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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Are you free?

... One of the things that is so very hard for the new Christian to get a girp on is their sinful nature and I believe that this has a great deal to do with why we see folks come into the church, make a profession of faith and then they are lost to us. Galatians is a book that these folks need to study a bit. It is only five short chapters long, so it is a quick read though a person can spend a life time in the study of this short book of the Bible.
... In this letter to the church there we see that Paul's work is being undone by the Jews trying to force the Christians to live by the Law and to forget God's grace. The very first thing I believe that every new Christian needs to understand is that they are free from their former life style. That means that we now have the option to refuse to sin and not that we will never be tempted. We will be tempted and there might even be a time that we slip because we become so distracted that we forget that we have the option to please God and by doing so, to please our selves without being ashamed of what we have done. I suppose the best way to say this is that we are now changed because we no longer plan to sin as we did, at least I did, before we were saved. And as we grow in our walk with Christ we will slip less and less.
... When we are saved we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit but early on we are not practiced at listening to that influence and it is easy to ignore. As we walk with God we are also chastised by Him when we fail to listen to the Spirit and through this process we become more attuned to what the Spirit is trying to tell us. This is exactly the way we were raised when we were youngsters and God has always been the Good Father. For example, if, when we were young, we lived beside a busy street or highway our mom and dad would forbid us to go into the street and if we did they would spank us to get our attention focused. We were not told to avoid the street because they did not want us to enjoy our lives, it was so that we would enjoy our life. It is exactly the same with God.
... From the Law we all learn that we are sinners but no one has ever been saved by following the Law. From the time of Abraham, salvation has been a product of grace and only by grace. This will never change and we in the church have got to stop killing the wounded and instead learn to give them a hand up. We are called, by God, to restore the fallen and when we learn to live our mission out we will stop scaring the new Christian away.