THE SIXTEENTH DAY OF AUGUST IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN.
It’s a simple truth but exceedingly profound–Jesus came to rescue sinners, not to condemn them (John 3:17). We already know that we are sinners; we do not need anyone to tell us that. Deep inside we know our private addictions and secret compulsions, whether to pride, self-centeredness, lust, alcohol or other drugs, rage, power, possessions, or whatever.
We also know by experience that we cannot break these bonds in our own strength. By ourselves, we can only grit our teeth, make new resolutions, maintain public appearances and respect, calculate that we are not as bad as we might be, rationalize that God knows our “weakness” and pray that he will mercifully forgive. And, thank God, he does!
But God wants to do even more. He also wants to deliver us from our bondage. He wants to replace slavery with liberty, guilt with peace, condemnation with assurance of his overwhelming love. Jesus still has power over all demons — personal and impersonal — and he waits patiently to liberate us all. He will guide us, empower us, supply every true need, and fill us so full of himself that we continually spill over with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self- control.
How do we enjoy God’s liberation? By admitting the absolute unvarnished truth about whatever power has us in its grip. By surrendering every segment of every part of our thoughts, words and deeds to Christ without reservation. By asking God to fill us with his Spirit and make us like Jesus. As we do this, we experience God’s loving, healing, liberating touch. And we can be sure he will be faithful to perfect what he has begun, as we look to him in submissive trust.