Morality comes not from humans nor is it by humans. Morality comes from an universal higher power. In my faith this higher power is God. In Christ morality even transcends death because of His resurrection. The gathering of people in community is for the purpose of enjoying God. Such gatherings are not for the pleasure of a leader nor is it for pleasing others. The beauty of worship and the fragrance of fellowship are embedded in the incipient (self originated) response to God’s invitation of love.
Moral freedom is a God-given gift. The grace of God in Christ is a continuance of chances that most certainly are not deserved. Human life is riddled with repeated offenses of ingratitude, unkindness, impatience and selfishness, to name a few. But moral freedom is an undeniable ability to reject such sins and re-boot new beginnings.
There is evil in our world that can only be combatted with liberating rectitude (morally good behavior). Good morality is always birthed in freedom. It is astonishing how so many taste this moral freedom to then give it up for false religious servitude. Too quickly moral freedom is traded for unbiblical ecclesiastical regulations that really are not free at all. Some claim they follow “angelic’ forces or pursue “heavenly” visions. A myriad of preachers offer their special brands of morality. All for naught. Such poor beliefs plunge a once morally free people into an enslaving yoke of “do’s and don’ts.”
Regardless of all rationales, such a loss can never be good news. Moral freedom is the very essence of what makes us human. Personal freedom can only exist in the crucible of moral freedom. Moral freedom is for humans, not for political or otherwise contaminated false teachings.
Instead of keeping one’s moral freedom too many lose it to self-serving controllers.
Who are these controllers? Any form of leadership that uses the Christian church for their self-serving gains rather than the glory of God in Christ. Controllers are power mongers. Seeking the approval of controllers is a surrender of moral freedom. Pleasing controllers is an abandonment of moral freedom. Servitude to controllers destroys moral freedom.
Moral freedom is not something that any human made up. Moral freedom is ours from birth. It is a thing we all have. Only you can relish in it or relinquish it. Either way, it is your moral choice.
Religious hypocrites are a people indoctrinated with rigid persuasions. Persecution of differing opinions characterizes religious zealots. Dialogue desists and destruction persists. Advancing in narrow traditions produces extremely narrow tolerance. But liberty denounces myopic (extremely narrow) beliefs in favor of a broad invitation for all to keep moral freedom.
It may very well take months and years to break away from the lies of a counterfeit religion and the go$pel-peddlers. It is a painful process to find true moral freedom again. But rest assured, this is the only path to a life of joy and peace.
Counterfeit religion has positioned itself to be the presbytery that nods its “yay” or “nay” on spiritual efforts. Go$pel-peddling institutions think of themselves as the final arbiters of God’s “business”. The ambitious indeed use a diocese for such enterprises but be assured GOD DOES NOT.
Man made organizations must of necessity, at some point in time, turn some of their energy towards appropriate logistics. But when those logistics take a life of their own then money matters become the new “MA$TER.” This MA$TER disqualifies the good races of moral freedom for fear that such freedom exposes the very vanity of its own existence. When city codes, county regulations, denominational rules are used for territorial arrogance, then such arrogance chokes the freedom we have in Christ. Jesus doesn’t require for the free to be card carrying members of cement temples. Moral freedom cannot exist where religious slavery flourishes. Not for a moment should anyone give into this. Truth remains only with those who are free.
NB (nota bene, Latin for take special note):
The tone of these criticisms are not rooted in anger nor judgmental condemnations of people. Any criticisms observed and stated must be in the spirit of humility and deep pain. The desire of any criticism is that those involved in the particular problem should acknowledge their error and repent before Christ. This must be the spirit of any criticism because God is not willing that any should perish. The Christlike person hates sin, the human flesh, worldliness and the devil with his evil works, but never the sinner. Since forgiveness is one of the pillars of God’s love, adjoined with faith and hope, then the very grace that redeems us as a sinner requires that even human enemies of God be entreated with merciful pathos. Grace must abound where sin reigns. Where actions inevitably places a Christlike person in an horrific position to exercise harm to another, e.g. in defense of protecting one’s family from imminent mortal danger, the spirit of such rare and unusual moral mitigating circumstances must be immersed in conflict of conscience and deepest displeasure. Everything should be done to avoid such tragedy because here on earth nothing is more valued than human life which is a life created in the image of God.
Now after that special notation, too many biblical functions have departed from their original purposed humble servanthood to positions of power, money and fame. A humble pastor becomes the power pastor. A helping deacon becomes the demanding deacon. The overseer of the flock becomes the omnipotent overseer.
