Posts Tagged 'freedom'

Highlights from Hebrews: The Power of the Blood

Highlights from Hebrews: The Power of the Blood Sermon Audio Here

Hebrews 9:11-14

Do you want to be free from sin’s weight? Do you want to conquer evil? Do you want to win the struggle you fight inside everyday? Do you want to know HOW to do these things? Look at the Cross!

The Blood Has Power Because

It Is Perfect From The Start

  • v11 more perfect= a completed sign; miracle made manifest NOT by humanity

It Is Parity For Both God And Humanity

  • v12 by his own blood; the perfect balance of holy God and frail humanity; cf. Rom. 6:23 wage is paid for work; Jesus work was SINLESS, enabling Him to be our priest AND sacrifice

It Points To God’s Plan

  • v13 blood+ashes=callback to old sacrificial system (num.19); only works symbolically

It Is Potent Enough For ALL

  • v14 Jesus’ sacrifice NOT outwardly symbolic, but inwardly effective! The Blood shall NEVER lose its POWER!
  • That is why Communion isn’t a re-sacrifice of Christ, but a remembrance of what He has already done.

When we sin, we often focus on the sin itself; our inability to get it right. Some of us do this often, and some not so much. But we are ALL lost because of our sin. When we focus on the sin itself, we are trapped by it; but when we focus on the BLOOD that covers our sin, we are reminded that Jesus has perfectly paid our penalty!

Navigating Your Freedom

Shaped By A Savior ~ Navigating Your Freedom Sermon Audio Here

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Consider this story told by Bernard L. Brown, Jr., president of the Kennestone Regional Health Care System in the state of Georgia.

Brown once worked in a hospital where a patient knocked over a cup of water, which spilled on the floor beside the patient’s bed. The patient was afraid he might slip on the water if he got out of the bed, so he asked a nurse’s aide to mop it up. The patient didn’t know it, but the hospital policy said that small spills were the responsibility of the nurse’s aides while large spills were to be mopped up by the hospital’s housekeeping group.

The nurse’s aide decided the spill was a large one and she called the housekeeping department. A housekeeper arrived and declared the spill a small one. An argument followed.

“It’s not my responsibility,” said the nurse’s aide, “because it’s a large puddle.” The housekeeper did not agree. “Well, it’s not mine,” she said, “the puddle is too small.”

The exasperated patient listened for a time, then took a pitcher of water from his night table and poured the whole thing on the floor. “Is that a big enough puddle now for you two to decide?” he asked. It was, and that was the end of the argument.

Bits & Pieces, September 16, 1993, p. 22-24.

Learning to Love with Liberty
Love Trumps Knowledge ~ 1 Cor. 8:1-3

  • v1 love builds
  • v3 God knows who loves, who builds up others

Truth Trumps Idols ~ 1 Cor. 8:4-6

  • v4/5 idols are symbols of allegiance to a lesser lord
  • v6 Only One Actual God (Deut. 6:4)

Concern Trumps Freedom ~ 1 Cor. 8:7-13

  • v7 old mistaken ideas can still have power
  • v9 stumbling block – beat the breast in grief
  • v10 weak – not received benefit of being strengthened
  • v10 rebuilds allegiance to false symbol
  • v12 beat down instead of build up; anti-love
  • v13 skandalon, set up a trap

Use your freedom to build up, not beat down.

More thinking about thinking…

φρονέω,v {fron-eh’-o}
1) to have understanding, be wise   2) to feel, to think   2a) to have an opinion of one’s self, think of one’s self, to be   modest, not let one’s opinion (though just) of himself exceed   the bounds of modesty   2b) to think or judge what one’s opinion is   2c) to be of the same mind i.e. agreed together, cherish the same   views, be harmonious   3) to direct one’s mind to a thing, to seek, to strive for   3a) to seek one’s interest or advantage   3b) to be of one’s party, side with him (in public affairs)

(By the way, I’m still in mourning for the loss of; it was a great online Greek resource… but is no slouch.)

I found this verb in Romans 8:5 this morning. I’m still mulling over what it means to “consider yourself dead to sin”. I thought this verse could be related to the conversation.

It’s quite a wake-up call to realize that when I allow my mind to become focused on the flesh, I become hostile towards God!

I love God. I don’t want to be hostile towards the One I love the most (and who loves me more than I can ever understand). But there it is in black and white… when I allow my mind to stay in the flesh, instead of staying grounded in the Spirit, my attitudes and actions become hostile towards God. I begin to get upset at “having” to follow, rather than rejoicing in the Way that God has laid out for me in the Word (Ps. 119:105, right?).

Another thing that caught my attention: in English, when I read verse 6, I see a verb: “to set the mind”… as if I’m making a conscious choice, a decision to jettison the Spirit and to choose the flesh. So, I went looking for that verb in the Greek… IT’S NOT THERE.

What IS there is a NOUN. Phronema, “as a result of thinking; mind-set, way of thinking, outlook, aim”. Do you see? I’m not making a CHOICE to reject the Spirit… the mind-set of staying in the flesh is a RESULT of when I consider my life to be “fleshly”. In other words, whenever I choose to live according to the flesh (phroneo, at the top of the post), I’m going to develop a mind-set of being in the flesh. One follows the other. And once I’m in the mind-set of the flesh, it’s very difficult to break out of that mind-set.

In fact, the only way I know how to get out of it, is to go back to verse 5b: “but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” When I PONDER the things of the Spirit, I develop a mind-set of the Spirit… which, in turn, reinforces the actions of the Spirit in my life.

Which leads to the question: what are YOU thinking about these days?

Pastor Ed Backell

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