Christian Freedom

 

After Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, many still held fast to the Old Testament laws. In Galatians chapter 5, Paul is telling his listeners that there is no longer a need to be justified by the law since Jesus’ death is sufficient for our salvation.

This great news, however, does come with new instructions.

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Am I Willing To Be a Servant?

 

Philippians 2:14-15 (ESV) “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world”

Be it chores, homework, or other responsibilities, it can be incredibly difficult to do the things we are told to do. Yet here, Paul says to not just do these things, but to also do so without complaining or arguing.

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Rejoicing Amidst Challenges

 

Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (ESV)

In a mere 11 words, Paul gives three instructions to the Romans in the midst of challenges that they face in their walk with Christ. Romans 12 marks a shift for Paul as he moves from the doctrines he espouses in the first eleven chapters to practical outcomes of those principles.

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A Witness: What Has Been Seen And Heard

14 And he [Ananias] said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you [Paul] to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for you will be a witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.” ~ Acts 22:15 (NIV)

While this text is Paul’s recounting of his conversion to Christ and apostolic calling from God, the implications for us as followers of Christ is that we are to “be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.” An apostle means one who is “sent” on a mission as Christ’s witness to proclaim the Good News. The verse above helps us to understand what a “witness” for Christ is expected to do: to tell people what we have personally experienced about Christ.

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Delight in the Law of God

Photo: Yanshu Lee. Design: Jonathan Yao.

 

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night..” ~ Psalm 1:1-2 (NIV)

The poetic and metaphoric psalms began with a direct assertion of one who is called “blessed” by virtue of his disassociation with the “wicked or ungodly, sinners or unholy, and mockers or desecrators” but one who is in close fellowship with YHWH, God Himself, at all times.

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