March 30, 2012

We Live

I just love this song by the punk band, SuperChic[k], and no, this is not and endorsement of all their music. 



{Lyrics}

There's a cross on the side of the road
Where a mother lost her son
How could she know that the morning he left
Would be the last time, she'd trade
with him for a little more time
(so she could say she loved him one last time)
And hold him tight
But with life, we never know
when we're coming up to the end of the road
So what do we do then?
With tragedy around the bend?

We live, we love, we forgive
and never give up
'cause the days we are given
are gifts from above
and today we remember to live and to love

There's a man who waits for the tests
to see if the cancer has spread yet
And now he asks 'so why did I wait to live
'til it was time to die'?
'If I could have the time back, how I'd live!'
(Life is such a gift)
So how does the story end?
Well, this is your story and it all depends
So don't let it become true
Get out and do what you were meant to do

We live, we love, we forgive
and never give up
'cause the days we are given
are gifts from above
and today we remember to live and to love

Waking up to another dark morning
People are mourning
The Weather in life outside is
storming
But what would it take for the clouds to break
For us to realize each day
Is a gift, somehow, someway
And get our heads up out of this
darkness
And spark this new mindset and
start on with life 'cause it ain't gone yet
And tragedy's a reminder to
take off the blinders and wake up
(to live the life)
We're supposed to take up
(moving forward)
With all our heads up
'cause life is worth living


We live, we love, we forgive
and never give up
'cause the days we are given
are gifts from above
and today we remember to live and to love

March 29, 2012

A tea party of sorts

Yesterday my sisters and I had a blessed time of encouragement with our friend Brittany.  We enjoyed a picnic and bible study where we shared what the Lord has been teaching us in our daily walk with Him.  This is the second time Brittany and I have done this, and the first for all four of us, but we hope to do it again soon.



After our bible study, we went indoors and sang together some hymns, along with Brittany's brothers Jadon and Jared (thanks you guys for sharing "Wings As Eagles", what a beautiful song!).  Phoebe played some worship music on their guitar, and we harmonized in praise to Jesus.




It was a sweet time of fellowship with dear Christian friends. :) 



We snapped a few pictures before we parted ways. 

March 26, 2012

Broken over sin

My heart is all too often quick to make excuses for my sin.  When in fact, I should be utterly broken over sin, even something "small" or seemingly "insignificent" - God hates sin.

Last week I was contemplating fasting, for a very specific reason, and I was reading from Isaiah 58 which talks about acceptable fasting to the Lord, and worship and I was struck again with how I can have the attitude of putting off dealing with an area of my life that needs to be more fully aligned with God and His character.

The verses that really convicted me were 10-14

"If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12 Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken."

Too often I am quick to judge someone else, or see a flaw in someone's character, refusing to see it in myself (having a plank in my eye, but trying to remove the speck from my brothers).  I don't want to be seen by God, or other people as someone who is hateful, arrogant, selfish, unloving, unkind.  My life needs to be a reflection of His character - portraying the Fruits of the Spirit

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-control
 Each day it is my prayer to be those things.  Thank God I do see fruit in my life, and He has transformed me (and is transforming me) from a self-centered, hot-headed/tempered, angry/hateful, know-it-all 15 year old, who disrespected her parents on a regular basis, was rebellious and unkind to her siblings, into what I pray is a more gentle, loving and respectful daughter who is learning to rely soly upon Jesus for winning the victory over sin!

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
 Romans 8:1-8

Dad was preaching about the New Birth yesterday, and I was reminded again how I cannot abuse my "freedom" in Christ - i.e. I CANNOT be held captive by sin, claiming I am a Christian, and in the same breath, spit in Christ's face by my sin.  Whew!  Every time I think about that, the fear of God comes into my heart anew. 

