Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Children of God, saved by God

Galatians 4:6
  • And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

We are sons and daughters of God and the Spirit of Jesus is in our hearts and we cry to God, "Abba! Father!"

Jesus, the Son of God, is in us and we are members of His body, His church.

We are also children of God, praising God in the Spirit of Jesus.

We have one Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, and one Spirit, even the Holy Spirit who is in us to reveal Jesus in us, and Jesus reveals to us who the Father is.

In the Spirit of the Son, Jesus, we cry out to God the Father, "Father!"

There is a relationship that is close between God and us.

If we know who our God is, we know who we are, even the children of God, who were saved by Jesus, the Son of God.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

We have only One True Father

Galatians 4:5
  • to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Jesus redeemed us who were under the law and under the condemnation of hell. We did not deserve the death of the Son of God, let alone the heaven.

Why did Jesus come and die for our sins when we were only fixated on ourselves for our own selfish ambitions and motives? And many times, we still do.

It is the love of God issuing from Himself to rescue us and to free us from sin and Satan.

Jesus willingly died on the cross for our sins and freed us from the condemnation of just penalty that fits the crime.

Not only that, God redeemed us so that we would be adopted to Him as His children.

The Lord's prayer begins with "our Father."

Yes, we have an earthly father, but our true and only father is our Father God.

There is only one Father and we are all His children, including our earthly fathers and mothers.

It is sometimes easier to not believe the truth that God is our Father. But He is!!

Therefore, we know that our prayer is heard.

Jesus told us that this is how we should pray,

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

(Matthew 6:9-13)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Jesus, the Centre of our lives

Galatians 4:4
  • But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law

At the appointed time set by God, He sent His Son, Jesus into this world.

Jesus was born of woman just like the rest of us who are born into this world. Yet, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is both God and man. 100% God and 100% man.

However, Jesus lived like the rest of us and felt exhaustion, pain and suffering because He chose to empty Himself of all the privileges that God has.

  • but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:7)

He lived by the power of the Holy Spirit.

And we, too, live by the power of the Holy Spirit in this world. Therefore Jesus said, we will do mighty works that are wrought by God in us.

  • Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)

Jesus also was born a Jew and lived under the law, and fulfilled all the requirements of the law of Moses and died as a lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Therefore, even the Gentiles (many of us) receive mercy and grace from God who took away our sins on the cross.

Jesus is now the centre of our lives because we died in Him on the cross and Jesus who was resurrected on the third day is with us in this life, and the life to come. Amen.

Friday, September 20, 2013

True Freedom as Children of God

Galatians 4:3
  • In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.

Paul, here, talks about our former life before we came to know Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

We lived this life without any input from God. We need revelation from God to be enlightened to the knowledge of God. 

Before we came to know God, we just followed the teachings that were handed down to us by our parents and the environment that we lived in.

Therefore, we followed the passions and desires that the world offered, rather than following the passions and desires of Christ.

The Bible says, "For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved." (2 Peter 2:19)

Therefore, when the teachings, wisdom and traditions of the world were bombarded to us, we accepted them as true, although many of them were blatant lies, upholstered by Satan himself.

Now, since we have come to Jesus Christ and entered into His kingdom, we are free from the bondage of the world and Satan.

We are rather in bondage to righteousness, which is true freedom. When we come to know Jesus and belong to Him, we are sons of God. We truly enjoy the freedom of Christ in God.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Happiness within boundaries vs Danger and Death without limits

Galatians 4:2
  • but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father.

We were once under the guardians and managers of the law of Moses. We once lived under the power and control of the law of Moses. We thought that we could reach adulthood by obeying the law of Moses.

But we were wrong, the reason we were not free was not because we could not keep the law perfectly or obey the guardians and managers perfectly as the above example illustrates.

But we were immature that is why the law had to restrain our madness and folly by showing us what is crazy and foolish thing to do. But once Jesus came to reveal what perfect righteousness is, we reached adulthood by understanding that Jesus is the righteous one who perfectly fulfilled the law of Moses by His own life, death, burial and resurrection.

