The message that the gospel has in terms of freedom for a man’s everyday life is really a counter-intuitive message. You would think that knowing that the work is done, that the bar has been crossed, that the standard has been met by Jesus, and that we now totally measure up would lead us to go on autopilot.
However, what really happens is that, when a man understands that he measures up and the victory is sure, he actually finds more energy and more power. One great illustration is when you’re way ahead in a basketball game and you’re winning, the energy seems to come from nowhere. You just seem to have this boundless energy because the victory is sure.
On the flip side, the further behind you are—if you are losing the game—the harder it becomes. You see the mountain you have to climb to catch up and you just feel dejected and defeated.
I think the gospel works a bit like that. Somehow to know that we are totally justified—that the victory is won—actually empowers our hard work. There’s a joy and a freedom there. The man who has been set free by the gospel is really free and really empowered to work with a sense of worship.