Praise the Lord that because of Jesus' sacrifice on my behalf, on your behalf, I can say amen to - Romans 8:37-39

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
 Thank you Jesus, for going to the Cross to bear my sin in my place, and for enduring separation from Your Father on my behalf, so that I would one day be set free from the bondage and death of sin, and be bought for eternity with You, by Your blood, Your atonement (at-one-ment), Your sacrifice once for all.  Help me to be joyful in that assurance, to walk in victory over sin, and the devil.  To listen to Truth in Your word, and not believe lies the devil would whisper in my ear.  Help me to be a good example to my family, and to my community of what it means to truly be one of Yours - a follower of The Way.  I don't want to shame Your precious name, I want to be an example of faith, love and purity to all I come in contact with. Father break my heart over my sin, and cause me to walk in Truth, always.  May Your light shine through me always and whatever I do, may it be a pleasing aroma in Your nostrils.  All this I pray thanking You for saving me, I praise You Jesus!  Amen.

March 25, 2012

Sunday Meditation

Earlier this week during my personal time of study and meditation upon God's word, I read this passage, and it was so convicting and at the same time, encouraging. 



Isaiah 58:1-14 Fasting that Pleases God

“Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek Me daily,
And delight to know My ways,
As a nation that did righteousness,
And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
They take delight in approaching God.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?
Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’
“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
And exploit all your laborers.
Indeed you fast for strife and debate,
And to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You will not fast as you do this day,
To make your voice heard on high.
Is it a fast that I have chosen,
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the Lord?
Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.
“If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12 Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

March 22, 2012

Signs of Spring







Spring is my FAVORITE season of the year!  What's yours and why? 

March 21, 2012

Back to Eden


More information can be found at http://backtoedenfilm.com/

March 20, 2012

Welcome Spring!



Today is the first "official" day of Spring.  Hurray!  It's finally here. :)

My favorite season for many reasons, here are some of my favorite aspects of this time of year:

~ Birds chirping me awake
~ The smell of freshly cut grass
~ Blooming flowers
~ Budding trees
~ Greening world all around
~ Babies
~ Gardening
~ Going barefoot
~ Colorful clothing
~ Yellow
~ Resurrection Sunday
~ Weddings
~ Reading books in the sunshine
~ Getting my tan

What are some of your favorite things about Spring?  What is your favorite season?

1000 Gifts

691. Opportunities to meet important people
692. The simple woman's daybook
693. Communion each Lord's day
694. Hearing
695. New sandals from Grandma
696. The ability to drive
697. Speakers on our computer
698. Dandelions
699. Headbands
700. Pine trees
701. Peppermint and olive oil for my cough
702. Baby chicks to cuddle and coo over
703. Strength
704. Piano lessons
705. 22 years of God's hand on my life
706. Dish clothes
707. Ben Hur
708. The fact that when I'm feeling lonely, I remember that I'm never really alone because Jesus is always with me, and He comforts and reassures me, giving me peace in my heart and life
709. Wise Christian friends
710. Mom's gentle and beautiful hands
711. Dad's courage to speak the Truth in love
712. Ephesians 4:15-16 an aim of my life
713. Surprises
714. Chirping birds, humming crickets and other sounds of nature
715. Typing lessons I had in school days gone by, now paying off in many valuable ways
716. Back to Eden gardening method
717. Love
718. My interior design scrapbook
719. Candles
720. Dreams  

My list will continue to grow as I praise the Lord each week here on my blog!
To join in the praise click here.

March 19, 2012

Day book {March 19}

http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/ 

Outside my window... it is over cast and looks like rain, very windy, gorgeous almost spring day

I am thinking... that I need to change the sheets on my bed today, and clean up / straighten my room

I am thankful... for my sisters, Phoebe and Jo!

In the kitchen... Mom and Dad are talking

I am wearing... a tan jumper with blue t-shirt, barefoot

I am creating... an interior design portfolio

I am going... to buy a baby chick, maybe?

I am wondering... if I can get all the laundry washed, dried and put away from our trip

I am reading... Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret

I am hoping... my cold goes away, SOOOON!

