Christianity 201

July 21, 2017

Liberty to Pay it Forward

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:37 pm
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This is our third time at Inspire a Fire and this time around the writer is author and pastor Josh Clevenger. Don’t miss the second-last paragraph. It’s short but crucial to understanding what God expects.

Liberty in Christ

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 5:1 NLT

God’s gift is free and has no blind spots in the contract.

Believers have been set free from the bondage created by the Law of Moses. The law was unable to make anyone righteousness and was flawed because it only exposed humanity’s weaknesses. When Jesus died on the cross, He died to fulfill what we couldn’t through good works and sacrifices.

Christ-followers have been given righteousness through Jesus Christ. We have the ability to be at rest with God, satisfying the struggle for God’s approval once and for all. We don’t have to offer anything to God to be received as worthy. The process was simplified to one basic element: Christ alone.

Believers don’t—and can’t—add to the salvation equation. We have to believe Jesus Christ is. When that is established, salvation is given freely. We aren’t required to give anything because the debt is too great for us to pay. God saw our inability to be righteous apart from His intervention and provided His Son as the bridge between us and Him.

Believers don’t have to earn anything from the Lord. Trying to earn His approval underestimates what Christ did on Calvary. Our society associates the term free with cheap. Salvation was not cheap, because it cost God His Son.

We can express our gratitude to the Lord by loving others in the same way we are loved by Him. The Lord does not require payment. He just wants us to spread His love to those around us.

Do not be yoked again to fear or shame. Be set free from false obligation, and be united in the Lord to know your freedom in Christ.


1 Comment »

  1. Liberty in Christ
    “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (Gal 5:1 NLT)
    This passage is certainly true; the law of Moses cannot make anyone righteous. Paul wrote, “For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.” (Rom 8:3 NIV) However, Paul continued his thought, “And so, he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” (Rom 8:4 NIV) The manner in which one lives is important.
    Care needs to be taken understand how God’s righteous requirements are fully achieved. According to Paul they are accomplished as the believer lives according to the Spirit or through being led by the Spirit. This truth is very clear. The believer is no longer under the bondage of the letter of the law (the Old Covenant) but is under the jurisdiction of the New Covenant, a covenant of the Spirit. “[Christ] has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Cor 3:6 NIV)
    It is true that Christ-followers have been given righteousness through Jesus Christ. That righteousness was imputed (Rom 4:24) to confessors of faith in Christ so that they might be gifted with the Spirit (Rom 3:14) as Christ had promised (Jn 14:15). The righteousness that was imputed lasts as long as the confessor is obedient. (Gal 5:6─7) The law of Moses has been replaced with the law of the Spirit. (Rom 8:2); accordingly, Paul states that Christ-followers have become “slaves to God.” (Rom 6:22 NIV) The “law of the Spirit” is not etched in stone but is living, dynamic, and works in a way that is person-specific.
    Believers need no longer be slaves to sin by failing to satisfy the first covenant through their weakened nature. The liberty or freedom that was gained was from warranted death caused by sins committed while under the rule of the first covenant, freedom from its jurisdiction, and freedom from the helplessness of our weakened nature. The believer has the knowledge, leading and power of the Spirit and the New Covenant, to satisfy God. ”For this reason {to cleanse our consciences from (doing) acts that lead to death] Christ is the mediator of a new covenant , that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” (Heb 9:15 NIV)
    Believers have not been set free once and for all; they are to obey the Spirit if they are to gain eternal salvation (Heb 5:9; Rom 814; Gal 5:18; Mt 7:21) Judgment still must be faced for things done in the body whether good or bad (2 Cor 5:10) Chris’s mandate is to offer believers as “an acceptable sacrifice to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” (Rom 15:16) The salvation for which believers hope is accomplished through Christ who is the Spirit (2 Cor 3 17, 18, Col 1:27), but he must be obeyed.
    The misunderstanding that pervades modern teaching is that being saved represents eternal salvation. Saved means being delivered from imminent danger. A person must be saved from the consequences of the sin that he has committed and he needs to be salved or delivered from his continuing practice of sin. Paul has presented it this way: “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Rom 5:10 NIV)
    Although believers cannot “add to the equation,” they need to honor the one they have confessed as their lord (Rom 10:9), and God has provided all that is needed for life and godliness through his divine power (the Spirit). (2 Pet 1:3)
    Further, the need for humankind is not just to be forgiven, it is to be transformed into the likeness of Christ (Rom 8:29), having his heart and attitude, the image in which man had been created in the first place. (Gen 1:27) God is establishing the kingdom that he had envisioned as revealed in Genesis and which he declared to be very good. Although his plan was disrupted through rebellion and disobedience, it will be restored with those who have chosen to honor him. Believers are to love him with all of their heart, mind, body and soul.

    Comment by Russell A. Young — July 24, 2017 @ 10:02 am | Reply

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