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What Is Freedom?

Chris Holland
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Chris Holland

Chris Holland is speaker/director of It Is Written Canada. 

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  • March 21, 2015
    11:00 AM
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I'm all right. It has stood the test of time. God's Book the Bible still relevant in today's complex world when it is written. Sharing messages of hope around the world. I'm I'm I'm questions with no answers just leaves us disappointed questions without answers kind of like apple pie without ice cream it just leaves us wanting more. But we've been in the midst of a series beyond questions because the reason we need to go beyond questions is we need that answer is especially when it comes to the great questions of life. The questions that effect our eternal life. We've talked about what it means to really live. What's the true meaning of life. Can we trust the Bible. Questions and we've been able to provide answers. And when I say we I'm thankful to again be joined by John Bradshaw speaker director of it is written International. Thank you for coming today John. Chris thanks for having me it's always a joy to be here. Thank you. You know we've been spending time here over the past several weeks and I'm just thankful that you've been able to come here to Canada and share with us some of the teachings some of your experience of Bible teaching. You know we've been asking this question we been saying we need to go beyond the questions we need to find answers. And it's been a great thing for us to do together two ministries that are tied at our very roots birthed out of the principle of wanting to spread the Good News of Jesus to organizations that share the same name operating in different places and operate to different contexts but with one common goal and that is to help people find the real meaning real purpose in life in Jesus. And so we've been exploring we started our journey by talking about your own personal story of finding that purpose. And then we saw that you found purpose in the scriptures and we asked the question are the scriptures really reliable. What are the odds that this book that claim so much is true. And we found that it is true and we looked at prophecy after prophecy where God says hey you can test me test me because I know the end from the beginning so test to see if I'm telling the truth. And we've seen over and over again and where that leads us it leads us on a journey to find jesus jesus who promises a new and abundant life. And last week we talked about. OK. OK So we take it that the Bible is true. We take it that God has a plan. We take it that Jesus is the Messiah. So what does it mean to really follow Jesus. Good question and we explored briefly but we did explore the idea What does it mean to truly follow Jesus. And we went to that passage in Acts chapter two where the crowd asks Peter the question what do we do. And then Peter responds repent and be baptized and then he says for the remission of sins. So let's start there. John why. Do we need this remission of sins or maybe we'd even ask what does it mean that we have this remission of sins What is that all about. Isn't it amazing that God treats the very people who killed his son by taking away their sins. See sin leads to death for the reason that as Isaiah the prophet said Sin separates us from God yes God is where life is just like not breeding leads you to death. You got to breathe to live we must be connected to God in order to live sin breaks that connection and we die physically but we die spiritual which is far more important. Sin is sin is the terminal illness that's killing all of us through faith in Jesus who died for our sins. Allison has taken away was placed on him we received freedom where once we had condemnation. God takes away our sin that we might have a life see though the one of the great questions Christiana the answer is what are going to do with your sin. Not all religions deal with that is a sin problem. What do you do about your unregenerate heart. Christianity has the answer. Jesus died for your sins. God will create in you a clean heart renew a right spirit within you and so maybe we start there. Because some might be saying OK what is even sent in and we want to take a lengthy time on that but I mean in simple terms John what what is sin. Well I think of a definition in the Bible that says whatever is not of faith is sin and that's a little abstract but you know we get that first John three two is four. John wrote sin is the transgression of the law there are some who say sin is missing the mark out with that and that's fine I'm not going to say that's wrong. But John was real clear. Some translations say sin is lawlessness. Yes sin is the breaking of breaking. God's law is sin. OK Paul put it around the other way in Romans Chapter four he says where there is no law there is no transgression. I've driven on the Autobahn. I hope no one think it blasphemy but I've often called it one of God's great gift to the human human rights the Autobahn in Germany and I remember driving along there and a poor old Tory not to enter a Volkswagen van we were we were going about one hundred five miles an hour out of this thing what one hundred seventy kilometers an hour Sure. For what it's full speed downhill these two black cars went by and one was a Mercedes Benz One was an Audi cruise they had to have been doing one hundred seventy miles an hour that's a lot of kilometres and an awful lot. Now they did that on a highway in Vancouver or auto or a John is to scared to on that be the last time they drove for a while. Yes because there's laws against that right. That's right but on the autobahn in certain places you can drive that speed and it's OK There's no law so there's no transgression Now you and I can do this and that any other it's OK on the side of God But when the law forbids certain