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Thursday, December 15, 2011

More on Galatians: Labor in birth again....

Chapter 48 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.
12 Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all. 13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 What] then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?
17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. 18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.
Two Covenants
21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the[d] two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written:

      “ Rejoice, O barren,
      You who do not bear!
      Break forth and shout,
      You who are not in labor!
      For the desolate has many more children
      Than she who has a husband.”[Isaia 54:1}

28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”[f] 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

It appears that Paul is rebuking the young Galatian believers in Christ; He went so far as to say that he must labor again for them, because they turned back from following Christ, until Christ is formed in them.  He reminds them of the differences between being in bondage and being free through a promise. As well as they were meant to be free.  Paul also reminds us that the ones who were born according to the flesh will persecute the ones born of the Spirit. 

LORD, how can it be that they followed you and turned away only to be called back again? Isn't that what we consider backslidding.  So, it is possible and this is one example. The more I think on it the more I think the ones grounded in a relationship with You (Christ) will less likely fall, but we must all work out our salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13)   No one else can do it for us.

Thank you that Your mercies are knew every morning and that you are faithful to the faithless

 2 Timothy 2:11-13
11 This is a faithful saying:

      For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
       12 If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
      If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
       13 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
      He cannot deny Himself.

'I will not deny those who call Me Lord and serve Me. I will deny those who call Me Lord and (yet) go their own way.'  They aren't truly calling You 'Lord' of their life, but rather the hypocrite....the one who appears holy on the outside and yet is still impure on the inside.  They might even cast out demons in the name of Jesus, but they don't KNOW You intimately or personally.

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