True Freedom in Christ: Breaking the Chains of Half-Truths

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James Lasher

In a recent installment of Charisma magazine’s insightful “Beyond the Article” series, Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church delves into a pressing question: Are people desperate for the Holy Spirit?

Throughout the interview, Pastor Locke illuminates a critical concern within the American church, underscoring the necessity for a profound grasp of the gospel and the authentic transformative influence wielded by the Holy Spirit.

Half-Truths and Incomplete Healing

Locke begins by highlighting a common problem found in the prophets of old, where the priests and prophets only shared half the truth. The danger, as Locke sees it, is that the American church tends to give people just enough Jesus without bringing about real freedom, deliverance or healing. The focus on motivational and pop psychology sermons falls short of the profound transformation the gospel offers.

“There is no real repentance,” Locke claims. “There’s no real transformation based on the gospel. No real healing in their home, in their marriage.”

Medicating and Counseling the Demonic

Locke addresses the prevalent practice of medicating and counseling demonic influences instead of truly confronting them. He points out that cute sermons, therapy sessions and other conventional methods may fall short when dealing with spiritual battles. The church, he argues, has taken people just far enough, and it’s not the people unwilling to go further but the pastors afraid to delve into uncomfortable territory.

“All of these things aren’t going to relieve people of a demonic spirit, of a spirit of heaviness or fear or addiction,” Locke shares.

Overcoming Fear and Embracing True Deliverance

Reflecting on his own experiences, Locke admits to times when he, as a pastor, hesitated to embrace the movement of the Holy Spirit fully. The fear of accountability and responsibility led to cutting short potentially transformative moments. However, he emphasizes the importance of overcoming fear and allowing the Holy Spirit to bring genuine deliverance, drawing parallels with Mark chapter 1.

“We take people just far enough to still keep them in bondage,” determines Locke.

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Pastoral Responsibility and True Gospel Transformation

Locke raises a critical point about pastors being complicit in maintaining a cycle of partial healing. He reveals the alarming reality of pastors, even from large churches, seeking deliverance for addictions and struggles behind closed doors. The focus on outward conformity rather than true gospel transformation becomes a stumbling block.

“it’s kind of like a doctor situation,” Locke says. “There’s money in keeping people sick, right, and so sometimes there’s money, there’s power, there’s influence, in keeping people coming back.”

Breaking the Chains: Moving Beyond Half-Truths

Passionately advocating for a shift in mindset within the church, Locke exhorts the church to move beyond half-truths and embrace the complete gospel. He challenges the notion that pastors may prefer people to be healed only slightly, suggesting that a fear of losing control or influence could be at play.

“There is real freedom in Jesus Christ. A gospel that doesn’t provide freedom and life transformation is no gospel at all,” Locke says.

The Law of Double Reference: Unveiling Biblical Continuity

Delving into biblical references from Joel 2 and Acts 2, Locke emphasizes the Law of Double Reference. He clarifies that the fulfillment of these prophecies did not end with Pentecost but extends until the Second Coming of Christ. The continuous availability of deliverance and miracles challenges cessationist viewpoints.

Complete Wholeness: Challenging Cessationist Mindsets

Confronting the cessationist mindset, Locke acknowledges its comfort, but asserting that it contradicts the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. Drawing from his own journey out of cessationism, he urges a re-examination of the biblical narrative, emphasizing that gifts are given to the church until the perfect man is formed.

“Why does the devil have supernatural ability, and God apparently has no more gifts for the body?” Locke asks. “From a cessationist point of view we only look at the beginning and we say, well, that happened on the day of Pentecost, yes, but the text clearly teaches us that it continues until the second coming of Christ, and so the deliverance is still available. The miracle signs and wonders and visions are still available as long as they’re in the context of Scripture.”

Balancing Truth and Spirit: The Need for Both

Locke stresses the importance of maintaining a balance between truth and spirit within the church. Acknowledging abuses and misinterpretations, he advocates for a genuine pursuit of both spiritual manifestations and biblical truth, steering away from extremes.

“A false balance is an abomination to the Lord. We need both spirit and truth in worship,” Locke explains.

Pastor Greg Locke’s insights challenge the church to move beyond half-truths, embrace the fullness of the gospel and welcome the transformative power of the Holy Spirit for true freedom and deliverance in Christ.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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