Tag: one in Christ
Scripture reading for July 6th: Psalm 130-134
Key Scriptures: Psalm 133:1-3 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore.”
As the twelve tribes assembled, they became one family before the Lord. This psalm decreed the blessing of unity upon the brothers as they gathered to worship in God’s presence. The ultimate blessing that the Lord bestowed was eternal life in His presence! Sounds like what Jesus Christ prayed in his final High Priestly prayer before the cross!
The blessing of unity: “For Your granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those you have given Him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” . . . “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them even as you have loved Me.” (John 17:2-3, 20-23)
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 is telling these Galatians that they are no longer under the law or slaves of sin. They are now sons of God, and clothed with Christ. Their past identities no now longer are relevant. In Christ all are one new family. Christ is Abraham’s promised ‘Seed’ and from 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 stands for Mt. Sinai and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is 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 of this teaching is that faith brings freedom and adoption while the law brings bondage and slavery. What an easy choice!