Better Wise Up, 18 July 2021

Better Wise Up
Series—Faith Works: The book of James
James 1:1-12

Series Big Idea:
Jesus’ half brother James offers us timeless instructions for living a God-honoring life.

Big Idea: Wisdom is one of God’s greatest gifts, available for the asking.

If you could have anything in the world, what would you wish for? It sounds like something out of a Disney movie, but it really happened. The first book of Kings says,

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” (1 Kings 3:5)

This is King David’s son Solomon. How would you respond?

Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. (1 Kings 3:6)

OK, Solomon, answer the question!

“Now, LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. (1 Kings 3:7)

We’re still waiting!

Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. (1 Kings 3:8)

He finally answers the question!

So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:9)

Solomon asks for a discerning heart, a heart of understanding. Some would call this—in a word—wisdom. I can think of no greater answer, especially from a leader responsible for making countless decisions that affect many lives. Oh that our leaders today would make such a request of the Lord! It’s obvious that Solomon made an excellent choice.The text says so!

The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. (1 Kings 3:10)

So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. (1 Kings 3:11-12)

Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” (1 Kings 3:13-14)

Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream. (1 Kings 3:15a)

And what a dream it was!

Today we’re continuing our series on the book of James: Faith Works. Our topic today is wisdom…and you better wise up!

Two weeks ago Jason Horton tackled the first four verses of the book of James. This is arguably the most practical book in the Bible, penned by Jesus’ half-brother. To review, the book begins:

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:

Greetings. (James 1:1)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

If you missed Jason’s sermon, please go to our app, website, YouTube channel, or Vimeo page. It was excellent. The subject of trials forms the context of what follows.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It’s a promise. It’s not directed at a particular person, but rather “any of you” among the twelve tribes scattered among the nations.

The original Greek word for wisdom is
sophia. I had a boss once named Sophia. She was…pretty wise, I suppose! It’s not just that God grants wisdom, but that he gives it generously, bountifully, liberally. That’s His nature, especially with His children. He is a good, good Father.

This is especially true in the midst of trials when we often lack wisdom, those moments in which we are out of control. If you’ve ever asked God, “Why?” you know what I mean. Our District Superintendent, Thomas George, has encouraged me to change, “Why?” to “What are You up to, LORD?” “Help me see what You see.” “I need Your perspective and wisdom, Father.” Trials are for God's glory and our growth.

James is saying
ask God for wisdom and it will be given to you. Period. Well, almost period! There’s a dreaded “but” which follows, though it’s not all that dreaded, actually.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:6-8)

To obtain wisdom, we need faith or, actually, commitment to God. James isn’t talk about someone who is uncertain God will answer their request or a person struggling with faith. Instead, it’s the person who is double-minded, a person who is not truly committed to God. They want to be successful in this world and want God to bless them now while also hoping to go to heaven when they die. They want to have their cake and eat it, too.

A close equivalent to this double-minded person is found in Psalm 12.

Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts. (Psalm 12:1-2)

Hypocrisy is nothing new! Does it describe you? Again this isn’t someone who is truly seeking God and asking for faith. It’s a reference to Sunday-only Christians who use God rather than worship Him. God will grant wisdom to those truly committed to Him who ask. Don’t ask for wisdom if you’re not prepared to act on it.

Knowledge used to be valuable, but you can find just about anything on Google or YouTube. Wisdom, on the other hand, is the right application of knowledge. Who needs wisdom? I certainly do. This past year and a half has demanded more wisdom from leaders than perhaps any time in our lifetime. Should we close? Should we open? Should we encourage masks? Should we mandate masks? Should we get vaccinated? Should we require the staff to get vaccinated? Should we use the drinking fountains?

When people ask how they can pray for me, my most common response is, “Wisdom.” I need God’s wisdom. Not conventional wisdom. Not politically-correct responses. Not tickle-the-ears advise. I desperate need God’s wisdom…in my professional and personal life.

It’s really hard following Jesus in our culture. There is a constant temptation to live like everybody else, despite the fact that everybody else seems to be so confused, so fickle, so selfish, and so unreliable.

Recently Bible scholar N.T. Wright was on the Catalyst Podcast and offered an outstanding explanation of our current society, Listen…

It seems to me we are in a very confused culture with a highly moralistic culture of one sort that our world—the western world—has sort of invented new moralisms to take the place of the old ones, but the trouble with the new moralisms is that there is never any redemption. If you’re caught out saying accidentally something which somebody else says was racist or crypto-Nazi or whatever it is then that’s it, you’re out, you’re cancelled, you’re in social hell, even atheist hell if you like. There’s no way back, there’s no chance for repentance or forgiveness and so on. That’s a very cruel culture.

People used to object to Christians banging on about sin but the point of banging on about sin was to say there’s a way back to God from the darkness of sin as the old hymn says it and to say we’re all sinners was actually a positive doctrine because the answer is we’ve got a diagnosis for the problem and what’s more we have a solution, we have a remedy, God has provided the remedy, whereas in the present social and culture climate everyone is nervous about tripping up over some hidden “thou shalt not” in the culture whether it’s about gender rights of one sort or another or issues to do with race and so on and the rules keep on changing and as the rules change, when you’re my age, it’s very hard to keep up with them. It reminds me of that Roman emperor

Who made new rules and printed them out or stuck them out very small and had them stuck on high walls where nobody could read them and then would punish people for not obeying these rules and sometimes our contemporary culture feels like that and we have to argue for the importance of genuine morality, yes, but what we have at the moment is a sort of pseudo-morality of this victim culture where if somebody feels upset by something somebody else has quite innocently said then they can blame the person who’s done it and once you blame them there is no way back, they are non-persons or they’re damned or whatever, so how we respond to that as Christians is very different from the kind of stuff that most of us grew up with which was assuming that most people around us were sort of crypto-Pelagians thinking they could behave themselves and, therefore, go to heaven when they die. That’s not what people are thinking out there on the street now and we have to get used to articulating the message of Jesus in a very, very different context.

I know that’s a lot, but I believe it’s a lot of wisdom. I love how Wright is able to wisely assess our cancel culture and contrast it so poignantly with the Kingdom of God, an alternative way of life filled with love, hope, forgiveness, and redemption.

I confess sometimes I get caught up in the issues of our day, filled with fear and uncertainty rather than wisely seeking the Truth in God and His Word. Although our nation may be one exception in the last half of the twentieth century, most societies throughout history have not Christian foundations. The world has always acted like the world and will always act like the world. We are called—as citizens of the Kingdom of God—to live differently, to be filled with love rather than fear, to exercise grace not revenge, to seek after those who make us uncomfortable when we’d rather play video games or watch movies.

I can’t say this enough: I need wisdom. You need wisdom. Following Jesus in our day requires supernatural wisdom, and the good news is it is promised to us…if we ask and believe.

Would you commit to praying for me? I need wisdom. Our staff and elders need wisdom, especially during these next several weeks as we prepare for our fall kickoff on August 29. Next week we’ll begin what may be the most important sermon series I’ve ever preached for First Alliance Church. We’re going to present our six core values, the result of literally years of prayer, research, and discussion. God has answered our cries for wisdom. He has given us a compelling mission, an exciting vision, and a fresh strategy to reach our city and world as we more or less relaunch First Alliance this fall. As excited as I am about our future, I don’t want to take a single step forward without God’s direction, God’s protection, unity, and passion—my four prayers for FAC. As our society considers a post-COVID world in the future, we’ve been working behind-the-scenes to be optimally ready for whatever opportunities God provides for us. It is my prayer that our most fruitful days are ahead, that our baptistry would get worn out, that God would raise up men and women to serve Him here and around the world.

Perhaps my greatest fear is that I get in the way of what God wants to do, which is why I pray for and ask for your prayers for wisdom. Since it’s promised, we can pray with confidence and eager expectation. I better wise up. You better wise up!

There are four more verses I want to look at before we conclude today that relate to wisdom.

