For Freedom!

Feb 8, 2013
Akron, Ohio
Thursday, October 09, 2014, 6:45 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put in mind this song:

Saved by the Blood / S. J. Henderson and Daniel B. Towner

Saved by the blood of the Crucified One!
Now ransomed from sin and a new work begun,
Sing praise to the Father and praise to the Son,
Saved by the blood of the Crucified One!

Glory, I'm saved! Glory, I'm saved!
My sins are all pardoned, my guilt is all gone!
Glory, I'm saved! Glory, I'm saved!
I am saved by the blood of the Crucified One!

Amen! Hallelujah! Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Galatians 5 (NIV84).

Stand Firm!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. ~ Gal. 5:1-6​

In the culture in which I live today, and in the church here in America, unless one has come from Jewish upbringing, the problem that the church of Paul’s day faced is probably not applicable to us, at least not with specific regard to circumcision. Yet, there is a Biblical principle present here which can be applied to our lives. What this situation is symbolic of in our lives is the problem of dependency on the flesh in order to have or to gain a right standing with God, or else it is a crisis of reliance on the flesh in place of dependency on God, thinking we already have a right standing with God by faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ died on the cross, taking upon himself the sins of the entire world, so that he could free us from the curse of sin, but also from our enslavement to sin and from our own sinful flesh (See Ro. 6-8). When we rely upon our own fleshly works to gain approval from God, or when we rely upon our own fleshly works in place of dependence on God, and on the working of his Spirit within us, then we have permitted ourselves to be burdened again to the yoke of slavery.

So, this is a reminder to us that Jesus died to set us free from sin and flesh, so we should no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave himself up for us (2 Co. 5:15). And, we should no longer think we can earn our own salvation by good works of the flesh, because we are only saved by God’s grace through faith. As well, we must realize that we cannot walk in the flesh and walk in the Spirit at the same time, because the two don’t mix! So, the encouragement here is for us to stand firm on the truths of God’s word so that we are not led astray back to reliance upon our own human flesh, thinking we are still pleasing to God.

A Little Yeast

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. 11 Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! ~ Gal. 5:7-12​

When we are running a good race, it means we have entered into relationship with God via faith in Jesus Christ. We have been forgiven and set free from slavery to sin. Now transformed of the Spirit of God, we are walking in Christ’s holiness in the power of the Spirit within us. We are in daily fellowship with our Lord through prayer, through the study of his Word, through listening to his Spirit speak to our hearts, and through walking in obedience to the Word of truth in surrender of our wills to the will of God for us.

So, if we allow others to cut in on us and to keep us from obeying the truth, that means we have listened to other voices in place of the voice of God, we have believed these other influences, and we have decided to go with them instead of to go with God. So, we must learn to recognize the Voice of Truth as well as to distinguish the voice of Satan from the voice of God, and to discern lies from truth. The only way this is going to happen is if we test everything we hear against the Word of God, and we make it top priority in our lives to walk in daily fellowship with our Lord, listening to him speak, and then obey what he says.

In a thesaurus, other words for “yeast” are: ferment, mold (fungus; decay) and mildew (rot; rust). Those are not good words. Fungus is parasitic and lives off of others or on dead and decaying things. Biblically this is used to mean “the spreading of influence of what is typically concealed (but still very dramatic). Leaven (yeast) is generally a symbol of the spreading nature of evil” (Source:

So, we must stop the spreading of evil within our lives and within the church by refusing to yield to other voices which are working against the voice of God in our lives.

Called To Be Free!

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. ~ Gal. 5:13-18​

There are many folks today in the institutional church who equate freedom in Christ to freedom to live how they want without guilt and without punishment. They see God’s grace as a free license to continue in willful sin, claiming that God’s grace covers it all. And, yet God’s grace is NOT a free license to continue in sin! No! God’s grace teaches us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled and upright lives in this present age while we wait for Christ’s return (See: Tit. 2:11-14; cf. Ro. 6-8; 1 Jn. 1-5).

Instead, we are to serve one another in love. “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (v. 6). If we truly love God, and we love our neighbors as ourselves, then we will no longer live to please ourselves, and we will no longer walk in sin, but we will live to please God, and we will do what is loving toward others, but not by human standards of love, but by God’s definition of what love is. To truly love God means to obey him, to walk in his love, to do what his word says, to love others, and to not live in sin or walk in the ways of this world (See: 1 Jn. 1-5). To love others means to give of ourselves to their legitimate needs and to do what is truly best for them in the eyes of God, not in the eyes of human beings. It is not loving to lie to people just to make them feel good. It is also not loving to withhold the truth from them which is necessary for them to know so that they can be saved and so they can also walk in daily fellowship with their Lord Jesus Christ.

Keep In Step

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. ~ Gal. 5:19-26​

So many professing Christians within the institutional church today have bought into a lie which tells them that if they just “believe” in Jesus that their sins are forgiven, they are bound for heaven, and nothing can take that away. And yet, “believe” is not really explained to them. The way it is presented sounds like all we have to do is to have some intellectual assent to the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, and he died to save us from our sins, and that by faith we can have this forgiveness of sins and this hope of heaven. And yet, belief in Jesus Christ is more than just an intellectual acceptance of those facts, and it is so much more than just an emotional decision at an altar.

Believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives means we leave our old lives of sin behind us, we are transformed (via metamorphosis) from darkness (sin) to light (truth and obedience), and we now walk in the Spirit, in truth, and in the holiness of God within us (See: Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6-8; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:17-24 & 1 Jn. 1-5). All this is the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we cooperate fully with that work.

So, what this means for us is that if we believe we can continue in living for sin and self, we need to think again. If we live for sin and self, like what is described in this section of scripture, then we WILL NOT inherit the kingdom of God! This is taught by Jesus and by the apostles, and this teaching is all throughout the New Testament. How we live our lives, whether for self and in our own flesh, or whether in the power and working of the Spirit within us, demonstrates whether or not we have been genuinely saved.

Although none of us will live perfectly while we are still in these flesh bodies, this should NEVER be an excuse for continued and willful sin. We should daily put off the misdeeds of the flesh and put on Christ and yield to the Spirit. And, we should walk in truth and in holiness, and we should submit to the Spirit within us in allowing his fruit to be what rules our lives, what guides our decisions, and what motivates our hearts toward loving God and loving others. Since, as true followers of Jesus Christ, we live by the Spirit, and not by the flesh, we should move in rhythm (in conformity) with the Holy Spirit who is within us.

Remain in Him / An Original Work / September 23, 2011
Based off of John 15:1-17

Walk in fellowship with Jesus, Savior and friend.
He’s invited you to be His servant again.
Obey all His commands, and do all that He says.
Sit at His feet each day. Worship Him for always.
Call Him master and King. Obey Him in all things.
Turn from all of your sins. Live in vict’ry again.
He’ll restore you today, if you call Him and pray;
Forsake all of your ways; take up your cross today;
Follow Him for always.

Follow Jesus your friend where He leads you today.
Abide always in Him. Let His words dwell within.
If you remain in Him, bearing fruit from within,
God will answer your prayers, because for you He cares.
Be His followers now. Remain in Jesus’ love.
You will know peace within; comes from heaven above.
Love your neighbors and friends, and your enemies, too.
God will call you His friend. He will ne’er forsake you.
He has appointed you.