For the man or woman that values moral freedom above all, these illusions have no value. They make no difference because “God does not judge by external appearance.”
The gospel (good news) of the love of Jesus should be shared with all everywhere. This desire to impart so great a love is done without prejudice and with burning passion. If the “leaders” of ministries align themselves with this message, then there is affirmation of brothers and sisters in Christ- that is, in fellowship. If the “leaders” or anyone else attach the burden of their customs, traditions and convictions to this moral freedom in Christ, then such people must be opposed. This must be an opposition of the severest degree.
All that infringes on the freedom that Christ attained for us in His death and resurrection must be abandoned. These man-made doctrines with their “do’s and don’ts” produce hypocrisy, fear, timidity and all that leads people astray. The outcry of the world against counterfeit religion shows that indeed these institutions do not act in line with the truth of the gospel. Oh, that the world would read the Bible on its own merit without the atrocious contaminations of poisonous renditions. Oh, that the world would know that these power brokers, perhaps better described as power addicts, present a message stained with deceptions. Oh, that Christians would everywhere thirst for God’s word and make His message of love the very heart of fellowship and evangelism.
Moral freedom does not exist because of any human customs. Moral freedom is the God-given birthright of every human. Privilege, education, modes of observance et al. cannot protect moral freedom. So, is moral freedom some sort of free pass to sin at will? Absolutely not! Sin enslaves. Sin traps humans into addictions that control them. Sin is a loss of “self” control. Christ not only pardons our past sins and ongoing failures but He also empowers us to be free in the Spirit. This is the place of the finest form of moral freedom:
*the freedom to be kind
*the freedom to not hate
*the freedom to help others
*the freedom to say “yes” or “no”
*the freedom to love!
Now be cautious. Every idol, regardless of its form, is idolatry. God hates idolatry. Why? Because He feels left out? I doubt that. God is complete in all things. Idolatry enslaves and robs us of moral freedom. God knows that and hence He hates idolatry. God wants us to be free and free indeed and free abundantly. It is Christ, His very person, who is the “object” of Christian worship. Through His blood shed on the cross He cleanses us of past sins and our ongoing human frailties. “Hence, faith is the means by which justification is received, not its basis.” (Reference: The New International Version [NIV] Study Bible, p1783). While people are subjects of ungodliness moral freedom remains but a vapor of bondage. The grace of God extends an ongoing “second chance” (and a third, and a fourth…) to all that have lost their moral freedom.
Jesus Christ is the abolitionist of spiritual slavery and spiritual death. Only God is the basis for moral freedom. When faith in itself becomes the basis, then faith becomes an idol in itself.
A remarkable two thousand year old scripture found in the New Testament announces: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20) Our bodies are frail but the human spirit is indomitable with the power of God’s love. It isn’t that “self identity” disappears. Nor is it a “self solitude” that is robbed of freedom. Rather, it is “Christ lives in me”, my identity in Christ, where total moral freedom thrives.
Never shall grace be relegated to a footnote. Never shall grace become a post script. Grace is humankind’s moral freedom to be righteous. If righteousness could be gained through slavery, then Christ’s death was for naught.
Oh, humanity what foolishness robs your joy! Oh, humanity bewitched by promises of pleasure that poison the soul! Forget the potions of deceptions, even those that falsely proclaim their hideous greed in the name of heaven.
Look upon Christ- the person of Christ. The Holy Bible has the portrayal of the One that lived and died for humankind’s freedom. Abort the self-acclaimed mediators that serve their own self-interests. The Spirit of God speaks through His Word. Never mind about what translation or version is best. Disregard any complexities.
Just listen as you read the Gospel. Hear it as a spoken word. Human effort cannot impart these whispers of truth. Many things you may not understand- put them in a back burner.
The sufferings of this world would be for nothing if our freedom remains denied. God can be found. God must be found. His Spirit and His miracles come not from institutes or dogmas. Moral freedom exists in a relationship with God from whence institutes or dogmas are birthed. This relationship rests on three things alone:
* a love for God
*a love for self
*a love for others (which includes His creation)
Those who live by this love are a free people. Those who believe this know that all are welcome. Blessings will abound for all free people on earth. Material blessings become ancillary (an added benefit but of less importance). Those who have faith in God retain unfettered freedom.
Our planet has plunged in the violation of human rights. A great majority of human beings are born and die under the curse of tyranny. Political atrocities, unjust wars (and the vast majority of wars in human history have been that- unjust!), famine, diseases, genocide and many more destructive forces dominate global existence.