things it's right to go against that it's transgression of the law and when we have Christ living his life in us He guides us in the right path but left to ourselves you know water just runs downhill and and that's what we do when we find ourselves in sin situations way too easily. And so in summary sin is living outside of God's will and God has set up a standard and that standard is not because sometimes we think of standard we automatically think of the word rule and then we think of well rules are made to be broken but God has set up a standard that isn't restrictive but actually is worrying because it allows us to live life in the abundance that God has for us. Yet the wages of sin is death God says no no wait wait I've got a bit away. Look you can live this way you know you don't have. You don't have to end up in the ditch you know in the sewer at the swamp you can live this wonderful free beautiful happy peaceful life. Follow this it's my god sounds like you bit of followers or else you can look at it like that if you want but that's not God's untamed God says he'll walk this way it's that it's the way of Liberty and safety and blessing and freedom. Jesus said I came to get the life more abundantly. That's right and so we have this. But when we live a life without Jesus we come to the point where we decide we are going to follow Jesus and so Jesus says OK you need to repent or be baptized for the remission of sin and that word remission can be translated in a number of different ways but it gives the idea of forgiveness you know I think I'm a Bible character who we often esteem very very highly and I think we ought to. But King David who you know King David is called a man after God's own heart. But on King David's rise to power we find King David in a precarious situation. David was a man up to God on how to write until he wasn't. Yes Now he was again later but boy he wandered in the wilderness for a while and you look at David's David's experience you know he's walking on the rooftops one night he looks down he should have been looking up he spent some time looking up because he was able to say The heavens declare the glory of God. Yes He spent a lot of time looking up but there's not you look down know how he saw Bathsheba bathing still no harm I mean he could use it or pardon me and walked off. Yes but he didn't do that to him before this thing was over he'd taken another man's wife he had the man killed a baby was born he lived a few days and lots of life they would end up being a terrible father he had a dysfunctional family towards the end of his life he numbered the kingdom and seventy thousand people died. This honestly in between his good moments he was a bit of a train wreck at times and so we see. This David. How can he be called a man after God's own heart. There's a psalm that David authored that gives this reflection of the idea because undoubtedly guilty of murder guilty of adultery you're guilty of disobedience and the list goes on the list goes on. But somehow he finds in God's I'd to be called a man after God's own heart. Psalm fifty one authored by David talks about this experience of forgiveness I think it's important to to take that moment and consider what kind of man David was because there's a little David in all of us. Yes maybe a lot of David and some of us. And David needed forgiveness and so do we David needed restoration so did we he need a remission so do we. You see and so while I'm happy to to throw David under the bus. I mean I do that because that's us as hopeless as David was we are you know without without gods. DAVID And you want to do that you see there was a king who came before David we remember soul as being a total wreck. I would say if you put soul sins on one side of the scales and Davidson's on the other David probably outweighs all sure but Sol never came to the place where David did. David returned to God he cried out in some fifty one he said Have mercy upon me of God according to your loving kindness. You know right away we find something remarkable. If you come to God and you repent of your sins and you ask for forgiveness you want to turn away from them what hope do you had you had broken God's law or you had transgressed you sinned against Him You shamed yourself and several. David knew where to start. Have mercy upon the Lord I don't. Bring anything to this thing where I can bargain with you. I'm just pleading with you on the simple show me mercy. That's the place to start with God knowing that he is a civil God not a tyrant not a condemning God The only time God conditions like really I think is when you read a five hour decision to condition ourselves by not going to him. That's right Jesus said The problem with you all is that you will not come to me that you might have life. That's the problem. And so David in this state knowing he has no bargaining chips knowing that he has because rightful and you've quoted this text now a number of times. Romans six twenty three the wages of sin is death and you know sometimes John when we talk about sin even in the Christian community we kind of go hoops and we actually don't even like the word sin sometimes we we want to use the word mistake or misstep because sin carries with it a connotation. Romans six twenty three says the wages of sin is death and if we make it a very simple math formula sin equals death sin brings about death. Yes it does. And so David in this state of a litany of sins comes to God where God by a legal and just rights. Could for lack of a better word could eliminate it absolutely. The wages of sin is death David dear and all David can do is cry out for mercy and so mercy is this on merited favor that God would see because notice he says have mercy according to your loving kindness. According to the multitude of your tender mercies. So notice David Kane issue it. You on the civil. I know something that you got and that is that you have a loving kindness and that your tender mercies multitudinous. And what an incredible