Our motivation changes from that of the fear of a slave towards a master to please Him to the love of an adopted child towards their loving Father who adopted us in Jesus.

The way we live is no longer defined by the list of rules to follow, but by our desire to be in continuous, loving relationship with our loving Father in Jesus.

Father gave us commands to follow, not because He is mean, but because He cares about our happiness and joy.

He clearly said that if we, being a child, play around on a road, we'd get hurt or even killed. That is why he put boundaries around the front yard of our house so that we could be free within those boundaries and be just as happy and joyful, playing around on the lawn, safe and sound.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Life Worth Living

Galatians 4:1
  • I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything,

Paul here talks about the issue of responsibility that is common to both children and slaves.

Children need guidance and direction from parents, guardians and tutors. Likewise, slaves need guidance and direction from masters, lords and kings.

However, there is a difference between a child and a slave. A child is actually the owner of everything under their parents' name whereas a slave does not have any ownership of anything under their master, lord or king.

Paul goes on to explain our sonship through Jesus, and that we are heirs to the promises of God through Jesus.

We can, therefore, call God, our Abba Father because the spirit of Jesus is in our hearts, and we have been adopted by God our Father.

Do you believe that you are the owner of everything including heaven and resurrected earth that is to come, eternal life, joy in the Holy Spirit, family of God in Jesus, and our eternal King, Lord, Saviour and God, Jesus Christ, to the glory of our Loving Father God.

We are no longer motivated by the dead, lifeless law but are enlivened by our Father and Jesus who lovingly instruct us to live a life that is holy, and righteous because the Holy Spirit is in us. Amen.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

God is good. Everything is working together for good to who?

Galatians 3:29
  • And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

If we belong to Christ, then we also belong to Abraham's Seed who is Jesus Christ Himself. 

We are the offspring of Abraham according to God's promise.

This means that all God's promises are fulfilled by God and it does not depend on our own effort for them to be fulfilled.

This should give us relief and humility that we are not the ones who make God's promises come true. It is God Himself doing His work in us and through us.

We need to believe that promise of God and that is faith.

Sometimes, it is difficult to figure out how our faith and God's promises work together.

We learn about God's sovereignty that He works all things together for good (Romans 8:28), and we hear that truth and actively believe that truth.

In the midst of doubts, we learn to hold onto God's promises that He is good to us in the end. Even though in the process called life seems to deal to us a bad hand. Everything is working together for good to those who love Jesus and are called according to His purpose. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Jesus' Presence in us

Galatians 3:28
  • There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

The point of this verse is that we are not separate, lonely beings living separate lives, doing separate things, for our own separate goals, purposes and dreams.

Actually, we are all one in Jesus, united as one, for the same purpose, goals and dreams.

We are living together, loving one another, and Jesus is manifested to one another and to the world, through us, even through our daily lives.

The purpose of Jesus is clear in this verse. We are to know Christ and know His presence in us. We are to be one in a sense that we are in fact in Christ.

Jesus still walks on this earth because each of us is in Jesus. We get to see the world through Jesus' eyes.

Jesus' compassion for the world. God the Father gave us to Jesus.

There are many more sons and daughters to be found by Jesus.

Our purpose is to find them as Jesus is seeking the lost. 

Wherever we are, we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Or you might be wondering, "Am I lost? I want to be found by Jesus!"
I say this to you. I have found you. Jesus found you.

Know Him in you. He has found you. Your sins were nailed on the cross. Your ego with all its sins was crucified on the cross. Holy Spirit comes to you as you learn this message of Jesus and believe Him.

Holy Spirit reveals your sins and allows you to realise that you are crucified on the cross in Jesus. Your sins are gone on the cross.

Jesus says in the Bible, "I am in you, and you in me." speaking the truth to His believers. Know Jesus and His presence. Amen.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Clothed in Jesus Christ

Galatians 3:27
  • For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

When we are baptised into Christ, our sinful self dies with Him, just as all the wicked that lived in Noah's day died submerged in the water.

And we live because of Jesus.

Adam put on garments of skin prepared by God, after Adam fell and deserved to die.

