Born That We Might Be Free Forevermore!

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And the leaders of the church had nothing to add to what I was preaching. – Galatians 2:6a NLT

Paul did not back down from his stand on circumcision. When Peter, James and John, the pillars of the church in Jerusalem, recognized that Paul was right they gave him the right hand of fellowship. (To those who don’t speak Churchese, that means that Paul now had their support and was welcomed into the congregation of Christians,) They all agreed that the new converts, both Jewish and Gentile should not eat food that had been sacrificed to idols and that they should support the poor. It is still a good idea to help the poor and refrain from acts that might cause our brothers to be offended.. Paul and Barnabas leave to go back to Antioch to give the news to the new converts. We, like the first century church, must be careful not to add requirements to God’s plan of salvation. We do not want to become like the legalistic leaders who weighed men down with their traditions. When the Spirit sets us free, we are indeed free from the bondage of sin that was of no benefit to us. The law could not free us, but God could and did by sending His Son, Jesus, as an offering for our sin.

Free Indeed!


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

Post 12-26-2017

Right Idea – Wrong Time

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14 When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” 15 When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself. ​ – John 6:14-15 NLT
 
​Aft​er Jesus had miraculously fed the multitude with a few loaves and a few fish, the people realized that this man was different from anyone they had ever seen before. Jesus knew with their misunderstanding of His purpose here on earth at this time, that they would try to make Him their King. This was the same situation Jesus had with the Pharisees and Sadducees. After all, the Messiah that the Jews were expecting, would build His Kingdom here on earth and be an earthly king. Jesus knew this was not the time for that, so He slips away to be by Himself. The Jews were not looking for a Suffering Servant, they wanted a King to free them from the rule of the Romans. Because of their traditions and their current situation, they wanted a King and they wanted Him now. So, they missed all the blessings of being with Jesus in His first advent here on earth. How many blessings do you and I miss because we have preconceived ideas about when and how God should answer our prayers? How many times do we miss God’s answer because it isn’t what we expected or wanted? How many times have we been upset or angry with God, because we thought He wasn’t listening and answering our prayers? God knows exactly what we need, how much we need, and exactly when we need it. There has never been a prayer that God didn’t answer. No matter what we are going through here and now, Jesus is fully aware of it and He never asks us to go through anything alone. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He has never failed on any of His promises.
8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake.–2 Peter 3:8-9A (NLT)

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

Post 09-02-2017

Pious Self-Denial

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18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud — Col. 2:18 NLT

In the Old Testament, God established certain traditions and feasts for His people to observe at specific times of the year. He had very specific rules as to how the sacrifices were to be prepared and offered. These things were shadows of the sacrificial work of Jesus in the New Testament. But as time went by, the ruling religious class added thousand of rules to what God had given. These additional rules are why Jesus rebuked the Sadducees and the Pharisees. They laid too heavy a burden on the people. Jesus fulfilled the law and many of the prophecies of the Old Testament. We are no longer required to observe all the feasts and traditions. Jesus gave us a very simple plan of salvation. But, just as corruption came into the old law because of prideful humans, it has crept into the plan that Jesus gave us. False prophets have arisen and they go about preaching all kinds of requirements that Jesus does not place on us. Study and meditate on the Scriptures daily so that you are not taken captive by such drivel. The path is narrow and the way is straight, stay on the true path guided by God’s Holy Spirit.


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

Post 03-07-2017

Be the Example

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1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.—1 Cor. 11:1-3 NIV

​Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to continue in following the practices of Christianity just as he has taught them to do. He has lived his life in front of them, as much as it is humanly possible, as an example of how Christ lived.  But there had been some reports of problems during the worship service.  Paul points to the fact that we are all to submit ourselves to Christ as the head of the Church, His body. We submit to Christ because He loved us enough to die for us.  So, this is the example for us to follow. Those who would be leaders in the Church must display the same kind of love that Christ did.  This is what Jesus was inferring to Peter when He asked Peter three times: “Will you feed my sheep?” Jesus was talking about more than physical food, He was asking Peter if He was willing to feed them spiritually, even to the point of death, if that became necessary. This is exactly the same kind of love that a husband should show for his wife and his family.  Husbands and Fathers need to ask themselves the same question that Jesus asked Peter.  “Will I feed this flock that Jesus has given me?  Will I not only provide for their physical needs, but also their spiritual needs?  Will I remind them daily how much Jesus loves and cares for them?”   If we do that, then we won’t have any problems being the “head” of the family.

