7-4-2017 Freedom To Obey Christ

There is no such thing as complete freedom. The American Revolution cast off abusive law for the freedom to establish our own law. Since sin is universal, Jesus’ Gospel invites all everywhere to cast off their shackles of sin for the freedom to serve under Jesus’ Law. “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-18 NKJV). No one can be freed from sins to do as they please. Liberty is not license or lawlessness!
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#freedom, #liberty, #license

Short introduction to Galatians

One concern about early Christianity was how (if at all) it differed from the Mosaic economy. Early saints conflicted regularly over which (if any) applications of the Law remained relevant to Christians.

Paul argues in Galatians that the “works of the law” were inferior to the “faith of Christ,” as the former led to the latter (3:19-25). This proved the superiority of Christ’s system, and demonstrated that all believers – regardless of whether they had previously submitted to ordinances of the Mosaic Law — are equal heirs of God’s promise to Abraham (Gal. 3:26-29; cf. Gen. 12:1-3, et. al.).

A key word of the book is “liberty.” “Liberty” must be defined by God. It is not freedom from restraint, but freedom from the broken moral and spiritual systems found in the world. Liberty in Christ involves humble, sacrificial service (5:14-18; 6:1-4), moral excellence (5:19-26), and a promise of everlasting harvest (6:7-10)

—Rick Kelley, Prestonsburg KY church bulletin

#galatians, #liberty, #nt-introduction


Psalm 119 Waw Living A Life “Prepared”

It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

Waw Psalm 119:41-48                 Living A Life “Prepared”

Verses 41-44 speak of a person’s covenant with God;

Verses 45-48 list blessings and responsibilities that accompany God’s salvation.

Verses 41-44: (Verse 41) God gives “mercies” (plural, because we always need them) which are the only means for which we should receive “salvation.” Jacob spoke to God for all of us when he said: “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant” (Genesis 32:10). Paul tells Christians, it is “by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1). These “mercies” are revealed through His “word,” even today (Titus 3:1-8). (Verse 42) “So” (in this way) “shall I have an answer” (can make response, give a reason) to the enemy “who reproaches,” whose verbal attacks cannot weaken my “trust in Your word” (also known as “faith,” Romans 10:17). (Verse 43) As long as “the word of truth” (Scriptural reply, as in 1 Peter 3:15) comes from our mouths, we have “hope” based upon God’s “ordinances” (limits in place for our protection from others). (Verse 44) “So” (in this manner) “shall I keep” (obey) God’s “law” (guide, direction), “forever and ever” (from now on).

Verses 45-48: (Verse 45) To have freedom to “walk at liberty” one must stay within God’s “precepts” (instructions regarding conduct). The “unfasten your seat belt” sign in an airplane does not free one to walk outside the airplane! “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). (Verse 46) The boldness to “speak” comes from confidence in God’s “testimonies” (bearing witness), whether the audience consists of family, friends, or government representatives! (Verse 47) Personal “delight” (satisfaction) comes from a heart of “love” (caring what’s best) for God’s “commandments” (orders to obey). There is no “ego-stroking” or build-up, without loving and keeping God’s commandments. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). (Verse 48) Waving hands in the air is not what is referred to here, but rather obeying God by making our hands meet up with what God commands, thus to “lift up to Your commandments.” Love of God produces obedience because we “meditate” (focus thoughts) on God’s “statutes” (lines marking out our field of play).

Thought: The more we fill our hearts with God’s Bible, the more prepared we are for whatever we must do, whatever reproach others may say, and where we intend to be in eternity! Jesus said, “blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28)

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #gospel, #jesus-christ, #liberty, #mercies, #obedience

“[T]he only foundation for a useful edu…

“[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”

–Benjamin Rush, On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic, 1806

#education, #liberty, #narcissism, #religion, #virtue

“Let the American youth never forget, t…

“Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence.” –Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

In much of the above we could apply it to our spiritual citizenship.


#government, #heritage, #liberty, #religion, #youth

Bill of Rights Anniversary

I don’t ride the city buses that often, so it’s never happened to me, but I’ve seen it a number of times. Police will stop a city or rented bus, have all the men get off, and pat them down for drugs or arms. Why does that not happen in the U.S.? Because of the Bill of Rights.

Tomorrow [today], Dec. 15, is the 218th anniversary of the adoption of the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments to our Constitution, as ratified in 1791.

The Bill of Rights was inspired by three remarkable documents: John Locke’s 1689 thesis, Two Treatises of Government, regarding the protection of “property” (in the Latin context, proprius, or one’s own “life, liberty and estate”); in part from the Virginia Declaration of Rights authored by George Mason in 1776 as part of that state’s Constitution; and, of course, in part from our Declaration of Independence authored by Thomas Jefferson.

Read in context, the Bill of Rights is both an affirmation of innate individual rights and a clear delineation on constraints upon the central government. As oft trampled and abused as the Bill of Rights is, Patriots should remain vigilant in the fight for our rights.

This quote comes from the Patriot Post’s Monday Brief.

Prayers are often heard in churches for our liberties, and we are right to thank God for whatever freedoms granted to us in our respective countries. Have yet to hear of someone moving to Cuba for that reason.

#bill-of-rights, #freedoms, #liberty