When you finally surrender all that you have and all that you are, you will discover the strangest thing. It’s only by becoming a slave to Jesus that we ever truly find freedom.
– Idleman, Kyle; Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus; Zondervan; copyright 2011; Grand Rapids, MI; Kindle Edition; page 153
Indeed, I had to learn the hard way (the only way?) that the gospel alone can free us from our addiction to being liked – that Jesus measured up for us so that we wouldn’t have to live under the enslaving pressure of measuring up for others – including ourselves. I finally understood what Paul meant in Romans 10:4 when he wrote that Christ is the “end of the law.” Because of Jesus’ finished work for me, I already had the justification, approval, acceptance, security, freedom, affection, cleansing, new beginning, righteousness, and rescue I longed for.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 134
Reformed theology indeed insists that a real measure of freedom has been assigned to man by the Creator. But that freedom is not absolute and man is not autonomous. Our freedom is always and everywhere limited by God’s sovereignty. God is free and we are free. But God is more free than we are.
Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 32
The truth is, of course, we all do get “hurt” to some degree daily because we all sin every day. That is why we need to come back to the gospel of God’s grace in Christ. The gospel of God’s forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s death frees us to face those sins honestly and bring them to the Cross and Jesus’ cleansing blood. The freedom and joy that then comes from a cleansed conscience creates the desire and gives us the right motive to deal with those sins. We cannot effectively pursue holiness without going back again and again to the gospel The gospel is the only foundation upon which we can build the disciplines necessary to pursue holiness. Grace and discipline cannot be separated.
– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 216
The difference between living for God and living for anything else is that when we live for anything else we do so to gain acceptance, but when we live for God we do so because we are already accepted. Real freedom (the freedom that only the gospel grants) is living for something because we already have favor instead of living for something in order to gain favor.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 156
Submitting self to God is the only real freedom – because the deepest slavery is self-dependence, self-reliance. When you live your life believing that everything (family, finances, relationships, career) depends primarily on you, you’re enslaved to your strengths and weaknesses. You’re trying to be your own savior. Freedom comes when we start trusting in God’s ability and wisdom instead of our own. Real life begins when we transfer our trust from our own efforts to the efforts of Christ.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 53
We’re on the right road to better understanding it when we realize that Jonah is a storied presentation of the gospel, a story of sin and grace, of desperation and deliverance. I reveals the fact that while you and I are great sinners, God is a great Savior, and that while our sin reaches far, His grace reaches farther. This story shows that God is in the business of relentlessly pursuing rebels like us and that he comes after us not to angrily strip away our freedom but to affectionately strip away our slavery so might become truly free.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 18-19