I am looking forward to... the 23rd, when October Baby comes out

I am learning... that I want to store up good treasure, not wood, hay and stubble kind of treasure 

Around the house... my siblings are doing various chores and morning things

I am pondering... about my day off and how I'd like to spend it

A favorite quote for today... “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.” Rev. John Newton

One of my favorite things... is watching Spring develop around me

A few plans for the rest of the week: work tomorrow and Thursday, Wednesday bible study, and maybe go to October Baby with friends on Friday

A peek into my day...


Author interview {Peter Bringe}

It is my privilege to introduce Peter Bringe and his marvelous book, The Christian Philosophy of Food, in a special interview.  

Peter Bringe is a writer motivated to share the truth of God’s word as it applies to our lives. In the area of food, this is a natural fit since he inherits an interest in food from his father, who is a food scientist. Around the dinner table, he has heard about the properties of various foods and the importance of food for as long as he’s been eating. In addition, he is currently interning with the Rocky Mountain Shepherd Center, taking classes from Whitefield College, and learning from his personal studies. Peter currently lives in Elizabeth, Colorado, and enjoys various musical endeavors, writing, historical reenactments, and the study of many books.
Now it is time for me to present to you my readers, the first part of a multiple part interview I have had the honor of conducting with Peter, long distance.  
Enjoy, and we welcome your feedback! 
___________________________
 1. What motivated you to write this book?
There were a couple things that motivated me, mainly two. 
First, considering the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30) I have been blessed with a heritage concerning food that others don’t have, and I feel a duty to use it. My father has worked with food ever since high school and now has worked as a PhD food scientist for over twenty years. Not only that, but he is a mature Christian that is constantly considering how the Bible influences his work. So throughout my growing up I have been taught (usually around the dinner table) about food--scientifically, aesthetically, theologically, etc.-- from a Christian perspective, and the amazing blessing it is from God. 
Second, there is a great interest and confusion concerning food in the present day. Prior to now, people have generally trusted the centralized systems that have produced our food. But now there is an increasing distrust of almost everything established and a move towards decentralization. This is a blessing as we have the freedom to do great things, but it is also can be curse as we have the freedom to do bad and detrimental things. Almost wherever we go, once folks realize that my dad is a Christian food scientist they usually have a bunch of questions ready. People are searching for answers, and those answers are to be found in the Bible. While I don’t have all the answers, I hope that this book can be a good start to building a biblical foundation for food in our day.
2.  You discuss four key concepts in the first chapter of your book (food as being part of culture; food as being a complex subject, but worthy of our study; food as something worth our time and efforts; and food as being part of God's creation). Could you quickly cover those four concepts for our readers?
Basically, food--and other parts of culture such as music, clothing, etc.--is a controversial topic because it is the outcome of our daily choices, which are determined by our beliefs. Our faith and what we do is very connected (James 2:14-26). What we view as important and what we think is shown by what we do. This is even more true when it is something, like food, that we are making decisions about multiple times a day. It is also shows who we are friends with, who we spend time with, and whose opinions we value. And it works the other way as well. Not only do we make food, but food makes us. It physically builds us up,  and influences how we feel and how we plan our day. It is firmly part of our life and personality and ought to be studied. And it is a complex subject. Regrettably, many people tend to emphasize only one aspect, but we should realize the different but complementary aspects of it being healthful, beautiful and tasty, relational, and a product of work. A main purpose of my book is to tie together these related aspects of food. And whenever dealing with food we ought to realize it is a gift of God. If we don’t, we will get prideful and destroy this amazingly complex and enjoyable gift. Will will either loose the wonder of its design and worship man’s ability, or we will worship nature and disobey God’s command to take dominion over creation.
3.  In Chapter two you discuss the importance of treating our bodies as God's temple.  Why do you think it is that so many Christians seem to carelessly disregard this important piece of the Christian Worldview? 
I think many people don’t value the physical world quite enough. While it is true that we will die, and our treasure is in heaven, we are here for a purpose. The Bible is not gnostic (believing that the spiritual is good and the physical is bad and dispensable), but puts real significance on the things we do here in the physical and historic realms. Since the pietism and revivalism in the 1800s, saving your individual soul has been put as the central concern, and the spiritual and emotional have been emphasized. Less emphasis has been placed on bringing God’s kingdom to earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10). As Christians we should not draw a heavy separation between soul and body, but should recognize the connections between the two, and the importance of the whole person. In a real practical way, if you want to get anything done here on earth you should look out for your health.
I should point out that I have met quite a few Christians that do want to be healthy, and that recognize that the Bible wants them to look out for physical welfare. But often they will stop listening to the Bible at that point in any meaningful way and look to their favorite nutritionist or diet plan for guidance (which is a mistake).
4.  You also discuss in Chapter two, Plant foods, Clean and Unclean foods and how the regulatory laws were put in place for the benefit of the children of Israel in regards to a holy and blameless lifestyle. It was a help not a hindrance in other words.
Yes, while I believe that the purpose of the clean/unclean food laws was ceremonial, I do believe that they were good for the Israelites physically as well. Think of it like the washing of hands. In the Old Testament there is the requirement for the priests to wash their hands and feet before offering sacrifices (Ex. 30:17-21). This was part of the ceremonial cleansing of the sacrificial system of Israel. This is not required today, but it is still beneficial to wash our hands. It still makes the hands clean in a physical sense.
In a similar way there was a ceremonial defilement as well as a physical defilement in eating the unclean foods. Thus, the ancient Israelites were blessed doubly when they kept God’s law, and were not made unclean ceremonially or physically. God’s law in general is never a hindrance in a bad sense, but is a great help and blessing. Now that Christ has come this particular law doesn’t apply as a law of defilement (Mark 7:19, Acts 10-11). But while we are allowed to eat bears, vultures, and pigs, we should prefer the clean animals and, especially, plant foods (Gen. 1:29, Prov. 23:20, Dan. 10:3) above them in priority from a physical standpoint.
__________________________
Look for more of this interview to be featured on my blog over the next few weeks.  You can find out more information about Peter and his book, here and here

