October 06, 2021
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:4-7)
To "send" someone or something is not an action taken by the receiver but by the giver. As human beings separated from God and under judgment because of our sin, we desperately need two things that we cannot have on our own. We need salvation from God to make us fit for heaven, and we need empowerment from God to make us fit for earth.
Without any activity on our part, God sent forth both His Son and Spirit to solve these two problems. We are the beneficiaries of these gracious gifts from God.
"God SENT FORTH His Son ... so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."
God sent Jesus to take care of our sin problem and make us right before the Father. To give us peace instead of enmity as we face God.
We had no part in His coming except to receive the glorious benefits of His sacrifice by faith for our sins, opening the way for us to become sons of God.
"God has SENT FORTH the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba! Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God."
God sent His Spirit to live in everyone who would believe in Him. This miraculous gift gives us an intimate relationship and ownership with Him of all that He has. We can talk to God now, calling Him "daddy." We have access. The barrier of our sin has been removed by the Son, and the presence of the Spirit has removed the barrier to our communion. We are now one with Father, Son, and Spirit.
And we have the power to live. As we follow the Spirit, we no longer do the "deeds of the flesh" but produce the "fruit of the Spirit" (5:17-23). We no longer try to produce godliness on our own, but we have God in us! Our job is to trust Him and simply follow His promptings. He is love and power in us, flowing through us like rivers of living water. We no longer live from the outside in (our power) but from the inside out (His power).
God has done all this for us. We are the possessors of His Son's work and His Spirit's empowering simply by His activity, His initiation, and His grace. And it is all received merely by faith.
And there's one more "sent forth" in the Scripture: "As the Father has sent Me, so send I you," Jesus said (John 20:21). As an extension of His body, He now sends us into the world to carry the message and help others know that they can have these two incredible gifts.
What glorious gifts! What a gracious God!
Father, thank you for sending us Your Son and Your Spirit. Thank You for our redemption through the Son and our empowering through the Spirit. Forgive us each time we forget what we have and seek to live independently of You. Help us live a life of gratitude and gospel service the rest of our days on this earth.
October 13, 2021
October 12, 2021
It could not be worse. God is gracious in His offering of forgiveness through Jesus Christ to all who believe. Those who come to know God and obey Him will experience the best in this life and the life to come.
But what of all those who ignore God? Who will not trust Him? Who never follow and obey the one true God? The Bible leaves no ambiguity about this, and its clarity should sober us.
October 07, 2021
My son, who is planting a church in a Northern Colorado city, intentionally took me for a walk through a sculpture garden recently that is located in a prominent spot in his large city. It was beautiful, convenient, and filled with people.
To my amazement, at every 30 yards or so, there was a stone statue. The whole garden was a prayer garden, and each statue was named. The farther we walked, the more I realized it was a garden designed to help you pray to ancestral spirits. This religion is called animism and is no different from the false religions we read of in the Scripture. Paul encountered this in Athens.