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God's Not Mad at You
I’m free. Thank God Almighty, free at last.

I’m free. Thank God Almighty, free at last.

FEBRUARY 11, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / I’m free. Thank God Almighty, free at last.

Steve Brown:
I’m free. Thank God Almighty, free at last. Let’s talk on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
God’s grace changes everything. How we love, work, live, lead, marry, parent, evangelize, purchase and worship. This is Key Life with practical Bible teaching to get you home with radical freedom, infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. If you were listening yesterday, I spent a considerable amount of time, talking about this text, and the two women, one a slave, and one was a free woman. And it’s not very pretty story. I mean, it’s some sin involved in it, but you know, it’s there and it’s Holy writ and you, and you gotta, you gotta talk about reality. I was one time asked to teach the book of Esther at the Cove, the Billy Graham Training Center. And I said, you don’t want me to teach that. And they said, why just that? And I said, cause, cause there’s stuff in there that you just don’t want me teaching. And they said, no, teach it. And everybody was shocked, because the Bible has a way of doing that, you know. It’s pretty raw sometimes. And this story of Sarah and Hagar, that Paul refers to in this particular text is one that isn’t very pretty. And, and, but he says it’s an allegory, it’s an illustration. And then he says, there are two kinds of religion. One will make you a slave and one will set you free. One will put you in chains and the other will cause you to shout with the freed slave, I’m free, thank God almighty, I’m free at last. And that’s where Christians are supposed to be. And so, and because this is one of the major themes in the book of Galatians, we’re going to take some time to look at the difference between slavery and freedom and where it comes from. And we’re going to do this so that we can become increasingly free in the Biblical sense of that word, and less and less bound by the prisons, where a lot of religious people live and would have us live too. So, without further chit chat about this, let’s dig in. The first thing you ought to note, in this allegory, in this illustration, is the importance of roots, Galatians 4:22-23.

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, and the son of the free woman through promise.

I love Dietrich Bonhoeffer. And if you haven’t read my friend, Eric Metaxas book on Bonhoeffer, you ought to go out and get it. I mean, it will absolutely blow your way. And a lot of things they taught you in college are just not true about Bonhoeffer and Hitler. But that’s another subject altogether. Bonhoeffer said this, and it’s probably quoted more often than anything Bonhoeffer said. He said.

When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.

Now I agree with that, I really do. I think that Jesus said that, but dear friend, that’s not the gospel. If you came to Christ, because you have a death wish. If you came to Christ, because you had an obligation. If you came to Christ, because the church is a good thing in the community, you came to Christ,because you want to help him out. You’re probably a slave. Jesus didn’t say I’ve come that they might work themselves to death in the church. He didn’t say I’ve come that they might fulfill their obligation. He didn’t say I’ve come that they might obey my laws, He said, I’ve come that they might have life, and have it abundantly. Betty Heard was, and still is I guess, a great Bible teacher said that she could never understand why people felt inferior. And the reason she couldn’t understand is, because of her family. She said that the other mothers and fathers would say, now we must keep up with the Joneses. You have to be good and act right, to get things, to keep up with the Jones folks. And Betty said that her folks always said, you’re the Joneses. Her roots made all the difference in the world. Bill Glass, whose ministry with prisoners has been so incredibly effective, says that when he goes to a prison, he often asks the prisoners how many of them had a father who said, someday you’re going to be in prison. He said that 90% of the hands in that prison went up. And when he’s with sports teams, he’ll ask, how many of you had a father who said someday you’re going to be a major league baseball player. And he said, again, 90% of the men raised their hands. The difference is in the roots. What’s your father like. No, no, no, not that one. Let me tell you about my father. My, my father was not a good person in a lot of ways. He was a pool shark, because he was an executive, he could leave his office whenever he wanted. And when a pool hustler would come to our town in the mountains, they would call him from the pool hall and tell my daddy that there was a hustler there and he ought to come over. And then crowds would gather to watch my father eat the lunch of the pool hustler. In all this stuff, my mother felt the devil resided in the pool hall, and she was probably right. But my father did a lot of good things, but you know, he had one, and he became a Christian just three months before he died. But the thing that is the defining focus of my father was his love. His love for me and, and, and every morning, or most, every morning when I pray the Lord’s prayer, along with some other praying. Our Father, who art in heaven, I remember my father who worked on the earth, my father, who was biological father. And I say, Lord, I learned about you from the love of my father. And I want to thank you for that. Roots are important, what’s your father like? Did he make demands of you that you could never fulfill? Was there abuse involved? Was he mean? What kind of daddy do you have? What kind of father do you have? That’s the root of being a Christian. It’s knowing who God is. And how do you know who God is? You look at Jesus, because everything you think about God was revealed in Jesus, when the word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth. My late friend, Jack Miller, an amazing man that God used in a wonderful way in my life and the lives of more people than you can possibly imagine. I quote him often, I quote him often by saying, he said, that the whole of Christianity can be defined with two sentences. You’ve heard this before first,

Cheer up, you’re a lot worse than you think you are.

And secondly,

Cheer up, God’s grace is a lot bigger than you think it is.

We just interviewed on our talk show fairly recently, Michael Graham, who’s a friend of mine, who wrote a book called Cheer Up, which was a biography of Jack Miller. And I hate biographies of famous Christians, because they make you feel guilty. Well, not this one, Jack would have winced if he knew somebody was writing a biography about him, so Mike was very honest about Jack. The best thing about Jack is that he bought with Jesus and he was honest about who he was. But one, but one of the things that he would often say to people, he was a teacher, a professor at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. And founded World Harvest Mission. And he always, wherever he traveled, wherever he went, he always had somebody with him. So he would have an opportunity to work with them, to disciple them. And when people around him would get depressed and down and everything would look dark and their life was going in the wrong direction, he would say to them, and I’ve heard him say this often, he would say, you’re acting like an orphan. You’re not an orphan, don’t you have a father? And what is your father like? It’s the roots. And if you want to be a slave, look at your father God as a God who’s a child abuser, who will break your legs if you get out of line. But if you, but if you, but if you want to be free, you got to have a father, the father that Jesus talked about. If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more, your father in heaven. And Jesus said, when you pray, be sure and pray, Our Father who art in heaven. It’s about roots. You’ve got a good father. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thanks Steve, that was Steve Brown, wrapping up our exploration of Galatians four. If you missed any episodes, make sure you visit us at keylife.org to listen to those, anytime you want. And don’t miss a Friday Q&A, that is tomorrow, and on tap for tomorrow. Steve and Pete Alwinson will answer this question. Where are Adam and Eve? Are they really going to answer them? Yeah. Okay, should be a good one. Well, recently on our talk radio show, Steve Brown Etc, we spoke with pastor and author Scott Sauls about his new book called A Gentle Answer: Our Secret Weapon in an Age of Us Against Them. It’s a fascinating conversation, not to mention timely and more and more relevant with each passing day. We would love for you to check it out for yourself. How? Well we put that entire episode on a CD that we would be happy to drop in the mail to you today, for free. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
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If you’re in Canada, send your request to

Key Life Canada
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Just ask for your free copy of the CD featuring Scott Sauls. Oh, and last thing, would you please give to support the work of Key Life? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or simply text Key Life to 28950 on your smartphone. Key life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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