Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Perfection Promised

Galatians 4:9
  • But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

At one time, we did not know God and followed the empty, worth-less idols of our hearts, and we still wage war against the idols that pop up in our hearts daily.

But Paul states we have come to know God. No, actually, rather we have come to be known by God. Of course, God knew us before we came to know Him, but the moment we came to know Jesus, we have come to know God personally, and that is a result of God revealing Himself to us through other people, books or other means through which God revealed Himself in Christ Jesus to us.

Paul's argument is that how can we turn back again to our worth-less self-efforts to curry favour with God, as if God saved us because we behaved well and did lots of good things to please Him. 

No. It would be absurd just like a child believing that unless he/she does lots of good things to please his/her parents, they would abandon/forsake him/her.  Yes, it would be just as absurd as a child who believes his/her sonship/daughtership depends on how much he/she worked for his/her parents.

If parents' love for their child does not depend on their child's performance of good works, how much more would God love us unconditionally. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating for a life of sin doing whatever we want. Because as you know, if a child tries to play on a motorway, what parents would not protect her/him by establishing boundaries, and telling her/him that they can play on the playground freely, but not on a motorway. Are parents being intolerant because they would be restricting their child's freedom of choice, and expression of self-will to play however and wherever that child wants to play? Absolutely not!!

Then, how much more would God who is infinitely wise express His love in giving us guidelines and boundaries in His word to protect us from harm and danger?

Another point is that children grow to become like their parents. It is imperative and inevitable that if we have been truly saved and truly put our faith in Jesus, we would grow to become like our heavenly Father, namely our Lord Jesus, who showed to us who our heavenly Father is. This is God's promise in His word,  

Philippians 1:6
  • For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1:22
  • He has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,

Jude 1:24
  • Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy

So, let us be like a child who thanks their parents for giving birth to them, and thank parents for their love and grace rather than being in fear and putting confidence on one's own self-efforts and works to keep their sonship/daughtership valid, which would be ludicrous. 

Let us thank God in whom we have been born again and let us follow Him just as a child would follow His parents and become like them (A child takes after their parents even when their parents are imperfect and sinful, how much more we would/should/must take after our heavenly Father who is perfect in grace, mercy and love.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Enslaved To Selfish Ambitions or God

Galatians 4:8
  • Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.

There was a point in our lives when we did not know God. Before Galatians came to know God, they believed there were many gods and served them as if they were real.

Galatians wasted money, resources, time and effort for things that did not exist. So why did they do that? Because they believed, as many of us still do, that serving these so-called gods would bring them salvation, wealth, favour of gods and happiness.

In reality, Galatians were enslaved to their own fears, desires and wishes and false gods were objects of their worship.

But now, what about us? Many of us who call ourselves Christians still fall into temptations of money, power and sex, and these temptations are rampant around us through the internet, media and street signs and advertisements.

We think that having stuff or having someone as a lover or friend would bring us salvation of our lives, lasting success and happiness.

Even the religious people have the similar, if not the same, aims and goals when they keep the rules, the law of Moses or the commands of Jesus. They believe by keeping these rules and commands of God, they could get God to do whatever they want and desire, namely, salvation, favour of God and success.

I'm not saying that these things are wrong, but what difference is there in worshipping God in this way from worshipping idols?

We have the same selfish ambition and motives in trying to please God so that we would get what we want. I am as convicted in this matter as anyone in this world.

I have the same selfish motives and desires, even when I ask God to make me more like Jesus in being faithful to God, and loving my neighbours as myself.

The truth is that none of us can become like God, because we are not gods. But we can become like God when God comes to reside in us.

We are mere mortals and dust of the earth, but when the Spirit of God comes to live in us, we receive immortality, even the eternal life that God promised us.

We are no longer enslaved to fake gods of this world and even our selfish ambitions and desires, when we realise and become convinced that Jesus saved me, the foremost sinner of all sinners, and that it is only by His grace that I get to know Him truly and live out the true life in God through Jesus. Amen.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Like Little Chidlren

Galatians 4:7
  • So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

We were once enslaved to the things of the world. We lived according to man-made rules and precepts rather than a father-son relationship we have with our God.

Each one of us is a child of God if the Spirit of God is in us. We no longer live according to our works to please God so that we would be accepted by Him. But rather, because He already accepted us on the basis of our faith in Jesus, we get to do works for Him as a child of God.

If we are indeed sons or daughters of our Father God, then we are truly heirs through God. We are heirs of everything that God prepared for us.

The eternal life, heaven, salvation, holiness, and rewards that God prepared for us are all ours since we are the children of God whom God adopted through our Lord and Saviour Jesus.

As we live this life, we still tend to follow the rules of this world to please God, rather than enjoying the finished work of Jesus on the cross for us as the basis for our acceptance and motivation to do good works that please God.

It is essential that we become like little children, and rely on God our Father for everything we are and do.

Matthew 18:3
  • “Truly, I say to you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

We are recipients of God's grace and all that we are and do are results of His grace that is poured out to little children who rely on their Dad.

Little children do not worry about performing lots of good works so that they would be accepted by their Dad. No, rather little children are already accepted by their Dad because of their relationship with Him, and they joyfully grow and do lots of good works because they take after their Dad who has already done lots of good works for us and still do through us, His little children.