I’ve been encouraged to change my theology entries to Thursdays because Theology Thursday sounds better 🙂
I want to highlight a couple of comments from last week’s topic that I think are critical for us to remember as we move to the next topic.
Karin offered this verse: “Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction.” Gal 6:7 — A verse I was called to memorize as a young child, I think in 8th or 9th grade but that has not been in the forefront of my mind lately.
John said: “I do know that fatherhood has taught me more about God’s love than any other single thing, sermon, book, or what have you.” This is so cool. I hope we get to learn the lessons of parenthood someday.
Jessica said: “I think the consequence to our sin (crossing the boundaries of Freedom) is something we can compare to the Israelites wondering in the desert. When we are disobedient to God our journey to maturity takes longer and we will probably find ourselves in the valleys of life until we have fully devoted ourselves to Christ. God wants our eyes on HIM. He wants us to “…press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14″ (another verse from the teen years, I spoke on this verse at my high school graduation.)
Jessica also shares one of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis: “we are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. we are far too easily pleased.” — c. s. lewis, the weight of glory
Angel said: “we do have freedom IN CHRIST…through faith. We are no longer in custody, Christ has the keys, we need to trust Him with each area of our lives and walk out into the freedom He has granted us. Yes, we are human…we will still sin and have consequences, but we are no longer bound by sin.” (referencing Galatians 3:23)
Continuing in Galatians, Matt offers these insights: Gal 5:1 – So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law
Now what to do with this freedom
Gal 5:13-15 – For you have been called to live in freedom not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up by this one command Love your neighbor as yourseslf. But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! beware of destroying one another.
Love his simple approach. Galatians has alot to say about this topic of Freedom.
Rob’s response may have been to most challenging for me personally, my biggest take away the imagery of this quote: “Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it while you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.” –John Owen
While Suzanne’s insights relative to our command to “pursue holiness,” awakens a new understand of my role in this battle over flesh: “there are 2 sides and 1 side has clearly one/ however, there is on-going guerrilla warfare by the losing side upon the winner. so, the winning side still experiences victory in the war, but the guerrilla warfare continues. this is like our lives. we are FREE from sin through Christ. He paid the price, and if we are His child, we’ve received forgiveness from ALL sin (that we’ve committed thus far and future grace for future sin–wow–amazing!!). however, as sinners, our entire lives have gotten us in the habit of sin. so, there are certain sins that are SO habitual that they, in guerrilla-warfare-like fashion, will continue to war against our souls. so, we continue to need His grace and strength in this life, and thankfully, He continues to conform us to the image of His Son. however, we need to be actively pursuing holiness by being in the Word, recognizing or sin & repenting of it, etc. thankfully, as we are becoming more holy and more like His Son, we will not succumb to sin as we’ve done in the past.”
And finally, Shannon sums up the dialog with a final challenge: “I’m trying to fully understand the freedoms I have in Christ, and that the boundaries that He has set for us are far greater than I often realize. This also has a major impact on how I interact with my fellow Christians. In the past (and regretfully honest, even today), if I see Christians hanging out in a different area of the Courtyard or Corral of Christ (ie within His boundaries of our freedom), I find myself judging them or rebuking them b/c they are not standing exactly where I’m standing. I must cease this! If someone else is avoiding the sins of the flesh and instead living in the Spirit (as laid out in Gal 5), within the freedom boundaries set by our LORD, I MUST accept them and encourage and love them and fellowship with them, EVEN IF the details of their lives are unsimilar to mine. God truly does set out a huge area for us to live within and enjoy our Christianity, and we should explore that. And if we choose not to, we must still allow for others to do so.” I totally identify with this point, and have to remember to keep pride a bay in my relationships within the Body.
So Thank You, my family, for joining in this discussion. For those of you just tuning in, I encourage you to go back and read the original post and the responses in full, Ive only just pulled one or two quotes from each that stood out particularly to me, but you may find other aspects of the responses equally challenging and encouraging.
Next up, its time for today’s Theology Thursday question of the day:
What is your interpretation of the following words of Jesus from the Gospel of John? Does Jesus mean He alone is the seed that must fall to the ground and die, or in his command to take up our cross and follow him, is he, in fact, calling us to follow him even unto death? Is “taking up our cross“, “denying“, and “dying to self” figurative or literal? Is praying for safety and rescue as priority in your heart over God’s will a sin? How can we become like Christ in our thinking about these tents of flesh in light of eternity and God’s will to be glorified among all tribes, tongues and nations?
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”