March 12, 2012

The Poets Corner

 

The Kingdom of God

 
O WORLD invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!
Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air--
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumor of thee there?
Not where the wheeling systems darken,
And our benumbed conceiving soars!--
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.
The angels keep their ancient places--
Turn but a stone and start a wing!
'Tis ye, 'tis your estrang├Ęd faces,
That miss the many-splendored thing.
But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry--and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob's ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.
Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry--clinging to Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water,
Not of Genesareth, but Thames! 
Francis Thompson

March 11, 2012

Sunday Meditation




O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.  Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
Therefore
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
 II Corinthians 6:11-71

March 10, 2012

Spring time change

Remember to turn your clocks ahead one hour tonight.  It's time for the spring time change, for those of us who live in observant states. ;) 

Happy Spring!! (almost) hehe 

Day book {March 10}

http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

FOR TODAY

Outside my window... It is raining, but not cold thankfully

I am thinking... That I can't wait for dinner :)

I am thankful... For day light savings, which begins at midnight

In the kitchen... Dinner preparations are underway, and the smell of baked potatoes, bagels and rice met my nose

I am wearing... A blue t-shirt, dark purple skirt and converse tennis shoes

I am creating... A lovely dinner for my family

I am going... To Arkansas in a few days for Spring Break

I am wondering... If I should email a dear friend whom I haven't heard from in months

I am reading... Peter Bringe's The Christian Philosophy of Food

I am hoping... The sun comes out tomorrow

I am looking forward to... The 28th, when a dear friend and I are hoping to do a Bible study together and chat

I am learning... That love is so vital in relationships, and patience covers a multitude of offenses

Around the house... My brothers are watching a documentary, one of my sisters is watching The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson, there is a ginormous bolt denim sprawled across the floor of the formal dining room and dinner is almost finished

I am pondering... How important it is for me to spend time with Jesus, and focus on my family's needs

A favorite quote for today... "Little is much if God is in it"

One of my favorite things... Blue - my favorite color

A few plans for the rest of the week: Church, and then travel time with most of my family and Grandma, and cleaning out my deceased Great grandma's house, visiting with family and eating good food.

