Monthly Archives: November 2017

Meditation on Galatians 2:20

The Galatians had heard and believed the gospel of God’s free gift of righteousness by faith, but false teaching had bewitched them. Having begun in the Spirit of the Christ Who justifies by grace through faith in Himself, they were deceived into believing they should continue to grow in holiness by their unprofitable, fleshly selves. And so the apostle taught them thus:

I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
And the life which I now live in the flesh,
I live by faith in the Son of God,
Who loved me and gave Himself for me.

We might expound on that verse this way:

I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer self will that rules, but God’s good and perfect will.
And the things which I now determine to do in the flesh
I purpose according to faith in Him Whose food was to obey His Father,
Who loved me and set His face toward the cross for me.

I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer according to the fleshly mind of enmity against God,
but according to the mind of Christ that I think.
This transformation by the mind’s renewal is by faith in the Word Incarnate,
Who loved me and thought it a small thing to humble Himself for me.

I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer fleshly lusts and affections that motivate, but Godly ones
And the desires and feelings I now have in the flesh,
Flow from the new heart promised under the New Covenant, enacted
In His blood Who loved me and became a Man of Sorrows for me.

I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer with the stuff of this world that I provide myself,
But God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
And all this provision is by faith in Him Who had nowhere to lay His head,
Who loved me and both hungered and made Himself poor for me.

I have been crucified with Christ.
My schedule no longer prevails, but His Who came in time’s fulness
And I redeem the remaining hours in the flesh
Through faith in the One Whose goings forth are from everlasting,
Who loved me and spent His earthly days for me.

I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer in the flesh that I glory, but in Jesus the Lord of glory
And the approval, recognition, and honor which I now seek in the flesh
Is that which comes from God, and is sought by faith in the Scorned One,
Who loved me and made Himself of no reputation for me.

I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer in the arm of flesh that I confide,
But in the One Who said “believe in God, believe also in Me”.
And the assurance I now know in the flesh
Is in accordance with the promise to believers in the Son of God,
Who loved me and entrusted His soul to His Father for me.

I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer on anything in the flesh that I set my hope
But on partaking in that glorious mystery, “Christ in you, the hope of glory”.
And this blessed hope in which I now rejoice with a joy unspeakable,
Is according to faith in the coming Son of Man,
Who loved me and will on that day conform me perfectly to Him.

I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer the sounding brass or tinkling cymbal of self
But the love of God shed abroad in this poor heart of flesh,
And the treasure now carried in this earthen vessel
IS the very life of the One Whose name is sacrificial Love.

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Those Inward Nooks and Crannies

How often do we Christians miss out regarding communion with God…how many are those little ways in which even His children, caving to the sinful nature, try to hide from Him like Adam and Eve in Eden?

“Pray without ceasing,” wrote the inspired apostle to the Thessalonians. Do I take every possible occasion to express an holy aspiration, or make intercession for someone in need, or praise the holy One directly? Or do I merely talk about God here and there when I have a spare moment?

Do I perpetually speak to my heavenly Father through the mediation of Jesus His only begotten Son as one who is a spiritually regenerate partaker of the blessed Holy Spirit? Are my “God pronouns” mostly third person ones (He, Him, His) or second person ones (You, Your)?

In yet other words when gazing at an overwhelmingly gorgeous sky (day or night, clear or cloudy) do I say inwardly, “Yes, it’s true, the heavens declare the glory of God,” as if the great Artist my Redeemer were not right there? Or, as recognizing the faithful, upholding presence of Him Who is in need of nothing yet Who graciously seeks insignificant me do I say to Him, “Yes my precious Lord, the heavens indeed declare Your glory!”

Mere semantics? Perhaps. But…”O Lord, we know that You have said, ‘give me your heart.’ Wonderfully, it is both for Your glory and for our own highest delight that You have commanded us to love You with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.”

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Loaded for Bear or Barely Loaded?

Firearms themselves are only the externals of the “gun control” debate once again raging in America. Most often talking at another without listening to one another, the two entrenched sides are actually debating about human nature and how those who share in that nature (all of us) can live in a civilized state.

Since most who read my posts are aware of where I stand, achieving what I intend below will be difficult. Nevertheless, here is an attempt to summarize objectively the two positions as they relate to those two concepts. (Human nature and civilized life).

SIDE A: Mass shooters, bombers, vehicular homicide terrorists, etc. are exceptions to the rule. They are aberrant monsters or victims of the worst kind of mental or emotional illness. The vast majority of people will not behave like them because human nature is basically good. How can multi-cultural America, a tolerant country inclusive of widely divergent ideologies, endure peaceably?

Protected by well armed professional law enforcement agencies, enlightened from earliest childhood by secular education, and helped by federal, state, and local governments against poverty and other human ills, it will! Strictly controlling the sale of firearms and building sturdy stanchions or other tangible defenses around soft targets are just good sense measures. Law abiding citizens being a bit inconvenienced by red tape or giving up a little of their liberty is a tiny price to pay for a greater degree of safety and security for all.

SIDE B: Human nature is basically rotten. As recent events show, anyone can be “radicalized” or turn into a bad actor inexplicably and easily. We can cannot remain naturally civilized because we are naturally bad! To be civilized is to be self restrained. People who understood that gave us a government with three branches, able to restrain any one branch from attaining the absolute corruption which springs from absolute power.

Only when the people are restrained from the heart by the transcendent ethical and ideological standard upon which our government and laws were founded can peace endure. In other words, with religious based morality under girding our society, armed citizens can peacefully coexist and defend themselves and their neighbors. They can do so far more effectively than impotent laws and physical structures which clever criminals will always be able to circumvent.

So there you have it. Your friendly neighborhood blogger looks forward to responses here or on Facebook where this is linked.

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