We put on Jesus Christ sent by God to die on the cross for us, so that we who deserve to die may live by believing in Him.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A child of God in Jesus

Galatians 3:26
  • for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 

Am I really a son of God? It is easier to doubt that we are sons of God than to believe we are sons of God.

Based on our own past experiences, we may easily believe that we don't "feel" like we are sons/daughters of God.

However, that is why faith is required. If it was easier to believe than to doubt, there would be very little place for faith to work. However, in Christ Jesus, through faith, we choose to believe God's word and testimony about who we are in Jesus.

We live in this outside-in world where lies are bombarded at us through the internet, TV and advertising all around us, telling us we are someone or something other than the children of God in Jesus.

We need to live in the inside-out world where God is our Father and Jesus lives in us. Our true identity is in Jesus, and every other identity that the world tries to put on us is only secondary and temporary such as our jobs or work we do.

First and foremost, I am a son of God and I am in Jesus. Secondarily, I may be a student, labourer, teacher, lawyer, banker, mother, daughter, brother, sister, father and/or carpenter.

What identity do you cling onto?
What identity do you cherish the most and want other people to recognise that in you?

If it is not the identity of being a child of God in Jesus, let us examine ourselves to see if we put more reverence, fear, respect, honour and power on something else other than our true identity in Jesus.

I seek freedom from the fear of men and I need this message for myself.
Knowing and believing that I am truly a child of God in Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ego vs Jesus

If the lion of fear is chasing you, it's the grace of God chasing you to help you realise that you're not your ego. Ego died when Jesus died on the cross. Now you're that fearsome lion in Jesus, and scare the worldly lies of ungodly power, money and sex away from you, because they're scared of Jesus who fills us.

We died because our ego died when Jesus died. And our true self in Jesus is made manifest only through and in Jesus. Jesus is the Lion in us, courageous, without fear and fearsome.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Supplement your faith with virtue

Galatians 3:25
  • But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian

Faith vs Guardian (i.e. the law)

We are no longer under a guardian. That means we no longer live by the law. This doesn't mean we can sin. This means we live by faith in Jesus who died for our sins.

Therefore, we live to please Jesus by loving one another.

We once lived to try to please God so that He would approve of, accept and love us. That is not biblical.

But now that faith has come, God loves us first, and we obey Him because we love Him who gave Himself for us.

Some people think that since we are saved by faith in Jesus, we no longer have to watch ourselves whether we sin or not. That is not biblical.

Peter said in 2 Peter 1:5
  • For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue

Yes, virtue.

The word, translated as virtue in Greek is "arete." It means goodness, moral excellence, uprightness, a gracious act, modesty and purity.

We are heavenly citizens. We are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Peter 1:4)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cling to Jesus. Hold onto Him. That is faith.

Galatians 3:24
  • So then, the law was our tutor until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

 The law teaches us that we are sinners and that we need someone to save us.

The law only teaches us that we are inadequate. Jesus justifies us by our faith in Him.

The law condemns us. Jesus saves us.

Through the law, we are in despair. Through Jesus, we are full of hope.

Once we realise that the law has no power to save us, we hold onto the only person who saves us. Jesus.

We cling to Him. We hold onto Him. That is faith.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Praise the name of Jesus! Hallelujah!

Galatians 3:23
  • Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.

We were locked in the prison of the law, held captive under the law because we are born sinners and sin throughout our lives.

There is no escape from this imprisonment because we are all guilty and the only penalty that is awaiting us is death.

However, the faith (meaning: divine persuasion) has released us from that imprisonment.

Christ died in our place for our sins and He rose again on the third day. God persuades us to know and believe that historical event and bring it into our heart and hold onto it tight because that is our only escape from the imprisonment of damnation.

By believing and trusting in Jesus' works on the cross, we are released from the imprisonment of the law and death.

We can do all the good works we want in the prison but we'd still be guilty and only accumulate more sin and guilt upon ourselves. The only method of escape is to trust in Jesus who was imprisoned in the prison for us and died as a substitute sinner so that we would be released just as Jesus rose again on the third day for our justification.

We are justified in Jesus. We are delivered from the law and death in Jesus.