A peek into my day... 

March 9, 2012

March 6, 2012

1000 Gifts



666. 3 black hoodies
667. eggs from our chickens
668. Hair
669. the sufficiency of Scripture
670. Carrots
671. blossoms of spring
672. the smell of freshly cut grass
673. scented candles from Dad
674. encouraging cards
675. the full use of my arms, legs, hands and feet
676. new sandals
677. a good result on Bear’s test :)
678. Learning to play Chopin’s etude #5
679. Owl stickers
680. Sandwiches
681. Laughter
682. Silly moments when stress is relieved
683. 180movie
684. Dad’s sermons, Sunday school lessons and Wednesday night bible studies
685. Phoebe’s ability to design beautiful websites and her tech support when I don’t know
686. Hannah’s visit for my birthday
687. Sunday afternoon with Grandma, my siblings and cousins
688. Buttons
689. Hats
690. Coral legend

My list will continue to grow as I praise the Lord each week here on my blog!
To join in the praise click here.

Galatians {Notes}

We have been studying through the book of Galatians in church the past month or so, and I have gleaned many helpful and convicting gems from this book. 

"Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.  For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."  Galatians 2:11-21
 Dad began our study with a question:

In what basis do I stand in a right relationship with Jesus Christ?

  • We do not have a works based relationship with our Savior.  Although good works should follow after Jesus transforms our life, as an evidence of our salvation. 
  • It is through Jesus alone that we are saved! 
The Gospel is proclaimed beginning in Genesis (e.g. Gen. 3:15, 15:6)

The book of Galatians has been called the Magna Carta of Holy Scripture. 

The Christian faith doesn't begin where every other religion does: with the command DO!  The true Gospel begins with DONE - the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

"But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."  Titus 3:4-7
Overview / Outline of Galatians:

- Why was it written?
  • The Jerusalem conference (see Acts 15; Gal. 1-2) trying to answer the question: How are Jewish Christians to relate to Gentile Christians?
  • Theological background: Do you have to become a Jew to become a Christian?  The answer was no. 
  • Ch. 1-2  Defense of the Gospel of Grace
  • Ch. 3-4  Explanation of the Gospel; allegorical examples of Old Testament / Old Covenant works / faith righteousness
  • Ch. 5-6  Application of the Gospel of Grace; outcomes of Christian liberty / ethic 
 Peter's hypocrisy:
  • Rebuked (vs. 11-13)
  • Are 'we' (Jew/Gentile) one in Christ?
  • Motivating factor?  People pleasing (Prov. 29:25)
  • Harmful effects
    • Caused fellow brothers, including Barnabas, to be hypocritical (vs. 13)
    • Frontal confrontation, publicly rebuked by Paul (vs. 14) 
    • Public sin, public ramifications 
    • Powerful question (vs. 14) - "If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?" 
Doctrinal / Behavioral (or Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy)

Right orthodoxy (doctrine) leads, or should lead, to right orthopraxy (living)!


O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."  Galatians 3:1-14
Paul is not just talking about Salvation through Jesus Christ, he's also talking about Sanctification.  He uses the example of the two Israels:

  • Physical Israel (Jewish heritage, blood-line) 
  • Spiritual Israel (through Salvation, a 'Jew')
Paul goes back to Abraham - He had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac.  One was the son of the flesh (Ishmael) the other was the son of Promise (Isaac).

