Sunday, November 6, 2016

No Longer Slaves

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Yesterday, I lead the teaching our lifegroup and I was so excited about the topic. It is mostly about Galatians 4:4-7 (4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba”, Father. 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.)  

These verses tell us that since we are redemmed through Christ, we are no longer under the law, hence we are saved, free and no more slaves. For this teaching, we had three points:

1. We Are Redeemed (v4-5). Paul made an example on how even an heir is being put to a "slave" status while he was an underage. He is under the care of trustees and guardians and he can only enjoy his inheritance once his father, the master, say he can do so (see Galatians 4:1-3). During the old law, once a person committed a sin, he can just kill an innocent animal and offer it to God then he believed that he will be cleansed. But this is not the real case of how to be redeemed. For us now, we are under the law when we learned old traditions that we practice in our childhood years. We were taught that if we go to church every Sunday, we will become holy and be righteous. Sometimes we need to celebrate fiestas and other customs because we initially believed that it will make God happy. But that is not the right way to be redeemed as described by Paul. These laws (traditions) is like the trustees that guards the heir. We have to realize and understand first what is right and wrong, then the right time sent by our Father is when he sent His only Son. We don't have to offer anything as Jesus Christ, who followed all the laws as human didn't make any mistake paid it all for us when he was crucified on the cross. He died for us. His substitution (offering) is permanent. But this is only achievable through faith, if we first accept that we are sinners and that Jesus died for us.

Galatians 2:20 (I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of the God, who loved me and gave himself for me). But now that we understand that Jesus died for us, what's next? It didn't stop on that point. It is like we are a new person.

2. We Are God's Children (v6). Now that we are redeemed, we are now a child of God. By virtue of adoption, we have given:
  • A new name (son, no longer slave)
  • A new legal standing/status (accepted, no longer alienated or condemned)
  • A new family relationship (Father, not Judge)
  • A new image, image of Christ
We are God's children so we have to talk like one, walk like one and think like one. Being a child of God is not an easy task. There will always be struggles and temptations that may lead us back "under the law". But the good thing is, since we are sons and daughters of God, he sent us the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. This is to guide us to avoid human flesh sins. We don't need any law to dictate us what to do, we have the Spirit and following it should become naturally.

The power of the Spirit is undeniable but we also need to work and feed it. How? We can do bible study, attend a lifegroup, through prayers, reading the bible, everyday devotion and many more. We have a lot of options so that we can always be aligned with God's plan for us. Galatians 5:16-18 (16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law)

3. We Are No Longer Slaves (v7). We have been redeemed that lead to our adoption and sonship and as a child of God, He sent us the Holy Spirit and we should listen to Him so that we are not thinking about the law, instead it should be easy for us to just follow the good ways and that is called obedience. Don't call it as sacrifice or following his commandments, don't treat it is as a law as we shouldn't be "under the law". Just be obedient and we can follow naturally without hesitations but only love. 

Galatians 5:24 (Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires). The lusts and passions of our old sinful nature have been put to death with Christ. Only through faith - the sinful flesh has no power over us. It is our decision to believe it, not work at it! We might have a situation that we can't control and tempting us to do even though we know it is not God's way but we can always ask for strength from Him because he can do anything and nothing is too hard for him. Jeremiah 32:27 (I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?)