Is there hope? Yes. Where faith exists, freedom lives. Faith in God claims the right of every human to be free. Christ’s redemption is a liberation from any and all forms of slavery:
*FREEDOM from poverty
*FREEDOM from famine
*FREEDOM from diseases
*FREEDOM from ignorance (denial of education)
*FREEDOM from tyranny
*FREEDOM from injustice
*FREEDOM from fear
*FREEDOM from all that denies freedom!
God sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, that all may have the moral freedom to receive the full rights of being children of God. The Spirit of Christ enters the human heart that freely welcomes God.
Moral freedom is the highest form of love that God purchased for the human race. Physical life provides existence, but spiritual life provides freedom. We can choose to be free as a child of God or a slave to the tyranny of sin. Those who choose freedom enjoy God’s inheritance of peace and happiness. Those who choose slavery suffer the consequences of ungodliness. Either way, moral freedom calls for the sustenance of having these choices readily available to all.
The abdication of moral freedom results in, but is not limited to:
*not enjoying God’s gifts
*slavery to what or who would lord over us
*weak and miserable principles
*continuation of tyranny
*subjugation to arbitrary rules
*loss of joy
*alienation from healthy relationships
*trials and burdens
The nature of moral freedom is to be joyfully zealous for that which is good and to be so always and not just when it is convenient or expedient. Be not perplexed: the way of the sinful flesh is quite ordinary and selfish, the way of moral freedom is incalculably wonderful.
Moral freedom promises the good life where all people can create dreams and enjoy the pursuit of them. Moral freedom is where God gives us the desires of our hearts. Moral freedom promises equality in all things. Moral freedom imparts the benefits of peace in the heart, happiness with loved ones, enjoying life and growing from spiritual glory to spiritual glory in Christ.
The promises of moral freedom compel free men and women to be champions of liberty:
*freedom of expression
How can we stop perversions of the above? Certainly NOT by suspending any form of freedom. Any perversions of tyranny or threats to freedom can be quenched by the power of freedom itself. The battle lies not in the practice of that which denies freedom, but in the practice of all that moral freedom represents.
Not for an instance should any form of government, political or otherwise, suspend God’s promises to be found in the freedom of Christ. Absolutely never! If lack of freedom could ever be justified then God would be a tyrant. The Scriptures declare that sin enslaves. Christ came to guarantee the promises of freedom.
Every person who turns to God through faith in Jesus Christ is a son or daughter of God. As children of God we are baptized into Christ. This baptism clothes the believer with Christ. That’s right, we clothe ourselves with Christ! This new garment is a “Magna Carta” of sorts where there is
*NO privileged class
*NO age preferences
Moral freedom is in the heart. No one can ever take this away from those who believe in God’s love. Even when the body is imprisoned, moral freedom cannot be silenced. Only when a person by choice surrenders God’s freedom and in the heart rejects His truth does tyranny rule.
Though the practitioners of evil break our body and mind, they simply cannot slay the human spirit where untouchable moral freedom reigns!
We all have experienced a loss of freedom. We all witness it in global affairs. We all know that God desires our freedom. How is it then that we turn back to the “weak and miserable principles” (Galatians 4:9) that would deny the very freedom that Christ died for?
Let us look at history and become like those that promoted and defended freedom. Let us live for freedom. Let us die for freedom. Let us look at our current times and be like those who cry “Freedom!” Let each of us be a beacon of freedom so that those around our daily living are drawn to be like us- freedom fighters.
We are not children of slavery, rather children of freedom.
FREEDOM IN CHRIST!
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5, 1 & 6, NIV)
It really is that simple. Any person who receives Christ is set free: free to be free. Faith brings us to Christ. We are given total moral freedom so that we can indeed be free to love. That’s it.
To attach anything whatsoever to the above two verses violates Christ and dismantles freedom.
Counterfeit religion burdens people with a yoke of spiritual slavery. Too much of the modern church has lost the simplicity of freedom and consequently the loss of power, that is, the power of God.
Moral freedom is the spiritual race that we are called to run. This is the good race of faith, hope and love. Even the tiniest distraction from this simple freedom has proven to grow into disastrous results.
Two thousand years ago the writer of Galatians totally opposed circumcision as a requisite to being a follower of Christ:
“Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to your at all…For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.” (Verses 2, 6)
So opposed was the Apostle Paul to circumcision as part of the freedom in Christ that he actually went on to say that he wished such “agitators…would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!” (Verse 12)
The Greek word translates more properly to a mutilation that emasculates.
