Freedom From Religion
I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it,
but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:12)
The certainty and the assurance that was right at the root of (Paul’s) Christian life and service came because of this one thing: he’d seen everything in Jesus. Everything… in Jesus. What liberation that brought to him! What emancipation! We have often said that there was no power in this world that could have turned that rabid, fanatical Jew, Saul of Tarsus, into a Christian and a lover of Jesus of Nazareth. No power in this world could have done that, but just seeing Jesus Himself in this way and that did it, that did it! He was emancipated, he was freed! No wonder of all his writings the fiercest, the fieriest is his letter to the Galatians, the letter of our liberty in Christ and it begins with this “God revealed His Son in me and that set me free from all other things.”
No use telling people that this and that, and the other things are a limitation and that they should seek enlargement by getting out of it. That is an unfruitful, unprofitable, indeed that’s a dangerous line to take with anybody. But again, if only we can bring Christ… with all His divine significance and meaning and comprehensiveness to them and the Holy Spirit can reveal Him in their hearts… oh, that will do it! That will do it; they will never again be content with anything that limits them to the grave clothes of religion. It delivered Paul from Judaism as nothing else would have done. The way of an escape, the way of enlargement, the way of endurance is to see Jesus. It is not by learning, it is not by the schools. Paul had all of the schools, all of the religion. He didn’t get it through the schools and we’ll never get it through the schools; along that line of the technical instruction of things Christian or religious. This is not a merely mental or academic or intellectual thing at all. It is a work of the Holy Spirit.