it's hard to live out that purpose, even if it's costly to do that, your body gains the ability to fight disease better. They're the person who their joy comes from giving their life away. And again, this was a secular study as they described it. They just said people that have that orientation that your life is about others, and you enjoy giving your life away in that purpose, your physical body shows the benefit of it. Now, here was the other fascinating part, those who lived a hedonic life, a self-gratifying life, wrapped up in their pleasure more, it resulted in greater inflammation and resulted in a lower immune system. There's this consummatory self-gratification that, as one researcher just said, you know what? Hedonism, you will enjoy parts of it, but it's slowly killing you. Now, here's all it is saying, and here's what I believe, we were designed by God to live the kind of life that Christ lived. And when you orient your life that way and it's life-giving and you're giving it away, your physical body even recognizes it, there's an impact on us. When you live in a way that you go, you know what, instead of just having this unrestrained self-expression, unrestrained freedom out there, when you actually live in the boundaries that God's placed, it brings health as well.

Tim Lundy: [00:32:52] You know, I would say this, especially for young people, you know, we've got a rise, and if you look in the world today, the rise of anxiety, the rise of depression, the rise of the impact on the world. You know, another study was just fascinating to me, that where they did a series of studies to see how a fence, or a boundary, would impact the behavior of children. And so they built a playground, they put a playground in the middle of a field with no fences. And they watched as children played on the playground, but in this open field with the playground there, the children almost invariably stayed in the very center, they never strayed far from. And then they came back, and they put a fence all the way around it, and they said it was remarkable, immediately, the children started filling all the space, they'd go to the corners, they'd go to the edge of the fence. There was something about the security of those boundaries that actually led to greater freedom.

Tim Lundy: [00:34:05] Folks, I think it's a great picture of what's happening today, we're raising a generation and we're telling them there are literally no boundaries. And I think we scare them to death, and I think the anxiety of trying to figure out life in a world without any of the boundaries, no wonder it's spiking. See, that's the beauty of what God's given us in his word, that's the beauty of life in Christ. In Christ, I'm forgiven for what I've done wrong. In Christ, I have a daily relationship, he shows me, follow me, I'll show the boundary, I'll show you the truth, you'll have freedom. In Christ, when I make that exchange, I know how to live that out because it's no longer in my power, it's in his power.

Tim Lundy: [00:34:52] The final E I would just say with it, the final E is you actually experience, and I experience, who was made to be in Christ. And this is the exciting part, because we think, OK, you have the boundaries, gods trying to limit you, actually gods trying to free you. And I would say this, you'll never discover who you truly are until you discover it in Christ, because he's the one that made you. And we live in a world, and again, I'll just talk in this age where we have social media, we have so much connection in it. But I talked to so many people, and there's so many people, you're trying to be somebody you are never meant to be. You're trying to live up to somebody else's expectations, you're constantly comparing yourself to people that you see out there and you feel like they're getting ahead, and they're winning in life, and you're left with your sense of inadequacy and often a sense of failure.

Tim Lundy: [00:35:56] So, again, this is what I love about Christ, and I don't think we teach it enough. I love how Ephesians 2 puts it, it's one of the great verses about salvation, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, that not of yourself; it’s the gift of God, not a result of works." We often stop there because it talks about that forgiveness and that gift. But, you know, look what he says in verse 10 when he continues, because we've been saved, he says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." You've been saved by grace, but Christ doesn't stop there. He says, yeah, and after you've been saved, do you know what you get to discover? That you're his workmanship. That word there literally means you're his craftsmanship, you're someone that he took great care in designing and crafting. God loves you, and he loves how he made you, and in Christ, you get to discover who you are. You get to discover, man, what are those good works, what's the good things that he made for me to do in life, that only I can do because I was uniquely made. There's a freedom that comes in that.

Tim Lundy: [00:37:24] Folks, I want everyone on the planet to experience this kind of freedom. We may live in different countries, regimes may change, our country may change. See, the great news is, when you know Jesus Christ, when he's your savior, you are a part of his kingdom. And in his kingdom, you're always free, you're free from sin and death forever. You're free to actually have a real relationship with him that is not based on shame because he loves you and invited you into his family. You're free to live in him every day, that you literally can say, for me to live is Christ because he exchanges my rotten life with his beautiful life. You're free to experience who Christ made you to be.

Tim Lundy: [00:38:22] But to experience this freedom, you have to trust him, you have to embrace him. And even as I say that some of you just go, yeah, I don't know if I could do that, I can't give up my freedom. Do you know what you sound like? You sound like the fish who's flopping on the floor, that you go, hey, when do you want to get back in the water? And they go, oh, I don't know if I want to be back in that tank, I can't give up my freedom that's literally killing me. As opposed to trusting Jesus. and know that whatever he would call me to, whatever environment he'd place me in, whatever boundaries he put in place, it's only for my good because he was the one that designed my life to live and designed my life to begin with. Can I trust him with it?

Tim Lundy: [00:39:18] Now, I'll close with the story of a guy who was talking about he was having coffee one day in a coffee shop and the door was open, and a little Robin came in. And the Robin was eating crumbs on the floor and went all the way in until the crumbs ended, and then in that moment the Robin went to take off but flew right into the window. And it kind of startled the little bird, and so the bird flew again to the window flew again into the window. Finally, the young man kind of reached over and tried to shoo the bird a little bit toward the door, but it only knocked it over and the bird went into the window a different way. The bird is sitting there panicked, but because this young man cared about him, he went over, and he took his hands and he wrapped them around the bird. And in that moment, the bird felt so constrained. but he walked him over and he set him free, and the bird flew away.

Tim Lundy: [00:40:24] See, birds were meant to fly free, fish were meant to swim in an environment where they're free, and you and I, as humans, we were meant, we were created, to live in Christ, it's where you find freedom. And I know in that moment, giving him that kind of control, you may feel even like that bird, did you go, ooh, this is a little panicky. But I promise you this, as someone who's been through it, I promise you, as someone who gets to do life with people every day who've experienced it, if you will embrace the freedom that Christ brings, it literally will change your life and change your eternity. I hope today on this Independence Day, you would give Christ your life and you would receive from him the freedom that only he can bring.

Tim Lundy: [00:41:31] Will you pray with me? Father, even now, as I pray this, I thank you for freeing me, you freed me from sin, you freed me from death, you freed me to be who you made me to be. Lord, I pray for anybody listening to this who's never made that step, maybe they're scared to trust you, maybe they've been told that it's just religion, it's just like a little fish that's going to confine them, maybe they feel like they want to keep control, even though it's killing them. Lord, I pray that if there's anyone hearing this message right now and your Spirit is moving in their hearts and they know they need to take this step, would you give them the courage right now to confess Jesus Christ as savior, he paid it all. Would you give them the belief that you are Lord, that having a relationship with you changes everything, and they would confess that right now Jesus Christ is my Lord? Lord, for all of us who have experienced that forgiveness, may we live in the freedom that only Christ can bring? And we pray this in his name. Amen.



Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600