Our ministers have been teaching a series on the book of Galatians. What a fascinating little book. Do we live under the law, grace, or a bit of both? I am certainly no Biblical expert but it appears clear that Paul leads us to grace.
Years ago I took a class in college on Introduction to the New Testament. It was enlightening to study how the New Testament was put together. You could take a cynical view and say this was put together by men and so it is flawed. Another view point might be God breathed spirit into these words knowing we would need them not just then but centuries later and they would be as relevant as the day they were written.
The retired minister who taught the class had a couple of sayings he said frequently. He spoke of how the church used fear and control to keep the congregation in line. He would follow that by saying, "Is that New Testament living?" He also said the reason the church used fear and guilt was that it works. But does it really?
I understood the minister's logic about the church using fear and control. Grace unrestrained would allow people the freedom to live any lifestyle.
As I have sought more the path God would have me on it seems simple enough that if I sincerely ask him to take up more residence in my heart I won't need a list of what to do or not do. Galatians 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. It says the Spirit, not what society thinks.
I have witnessed people working as ministers pat people on the back and say, "That was for back then." My question is if this is so when did the scriptures become irrelevant? Was it the tenth century, the twentieth, this century? What time was it where God said the scriptures no longer apply?
I find it hard to believe anyone who is seeking intimacy with the Father can read scriptures with an open heart and discount it as something written long ago. It lives and it literally breathes.
Even during the days where I shunned God and wanted nothing to do with him I always took comfort in a simple scripture. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. We don't get to change him or mold him to what we need him to be. We don't get to fit him into what society accepts. It does not work that way and believe me I have tried. He waited for me to turn back and he welcomed me with open arms. Not with judgment or condemnation but love and yes grace. Abounding and unlimited grace....