“Don’t Touch! Don’t Taste”

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21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? – COL 2:21 NLT
We think we are far advanced from the first century AD. In technology, dress, and the comforts of life, we are.  But human nature itself has not changed much. We still have those who want to regulate everything that each individual does or wants to do.  That is why we have so many laws that we can fill numerous buildings storing all the paperwork. But, as Jesus knew and we should have learned, external laws don’t keep us from sinning.   Jesus pointed out to the religious leaders of His day that they kept adding man-made rules and regulations to the laws God had given them. These had no spiritual value since what goes into us that makes us obedient or disobedient, it is what comes out of us.
 

10 After Jesus called the crowd to him, he said, “Listen and understand what I am saying. 11 It is not what people put into their mouths that makes them unclean. It is what comes out of their mouths that makes them unclean.” — Matt.15:10, 11​

As Christians, we have liberty, but we must use that liberty wisely in choosing what we do and what we don’t do.  We must be sure that we are not adding to what God has said is right and/or wrong.  We must not allow the things that we have chosen to rule our lives to the extent that they become our “god”‘ and we impose those things on others as if they were laws or commandments.

12 “I am allowed to do all things,” but not all things are good for me to do. “I am allowed to do all things,” but I will not let anything make me its slave. — 1 Cor. 6:12

Wrong choices are external symptoms of an internal problem. The problem is that we have not allowed God’s Word to conform our thoughts. If we bring all of our thoughts into captivity to God, we will not need external “dos” and “don’ts”. It will be our hearts desire to do what God wants us to do and not do the things He doesn’t want us to do.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-02-2018

Love Rules

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But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. ​- 1 Cor. 8:9 NLT


Paul continues his narrative on whether or not we, as Christians, are free to eat meat sacrificed to idols.  The point he is making is that when we exercise our liberty in Christ Jesus, we need to be sure that others are not offended or misled by watching us.  Though we have the knowledge that we have liberty because Jesus Christ died to set us free from the law and from sin, others do not have that knowledge.  They are accustomed to not eating meat sacrificed to idols because that is what the law has taught them. Just as some of the disciples still taught that you had to be circumcised because they did not yet have the understanding of their freedom in Christ. We, being the stronger, should then give up our freedom to do certain things.  Not because the action itself is a sin, but because it causes our brother or sister to stumble and we have sinned against them. Any sin against anyone is a sin against Christ. So we should use our knowledge, spoken in love, to edify our brothers and sisters and not to harm them.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 2-20-2018

Freely Submitted!

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17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.– 1 Peter 2:17 NLT

1 Peter 2:13 -17 NLT

As Christians, we are to follow all the laws of our land as long as they are not immoral or cause us to deny our faith. When we are speeding down the expressway and we see a cop, we get a little nervous, and we should. The law enforcement officers are agents of the government to punish us when we do wrong. But that same action should cause us, as Christians, to be ashamed because we have dishonored our Father. We should live the kind of lifestyle that pleases our Father and then we won’t need to be fearful or ashamed. Outsiders will not be able to speak evil of our Lord because of what we have done. The world watches us closely to see if our walk is up to our talk. If it isn’t, we cause others to shy away from Christianity instead of wanting to be a part of God’s family. We should never use our liberty and freedom in Christ to hurt others. We must respect and love others. If we fear God, we will respect all those He has raised up in authority over us. For us, as Christians, it is completely possible to value all human beings without embracing their values.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 06-21-2017

Imitating Jesus

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You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
— Phil. 2:5 NLT
Jesus came to set us free from the captivity of our sins. When we spiritually died with Christ and we were raised up again, we were set free from the powers of this world. Our lifestyles should reflect that death and resurrection. We should live our lives free from old laws and traditions. As Jesus instructed Peter in Acts 11: 9 The voice spoke again from heaven, ‘Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.” But we must never let our liberty be a stumbling block to outsiders or those that are weaker. We should use our liberty in Jesus to attract others to Him. We are to be filled with the Spirit of the Living God and led by His directions. Only the love of God and His Spirit abiding in us can stop us from doing the evil things that the flesh continues to want to do. We should be Spirit-fed and Spirit-led. Will we be accused of trying to be little “Jesuses”? Probably so, but is there anyone better for us to attempt to imitate than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?
 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 03-08-2017

Love Trumps Everything

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7 However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8 But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. 9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12 And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.—1 Cor. 8:7-13 NASB

​Paul continues his narrative​ on whether or not we, as Christians, are free to eat meat sacrificed to idols.  The point he is making is that when we exercise our liberty in Christ Jesus, we need to be sure that others are not offended or misled by watching us.  Though we have the knowledge that we have liberty because Jesus Christ died to set us free from the law and from sin, others do not have that knowledge.  They are accustomed to not eating meat sacrificed to idols because that is what the law has taught them. Just as some of the disciples still taught that you had to be circumcised because they did not yet have the understanding of their freedom in Christ. We, being the stronger, should then give up our freedom to do certain things.  Not because the action itself is a sin, but because it causes our brother or sister to stumble and we have sinned against them. Any sin against anyone is a sin against Christ. So we should use our knowledge, spoken in love, to edify our brothers and sisters and not to harm them.
Post 05-31-2015

We Are Slaves to Christ, But We Have Great Liberty and Freedom

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

13 For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, 14 or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.​ 15 It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. 16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.–1 Peter 2:13-17 (NLT)
​As​ Christians, we are to follow all the laws of our land as long as they are not immoral or cause us to deny our faith. When we are speeding down the expressway and we see a cop, we get a little nervous, and we should. The law enforcement officers are agents of the government to punish us when we do wrong. But that same action should cause us, as Christians, to be ashamed because we have dishonored our Father. We should live the kind of lifestyle that pleases our Father and then we won’t need to be fearful or ashamed. Outsiders will not be able to speak evil of our Lord because of what we have done. The world watches us closely to see if our walk is up to our talk. If it isn’t, we cause others to shy away from Christianity instead of wanting to be a part of God’s family. We should never use our liberty and freedom in Christ to hurt others. We must respect and love others. If we fear God, we will respect all those He has raised up in authority over us. For us, as Christians, it is completely possible to value all human beings without embracing their values.
Post 09-12-14

Truly Free

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.


1 Corinthians 10: 23-31 (NLT) 23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” 27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29 I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

(NLT) John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we experience a freedom of Spirit and liberty that we have never known before. As sinners, we were slaves to our flesh and satan’s demands. Now, we truly have a freedom to make choices to obey or disobey God. We are to follow after the example of Jesus in our new lifestyle. We are not, however, to use our liberty to hurt or abuse others in any way. We use should our freedom and our free gifts from God to draw others to Christ. Paul says not to use our liberties to cause a weaker brother or sister to stumble. Let the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit be abundant in your life. Against love, peace, joy, and patience, there is no law. Walk graciously and humbly before our Lord.
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