Before I because a Christian,… what I misunderstood about Christianity was that I thought it was a lifestyle centered around keeping a set of rules. Some of the Christians I met, didn’t help. They would tell me, “you know God hates rock music”. Ok, I can see why that may be true. I hate some rock music and rap music and hardcore, etc. In other words, they were saying “you’ve gotta listen to the approved music”. Look, everyone lives by some ‘code of ethics’ that exists deep inside them. There are in reality very few psychotic people have no standard or set of rules at all they live by. So, is Christianity about exchanging the wrong set of ethics and rules for the right ones? Ok, Yes! No! Its not that simple. We exchange lies for the truth of God. We give up living for ourselves, and we now live to and for Him. The overarching rules are first, to love God with all you have and are… then, love other people sacrificially. But, Doug… what about the rock music? Can I still listen to it? Maybe. The more you stay away from the list of rules and the more you draw close to God Himself… really get to know Him; You will love what He loves, hate what He hates and be moved by the Spirit of God to all that is good. In Paul’s day, nothing was more tempting than for new believers to try to be in a right standing with God by being circumcised (after all, the first Jewish Christians already were). But, Paul warned, if you do that… you are trying to live by a set of rules that do not apply, you are ‘cutting yourself off’ from Christ and exchanging a relationship with God for rules and the law. Let’s not do that today. It’s no small thing.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Look! I, Paul, tell you that if you have yourselves circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who has himself circumcised, that he is obligated to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by the Law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. Galatians 5:1-6 NASB
How free in Christ am I in actuality? What tempts me to keep man-made rules or to try to impress others?
God, as this day begins- I never could have imagined how free life feels being in Christ. Thank you that You saved me from myself and a life of sin and error. I wonder in what ways, I might reach out to others and love them in Your name. I want to pause to pray for my fellow ministers on staff at church. Would you buoy each of them up. Use them in their calling and giftedness. Continue to form a wonderful bond between us all. Thank you the beautiful people You’ve place in my life. Now, let’s go take on the day. It’s no small thing.