John 8:31-32 (NIV)
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, �If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.�

Those whom Christ sets free are free indeed. It is because of the love, mercy and grace of Christ that they are free from the penalties of sin and no other reason. Their hearts will be filled with the truth and the truth will guide them free from sin.

In the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, as King Arthur and his knights seek the Holy Grail, they come to a bridge that spans an abyss of eternal peril. A bridge keeper allows people to cross this bridge only if they can answer three questions. Get one wrong, and you're tossed into the pit.

Lancelot is the first tested. The keeper asks him, "What is your name?" Lancelot answers.

"What is your quest?"

Lancelot answers, "To seek the Holy Grail."

"What is your favorite color?"


"Right," says the bridge keeper, "off you go." Lancelot crosses the bridge, amazed this was so easy.

The second knight similarly states his name and quest. But the third question is now, "What is the capital of Assyria?"

"I don't know that."

The knight is hurled, screaming, into the abyss.

The third knight, Sir Galahad, is nervous as he's asked his name and quest, but he answers correctly.

"What is your favorite color?"

Sir Galahad panics. "Blue…no, yellow--Aaaaahhhh," he screams as he is hurled into the pit.

Finally, the king steps up. "What is your name?"

"Arthur, King of the Britains."

"What is your quest?"

"To seek the Holy Grail."

"What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"

"What do you mean," asks Arthur, "an African or European swallow?"

"What? I don't know that," answers the bridge keeper, who immediately is launched into the abyss. Arthur and his followers thereafter cross the bridge unhindered.

Many people's idea of the gospel is that some day we'll get to the bridge to paradise and be asked, "Why should you be allowed to cross?" As long as we answer correctly, we make it across. Answer wrongly, and we're cast into the abyss. The gospel is redefined to be the announcement of the minimal entrance requirements for getting into heaven….

Jesus never said, "Now I'm going to tell you what you need to say to get into heaven when you die." Jesus' good news is we no longer have to live in the guilt, failure, and impotence of our own strength. The transforming presence and power of God is available through Christ right here, right now. To live in that power, you must become his disciple. [John Ortberg, "True (and False) Transformation," Leadership (Summer 2002), pp.101-102]