Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Sons and Not Slaves 6/15/2014
We once were slaves to self and to sin, but now are sons of God. The Spirit of His Son lives in us, and therefore we live in freedom. It is not the freedom to serve self, but it is that we have been freed from the guilt and the power of sin so that we may serve others, for the Spirit of Jesus Christ lives in and through us. Our Father in heaven has done this all, therefore we cry Abba, Father. We are sons and not slaves....

Our text is taken from Apostle Paul's letter to the Galatian congregation, who were under extreme attack to jettison the new found freedom in Christ and go back to the slavery of the law. The theme of the entire letter is that Gospel freedom is the power in our lives. It is through Christ that we have been bought back from slavery, which means that we are forgiven, we are set apart for God and we live lives through which we love others for the sake of Jesus Christ through the indwelling and presence of His Spirit, the Spirit of the Son of God.

KJV Galatians 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements (influences) of the world:
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Until Christ came, the law was kind of a boundary that was set up to let them know what was acceptable and what it was not. It was never intended to be a permanent solution to the sin that we inherited, but it was only for a time until Jesus came It was not able to keep people from living for themselves, never will be able to do so, for it was never intended for that purpose. He bought us out from under guardianship of the law, so that He would come to live in us through His Spirit. Through this He would bring us to a place of "privilege "get to" as opposed to an obligation or a "have to."

True freedom has an eternal source, for it is based on the truth of the Word of God. True freedom sets us from from self. This freedom/ only comes through the person and finished work of Jesus Christ. It is for this freedom that you and I have been set free. It is a freedom that frees us from ourselves and frees us to be in fellowship with God, with Christ and in the Holy Spirit.

But, sadly, this freedom is more often overlooked, rejected, even taken for granted and despised. Why? Because, as sinful human beings, our response to the one who lovingly created us, even reconciled us back to Himself, may be to reject his gracious gift. Or as a Chrisitan, we choose to go it alone as if we are the lord and master of our lives. Ironically, such false emancipation actually destroys our ability to be truly free. We think that freedom is to do as were wish, in thought, attitude and action. That is slavery to the law.

What does it mean to live in slavery? For slavery to exist, there must be a master and a slave. In the days of slavery, often times this was the testimony of slaves:

1. The masters kept them under subjection by the use of fear.

2.They kept them from seeing and experiencing freedom outside of their plantation.

3. They also were continually told life as a slave was the best life that they could ever have.

4. They were never given their own personal name: If their owner was John Doe, the slave would be referred to as John Doe's slave.

To live in unrepentance, to live without faith in the Son's work for you, is to live in the bondage of an eternal slavery that no human effort can ever eliminate.

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free". (John 8:31-32)

We have been freed from the law of sin and death to live in peace, in joy, in love, and in expectation of the future, for we are yoked unto Jesus Christ, which is an easy yoke, a pleasant and joyful union. God has always been for us, He is with us and now He is in us by His Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. He has done it all for us and may we rest in that knowledge and experience!

We are Sons of God, who have been set free from power of the law, so that we may live to serve others in love. And that begins in our closest relationships, which are at home.

Today is Father's Day, and a day that we reflect on the Fatherhood of God as the one through whom we were all given physical life. A distinctive New Testament revelation is that through faith in Christ, God becomes our personal Father. Father is used of God in the Old Testament only 15 times while it is used of God 245 times in the New Testament.

Through His Son, we have been given eternal life. Through the indwelling of the Spirit of His Son, we live as Sons of the Perfect Father, whereby we trust Him and depend upon Him as a child does upon their earthly father.

In the letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he concludes chapter 5 by addressing the relationship between husband and wife and then in the beginning of chapter six speaks to the potential fruit of marriage: Children and parenting

NKJ Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2 "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise:
3 "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."
4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

As children we learned of God first and foremost from our parents, and especially our fathers. We learned those things that our fathers modeled of God in a good way but also in a bad way. Our fathers have not been perfect even as we have not been and are not and will not be. God is the only perfect Father. But as we have grown up we have learned that it is not enough to compare others with God as role models, but it is also important to contrast our earthly parent with our heavenly parent. The difficulty is that in our younger years we are not able to see that not everything our parent models and teaches is not as it should be.

Therefore, as we grow in understanding of what a good father is, we look on our fathers with forgiveness and compassion, recognizing that they were/are imperfect even as we find ourselves to be. For those of us who have become fathers, we full well realize that we need forgiveness and compassion from our children.

When my mother died a year ago, a compassionate brother gave me some very important counsel concerning what it means to honor our father and mother. He told it to me in question form: "Do we not honor our parents the most by continuing to believe and to live our lives the in the eternal things that they have taught us even after they have left this life?" Yes, I told him, I think you are right on.

Since all of us have had, do have fathers, most of us will reflect on this aspect of fatherhood today and will enumerate the blessings that have come from their fathers. We understand, as we have already written about, that not all fathers have been positive role models and as a result of desertion, abuse, rejection, and so on, some are dealing with the fallout yet today and as a result live troubled and painful lives. We understand that that is not the ideal, we have compassion for those and we do all we can do to help them contrast what they experienced and what their Heavenly Father desires that they come to know and experience.

We cry for those who have been affected so greatly by our sinful attitudes, habits and decisions. We live in a broken world, we are broken people, and we live in broken relationships. That is not God's desire for us, but those things are realities. We live in grace and forgiveness for our past sins, we live in grace and forgiveness today and we live in grace and forgiveness for our future. And we do this both towards ourselves and towards others.

We cannot go back to undo that which we have done, but we can take ownership for those sinful and selfish choices that have offended our loved ones that the Holy Spirit has brought to our conscience, we acknowledge our sin to God, if needful and if possible, we admit and confess our error to those we offended and use the pain of the past to guide our decisions into the future. God has taken our sin from us, but He has allowed the memories of the past as a means of grace to help us make better decisions in the future.

We are Sons of God, who have been set free from power of the law, so that we may live to serve others in love. And that begins in our closest relationships, which are at home.

Allow me to close with a recent story I heard at a funeral for a dear brother in Christ who died at 90 years old. Through his grandson, his first memory of how his dad taught him about God was related to those of us who were in attendance at his funeral. Here is how it goes.

"I had a knife that I had found when I was five years old and when my sister saw me playing with it, she tried to take it away from me, I did not let her. Finally she got so persistent that she grabbed ahold of the sharp blade of the knife with her hand and I pulled it away from her, cutting her hand deeply in the process. As a result of seeing what I had done, I ran and hid in the woods and did not want to go into my home and face my dad. I struggled for a long time outside, it began to get dark and finally figured that I must go to my father and face up to him. I remember climbing up on to the porch, I remember opening the door, I remember seeing my dad's big boots and as I raised my eyes to his face, I saw a merciful and kind face looking down at me, felt his big arms wrap around me and heard him telling me, "It's okay, son. It's okay................... "

His father, through example, demonstrated of how God is waiting for all those who will come to Him in their need of forgiveness. Young Lauri Lappi, at five years old, was taught by his father of the readiness of God to forgive all who come to Him. For young Lauri's father demonstrated the love of his Greater Father.

May we avail ourselves of this same love of God towards ourselves today.

A Son of God through Christ Jesus,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 15 Jun 2014 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns