The Danger for All of Us

The danger for all of us is that we will think we are better, more spiritual, and know more than others.  Some Christians have such a high opinion of themselves that they think God is quite fortunate to have them.  That would be of no important except that others, also because of a false self-image, believe them, making the church into an army of generals instead of a fellowship of people who love the King.  Because grace runs downhill, it is very important that you not stake out your territory at the top of the hill.

– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 101

Free People Remain Free to Give Up Their Freedom

Free people remain free to give up their freedom.  They bestow freedom on others by giving up their own.  Soldiers who fight for freedom (and who sometimes die for it) provide good models for us.  Soldiers of Christ should always be willing to do that.

– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 249

Quit Making Your Goodness the Issue!

Let it go, and quit making your goodness the issue!  This isn’t about you and me; it’s about Jesus.  When you obsess over anything but him – and that includes being free – you can lose it.  Jesus is freedom, and to the degree that you stay focused on him, you will find yourself free.

– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 245-246

The Value of Our Inferiority

Do you see it?  We all have feelings of inferiority, some because we really are inferior and some not based on reality at all.  But it was our inferiority that brought us to Christ in the first place!  Once those feelings bring us to that point, they fulfill their purpose.

– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 236

Sometimes God Will Change Us and Sometimes He Won’t

Second, when we go to God, sometimes he begins to change us and to make us different than we were before we went to him.  But you’ll get into trouble if you make this an absolute.  If you believe that every time you confess sin (pointed out by the law) to God, then he automatically gives you the power to obey, you’ll believe anything.  Sometimes God will change us and sometimes he won’t.

– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 232

Love In Response to Goodness Isn’t Love

Love in response to goodness isn’t love, but reward.  Fortunately for us, that’s not God’s way.  Our relationship with God is not a matter of reward, but of love.  And that’s why we can enjoy such staggering in his presence.

– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 232

He Accepts Us No Matter How Dirty We Are

First, when we go to God, he accepts us no matter how dirty we are.  I can’t tell you the number of times I have crept into the throne room of God thinking, He’s going to really get me this time.  I’m history.  He will not accept me this time because I’ve been here like this so often. It always surprises me – but it really shouldn’t, given what the Bible says – to hear him say, “Come here, child.  I was wondering when you would come.  I was waiting.”

– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 231

God, Save Me from the Politicians, Christians or Pagans Who Think They Are My Mother

Third, the law of God is a sampler.  Utopian schemes, whether they come from the Christian right or the Communist left, generally injure those who have to suffer under them.  They start by throwing the scoundrels out, but end by putting worse scoundrels in.  When the end justifies the means, the end becomes too horrible to contemplate.  I’m not antistatist (against the state) because I lack compassion.  I’m antistatist because do-gooders are dangerous, especially when they wield great power.  God save me from the politicians, Christians, or pagans who think they are my mother!

– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 227

You Don’t Really Break the Law of God…

Second, the law of God is a safeguard.  When you walk in a minefield, you might want to know the location of the mines.  The positive side of the law brings happiness, while the negative side provides protection.  One will make you feel better, and the other will keep you from getting killed.  It has been said so often that it has become a cliche, but you really don’t break the law of God; you break yourself against the law of God.

– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 227