We are alive in Jesus. Praise His name! Hallelujah!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

By faith in Jesus, salvation is given to us who are under sin

Galatians 3:22
  • But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

The Bible locked everyone up under sin because we were born in sin, and in sin our mothers conceived us.

We sin because we are sinners. If we were righteous, we would do righteous acts. But the Bible says there is no one righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10).

And salvation is freely given to us who believe in Jesus.

Even that faith is grace because even that faith is given to us by the faithfulness of God to keep His promise given to Abraham.

God works all things for us so that we would be saved.

Although we lived in sin and were imprisoned under sin, God rescued us from sin so that we would hang on to Jesus who is our Redeemer, Rescuer and Saviour.

He is our way, truth and life! (John 14:6)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Jesus, our substitute

Galatians 3:21

  • Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.

The law is not contrary to the promises of God. Th role of the law was different, however.

A law had been given but it could not give life because the law only condemns sinners, and we are those sinners.  

Righteousness is not by the law. No one is righteous because they keep the law because no one can keep the law perfectly.

So the law has its own role to make us realise that we need to rely on something other than the law. Yes, we rely on Jesus Christ for our salvation.

He condemns sin on the cross so that we may live.

Our righteousness comes from Jesus who is righteous.

We are righteous because our faith in Jesus who is our righteousness.

Thank God that we die as the law condemns us but we live because of Jesus who died as a substitute for us, and was resurrected, and we have been born again through Jesus.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Spirit of Jesus is in us

Galatians 3:20
  • Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

Jesus is our mediator between God and men. God accepts us because of Jesus in us. 

The mediator Himself is God, as Jesus is God. Therefore, God is both a mediator and one of two parties involved in this mediation, namely God and men.

Jesus is also a man. Therefore, he can mediate or represent for us to God. Jesus is the perfect person, pleasing in the sight of God. Likewise, we are completely pleasing to God because we are filled with the Spirit of Jesus in us. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Our mediator, Jesus

Galatians 3:19
  • Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.

The law exposed the sins of all people on the earth, and the law played its role well until the offspring (Jesus) came.

The law was put in place through angels who participated in the giving of the law when God gave it to Moses.

We know that God gave the law to Moses.

And we note here that the law was given by an intermediary, namely God.

An intermediary is a mediator, and the mediator between God and men is Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ intercedes for us to God, and we are delivered from the curse of the law because of Jesus' intercession for us on our behalf.

Jesus paid the penalty of the law and the promise still stands for those who put their faith in Jesus.

We live in Jesus, our mediator.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

We live by the Spirit of Christ

Galatians 3:19
  • Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions 

The law was given because of transgressions. The law clearly reveals our sins in us.

We see the darkness and filthiness that are prevalent in our hearts through the law.

Without the law, how do I know if coveting is sin?

But the law says, coveting is sin. Therefore, we know that coveting does not come from God but rather originates from evil or sin.

Just like Satan coveted God's supremacy and honour, and became exceedingly sinful, so we observe our own sinfulness because the law reveals our sins in us.

Because we have the problem of sin, we need someone to get rid of our sins for us.

That is what Jesus does for us. He dies on the cross for our sins so that we would not be condemned but rather He was condemned for us.

We have received eternal life in Jesus, and He confirmed His promise by His resurrection. He accomplished what He said He would.

We are born again in Christ and we live forever in Christ.

So, we now live no longer by the law, but by the spirit of Christ.

To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Monday, September 2, 2013

For from Jesus and through Jesus and for Jesus are all things

Galatians 3:18
  • For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

If the blessings of God came to us by the law, that means we can do something with our self-exerted effort to receive the blessings of God.

We can keep the law so as to receive the blessings of God. Therefore, if the blessings of God came to us by the law, there is a transaction that occurs between man and God. 

Man works hard to earn the blessings of God and receive what is due. We would boast in our own strength, moral purity and perseverance. We'd firmly believe that we deserve the blessings of God because we worked for them. 

We would be proud of ourselves because we would be "good" people. We are the ones who are morally upright and pure and those who don't keep the law are "bad" people. We'd firmly believe that we are the people who deserve the blessings of God while those who don't keep the law do not deserve the blessings of God.

