Monday, March 07, 2016

From Futility to Liberty

Romans 8:19-23 For the creation is eagerly awaiting the revelation of God's children, (20) because the creation has become subject to futility, though not by anything it did. The one who subjected it did so in the certainty (21) that the creation itself would also be set free from corrupting bondage in order to share the glorious freedom [KJV ~ liberty] of God's children. (22) For we know that all the rest of creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time. (23) However, not only the creation, but we who have the first fruits of the Spirit also groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

We have been subjected to futility (corruption, vanity, inutility, even emptiness) for God’s purposes: that He would and has sent His Son to redeem us from vanity to fullness of life, even abundance of life. And even more!
Ephesians 3:8-12 To me, the very least of all the saints [Paul the apostle], this grace was given so that I might proclaim to the gentiles the immeasurable wealth of the Messiah (9) and help everyone* see how this secret that has been at work was hidden for ages by God, who created all things. (10) He did this so that now, through the church, the wisdom of God in all its variety might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realm (11) in keeping with the eternal purpose that God carried out through the Messiah Jesus our Lord, (12) in whom we have boldness and confident access through his faithfulness.
*everyone: this may mean all sentient life, all the angels good and fallen, and all humankind.
Bob Mumford in his book Human As God Intended lists fives “arches” from which we must be set free. Why? Because they are corrupted. Our freedom is in the Messiah only, as individuals and very importantly as the BODY of the Messiah, the church, His Bride and wife to be! In order to bring God’s freedom in the Messiah to those bound to corruption we must be free of it! The five arches Mumford notes are:
1. Natural Family
2. Culture/Tradition
3. Economics?Money
4. Politics/Tribal Loyalty
5. Religion/Cultic Loyalty
I have noticed something lately on talk radio. Talk radio is very “conservative for the most part. Until the recent election cycle began mention of our Judeo/Christian heritage was made with some frequency. Now that we are smack in the middle of the campaigns for nominations there seems an absence of reference to our Judeo/Christian heritage. We seem to be focused entirely on persons and personalities. Not even policy comes to the fore, let alone our Judeo/Christian heritage or Jesus or the Bible or the church. As one Christian commentator pointed out, “evangelical” has become more a political appellation than a biblical term. Politics and Tribal (party and personal) Loyalty have pushed our Judeo/Christian heritage backstage. We as Christians need to bring not only our HERITAGE on stage, but our Heir as well. Note not only our position in the Messiah (the Christ) in verse 17 below, but that these verses (Romans 8:14-19) precede those which open this article (Romans 8:19-23).
Romans 8:14-19 For all who are led by God's Spirit are God's children. (15) For you have not received a spirit of slavery that leads you into fear again. Instead, you have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba! Father!" (16) The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. (17) Now if we are children, we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with the Messiah—if, in fact, we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (18) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us. (19) For the creation is eagerly awaiting the revelation of God's children,
There is a great need to abandon the five arches as options for life. This will put us in apparent opposition to those who cling and “thrive” to them for what they perceive as life. Nothing in and of the five arches is something you can take with you! Death which is universal will separate you forever from this world and the things of this world. The five arches are the world, and their goals and attainments are the grist and reward of the world. You cannot take them beyond the grave.
Mumford points out that we in Christ by bringing persons to Christ are His instruments through which He is setting creation free. He notes that we will be unable to do this if we ourselves are in bondage to the world (the arches). We are hindered by them as they are corrupt, they are stained by sin and in this day they are VERY stained.
2Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, (4) traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; (5) holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof: from these also turn away.
These are SERIOUS defects. The church in our day must seek God’s entire counsel which includes two realities that the natural man murmurs against: OBEDIENCE and HOLINESS. How we love grace, favor and mercy. Some today love justice too, not understanding that God calls us to BE just, not to GET justice. Jesus has through faith by His grace saved us into love unto obedience resulting in holiness. Holiness or sanctification is what separates us from corruption, and from the worlds corruptions. Those corruptions are the idolatries of their day. We are to flee idols.
1John 2:15-17 Stop loving the world and the things that are in the world. If anyone persists in loving the world, the Father's love is not in him. (16) For everything that is in the world—the desire for fleshly gratification, the desire for possessions, and worldly arrogance—is not from the Father but is from the world. (17) And the world and its desires are fading away, but the person who does God's will remains forever.
I overheard a very cogent remark made aside by lady one Sunday: “but do we even know what the things of the world are…”
Do we? We do NOT want to become legalistic religious prudes, but somethings just need to be placed out of bounds. I think that should include most of televisions late night talk shows and not a few of the daytime talk shows. A strong case can be made that 90% of all television be out of bounds. I believe that Romans Ch. 14 should guide us in much of our material intake; those who can watch (eat) must make peace with those who cannot, those who cannot watch must find peace with those who can.
Romans 14:22-23 As for the faith you do have, have it as your own conviction before God. How blessed is the person who has no reason to condemn himself because of what he approves! But the person who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not act in faith; and anything that is not done in faith is sin.
Nevertheless they Apostle writes: “LOVE NOT the world or the things of the world.” THEREFORE it is incumbent on we who confess to know the Messiah to identify those things and refrain from their use. And I am at the point of wondering at the wisdom(?) of Anabaptist doctrine which abandons all involvement with the civil governance of the world. The current carnality and “reality show” overtones dominating the political campaigns make interest in them unpleasant in what they expose to ones conscience.
Revival is what many are longing for. The word revival implies that something has died or is near death (see Revelation 3:1-6) Those who study past revivals note that prayer and repentance are the keys to revival. Why? Because those who would be revived will be ones set free from corruption into the liberty of the gospel! Is the church dying? Is it dead? If so is it not the wages of sin that produce death? And is sin not the partaking of the world and its sinful things? Is the church now deep in the idolatrous worship of the Natural Family, Culture with Tradition, Economics and Money, Politics and Tribal Loyalties, and Religion and Cultic Loyalty?
Simply to believe the Messiah Jesus, His our Father and the Holy Spirit is to connect to the power of God which translates us : from the realm of satanic domain and darkness in which the world EXISTS into the Kingdom of God in the Messiah and the liberty of the gospel!
We need to believe there is a difference, and it is a profound difference between these: the Kingdom of God and the domain of the adversary. The evidence of this difference? It is the love of God shed abroad into our hearts. We must receive God’s love and then love God and the things of God. And if you ask me, the first things of God we must love are our fellow Christians, our neighbors and our enemies! We must love them as the Messiah loves them and loves us, not in that order, but just as we meet them in our daily life in but not of this world.

Romans 8:22-25 International Standard Version (ISV)
22 For we know that all the rest of creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time. 23 However, not only the creation, but we who have the first fruits of the Spirit also groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For we were saved with this hope in mind. Now a hope that can be observed is not really hope, for who hopes for what can be seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet observe, we eagerly wait for it with patience.

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