Now, I call that a serious objection with the severest consequences: if you’re going to contaminate freedom with circumcision, you might as well cut your genitals off while you’re at it.
BUT, NOWHERE as close to the vulgarity of slavery!
You see, moral freedom is a freedom to serve one another as equals. The entirety of all God’s law is summed up in loving your neighbor as yourself. Life in Christ is a life of freedom. To live by God’s Spirit is to produce the fruit of freedom:
*to love and be loved
*to have joy in what we do
*to experience tranquility
*to use patience
*to exercise kindness
*to spread goodness
*to be faithful
*to show gentleness
*to display self-control
These are the templates that create a free person, a strong family, a model citizenry, and a great nation. These provide and protect freedom. “Against such things there is no law.” (Verse 23) These are the very weapons that destroy the slaveries caused by
Go$pel-peddling religion is infested with sexual scandals, impurity, selfish ambition, lust for money, dissensions and factions, to name a few. Are we to believe that this entity saturated with the enemy’s nature will be the instrument of freedom? Nonsense!
Choose freedom or slavery. Slavery under any banner is slavery. Christ has set us free not for institutional servitude but for freedom. Live free! Gather together with other free believers that, while imperfect, are daily being perfected by a perfect God: that type of fellowship is the true church.
My dear friends, we are one family in God’s love. When a brother or sister is being trapped by the sin that robs one of joy, he or she should be restored gently. Since God has extended His consideration towards us in His grace, humility must be paramount as we restore one another. Of course, be mindful of yourself as you offer an helping hand. To enable and coddle the trapping sin is to enslave yourself as well. Avoid such temptations. Help others but protect yourselves.
Am I my brother’s keeper? Am I my sister’s keeper? Yes! The law of Christ is fulfilled when we carry each others burden. The strength of a love community dissolves the strength of a burden. The “one person show” is a myth. To think oneself as exclusively self-sufficient is a deception. Any person solely by him/herself is nothing. On the other hand, comparing oneself to others is not good either. If each person continuously reflects well into his/her own actions then an healthy self-confidence emerges. The person with a godly self-esteem connected to others with their own godly self-esteem equals a victorious people.
Instructors who have provided the love of God in actions and words should be rewarded with all good things, i.e. kindness, gratitude, help and appreciation. Money may be a form of thankfulness, but know that it is the least important, not required and may very well be non-essential. Shelter, meals, fellowship and the opportunity of friendship cannot be compared to the meagerness of “silver and gold”. The connectedness of a morally free community is an indestructible fabric of love. Money normally poisons the well of love.
Only a departure from a sound mind scoffs at the belief that there is no moral right and no moral wrong. Regardless of sneers, moral freedom does not gratify the desires of immorality. Undoubtedly, immorality has a taste of untold pleasures. But the price of such pleasures is misery, loneliness and a living hell. The pleasures of sin are a delicious coating that once gone becomes gravel in the mouth.
Humans live in the dichotomy of the never-ending conflict of freedom vs. slavery, also known as right vs. wrong, also known as spirit vs. flesh. Left to our own devices, we do not do the good we should want. Slavery always suppresses freedom to the one that would stand alone. That is an universal law. The power of Christ has been available from the foundation of the world that none need be alone. It is that connected power, knowingly or unwittingly (see Appendix II), that crucifies slavery with its passions and desires.
Those who mock God are deceived. Just look at the consequences of ungodliness. It is these very awful consequences that make sinful acts painfully and obviously wrong. Every idea, thought or action has a consequence: positive, neutral or negative. However, moral freedom must of necessity produce only one of two consequences: good or bad.
A good consequence is produced by choosing to remain free, by doing what is morally right. A bad consequence is produced by choosing to lose freedom, by doing what is morally wrong.
Those who access the power of God in Christ will still live in this moral split. That is the nature of human reality. The good news is that moral freedom supersedes the sinful nature. For this reason an ongoing practice of doing what is good, based on faith, will not only usher us into eternal life but results in the harvest of a free life. It is natural and understandable that our good is given to our family, spiritual kin and friends. Nonetheless, we must do good to ALL people: this is the guarantee of moral freedom.
BOOK OF GALATIANS
New International Version
1Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2and all the brothers with me, To the churches in Galatia:
3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
No Other Gospel
6I 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— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
10Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Paul Called by God
11I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
13For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.
18Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. 21Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24And they praised God because of me.