6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.—Deut. 6:6,7 NIV

Post 06-14-2015

The Battle is Not Ours

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.—Gal. 4:8-11 (NIV)
​Before we​ accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were enslaved by our sinful flesh, just as the Galatians were back then. Before Paul came into Galatia, they worshiped idols made by men and were in bondage to all sorts of immoral acts. Once, they accepted the Good News, they were free from that bondage. Paul had started churches in the area earlier. After he left the area, the people started to fall back into their old worldly ways, practicing useless traditions of men. Eat this , don’t eat that, do this on this day and not any other day, etc. Paul was writing to them to encourage them to continue on their new Spiritual journey. We see the same thing still happening today when the founder of a new church retires or moves on. We have to focus on Jesus and the Gospel message, not on the messenger. Except for Jesus, there never has been, isn’t now, and never will be a perfect man. We all fall and come up short. Just don’t make falling a lifestyle. Ask for the forgiveness that Jesus has already paid for and move on. Let’s learn to be “Jesus conscious” and not “sin-conscious”. If satan can keep us focused on our failures, he has won the battle and we will live defeated lives, Focus on Jesus, our Champion and our Defender. We can be more than conquerors.
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.—2 Chron. 20:15 (NIV)

Post 04-02-2105

Did Christ Die in Vain?

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

1 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with​ ​Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2 It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain. 3 But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.—Gal. 2:1-5 (NASB)
​Paul had been​ teaching in Antioch and then he went on his first missionary journey. This journey lasted about three years. When he returns to Antioch, he finds that the church at Jerusalem had sent messengers up to Antioch. They were sent to tell the Gentiles who had been converted to Christianity that it was necessary for them to be circumcised. Paul had not taught that to the new converts and did not believe that it was necessary. In fact, Paul taught that God did not require new Gentile converts to be circumcised. We still have people in our society who are bound by the traditions that they were taught. We must understand that God the Holy Spirit abides in us. He is our guide and our teacher. We have much liberty in Christ Jesus, but we are not to use that liberty to grieve the Holy Spirit or to mislead others. Jesus said that if you were bound by the law and did not fulfill every iota of the law, then you cold not enter heaven, That is why God sent His Son as the perfect sacrifice for our redemption. From that time forward, there is no sacrifice required. If there were need for more sacrifice, then Christ died in vain..
24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere​ ​copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.–Hebrews 9:24-26​ (NASB)​
Post 03-21-2015

Live by Christ’s Rules Only

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

16 So don’t let anyone make rules for you about eating and drinking or about Jewish customs (festivals, New Moon celebrations, or Sabbath days). 17 In the past these things were like a shadow that showed what was coming. But the new things that were coming are found in Christ. 18 Some people enjoy acting as if they are humble and love to worship angels.[b] They always talk about the visions they have seen. Don’t listen to them when they say you are wrong because you don’t do these things. It is so foolish for them to feel such pride, because it is all based on their own human ideas.–Col 2:16-18 (ETR)
In the Old Testament, God established certain traditions and feasts for His people to observe at specific times of the year. He had very specific rules as to how the sacrifices were to be prepared and offered. These things were shadows of the sacrificial work of Jesus in the New Testament. But as time went by, the ruling religious class added thousand of rules to what God had given. These additional rules are why Jesus rebuked the Sadducees and the Pharisees. They laid too heavy a burden on the people. Jesus fulfilled the law and many of the prophecies of the Old Testament. We are no longer required to observe all the feasts and traditions. Jesus gave us a very simple plan of salvation. But, just as corruption came into the old law because of prideful humans, it has crept into the plan that Jesus gave us. False prophets have arisen and they go about preaching all kinds of requirements that Jesus does not place on us. Study and meditate on the Scriptures daily so that you are not taken captive by such drivel. The path is narrow and the way is straight, stay on the true path guided by God’s Holy Spirit.
Post 05-10-14