Wednesday, June 1, 2011

profound, pensive thoughts from the PE teacher, sitting in her office eating hershey kisses

carefreeness - the cheerful feeling you have when nothing is troubling you
carefreeness - the trait of being without worry or responsibility
carefreeness - The property of being lighthearted, joyous, cheerful, without a care

They say that children are carefree.... why aren't adults? What happens from the age of 7 to the age of 27 that changes? Why don't we play 'house' anymore, or pretent to sing into a microphone, or laugh when given the opportunity to run as fast as we can?
Let me introduce to you the three R's. (No, I'm not talking about "Reading, Writing, and 'Rithmatic.")
1. Rules
2. Responsibility
3. Routine

Our life becomes bogged down with what we're supposed to do, with what other people expect us to do, and what we've committed ourselves to do. I'll be honest, I struggle with freedom, with spontaneity. I so desire to be the one with the sweet ideas and crazy adventures. I know I've had some amazing adventures already, but in reality, I like rules, responsibility, and routine. It's comforting to me to know that I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. I'm a list person, but I'm not just a write-a-few-things-down-so-I-remember person... I'm the type of person that writes things on the list that I've already done, just so that I can cross it off. And, I confess, I love it. And to everyone else who loves to make lists, embrace the fact that you are organized, or at least attempting to be.

Enough about lists. In reality, that is somewhat immaterial to what I wanted to focus on: freedom. America is a land of freedom, when you can drive you experience new-found freedom, we as Christians have freedom in Christ... we hear about it so much, yet I often wrestle with the real demonstrations of freedom in my own life. How am I freed yet a slave? 1 Corinthians 7:22 ESV

So, here goes... Please dig with me through what scripture says about being truly free.

In order to be free, we have to be freed from something, agreed? Over and over the Bible tells us that we have been slaves to sin, and that if we are in Christ we have been set free from that. (John 8:31-38 ESV, Romans 6:7-14 ESV, Romans 8:1-11 ESV) I would like to add to sin, that we are free from the law. The Israelites were bound by laws in covenant with God. (anyone who has read Leviticus knows what I'm talking about) But we are free from the law with the fulfillment in Christ. ((Luke 22:37 ESV)) 2 Corinthians 3 speaks of a new covenant that we have in Christ. We no longer abide by the 'letter of the law' which kills us because it is impossible for us to keep, but we are in the Spirit with confidence in Christ. (1 Corinthians 7:22 ESV) Hebrews 8 goes on to say that the old covenant is obsolete. (Hebrews 8:1-13 ESV)

Ok, now we know the what. Now let's look at the how.

Old covenant: obey the law. New Covenant: freely given. The Son has set us free. (John 8:31-38 ESV) Romans 5 explains how through one man's sin brought condemnation, one man died for the salvation of us all! This 'free gift' has brought us justification. (Romans 5:15-16 ESV) There is nothing we can do to earn, to merit this grace, this free gift.

Now what: I am free! I am no longer a slave to sin. (John 8:31-38 ESVRomans 6:7-14 ESV); I am free to share the gospel with my neighbor (Hebrews 8:1-13 ESV); I am free to set my mind on things of the Spirit and not of the flesh (Romans 8:1-11 ESV); I am free to serve my neighbor and love them as myself (Galatians 5:1,13-14 ESV). But, may we never fail to be reminded, that what we do is not of ourselves, but of the Lord. It is by the Spirit that we can do anything at all. (2 Corinthians 3:6)

There is so much more that this discussion could go into: legalism, life in the Spirit, and ministry beyond, but we'll have to save it for another time. I pray that you were blessed by digging into this with me this morning! Have a wonderful day! It's absolutely beautiful here in Honduras and I'm headed out to church and then a BBQ with some friends. God bless!

(for the record, this blog started out in my office eating hershey's kisses, but ended eating toast with huevos rancheros this morning :) )

References used:
For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.”
(Luke 22:37 ESV)

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
John 8:31-38 ESV

"But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification."
Romans 5:15-16 ESV

"For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace."
Romans 6:7-14 ESV

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you."
Romans 8:1-11 ESV

For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ.
1 Corinthians 7:22 ESV

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:6

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a 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.”
Galatians 5:1,13-14 ESV

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
For he finds fault with them when he says:
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah,
not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.”
In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Hebrews 8:1-13 ESV

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
1 Peter 2:16

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