The Liberating Life of Jesus

(1 customer review)


As a young Christian minister, John Van Gelderen held to the letter of the law, focusing on separation from the world. Then the Lord showed him that much of his Christian life was works oriented instead of Spirit filled. John needed to change his focus from the law to the person of Jesus.Other Christians focus on an opposite goal: a lax version of Christianity, which seeks to avoid legalism but actually embraces its own ideas of freedom that can lead to fleshly living. This leads to license. To live the Spirit-filled life, our goal cannot be law or license. It must be a person: Jesus. The Liberating Life of Jesus shows us that in Jesus, we are free—not controlled by legalism or led astray by license. This is true Christian liberty found in the liberating life of Jesus!


Additional Info

Additional information

Weight 4 oz
Dimensions 6.25 × 4.25 × .25 in

Reviews (1)

1 review for The Liberating Life of Jesus

  1. Dale Ream

    Christianity is often characterized by the extremes of hyper-separation that goes far beyond the absolutes of Scripture or hype-license living that says that liberty allows virtually any behavior. Living a balanced life is viewed as compromise when, in reality, the balanced life is the liberating life of Jesus!
    In his book, “The Liberating Life of Jesus,” John Van Gelderen is open and honest about his own journey from the extremes of a law-based approach and insights that perhaps only a lifetime as a traveling evangelist for over 30 years through conservative churches could bring.

    John explains the life of Jesus approach:

    “Adherents of the life approach trust the Word and the Spirit. The Word reveals to each believer the high ground of biblical absolutes; the Spirit reveals the varied applications (within the boundaries) of those absolutes for each individual believer. The personal applications will vary between believers and must not be considered absolute for all. Each Christian must be fully persuaded by the Spirit (Romans 14:5)…Forcing others into our own boxes of application on variable matters would be wrong.
    John puts into words what many Christians have experienced and wondered about, namely, the “hybrid ministry” that preaches almost exclusively about Sprit dependence but, in actuality, focuses heavily on the rules or characteristics of what Christianity “should look like.”

    John wisely recognizes that this “one-size-fits-all approach leaves no room for the Spirit-guided maturing process. The oppressive atmosphere this produces can provoke anger in people who were seeking to obey the Spirit leaving them discouraged and struggling with resentment…” Further, Van Gelderen notes that this type of “lording over the flock essentially negates the priesthood of the individual believer (I Timothy 2:5). And perhaps the summary statement of the century applied to perhaps well-meaning Christian leaders, “The emperors of legalism are masters of labeling everything that does not fit into their boxes as compromise.” Such leaders may be motivated by self-desire or fear of “other emperors.”

    Personally, I have been asking for a written explanation of the imbalance on the proverbial “island of fundamental Christianity” for a long time…a recognition that many truly Spirit-led Christians may be rightfully convinced to worship our God using different styles of worship: some with different styles or instrumentation of music, with raised hands, with greater emotion, dressed in clothing without a necktie, etc. and that this should not be criticized by Christians who are led by the Spirit to worship in another way but still within the absolutes of Scripture.

    So where will we find the often-times illusive unity of believers? As John Van Gelderen writes in this excellent and easy to read book, “True unity is the byproduct of the Spirit filled life – the life of Jesus!”

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