thing so we came to God knowing who he was coming to. He didn't come to God the tyrant he didn't come to God the ostia judge he came to a merciful God see when we come to God we must know that we come to a merciful God willing to forgive you know and I don't know if you've ever had this experience but you know you're talking about the Autobahn and so it seems that you and your eye goes up there in the end you were talking to me about a rental car you had before. Some of us like to drive a little faster than Maybe we oughta drive so I've heard and you know I don't know if you've had this experience I had this experience one time where I was guilty I I was speeding I knew I was speeding I was in a hurry and the police officer said Son you need to slow down and he gave me my license and he did not give me a ticket rightfully just believe he couldn't give me a ticket. But in mercy. I didn't deserve that. In mercy he allowed me to not be held responsible for that but he did something. If you're not long ago I had a similar experience. Honest to goodness I did not see the sign. I was coming into a town the back roads I was following a G.P.S. I know where I was I was hope you know I was driving a fast car as a rental car that went fast. I was not driving it fast it wasn't but I was exceeding the speed limit. I didn't know that I didn't know that I see the flashing lights so I went with my driver's license ready and the policeman was a nice fella. Long story short he came back and he said you know I used to have a cop cop one of these was my cop he said and those are the words he used he said I know how fast they go. Just be careful. So it's easy to go fast right now. Notice what he said he was merciful to me when he didn't need to be but he said I understand your dilemma. It's the equipment you're using. S C Yes Now in the one hundred third Psalm God David wrote He knows our frame he remembers we are dust. God knows the equipment we're using. Yes. He knows we are faulty and he knows we were struggling down here and God says look I I understand now I know that we could do with a program where we look at Justice. But but but justice and mercy meet together in heaven saying to him We're soul and God God doesn't choose to throw the book at us because of this thing called repentance and mercy and forgiveness and he will say I get it I see the struggle you having doesn't make the sin OK it does but when we come to God God is able to say you know let's try again. Yes. Tune your heart over to me again like let's see if this time you can give me more of your life so you can succeed where once you've failed. David does something also remarkable and something you want to blot out my transgressions verse to wash me thoroughly for my iniquity claims me from my eyes and I've done a little work in prisons you know it's not uncommon for someone in prison to say I didn't do it and I was framed. So I'm not saying that of all prisoners. I see that's not uncommon. I made a visit and I've had some wonderful experience in prisons talking to inmates who found Jesus I visited a fellow on death row he was waiting to be executed still is. And this man did the crime. Ne Ne's and he's not trying to say he didn't. Wow he said to me I feel terrible for and I quote My crimes which I have committed. He wrote me a little later. I keep in touch with him and he said Pray for me but more importantly pray for the for the families of my victims. So you see what this man is doing he has had a conversion experience. I'm not trying to say that he's not a murderer he still does an awful things but he's taking ownership of that a lot of us will. Well you know I would have said those words of Chris had upset me like that. Now you know I wouldn't have taken that ten dollars if I had a job will find an excuse. David this man no excuse if I did I'm sorry I'm guilty. David does the same thing. I can trust you to forgive me of my sin if we're going to play games with God about whether we did or didn't. How can God really reform us when we're not even being intellectually honest or spiritually honest about this. You can come to God and say look I did it I'm sorry. And that's when God can meet you and say OK we can turn this thing around now because your own NG what you did. I acknowledge my transgressions verse three My sin is ever before me against you you only I have sinned. He doesn't downplay it. This was evil. I took another man's wife. I had the man killed. I lied about it. It went on and on. I jeopardize the kingdom. I cost the life of the newborn baby. I did it. What did God do what God do. I'm going to I'm going to drop down here we can come back up. Sure but in those ten Create in me a clean heart home and renew a right spirit within me so make me new but also make me steadfast this right spirit means a steadfast or a constant spirit yes. So don't just forgive me so I can go my way and forget I was ever forgiven. Forgive me so I can go on now not repeating the same mistakes I made before and this is amazing. David who who did these heinous things. Lord I admit I was wrong I have no excuse. I throw myself at your feet. Would you please make me a new one of God due later on in the book of Acts. Yes. Look right and refers to David as being a man up to God Yes Now he could have and I know I'm taking this ever so slightly out of context but he could have referred to David the adulterer or David the forgiven murderer or David the faulty King. Yes but he's able to reach back beyond Davidson to the time God called David and then after God's own heart because David's repentance was genuine. Yes I can imagine it with all that sin on his record. The Bible was able still to refer to him again as a man after God's own heart and that is an amazing thing and and this prayer he uses these three words a lot. Yeah. Wash and cleanse and that is you know when you think about cleaning itself blocking you know you have something on the carpet and you and you put some kind of cloth to lift it from