Two weeks ago we were reminded that there is tension inherent in living out a faithful life. We should not be afraid of tension or disagreement that might happen in a community of faith, because it is natural and innate in the life of a faith community. It is the very life of faith that is both spiritual and human, a tension that we all experience; so to have tension within a faith community is not something of which we should be afraid. (I also want to be clear that I’m not insinuating there is tension or disagreement in our church, rather, this is a lesson we can learn from the early church about what it means to be the church together.)
Last week we talked about grace. We reminded ourselves that there's nothing you can do to earn God's grace, it is a gift. There is absolutely no rule or law, or path in which you can follow in order to earn God's grace, so we need to avoid being bogged down with a legalistic way of approaching God's grace, because it causes us to miss the point.
This week we continue to talk about God's grace and it's presence in the creation of the early church. Galatians 3 reminds us that God's grace is not just for a certain few. God's grace was present in the very beginning, when God promised Abraham and Sarah, and God continues to share that grace without respect of gender, ethnicity, status in society or the like.
As we remember that Jesus sent us out into the world to share God's love and make disciples of all nations, we have much to learn from the early days of the early church. We can learn from their mistakes, from their growing pains, and from their successes. Above all, we come together to learn how we can more faithfully love and serve the God of love who's presence and grace is with us through it all.
Won't you join us on Sunday morning at 10:30am for worship? We look forward to welcoming ALL as God has welcomed ALL to this table of grace and love - you are welcome here!
Galatians, don’t act like fools! Has someone cast a spell over you? Did you miss the crucifixion of Jesus the Anointed that was reenacted right in front of your eyes? Tell me this: Did the Holy Spirit come upon you because you lived according to the law? Or was it because you heard His message of grace through faith? Are you so foolish? Do you think you can perfect something God’s Spirit started with any human effort? Have you suffered so greatly for nothing—if it was indeed for nothing? You have experienced the Spirit He gave you in powerful ways. Miracle after miracle has occurred right before your eyes in this community, so tell me: did all this happen because you have kept certain provisions of God’s law, or was it because you heard the gospel and accepted it by faith?
You remember Abraham. Scripture tells us, “Abraham believed God and trusted in His promises, so God counted it to his favor as righteousness.” Know this: people who trust in God are the true sons and daughters of Abraham. For it was foretold to us in the Scriptures that God would set the Gentile nations right by faith when He told Abraham, “I will bless all nations through you.” So those who have faith in Him are blessed along with Abraham, our faithful ancestor.
Before faith came on the scene, the law did its best to keep us in line, restraining us until the faith that was to come was fully revealed. So then, the law was like a tutor, assigned to train us and point us to the Anointed, so that we will be acquitted of all wrong and made right by faith. But now that true faith has come, we have no need for a tutor. It is your faith in the Anointed Jesus that makes all of you children of God because all of you who have been initiated into the Anointed One through the ceremonial washing of baptism have put Him on. It makes no difference whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a freeman, a man or a woman, because in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, you are all one. Since you belong to Him and are now subject to His power, you are the descendant of Abraham and the heir of God’s glory according to the promise.