Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 07, 2012

Free Indeed

On April 05 I wrote about music in the Protestant tradition and how there are so many hymns that serve to beautifully demonstrate the words of Ephesians 2:8.I heard another such song today. It is a contemporary Christian masterpiece called “Free,” sung by Mandisa. One verse in particular really touched me, an “old-fashioned” Protestant who hails from the Reformation traditions. “Who the Son sets free, best believe is free indeed.”

Hallelujah! Now let me just mention what that means to me. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Protestants were accused of taking good works out of Christianity. The Reformers touted being saved by faith and not works, and their enemies seemed to think that meant Protestants did not have to do anything or live a particularly Christian life. We were accused of neglecting our duty as Christians by “refusing” to do good works, which was utterly untrue. Here is what “saved by faith and not by works” means to me.

Just imagine you stand before Christ on His throne and He says, “I can’t admit you to Paradise because you didn’t feed that last hungry child” or “you didn’t do as much as your neighbor” or “you had to attend church a total of two hundred days last year, and you only attended one hundred and ninety.” That is what the Reformers fought against, the idea that if we behaved better, did more, worked harder, and followed prescribed prayers, we were automatically saved. But Mandisa puts it beautifully. “Who the Son sets free, best believe is free indeed.” No strings attached. Beautiful, blunt Protestant doctrine. No “you just didn’t do enough / sing enough / administer enough / pray enough.” Saved. Free. Rescued.

Some songs speak to the soul in more ways than one.

(c) 2012 Joyously Saved

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