Tag: faith in Christ

No longer a slave!

Scripture reading for September 18th: Galatians 3:23-4:31

Paul likened those under the law to slaves and prisoners.  “But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.  Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.  So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:22-24)  In fact, the Bible declares that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)  It is by faith in Jesus Christ that we are justified.  We can never be made righteous by our works.  The law actually imprisons us because we cannot keep it.

But thanks be to God that through faith we are now adopted into God’s family!  “You are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ, for all who were baptized into Christ have clothed themselves with Christ.  Therefore there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29)  Paul was telling these Galatians that they were no longer under the law or slaves of sin.  They were now sons of God, and clothed with Christ.  Their past identities no longer are relevant.  In Christ all are one new family.  Christ is Abraham’s promised ‘Seed’ and through faith in Him, all are now heirs of God’s promises to Abraham.

Abraham had two sons.  Ishmael was born of the slave woman, Hagar.  Isaac was his child through Sarah by divine promise.  These two sons were types of two covenants.  One covenant, the law, was given at Mt. Sinai and brought slavery.  Hagar stood for Mt. Sinai and corresponded to the present city of Jerusalem, because she was in slavery with her children.  But Isaac was a child of promise, conceived by faith in God’s promise.  We who trust in Christ are children of this free woman and born of the Spirit!  There is conflict between the two even today!   The main point is that faith brings freedom and adoption while the law brings bondage and slavery.  What an easy choice!

Tags : , , , ,

Sunday Rest and Reflection:Blessing and Curse

Dear Friends,

Greetings and blessings in the Name of Jesus Christ!  He is our peace and the One who brings us blessings!  He bore the curse of the broken law of God on our behalf and we now are in a place to receive blessing.

As Moses repeated the history of the last 40 years, he continually brought to their memory the need for these younger survivors to carefully listen to and obey God.  Moses defines this obedience as loving God.  (Deuteronomy 11:22)  Love always brings blessing!  When you love someone, you desire their best and do what you can to see that they have the best.  God initiated this love relationship because He alone is love.

Moses set up the case for obedience and loving God as a choice between something good and something evil.  To obey was the choice for blessing and to disobey was a choice for a curse. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)  If they chose to disobey, that would mean that they followed other gods and were unloving and unfaithful.

Man has an impossible task in perfect obedience in himself because of the sin nature.  (Galatians 3:10-11)  We are prone to disobey and go our own way.  We end up following other gods and under the curse.  The curse is God’s decreed reaping for disobedience.  When we know His law, we are responsible to keep it.  We fail in our own strength because of sin and rebellion.  Who will deliver us from this terrible curse?

Thanks be to God, He has Himself!  Jesus Christ was made a curse for us.  All the curses written against us were nailed to His cross and taken out of the way!  (Galatians 3:13-14)  He redeemed us so that the blessings of Abraham might come on us!  Instead of obedience to the law, we inherit the promise of the Holy Spirit received by faith!  The Holy Spirit is our down-payment of the blessings to come!  (Ephesians 1:13-14)  Blessings that are beyond what eye can see and ear can hear are awaiting those who love God and know Him through Jesus Christ!  What a day of rest we can enjoy today and in eternity!  In His Love, Pastor John

Tags : , , , ,