The Truth: I am Free! Radical Grace from the Book of Romans (5:12, 15)

Statue of Liberty

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned . . . But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!" (Rom 5: 12,15, NIV2)

No one can appreciate this truth more than those who were once addicted to drugs of any kind. You have probably heard about Teen Challenge, created by David Wilkerson. It all started in New York City, and before David knew it, these centers spread like wildfire, not only in the States, but in 93 foreign countries as well. Those who are addicted and yearn for freedom come to these centers, where most of them find freedom through the reality of Jesus the Christ. A study in 1974, completed by NIDA claimed an 86% overall success rate after 7 years of graduation.

A few weeks ago, a team from Teen Challenge came to our church. They got up at 4:30 a.m. to make the trip, all exited to share what they had found in the One who promised: "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36, NIV). They couldn't wait to testify about what Jesus had done for them. An older gentleman used to take his 3-year old daughter in the car when he went to pick up his drugs, so he could hide them under her car seat. A young man used to steal morphine from his mom who was dying from cancer. Another young man confessed he beat his younger brother so that he could steal his money for drugs. His brother was terrified of him and didn't know what to do about it. All of those who presented at our church used to sell drugs to younger kids in order to have enough money to purchase their own drugs.

Then suddenly, they all stood still and screamed out: "The truth We are now free!"

It all changed once they discovered freedom in Christ. In tears, the father of that 3-year old daughter held her in his arms, asking her forgiveness, which she gladly gave. The beaten up brother is now proud of his brother, as he is a very different man now. The mom who had cancer passed away, never knowing what really happened to her son. How proud she would have been if she were still among us. One of this young man is now preparing himself to join Hill Song in Australia and be part of the ministry.

God's grace is quite evident in their lives, as they were genuinely smiling, madly in love with the One who rescued them.

If you have never experienced victory, be aware that you, too, could experience complete freedom. God's grace is free for the taking, as our Lord and Master is madly in love with each one of us. You too can be free!

Visit Teen Challenge site if interested

Rob Chaffart

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