Christianity possesses the greatest power on earth. Within the teachings of Christianity are all of the things you need to know to set you free, because freedom is in Jesus Christ.
Apart from Christ there is no freedom and there can be no freedom. Apart from Christ there is only bondage and slavery.
Look at the world around you. Who in this world is truly free? Any person who is confined under law, fear and bound up by the passions of human nature cannot be truly free. All people in this world are in bondage because true freedom can only be found in Jesus Christ. That is what these few verses of Paul are saying too.
These verses in Galatians chapter 1 really set the scene for this whole letter. The essence of this whole book is to instruct a church that has rejected the gospel of freedom in Jesus Christ and accepted a different gospel, which is a mishmash of law and bondage.
Paul is frustrated, astonished and amazed that the Galatians church has been torn apart by false teaching and lies from people who are supposed to be representing Jesus Christ. False teachers had come among the Galatians and are leading them back into bondage, and Paul is quite clearly horrified by it.
He says they have been taken captive by accepting a different gospel, and then makes the point that there is not, and cannot be a different gospel. There is only ONE gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. Anything else, anything that purports to be a different gospel is a lie and will not lead to freedom, but to bondage.
Today I commence my studies in the book of Galatians. As a brief overview of this amazing letter from the Apostle Paul to the church if the Galatians, it is worthwhile just noting what Paul wrote in his first few introductory words.
These few verses really tell a story and set the tone for the rest of Paul’s letter. And it is not a good story as far as the church of the Galatians is concerned.
So let’s just examine his opening words and see where Paul is coming from and what he intends to speak about to the Galatians.
One of the worst things that can happen to a person, especially a Christian, is to brought into slavery. I am not talking about the kind of slavery we are familiar with, which is physical slavery where people are captured, sold and held in chains to do the bidding of others.
No. My concern and the concern Paul raises in this section is about Christians in spiritual slavery. This is far worse than physical slavery because most Christians don’t even know they have been captured. They don’t realise they are in spiritual bondage, and too often it is the church itself which puts them into bondage and forces them to stay there.
This should not be so because Jesus came and died so that the slavery of the spirit and the bondages of sin could and would be broken. And yet many Christians today are still trapped in those same bonds and have no idea how to break free as Jesus planned.
There is a process in corporations law that is known as lifting the veil of the law. It applies to the ability of the courts to get behind the protections in corporations law to hold the directors of a company accountable for their actions when they act unconscionably or defraud shareholders, investors or the community.
This process is one that brings people who have done the wrong thing to account so they can be judged and if necessary condemned for their actions.
Now what we see in this section of scripture is another process of lifting the veil of the law, not for corporate entities but for individuals. But the process in Christianity is very different. In corporations, it leads to condemnation, but in Christ, it leads to freedom. And it is this freeing process we will look at here Continue reading “Lifting the Veil of the Law”
Sometimes it is easy to become complacent about the wondrous opportunity we have been given by God in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we take it all for granted, not realising how truly blessed we are to live in this age where we can receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This piece of scripture looks at the gospel of the new covenant and does a comparison with the offer under the old covenant and we recognise just how blessed we are.
While there were many blessings under the old covenant of law, what we have today in Christ Jesus is far, far better. We have an opportunity that was not even remotely possible under the law. So we must take time and effort to understand the gospel and the teachings of the new covenant to take full advantage of ALL that God is offering and make full use of the blessings we have been given freely in Jesus Christ.
Deliverance is one of the many messages we hear Christians speak about. It is often used as a means to draw people into churches.
There is a church near where I lived some years ago where they had a sign out front announcing a weekly prayer meeting for people to come and get healing. And this is a great draw card because nobody likes to suffer.
Deliverance was at the root of many of the miracles Jesus performed while He walked on the earth. He healed the sick, lame, blind, deaf, paralysed and gave release from demonic possession to many people as part of His ministry. These people were delivered from all manner of afflictions and many followed Him purely because of the deliverance He gave.
But there is more to deliverance and a greater purpose, which is available to all still today through Christ Jesus.
This section of scripture is well known among Christians for a number of different reasons, but what it represents is one of the least understood principles in the bible.
It speaks directly to what the offer of God's grace is to mankind. Grace is one of those “churchy” words that Christians throw around all of the time. But understanding grace and what God has offered us is well described in this section.
And the final few verses offer an insight into the mystery of grace. They open up the power of the grace of God so we can better understand just exactly what God achieved through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If we are to follow the Lord and come to God, we must do so as He has defined the way. Jesus is the way and we an only come to God through Jesus Christ. And there are certain “rules” to follow if we are to come to Christ in a way that pleases God.
All of the things God gave us as gifts, methods of praise and worship or instructions were given for a specific purpose. None of His gifts, methods or processes were given for no reason, nor should they be ignored. There is a definite plan, purpose and reason for every little thing that God has told us to seek and do and none is to be disregarded.
And today especially I want to consider the act of baptism and explain why this particular act is so important. There are many in the church who have lost the understanding of this critical action we are to participate in when we first come to Christ, and this set of scriptures today will help us understand. Indeed the Lord Jesus Christ considered baptism so important, and so critical that He was baptised Himself and He specified baptism as one of the key things in the great commission He gave to the disciples just before He departed the earth to return to the Father. So we should listen and obey.
Two of the most important factors in the Christian life are covered in this section of scripture. It also gives us two excellent reasons why we must do as the final few words in this section tells us; “Glorify God in your body.”
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
It also teaches us a few other things that are worth reviewing and taking note of. It is a tremendous work the Lord is doing in us and these few verses show us just how deeply and how much God has done and is continuing to do to bring us into His kingdom and presence.