One-on-One with John Lindell on ‘Soul Set Free’

“There are a lot of people in the church who are trying so hard, but if we don’t understand grace, we can’t give what we don’t have.”

Ed: How did your own experience with God’s grace lead you to write Soul Set Free?

John: I'm a very disciplined and competitive person by nature. When you are that way, you have a tendency to do all of life that way. That was true in the way I was walking with Christ. Couple that with the fact that I was saved in a church that has roots in the Holiness movement, so there was a strong emphasis on doing things: reading your Bible, praying, going to church, do these certain things and don't do these other things.

There’s nothing wrong with these tools for discipleship, but somewhere along the line, the tools for discipleship became the rules for discipleship. When that happens in any person’s life, it becomes burdensome and diminishes joy, which is certainly not God's plan.

When a person understands grace by more than just definition, but truly understands not only what God did but why he did it and how it works, it is very liberating. It was that way for me, a very life changing journey, and so my prayer for this book is that people would experience that freeing of their soul and the liberty that God intends.

Ed: You talk about the story of the prodigal son, but it's not just about the prodigal son; there was another son who was not a prodigal, and he stayed home. He kept the rules, was decent and honorable. Yet didn’t he also need to learn something about grace?

John: That older brother didn't understand grace and his need of grace. There are a lot of people in the church who are trying so hard, but if we don't understand grace, we can't give what we don't have. There are many Christians who struggle to give grace to those who don't know Christ or to those who are far …

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