Even liberty has its limits. I learned this during an experience I had as the overseer of our church’s maintenance crew. I had instructed a young man to mow a section of our property with our tractor. He had started the job, but soon ran out of fuel, and so I gave him permission to purchase more at the gas station.

When the young man returned, he poured the fuel into the tractor’s tank and started the engine. The powerful engine roared to life at first, but then it sputtered and went dead.

“Uh, Pastor Jim, the tractor’s not working.”

I asked the young man what type of fuel he had used, and discovered he had used gasoline instead of diesel fuel. That caused the problem. You can’t get a job done if you fill your engine with the wrong fuel. Unfortunately, my young helper had to learn this lesson the hard way.

Christians cannot experience communion with Christ if they yield their members to the wrong fuel. Sin and righteousness have no part with one another. Any attempt to mix the two together will cause our spiritual engines to cough and sputter like the tractor’s impaired diesel engine. Our liberty in Christ is an enablement to serve Him with the pure fuel of wholehearted devotion, not an entitlement to serve sin. We have been set free from sin’s power — let’s live like it.

Perhaps you are wondering why the Christian life doesn’t seem to be working out for you. Are there sins you have been embracing? Remember that you have been set free. You are free indeed — why fill your engine with a mixture of equal parts sin and righteousness? Instead, fill up on the life-giving, liberating fuel of undivided communion with your Savior.

Because it was impossible for thee, a fallen creature, to keep the law, so as to be justified by it, [Immanuel] therefore came in person to fulfil it. . . . Through faith in the life and death of the God-man thou art not only freed from guilt and condemnation, from curse and Hell, but art also entitled to life and glory. The law is now on thy side, and is become thy friend. — William Romaine

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.