Friday, December 10, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Galatians 5:1, 13-18 (ESV - emphasis added):
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. ... For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
So beginning this section of the letter to the Galatians, Paul exhorts his brothers (and perhaps sisters) in Christ to live as "free". As we continue reading he commands us to "walk by the Spirit [so] you will not gratify the desires of the flesh". In the next few verses we see why living in the Spirit is different from living in the flesh, or sinful nature.
When we accept the Christ as Lord and Saviour, He basically makes us new creations. In John 3:1-8 Jesus explains that we must be "born again" in order to "enter the Kingdom of God," (ESV). So once we have experienced this new birth, the desire of the Spirit is within us, and it is constantly at war with our sinful nature.
Vs. 17 "For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do."
Before our new birth, we are held in slavery to sin, (see verse 1) which is the opposite of all that our Lord commands us. Because these two desires are at odds, it is more difficult to "do the things you want to do." As a new creation in Christ, we recognize the danger we once experienced, and we desire to be free of sin's entanglements. Verse 18 is the culmination of our souls' liberation:
"But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law."
Without going into great detail, "the law" referenced here is the Old Testament statutes of sacrifice and atonement for sins through the blood of clean animals. However, according to Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, we are no longer beholden to the law. Christ is our Freedom. We can not have this verse without the preceding ones, however. Freedom demands certain responsibilities of everyone. Americans especially know the price of freedom, as our country was founded in bloodshed during the Revolution and continued existence through more bloodshed during the Civil War. Our "responsibilities" as Christians are found in the next verses - the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.
As we read through the fruits of the flesh, I know I find more than one produced in my life on almost a daily basis. However, this is not to what Christ has commanded us. He has commanded us to bear good fruit, and in this passage of Scripture, following the fruit of the flesh, are the fruits of the Spirit - that is God. As the Holy Spirit lives within His children, bearing these good fruits is not as difficult as we sometimes try to make it be!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
We told most of our family over the phone because of the distance, but we went to my parents' house to tell them. We found out on my dad's birthday, so in stead of a gift we brought him a birthday King cake. I tied a ribbon to the baby that said, "Guess who's expecting?" I made sure my dad got that piece, and the reaction from both mom and dad was absolutely priceless! My dad's rhyme for me as a little girl was "Bel Bel, she's swell. She's my Bel." (Bel is my family nickname.) When he found out, he started saying, "Bel Bel, she's swell! She's gonna have a little Bel!" For those of you that do not understand the hilarity of this, my dad is a 6'8" former Marine of 33 years. This is a BIG man singing a cutesy rhyme. It's fantastic.
Beyond this great news, the SAINTS went to their first-ever Super Bowl and put the SMACK-DOWN on the Colts!!!! Who Dat?! Who Dat?! Who Dat said they gonna beat them Saints?!!???!!!! Nobody, that's who.: )
Aside from this, I got a new job at the Seminary library as the Circulation Manager. Basically, I make sure the front desk is taken care of and supervise a number of student workers. Eventually I will get to work in the archives (YEA!!) which will eventually lead me to become a certified archivist. I'm really excited. I like my job, and I'm starting to get the hang of it.
And lastly, I'm gearing up for the talks I will be giving in Marion. The first one on March 22 will be an open forum on modern day slavery, and then I am the chapel speaker for my alma mater, Judson College, the next day. I'm really, really excited, and I am praying that everything that comes out of my mouth will glorify God and not me or anyone else.
That's all for now. I'll be back soon to continue the "Be Fruity" series!!