them to wash you know you're getting in there and you're washing it and then declines is that deep cleaning and then not only does God do it but as you just said he creates a new person in David and a clean heart and a steadfast person. It's as we talked about in last week's show it's transformation. Forgiveness is where we cast ourself at the feet of Jesus at the feet of God and say I have I have nothing to give. But Lord you have everything to give. I want to show you just one more thing to you. What's the what's the the end result of this well one of the end results of verse thirteen in our peach transgresses your way and sinister will be converted to you. So God when you make me new I can reach others for you. David wasn't saying Repent me just for my sake. He was saying God I have a work to do to reach others. That's right instructed and when God makes you knew now he wants you to go and be his hands and feet and his mouthpiece so that others would be made. As well David was reformed from the depths of sin because he didn't hide from that he trusted in a merciful and loving God and because he had a purpose. I want others to enter into this joy as well and that is phenomenal because that that is true freedom that for God to lift all of this away and it is almost as if it never happened in God's eyes as if it has never happened right. And we're made new people that we can walk with the Lord and that someone might write of us that John was a man after God's own heart. Chris was a man after God's own heart beautiful and as we continue to answer that question what does it mean to follow Jesus and what is true freedom. That freedom is found in the forgiveness of God. You know John it's hard to believe that we're out of time. Again you know we I think we could talk for hours. But here's what I know. There is true freedom in the forgiveness of crisis theories. Let's pray about that forgiveness now. Heavenly father we are thankful that you are willing to forgive to the uttermost so we cast ourselves upon you and beg for mercy knowing in full assurance that you will give us that mercy and that Lord you would take us from sinner. Two. TEACHER of others who struggle with sin. We pray for this transformation for each one of us we pray in Jesus' name amen amen. Hello. Hi everyone and his name is Joe OK. And with it it wouldn't help you transformed his diet while he was waiting for an inmate in Canada's largest prevent arms not to let it sink in for you but rather with healthy eating information gleaned from our live healthy segments. He like Daniel of Biblical times requested that he be able to adopt a more plant based with eating. He did not back down in the face of opposition but rather fighting his right to healthy food persisted in requesting a change in his diet. As Joe shared his story I was overwhelmed at how people all over the world are we turning to God for ideal for how we should eat. Genesis one twenty nine is that ideal God for original plan for us. Certainly God permitted us to eat animals after the Great Flood of Noah's day but that was not his original intention for us and we have all the research studies that show that returning to a plant space we are eating is the answer to most of our diseases today. Indeed people who eat only plants based foods reduce their risk and rates of conditions such as cancer heart disease diabetes strokes and more ocean Robbins co-founder of the food revolution network has this to say about our current way of eating our toxic food system is crippling our economy causing millions of deaths and coughing widespread suffering to a majority of the humans alive today and it's completely preventable. My friends there is a distinct correlation between the way we eat and suffer from. I'm changing your lifestyle to include more plant based food will change your life for the better. For really useful information about eating more healthfully be sure to visit its within canada dot ca where you'll find lots of links to really great resources. Be incurred. It's on your journey to optimal health and be filled with pain. I'm beyond questions. What is freedom. Friends freedom is truly found in a living active personal relationship with Jesus who is more willing to forgive your sins then anything else in the world. All he asks is for you to surrender and ask him to do it. Would you like to know more about following Jesus. Would you like to know more about true freedom in him or offer to you today the book steps to. Christ it will teach you how to follow him. Here's the information you need to receive today's offer to request today's offer. Just log on to W W W dot it is written canada dot ca That's W W W dot it is written canada dot ca and selected T.V. Program tab for Canadian viewers. The offer will be sent free and postage paid for viewers outside of Canada. Shipping charges will apply if you prefer you may call toll free at one eight eight eight call I.W. thats one eight eight eight call I.W.. Call any time lines are open twenty four hours daily. That's one eight eight eight call I W. Or if you wish you may write to us at. It is written. Box twenty ten Oshawa Ontario L one eight seventy four. And thank you for your prayer requests and your generous financial support that it is written. Box twenty ten Ottawa Ontario L one eight seventy four. John I was encouraged by today's study as we answer the question what is freedom and freedom. It's found in the forgiveness of Jesus. God wants everyone to have that freedom. Forgiveness is free doesn't cost us anything at all because God paid the ultimate price in Jesus Christ and that is truly encouraging as it is. John I'm I'm grateful that you joined me today for the program and I'm looking forward to doing a few more programs with you. Me too thanks Chris and I'm thankful that you watch the program today. Join me again next week. Until then remember. It is written man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

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