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. (James 1:9)

Does that even make sense? It does in the upside-down Kingdom of God where the first shall be last and where saving your life means losing it for Christ’s sake. A few chapters later, James will say,

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:10)

The world says you need a platform. Get famous on Tik Tok. Make a career out of YouTube movies. Grab as much money, sex, and power as you can. It’s all about you!

God says, “Surrender to me and I will lift you up.”

Some of you find yourselves in humble circumstances. Several in our church family are homeless, jobless, spouse-less, or even penniless. Take pride in your high position. Humble yourselves before the Lord. He sees you. He knows you. He loves you. Your story’s not over. Seek help. You are a masterpiece in need of restoration…like me and the rest of us. God’s doing beautiful work through Celebrate Recovery here on Wednesdays at 7 PM. Do life together with others in a Life Group. We have several new groups launching this fall and some meeting now.

But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. (James 1:10-11)

There’s a weather event in the Middle East called a sirocco. It is a very devastating hot wind that blows from the southern desert into Palestine, destroying flowers and plants. What an image!

Money is not the root of all kinds of evil. The love of money is. James reminds the rich—which is most of us compared to people around the world—it will all pass away someday. You can’t take it with you.

It reminds me of the man who was granted one wish—like Solomon—and he asked to see the next day’s newspaper so he could see the sports section and bet on the horse race. It was a great plan to get rich…until he noticed his name in the obituaries!

Rich or poor, young or old, black or white, wolverine or buckeye (!), …

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

James speaks often of trials because he knows they make us grow, they humble us, they bring us to our knees, and they develop our character. As he said at the beginning of the book,

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

Erwin McManus recently said,

I’ve always wondered why the Bible says the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

Why do we want to fear God?

Whatever you fear has mastery of your life.

Whatever you are afraid of, that’s your master.

If you only fear God, then only God is your master.

Every other fear will use that fear to hold you captive.

But when you fear God, He destroys the fear because it says that perfect love casts out all fear.

When all your fear is directed at God, His perfect love casts out all the fear and now you can live a life that’s truly free.

Some of you have made a mess of your life. You haven’t made wise choices and you’re suffering the consequences. There’s no shame in that, but redemption is possible. God takes our failures and brokenness and restores us into masterpieces. If we humble ourselves, He will lift us up. If we seek His wisdom and Kingdom and will, like will not always be easy, but it will be satisfying in this life…and the next.

You can listen to this message and others at the First Alliance Church podcast here.

You can watch this video and others at the First Alliance Church Video Library

Who's Your Daddy? John 8:31-59, 10 February 2013

Big Idea: We are all slaves to sin and need freedom through Jesus.


This passage is loaded with background that is essential in order to fully grasp and apply. The Jews were descendants of Abraham, the one with whom God made a covenant. If you’ve been around at all this year we’ve mentioned it every week—Abraham was blessed to be a blessing. The people of Israel had a relationship with God, a relationship that tragically turned into yet another religion filled with rules and regulations, stripped of intimacy, authenticity, and love.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (8:31-32)

Who is Jesus’ audience? Jews who believed Him. What did they believe? Keep in mind that throughout His life, Jesus had followers that deserted Him. Many walked away, His best friends fell asleep when He needed their support, His closest friend denied Him three times, one betrayed Him. Believing in Jesus is just the start.

There is a huge difference between professing faith and saving faith. Anyone can pray a prayer, but that doesn’t mean we are true believers and possess faith. R.C. Sproul says, “We must possess what we profess.” Notice what Jesus says about discipleship: it’s not about knowledge, but obedience. This is huge! Real disciples follow Jesus’ teaching and then they are set


We love freedom, don’t we? Our nation was largely founded upon the idea of freedom, though ironically and tragically slavery has been a prominent feature in our history. Many of our founding fathers who valued freedom owned slaves!

We take our freedoms for granted—until they are threatened or removed. There’s a lot of talk these days about the freedom to bear arms and other freedoms that may be in jeopardy, but that pales in comparison to what many face.

Tragically, slavery is alive and well in our nation. Watching the film Lincoln a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but appreciate the incredible courage and dedication of Abraham Lincoln and others who abolished slavery in the USA, but tragically it is very real today.

In fact, there are more slaves today in our world than at any time in human history, between 10 and 30 million people! I urge you to visit Sign the petition. Tell others about it. Most people are shocked to learn that slavery exists...right here in Washtenaw County!

They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (8:33)

I’ve heard many say, “I’m a Christian. I went to church as a kid. I was born in the USA. Of course I’m a Christian.” Nobody enters the Kingdom of God because of their ancestors. We must all be born again (John 3:3).

The Jews understood slavery—in their history. Their ancestors were slaves, working in Egypt under Pharaoh until God called Moses to lead them to the Promised Land. Understandably, Jesus’ hearers couldn’t fathom being slaves.

Isn’t it interesting how many people are in bondage but don’t realize it? Millions are enslaved to alcohol, food, or work. Countless lives have been destroyed by debt, fear, or the approval of other people.

Next Jesus acknowledges the obvious—or not so obvious: we are all messed up!

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.” (8:34-38)

Sin sounds like such an old-fashioned word, doesn’t it? Sin destroys, yet it is an addiction for all of us.

Jesus makes it clear that being a child of Abraham is not the same as being a child of God. Tragically, the Jewish people that were to be a blessing and shine the light to the rest of the world were in the dark.

If the light is dark, we’ve got a problem!

Do you remember that song, “This Little Light of Mine”? What if we don’t shine?

“Abraham is our father,” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the things your own father does.”

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

Sonship is not about biology, but obedience. The conversation is getting a little heated now. Perhaps you’ve heard of father Abraham. He was the patriarch, you might say the original Jew. It was understood that tradition and heritage would bring freedom, but Jesus says it is truth that sets us free, but we can’t be freed from something until we are in bondage to something. You can’t set a bird that is in the wild free. It must first be taken captive.

Jesus is telling them that circumcision and diet and family heritage are not what brings freedom and a right relationship with God. True Jewishness is inward.

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (8:42-47)

We are naturally born without a desire for God. Our human nature is sinful and wicked, which is why it’s such a miracle when the Holy Spirit brings conviction and repentance. The greatest miracle, in fact, is a transformed man, woman or child that follows Jesus rather than making an idol of themselves and their desires.

Jesus tells some important truths here about satan—he is a liar and the father of lies.

This is not an excerpt from Andrew Carnegie’s book
How To Win Friends and Influence People!

We need to back up for a moment and remember that Jesus is a wanted Man—wanted by His followers, yes, but also His enemies. His ultimate enemy, of course, is...satan.

Ironically, Paul said in his first book to the people of Corinth (11:14) that “satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” Do you remember a moment ago, “this little light of mine”? What if satan’s plan was to have the most pious, respected leaders in the community destroy Jesus? Who would ever suspect such a thing? Murderers committing murder is so passé, but the religious people? Who would ever see that coming?

Spiritual warfare is real. We have a real enemy. He wants to steal, kill and destroy. He not only acts like an angel of light, he is full of lies. He is sneaky. He knows the Scriptures better than anyone in this room (remember the temptation of Jesus?). He is real.

Satan is a murderer and the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus!

Notice, too, the politically incorrect teaching of Jesus. He doesn’t say all roads lead to God, but rather that we cannot have the Father and not have the Son, and we cannot have the Son and not the Father because the Father sent the Son. As we will see in a few weeks, Jesus said, “I am
the way, the truth, and the life.”

Do you hear what God says? Do you belong to God?

Jesus claims the devil as their father. They return the favor.

The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”

“I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” (8:48-51)

You have to admit that’s a bold statement, especially on the surface. As usual, Jesus speaks the truth. He is the truth, but He is not always clearly understood.

He’s not so much talking about himself, but the ‘father who sent’ Him.

At this the Jews exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?” (8:52-53)

Notice here they claim Abraham as their father, though Jesus is speaking of God the Father.

Who do you think you are?
This is one of the greatest questions in the entire Bible. Repeatedly I have said that the two most important questions in life are who are you and who is Jesus.

Jesus asked His follower, “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:13-15; Mark 8:27-29; Luke 9:18-20)

You can understand the Jews getting riled up about this. Jesus is shattering their paradigm of what it means to be righteous.

Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” (8:54-56)

These are audacious claims, right? He’s saying that Abraham—who was blessed to be a blessing—was looking ahead to Jesus Himself and the life and resurrection that He would offer us. Jesus Himself is embodying what Abraham’s God promised centuries earlier.

It gets better!

“You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” (8:57)

Good point, right?

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (8:58)

That may seem like bad grammar, but here’s what Jesus was really saying—I am God. He speaks in the Name of the Father, the secret and holy Name of God, YHWH. He refers to Himself clearly as God. I created everything. John’s first words in this book say...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. (1:1-2)

John is reminding us again in chapter 8 that Jesus was in the beginning. Through Him all things were made (1:3).

Needless to say, claiming to be God made the religious leaders go crazy! This was blasphemy, a capital offense—as was breaking the Sabbath earlier.

Jesus was no weak, gentle guy prancing in the woods. He was a radical revolutionary, unafraid of conflict, confronting His enemies, and turning upside down not only tables in the temple (another story) but everything the Jews understood about God Himself and the Way to HIm.


At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. (8:59)

Our story ends with an angry mob of Jews that believed in Jesus at the beginning of the narrative, but are now ready to kill HIm. Jesus, meanwhile, slips away because it wasn’t yet time for Him to die.

Our Story

Here’s my concern: I have a feeling if we were characters in this story, we’d be the Jews, grabbing stones at this controversial figure who is turning conventional wisdom upside down. He offends them. He literally introduces a completely different worldview to them, one that is not centered around being a privileged descendent, but rather one who radically obeys.

Does this sound familiar? It could be said that I’m a religious person devoted to Sunday worship gatherings, tithing 10% to the local church, driving the speed limit, and a daily Bible reader.

What would Jesus say to me? What we He say to you?

I think He would say, “Do you know me? Do you love me? Feed my sheep. Take care of the stranger, the widow and the orphan. Be a blessing to the nations. Listen to My voice like all good sheep listen to their Shepherd and know his voice. Practice hospitality and eat with those far from Me. Study Me. Share Me. Sound familiar?

I want to go back to where we began.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (8:31-32)

If you obey Jesus—and He said a lot of hard things—You are really His disciple. Then you will know the truth and it will set you free...from the bondage of sin and death.

Author Gary Burge said, “
The deepest paradox of John 8 is that Jesus suffers religious persecution.” He goes on to say, “The paradigm of the passage is then set: Jesus steps into a religiously devout environment and immediately splits his audience. Those who follow him become passionate believers. Those who stand opposed, who defend their traditions with zeal, suddenly become zealous opponents, enemies of God’s work in the world. This passage warns the custodians of tradition that their defense of these spiritual habits and rituals may well be their undoing.” Later he writes, “If Jesus stepped into our century, if he walked into our evangelical churches, if he picked up a religious symbol (as he did at the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles) and challenged the symbol’s original meaning, would we cheer or would we fight? Suddenly we might find ourselves defending Christendom instead of the Christian faith. We might explain that the old meaning, the old songs, the old forms had worked just fine for generations. We might challenge this newcomer and demand that he verify that he was indeed a messenger from God. And when he pressed his claims powerfully, suddenly we would be forced either to let go of our former position and become a believer or argue and rebel.”

Disciples of Jesus study Jesus, spend time in the Word, know the truth, and are set free. Tragically, the rest of the world is in slavery to sin, lies, and death that originate with satan.

What about you? Do you know Jesus? I didn’t ask if you were religious. I didn’t ask if you go to church and smile on Sundays. Do you know Jesus? If you do, there is freedom...from sin, death, and despair.

If you don’t know Jesus, I want to introduce you to Him. He’s Your Creator. He loves You so much that He gave His very life to give you life, freedom, purpose, joy, forgiveness, grace, and reconciliation to a God that finds sin completely unacceptable. Period. That’s why Jesus, His death, and resurrection are so important. Without Jesus, we’re hopeless. We’re slaves to sin. But because of Jesus, we can express life, joy, meaning, and freedom from sin...and religion.

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