September 8th – Nothing Added!

“You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course?
That is how Eugene H. Peterson translates a verse from Galatians Chapter 5, where he tells the Galatians that starting well is not good enough. ‘It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.’ as the song puts it: and that’s true of the Olympic race track, and the Christian faith, and pretty well everything else.
Paul’s converts in Galatia had begun their Christian race like champions, blazingly alive in their new found relationship of faith in Jesus Christ. Then came some Jewish traditionalists, teaching that faith in Jesus was not enough. They also taught that Christians had to become Orthodox Jews first in order to get the full benefit from Jesus the Messiah: and Paul was furious. “You crazy Galatians” he calls them, “Are you on drugs? The Christian faith is NOT Jesus Christ plus anything. It’s faith in Jesus Christ alone.” The total sufficiency of Jesus is the gospel.That’s what Paul’s letter to the Galatians is all about, and it’s mighty powerful stuff.
It is the religious human beings who are always trying to relegate living faith into codes of human conduct, which can be managed and legalistically enforced. Paul is passionate and says for all time The Christian faith is not Jesus PLUS anything else. You know the kind of things we add on, such as to be a Christian you must believe in Jesus and keep the Jewish traditions – or you must believe in Jesus and accept the rules of our church as infallible – or believe in Jesus and cut yourself off from all modern means of communication -or believe in Jesus and don’t eat meat – or believe in Jesus and don’t get your hands dirty doing dirty worldly work, like politics or entertainment.
Stop! The Christian faith is personal faith: total trust in Christ. He alone is able to deliver us from the plague of sin and it’s resulting death. Jesus alone, without all our added extra ingredients. Peter also put this in a nutshell in Acts 4:12., when he stood before the very council which had condemned Jesus to death. He trumpeted now to the most religious men on earth:
Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
A Prayer :
Since you, Lord Jesus, have set us free, deliver us from all hankering after the chains and prison cells which once bound us, and in which we had made ourselves at home.
Today, praise God for that freedom with which Christ has set you free.
Now read Galatians Chapter 5.

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Thought 4 The Day

Let us beware of being wiser than God. What he has written He has written not for our opinion but for our obedience. (Anon)

Through the year calendar

August 2016
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Click on any previous date in the above calendar to read the relevant Through The Year post
Believe it or Not
Sometimes you just can't believe it's true!
A Word in Time
Life has a funny way of connecting us all!
Cooke's Tour of The Bible
Frank Cooke's journey through the Old and New Testaments
Take 2
Some useful life lessons
Mind Stretchers
An open mind is a healthy mind!
Bible Bloopers
Even the Bible has its funnies!