Thursday, 28 February 2013

From A Park Bench - 1 Corinthians 7 v 22

I Corinthians 7 v 22
And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ.

A few years back I traveled on a coach across Europe for a holiday in Prague. It was only a few years after the fall of communism and the formation of the Czech Republic. After years of oppression freedom had come to the people of old Czechoslovakia. As the coach traveled through the newly formed country the roadside was littered with young teenage girls offering themselves to rich western visitors. It struck me that these teenagers had traded one type of slavery for another type of slavery. Freedom is only freedom if it brings freedom from oppression.

In New Testament times people sold themselves into short term slavery to pay off debts. This common practice of giving up freedom and willingly entering into slavery is a picture of what many Christians do to themselves when they start to try to get from God what they already have by grace.  God has already blessed very Christian with every spiritual blessing and we are seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father adopted by God in his righteousness through the predestined ransom of Christ.

Christ’s death was enough to keep me eternally free. Too often we are then told by well meaning people that through our effort we need to stay right with God. I went to a men’s conference where the speaker said, “The grace of God is all we need and it is by his grace that we are saved. Now God wants us to grow up and be men of integrity, so lets leave behind grace and make ourselves walk pure before God.”  I understood exactly where he was coming from but in the end he was preaching salvation by works. The essence of the lie is that by my holiness and good living I make and keep myself acceptable to God. The truth is that by Christ’s finished work at the cross, I am holy and righteous and I do not have to add anything of my works to keep it. My sinful nature died at the cross and I am a new holy creation In Christ.

Grace is the motivation of my life, freedom is the state of my heart, joy is the wellspring bubbling up inside and all that I do is in union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit inside of me.  The more I drown in the ocean of God’s grace the more I enjoy God and the less I want to enjoy the world. To live in the realm of the Spirit changes my motivation, and my focus. It has nothing to do with me, nothing to do with my performance and nothing to do with my right living, it has everything to do with Christ living in me and working through me.

I have been made free in Christ by and through his grace to go back into self-righteousness and my performance is to go back into oppression and slavery. The only slavery that sets me free is my slavery to Christ and to his life permeating every cell of my body.

1 comment:

  1. the more i drown in the ocean of gods grace the more i see him...experience him...there is a profound truth right there....thanks for this this morning...


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