A Picture of True Freedom

I have watched this video of Brandt Jean several times now. Much has already been said and expressed by way of reaction. It truly is an extraordinary story of an extraordinary young man exhibiting an extraordinary character. But even more, it is evidence of an extraordinary Savior. It is a beautiful picture of redemption and reconciliation, of the Spirit-empowered change within a life that has been united with Christ.

 

As I have continued to think about it this morning, especially alongside some prep I am doing for a sermon for this Sunday, I realized what is so very powerful about it to me:

This is a picture of what true freedom looks like.

This young man is (rightfully) angry. But the gospel has freed him from being ruled by his anger.

This young man is grieved. But the gospel has freed him from pursuing personal vindication and being consumed by a desire for vengeance.

This young man is sad. But the gospel has freed him from a hopeless despair that would drown him in his sorrow.

This young man has been devastated. But the gospel has freed him to extend mercy and grace.

This is what the gospel does. This is what the gospel accomplishes within the life of the one who has been united to Christ.

Anger is overwhelmed with kindness.

Grief is overwhelmed with forgiveness.

Sadness is overwhelmed with hope.

Devastation is overwhelmed with peace.

Vengeance is overcome with love.

Galatians 5:22-25 ESV – [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. [24] And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. [25] If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

This reaction makes absolutely no sense apart from the gospel. And what a beautiful picture of the gospel it is. In what may be the most beautiful aspect of his reaction, the young man moves beyond just offering personal forgiveness and extends an invitation for this woman to experience the same life and freedom that he knows in Christ. Even further, he not only expresses the love of Christ in his words, he follows the example of his Lord in demonstrating that love with the sacrificial gift of a grace-filled embrace.

“I want the best for you…give your life to Christ.”

Do you know that freedom today?

 

John 8:36 ESV – [36] So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Romans 6:7, 18 ESV – [7] For one who has died has been set free from sin. … [18] and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

1 Peter 2:16 ESV – [16] Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

 

I Married my bride, Erin, in 2003. We have 3 children: Emma, Elijah, and Lydia. I have served full-time on staff at Westwood Baptist Church, in Roxboro, NC, since summer of 2006 as Pastor of Students & Discipleship. I am currently enrolled at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, pursuing my Doctorate of Education. I also began as a Teaching Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the College at Southeastern in the Fall of 2018.

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