Thursday, March 29, 2012

It Really Is A Joy To Be Alive And Free

Sometimes we get so involved in the living of our day that we forget to put it in the context of our life. Today may seem horrible and so we think we have a horrible life, but that is only how we feel for this moment. Last week we felt much different as the sun was shining, the birds were singing and everything was great for us. The same with 2 years ago and so on. We have had great days in the past and we will have great days in the future. This moment is just a brief thing that will pass because we have a great life. This is putting things in the context of our life.

We need to do this with God as well. Sometimes we get so caught up in our present-day struggle that we forget to put it in the context of his great plan. We have to remember that he created man to have a relationship with him. Man rebelled against him. God had a plan to bring man back into fellowship. He chose Abraham to be the beginning of a nation of priests through whom he would reveal his glory to the world. When this people had become a nation he gave them a law so that they would see how miserable we really are and gave them a system of sacrifices as a temporary way of administering his grace. But his plan was to raise up one priest who would become the one great sacrifice to cover man's sin so that God's grace would be available freely for those who wanted it. He sent Jesus to be that priest and revealed his great plan of redemption through him. Now today, anyone who believes is immediately covered by that one sacrifice and God adopts them as his children. It's a wonderful plan that should explain to us why the law was given and why it no longer applies to those who are covered by the grace of Jesus Christ:

Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. (Galatians 3:19)

Take note that it says "until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come". That seed is Jesus Christ. The Law was given because of man's sin. God needed a way to reveal sin to man so he would understand his condition. He gave them a temporary system of sacrifices to cover them as they realized their condition, because he knew that man could not live this law. When Jesus came, he fulfilled the law and replaced the system of sacrifices with his one sacrifice on the Cross. No sacrifice can save us but the one Jesus Christ did for us. Does that mean the law is now sinful? Not at all:

Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. (vv. 21-22)

If any law could have saved us it would have been this law but we are too imperfect for this law; sin is too powerful in us. The only thing that can break our marriage to sin is the most ultimate, powerful sacrifice of Jesus. The power of what was done on the cross cannot even be fully understood this side of eternity, but we can see the effects of it.

Those who turn to Jesus are changed forever. The power of sin over them is broken. For the first time in their lives they have the ability to breathe, move about, make decisions and to respond to God. That is the freedom we have been given back through Jesus Christ. He breaks all sin that keeps us in bondage; violence, drunkenness, drugs, sex, pornography, thievery, lying, selfishness, and the list goes on. All these things we were enslaved to and they have kept us from God. The law showed us how far we had fallen short of God's glory, that we are not worthy to look on his face. But Jesus changed all of that so that we are washed clean, freed from those chains and now have the ability to look on God's face any time we want. We are his people, redeemed from our filth and adopted as his children.

This is the context in which we need to live our lives. This is the context that tells us our days are no longer miserable but are opportunities of God's grace. Each day is destined to be a day of victory. Each day is a day of revealing more of God's grace and love. Each day is a day closer to eternity. Each day is the potential of declaring more of God's glory to the world. This is our life and it is wonderful to live it in Jesus.

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