Archive for May, 2010

What “Law” is spoken of in Galatians?

May 22, 2010

Many Christians today are using the word “law” said by  Paul in Galatians  out of context. We know that once we have the “spirit of truth” the Holy Spirit , we are guided to all truth. It is the job of the Holy Sprit to guide us and help us “see” what His holy word says. If we believe in false interpretations of His word, we open ourselves up to other deceits.

In the beginning of Galatians, Paul starts right out in  (Gal.1:6) ” I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel–which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.”As can be seen Paul was not happy with the false doctrines going around (so quickly after the birth of Christianity). The Devil wasted no time getting distortions and falsehoods planted.

Paul went on to explain he was “extremely zealous” for His people  and their “traditions”prior to his conversion. We know from Jesus’ many rebukes to the pharisees and other religious people, that “these” people were NOT practicing the true obeying of His Holy Ten commandments. Rather, they were excelling in cumbersome and man induced rules and regulations. They were also VERY strict in obeying the Mosiac laws, as Paul was.  Jesus saw right through their hypocrisy. For if they had truly kept the Holy 10, Jesus would have NEVER rebuked them! And Jesus was the ONLY one who could have rebuked them because He NEVER broke them. To be an example of our Christian walk.

Then in chapter two, Paul gives us our first BIG CLUE, what Paul has in mind in discussing the “law” further on. In (gal 2:3) he says “NOT even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the ‘freedom’ we have in Christ Jesus and to make us ‘slaves’. ”  ok, let’s see what was just said. First, Paul mentions “circumcision” then he says NOT to be slaves again. Now, what “law” had circumcision? It was the Mosiac law! The Holy 10 had no such requirement.

Next, Paul tells how he imparted his beliefs that Peter was practicing prejudice against people who were NOT obeying the “Mosiac laws”. In this case, Peter seperating himself from uncircumcised believers.  Paul clearly said that this was “wrong”. Then Paul says in (Gal 2:15) ” We (true believers in Christ) who are Jews by birth, and not Gentile sinners, know that a man is NOT justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ” Again it is plainly obvious “what” law Paul is speaking about. Infact Paul further seperates the “law” vs. the “Moral law”  later when he says in (1 Cor.7:19) “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the KEEPING of the Commandments is what matters.”

Can we start to see clearly “which” law Paul has in mind? Paul concludes chapter two with ” I did not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the ‘law’, Christ died for nothing.”  In other words, all the rituals, ceremonies and sacrifices one did and obeyed should have “saved” that individual, hence no need for Christ. But Paul states the ‘law’ meaning Mosiac laws could NOT do this. They only foreshadowed Christ.

 In chapter three, Paul continues in his same line of thinking about the “Mosiac law” and NOT the holy 10. (Gal 3:1-2) “You foolish Galatians!….I would like to learn one thing from you: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?” Here again Paul points out the ‘law’ was no longer the way to Christ  and whereby the Holy Spirit comes from. Then later in (3:24) “So the law was put in place to lead us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” This was SO CLEARLY shown by the temple curtain being split in two upon Christ’s death. That symbolized the end of animal sacrifices as Christ had become the “once and for all” sacrifice for our sins.  The very  temple  where they also practiced many of their Mosiac rituals and ceremonies.

In concluding it can defintely be said Galatians teaches us that the “law” Paul speaks about is the Mosiac law. It would make no sense if Paul meant the Holy 10 Commandment Law, when discussing a Mosiac custom called circumcision. Additionally, can we honestly think we are “no longer under” the Law that says(among other things) murder, stealing, adultery is wrong? Paul would indeed be speaking NOT from the Holy Spirit if he was to teach this!

May Christ be with you and the Holy Sprit guide you in understanding His word.

The Church of the Routine

May 1, 2010

Sabbath Observance – Seventh-day Adventist Church Official Web Site

It has become more and more apparent to me that we have ‘boxed” our worship. While the bible says it is good to come together to worship the Lord, it saddens me to see many churches today possess little more than routine after routine. Routines stymie growth and is that want we truly want from our church? While it is good to have structure, routine should be secondary to the actual moving of God’s spirit that day.  God’s spirit is ever moving and changing, so too should  His church be!

My dear brother has abandoned “church”. And instead has preferred group fellowship. I can, in some ways,  see his point of view. Many today are feeling like the old Peggy Lee’s hit song “Is that all there is?” I mean where is the confession of sin in our church? The bible clearly says in (James 5:16) “Confess your sins to one another, that you may be healed”.

What better time to do this than in the church, where all the people can send up their prayers right then and there to a VERY attentive God. Because we are contrite and humble before Him!  And where is the personal testimonies of God’s power working in the lives of the people? Do we even have a special time in the service for people to come upfront and give their testimony? All these prayers we ask in church, where is the people coming up to give accountability and results to those prayers? Does not God want glory when we share our witness in church?

God want’s so much to show His love, power, and signs yet we, as individuals of the church, are seldom called to testify of it. I wonder how many truly say on the day of service “Wow,  I can’t wait to hear what God has done this week?”  Instead many view it as simply a “duty” they have to do.

And what about the stranger that walks in? Do the people or pastor take special notice and want to personally go to him or her and greet them warmly and even ask “Is there something you’d like to share or give testimony to?”  All of this amounts to ever-changing ways of the service. Excitement gives rise to feeling like one should spread the word of their church.

Finally, let us pray that each one’s church will open up to the values of the original “churches” which I’m sure had all the things I’ve mentioned.  Also, as a unique idea, God has given me the vision of seeing a “kingly chair” as beautiful as possible sitting right in the middle of the alter. The scripture says (Matt 18:20) ” When there are two or more gathered in my name, I will be in their midst”   So if He’s there, why not have Him sit in our midst and we can visualize our beautiful King in our midst, sitting and accepting our praise and worship!

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