We become part of spiritual Israel through the finished work of Christ.  "Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham" (vs. 7)

We are one in Christ: "For He Himself is our Peace who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making Peace."  Ephesians 2:14-15

We have been redeemed from the curse of the Law - through Jesus' death.  "his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God."  Deuteronomy 21:23

And we have received the blessing of Abraham, through Christ and have received the promise of the Spirit

Purpose of the law:

  • It was added because of transgressions (restrictions on man's sinfulness)
  • It is a tutor to bring us to Christ
  • It is a way to look forward to the promises of Christ
  • It confined us so that we would trust in Christ
The law ultimately served as an arrow - pointing forward to Christ!

Works based righteousness removes Jesus and His sacrifice for sins.  "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." (vs. 26)  "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (vs. 27)

The Gospel brings us together:

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.Galatians 3:28-29
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."  Philippians 2:5-8

All those who are one with Jesus Christ are one with each other.  This verse does not deny that God has designed for racial, social, and sexual distinctions among Christians, but it affirms that those do not imply spiritual inequality before God.  Nor is this spiritual equality incompatible with the God-ordained rules of headship and submission in the church, society, and at home.  Jesus Christ, though fully equal with the Father, assumed a submissive role during His incarnation." - John MacArthur  

 Galatians 3:15-18, 5:1-f


"Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise." 
Defending the Gospel is just as important today as it was during Paul's ministry.

We trust in the completed work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.  It is enough!

The Law (Galatians 2:14-16):
  • Offers no justification (futile)
  • Puts us to death (fatal) vs. 19
  • Makes Christ's death meaningless (flatly null / void)
  • Gives us the mindset of human efforts (works based) righteousness / sanctification (3:1-6)
  • Christ profits us nothing (5:1)
  • We are debtors to keep the whole law (vs. 3)
  • We are estranged from Christ, fallen from Grace (vs. 4)  "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."  Galatians 5:1 
Those who preach another "gospel" are absolutely accursed!  This is serious business.  Revelation 22:18-19 states that if we add to or take away from the scriptures, there will be serious consequences: 
"For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
 Galatians 5:12-6:15

"I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!


I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.


Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.


Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.


 See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand! As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation."
 In Christ, we are free from the Jewish law stipulations.  There is a problem however with freedom - people's hearts, being sinful, lustful, etc.  We are not free to do anything or everything.  We are still bound to purity, holiness, and godly living.  Living lawfully, more than we could be before we were 'in Christ.'

Law of liberty - serving one another in love

Steps to being fruitful:
  •  I must have crucified the flesh (Gal. 5:24; Rom 6:3; Mk. 7:34-38)
  • I must walk in the spirit (Gal. 5:16-18; Jn. 15:25-26; Mt. 26:41)
  • I must overcome pride (Gal. 5:26, 6:3)
  • I must make loving service to others my focus (Gal. 5:6, 13-14, 22)
  • I must value Jesus above anyone or anything else (Gal. 5:2, 6:14-15)
Jesus Christ working in us produces the fruit. 

Consequences of bearing fruit: 
  • I am not obligated to the Old Testament law, but I am obligated to fulfill the Law of Christ (Gal. 5:18; 6:1-2)
  • Others burdens are there for me to assist in bearing (Gal. 5:13-14, 6:1-2)
  • Biting, devouring, provoking, envying, destroying others is something I now avoid, shun, reject (Gal. 5:13-15, 19-21, 22-26)
Is producing spiritual fruit really that important? 

Yes - "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."  John 15:4 

  • Those who do not produce fruit cannot inherit the kingdom of God - "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."  Galatians 5:19-21 
  • Those who sow to the flesh will reap corruption - "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."  Galatians 6:7-8 
  • When we bear fruit, we show ourselves to be His disciples -
    "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."  John 15:8 
    Those who bear fruit will be the recipients of God's grace, mercy and peace -  "And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God."  Galatians 6:16
     

March 1, 2012

Quote time


I ran across this powerful quote in a Christian magazine I sometimes read.  Just *had* to share it with you dear readers.

Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories.
- Polybius

Ouch!

That's for sure, however sad it may be.  Something to take into consideration Abby. :)