Tuesday, December 4, 2012

If The World Was For Sale Pt 2

Galatians 5: 2 + 13-26

2Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you.

13For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
 14For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”


15But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. 16Let me explain further. Live your life as your spiritual nature directs you. Then you will never follow through on what your corrupt nature wants. 17What your corrupt nature wants is contrary to what your spiritual nature wants, and what your spiritual nature wants is contrary to what your corrupt nature wants. They are opposed to each other. As a result, you don't always do what you intend to do. 18If your spiritual nature is your guide, you are not subject to Moses' laws. 19Now, the effects of the corrupt nature are obvious: illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, 20idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, 21envy, drunkenness, wild partying, and similar things. I've told you in the past and I'm telling you again that people who do these kinds of things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There are no laws against things like that. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their corrupt nature along with its passions and desires. 25If we live by our spiritual nature, then our lives need to conform to our spiritual nature. 26We can't allow ourselves to act arrogantly and to provoke or envy each other.

Continuing from the last posting....I talked about the immense worth of eternal life in heaven, and the high price that was already paid by God Himself when He sent His Son.
So what now? OK, then if I don't have to do anything...I mean not a diddly-squat...then what do I do now as a person who's salvation has already been completely paid for?? Hmmm?
To explain a little further - up in verse 2 St. Paul says that what used to make a person right with God before Jesus, won't do it now. If you read more of Galatians you'll see him saying that all circumcision does now is cut into the body. Then if you continue to read you'll see it reiterated in different ways that anything we do...good deeds, rites, sacrifices, anything! to try and be right with God....to try to pay some of the price of salvation...makes Christ's work on the cross of no benefit. It's either one or the other....no fence sitting.
OK...now...what IS it that we do now? How about ceasing sin in my life? Doing good things...rituals and the like won't do it, but maybe if I'm good, that will help!? So, if I work hard not to swear, not to think bad thoughts and to stop gossiping, along with thanking God that I'm not like those sinners over there! - maybe that will do it? Nope again. A resounding NOPE. Being good or not being good won't pay for it either.
Remember this verse in Ephesians 2:8?
"God saved you through faith as an act of His kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God."
Now with this in mind, look up in verse 13 & 14...God has given us eternal life. This eternal life gives us freedom from having to work for our salvation. A freedom that we will continue to learn about...and experience as we grow. However, the main purpose for this freedom is not to only use it for our own self-interests.
Lets imagine you work for a boss that made you work your tail off in order to keep your job. But then she hires more help and tells you that you can now have the freedom to take some days off...what would you do with this new found freedom?
During the time of the law...and even now in the lives of those who spend so much of their time trying to mind their P's & Q's, and making sure they don't step out of line...following all the laws took a lot of time and energy, with very little time for anything else. But now we are set free from all that...
So, what do we do with this new found freedom? God says to use it to serve. To love our neighbor as our self. Yes, and since we also read in scripture that His yoke is easy and His burdens are light...and that He wants an abundant life for us...and then up in verse 14 that we are to love others as we love ourselves...then at least three things are apparent. That we are not to neglect ourselves and serving others is not as hard as we may think, along with it being a part of how God brings us an abundant life.
In Pt 3 we will talk more about verse 14 on down...
Do you have any verses to share?


1 comment:

  1. I love this!! It is the blood of Jesus plus nothing else! This is such a timely article, because even Christians, at times, try to "earn" their righteousness, or do pennance in order to "feel" forgiven when all we have to do is accept that we are IN HIM and HE IS IN US!! Thank you and blessings!!


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