Paul Accepted by the Apostles
1Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain. 3Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4This 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. 5We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.
6As for those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance—those men added nothing to my message. 7On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. 8For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. 10All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
Paul Opposes Peter
11When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
15″We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
17″If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Faith or Observance of the Law
1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
6Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 7Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
The Law and the Promise
15Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
19What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. 20A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.
21Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
Sons of God
26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
1What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. 4But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
Paul’s Concern for the Galatians
8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
12I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong. 13As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. 14Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
17Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them. 18It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always and not just when I am with you. 19My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!
Hagar and Sarah
21Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.
24These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27For it is written: “Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.”
28Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” 31Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
Freedom in Christ
1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
2Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
7You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? 8That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9″A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. 11Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
13You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Life by the Spirit
16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Doing Good to All
1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5for each one should carry his own load.
6Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.
7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that naturewill reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Not Circumcision but a New Creation
11See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
12Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh. 14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. 16Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.
17Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.
Jesus Christ is the expiation for sin, that is, the atonement for wrongdoing. He is the appeasing sacrifice. The governing attribute of God is love. Among other things, God’s love includes a complete and perfect truth that is void of anything wrongful. Hence, God is holy.
Before the foundation of the world, Christ’s death was the “pass key” for all humans everywhere to be pardoned fully and fully be justified in God’s eyes. Christ’s death and resurrection made sinful humanity righteous in the sight of God. Christ took on the penalty for every sin (small or large) since the beginning of time to the end of human history as we know it. Christ also bore the pain of every victim and the infinite pain of God’s displeasure with sin. Jesus bore an eternal punishment.
The power of Christ in His death and resurrection is the portal to eternity with God. Humans who have never heard of Christ still have access to His power by responding to the inalienable truths written in every human heart. Humans who have heard of the “contaminated Christ” through genocide, atrocities of wars, violence, tyranny, counterfeits, et al. are also able to access His power by what their hearts herald as freedom and truth. And finally, God’s remnant, the true church, are a people scattered throughout this terrestrial orb (planet earth) and throughout time equally empowered by Christ.
All who respond, wittingly or unwittingly, to God’s love are saved by the name of Christ spoken in the heart. This salvation is not a limited verbal word but an unending spiritual vocabulary of God’s love laced in a human life. Oh, that all humans be mute and still deafen life with the sounds of God’s love even as Jesus did.
How can we as humans make these distinctions? We can’t.
GOD IN HIS PERFECT WISDOM IS THE ONLY JUDGE OF SUCH THINGS.
Impressions Towards A Restoration Theology
As Inspired By The Book Of Galatians In The New Testament
By Sally Armada
A Christo-Theist & An American Thinker
Produced by Marie A. WillisB.B.A., Business ManagementM.S., Organizational Leadership & Administration
I want to thank The Reverend Miguel A. Cruz III and The Reverend Lucas O’Neill for their godly lives and critical input. My continued theological conversations with my Uncle Sam and political discussions with my cousins Sammy and Marty have also helped. Raquel, my sister, walks with Christ in a manner that speaks volumes. Last but not least, Marie whose encouragement and commitment has produced this first humble work. All of the above have reawakened my “configurational thinking” specifically, the particular form of God’s love as arranged by the parts and elements of Scripture.
Dedicated to those devoted to Christ with love, loyalty and enthusiasm.
You are God’s remnant otherwise known as the bride of Christ- the true universal church.
RESTORATION THEOLOGY: The infallibility of God’s Word is not to be found in the letter of the words, but in the spirit of God’s message. When humans in any capacity are factored into the equation of life perfection ceases. Humans are imperfect beings that live in an imperfect world. The immutable (never changing) perfection of God’s love remains as the constant of faith and hope. Hence, the grace of God restores us to that relationship originally intended. God’s love in Christ secures eternity for any and all that would be liberated from sin and reformed into God’s image, that is, restored.
I have foregone the customary kudos of personal accomplishments. I have taken the advice of a pastor who once entitled a sermon “Dump Your Resume.”
Nonetheless, I have but two passions that have qualified me to write this impression:
I am, at best, an ordinary man with an extraordinary God-given gift: I can think.
I am, at best, an ordinary man with an extraordinary citizenship: I am an American.
A copy of the book of Galatians (New International Version) is enclosed in the Appendix I. This has been provided for convenience and to encourage you, the reader, to write your own impressions! Best results are obtained when you PRINT a copy of this essay. Above all, have fun with this work. Relax, think freely and respond honestly.
Hoping to see you all on the other side of eternity,