Do you walk through life with your head held lower than is needed? Are you hindered or tangled up by accusations, misunderstandings and/or sin? Have you somehow come to believe that this marred, somewhat hopeless life must be all that God has for you? Deep down – often deeper than you'd like to go – do you feel harassed and helpless?
It might be that you have tried to address your “stuff.” Possibly you’ve acknowledged your need and/or errors to God, and even tried your best to change and walk in a better direction. Yet, somehow, you keep finding yourself back in the mud. The enemy may taunt you with Scripture, saying, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” (Proverbs 26:11)
Often the way out of bondage is simple, but a little scary. We may need to involve others in the process. James encourages us to "confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we may be healed. The...
“It is for freedom that Christ has set you free!” (Galatians 5:1)
The apostle Paul was convinced that Jesus came to set people free from the bondage of religion. Religion – in this sense – refers to the constant concern about doing things rightly, and the guilt that accompanies falling short on a regular basis.
In Romans Paul wrote, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) “Falling short” is the human condition. And, the consequence/wages of that sinful condition is death – death of our souls, and eternal death.
Unaddressed sin dulls our souls and makes our spirits lifeless. However, we must be reminded again and again and again that “the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Religion tempts us to try to justify ourselves by our actions or intentions. Freedom in Christ releases us from self-justification, so we can be honest. We don’t need to dig...
How alive are you?
How abundant is your life experience in God?
The New Testament starts with the book of Matthew, but the first Gospel written was most likely the book of Mark. It reads, “The beginning of the Good News about Jesus …” It then starts with the ministry of the John the Baptist – the one who Isaiah prophesied would prepare people to receive Jesus, the Messiah.
John called everyone to repentance – to turn from their sinfulness – their self-referenced, self-promoting, self-protecting and self-justifying lives. John the Baptist proclaimed a new spiritual season in the Messiah that had two powerful stages:
1. Turn from sin and receive fresh forgiveness from God.
Baptism (emersion) in water would be the sign of this spiritually cleansing reality.
2. Look for and be alert to the Promised One – Jesus, the Son of God.
Baptism (emersion) in the Holy Spirit will be the reality of this new life.
As we consider...