But what does the Bible say? If we hate someone, we sin. If we lust after someone in our mind, we sin. If we steal something, we sin, and that includes those of us who download songs off the internet and watch movies on the internet without paying for them. 

If we dishonour our parents even in our heart, we sin. If we are jealous of other people's success, we sin. If we covet other people's spouses, houses, cars and money, we sin.

Those of us who give their time to serve others, we may easily think that we are "good" because we've done something "good." However, we get the respect and glory from other people and we are satisfied that we are highly esteemed by others (just like the Pharisees), we sin because we glorified ourselves rather than thanking God who truly serves us every second of our lives.

So, we sin. We sin because we are born in sin and in sin mother conceived us (Psalm 51:5).

The only thing that we ever deserved was death because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). 

But the same verse also says, "but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

So, our salvation originates from God and depends on God. God's salvation is by promise. God's salvation is by unmerited grace. God's salvation is a gift.

We cannot boast in anything we think we have such as our own strength, wisdom, beauty, wealth and supposed "goodness". They all come from God and they are not the basis of our salvation at all. Because all our supposed "goodness" is inherently selfish. Everything is we do is inherently selfish. Even if we give our money away and serve with our time, there's always a nagging sense of our self demanding recompense from others such as their respect and good opinions, and foolishly believing that we deserve fame above others somehow someday if not now (completely forgetting and neglecting the fact that Jesus is to be respected and famous above all created beings. Remember Satan wanted to be more respected and famous than God, and that is idolatry).

Therefore, we need Jesus. We must be found in Jesus who precisely died for our ugly sins that cling to us so closely. That is why we need Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and actually spiritually we died with Jesus on the cross. In the unseen world, we have already died when Jesus died. 

We now live with the Holy Spirit in us to look at Jesus and follow Him by knowing that we are nothing and that Jesus is everything.

If we miss that truth, we miss everything.

If we get that truth, we gain everything because in Jesus we are complete. We are deficient and ugly, and worst sinner just as Paul said (1 Timothy 1:15).

Then we realise, there is a reason why we needed to know the truth that we are nothing and less than nothing, because then, and only then, do we realise "Yes, I get it now. Jesus is really, actually, truly everything."

Romans 11:36
  • For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

We are only truly blessed in Jesus only

Galatians 3:17
  • What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise.

In this chapter of the letter to Galatians, what Paul means is that the promise that was made to Abraham stands until it is fulfilled, even though there came the law 430 years afterwards.

This means that the promise of God is not like the law at all. The promise was made by God and is kept by God alone, whereas the law was given to us so that we would live by them. 

Therefore, the promise of blessings of God came to us through the offspring of Abraham, i.e. Jesus Christ.

We have not worked for the blessings of God, nor can we work for the blessings of God. The blessings of God come to us because of the promise made to Abraham that his offspring will be the bringer of the blessings of God.

God said if the Israelites keep the law, there will be blessings but if the Israelites sin, there will be curses. No generation of the Israelites kept the law consistently, they failed again and again. Even the first generation fell in the wilderness because they sinned. The second generation did not completely obey God and did not conquer the land of Canaan completely. They were led astray and sinned. 

The curses of the law fell upon Israel down the centuries but God still had mercy on them and sent Judges to deliver them. God's patience and longsuffering were manifested in long rebellious years of Israel's history and the curses of God were also poured out upon Israel when the cup of the wrath of God was filled to the brim and overflowed.

However, the blessings of God that was promised to Abraham still stood. Therefore, Israel could be blessed through Jesus. However, only true Israel were blessed, even those who are in Jesus by faith.

None of us deserves the blessings of God. We have all failed to keep the law of God and sinned against Him, and according to the law of Moses, all of us are under the curse and wrath of God. But because of God's promise that those who are in the offspring of Abraham, i.e. Jesus Christ, will be blessed, we are blessed in Jesus. 

The curse of the law was done away on the cross of Jesus, and we are blessed in Jesus. In Jesus alone, we are blessed. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.