Sunday, July 03, 2016

LIVE IN THE KINGDOM GUIDED BY THE SPIRIT: SCS 90

 (Garden Creek Baptist Church (est 1897) continues to hold services seasonally
it is located in Stone Mountain State Park, North Carolina)

Sunday, July 3, 2016, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 90

PRAYER for Today:
Heavenly Father,
We know we are all broken and in need of your grace. Only You are able to heal the hearts and souls of all of us who are full of sin and bring light to the darkness in our lives. Help us Father to accept your freely given gift of grace that we might be reconciled to You. It is in Your Resurrected Living Son’s name we pray.
Amen.

SCRIPTURE LESSON for Today:  

Galatians 5 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

5 1 For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

The Nature of Christian Freedom

2 Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. 4 You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love.
7 You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? 8 Such persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. 10 I am confident about you in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty. 11 But my friends, why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

The Works of the Flesh

16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The Fruit of the Spirit

22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.


SERMON for Today:

Tomorrow we celebrate the freedom of our nation.  We may not be as patriotic as we once were, but the idea of freedom still is talked about as something everyone should have.  Most people around the world are not free.  Wars, drought, poverty economic injustice, racism and disease have most of the population of the world bound in their chains.  Freedom is simply a word we speak, but I am not sure we know how anyone is suppose to achieve it in this world in which almost no one controls their own destiny.

Our Scripture lesson talks about a different kind of freedom.  A freedom found in Jesus Christ.  What is the writer speaking of?  There is freedom in living the life Jesus said was the way.  “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  If you do that then all the things that have you in chains no longer matter and you become free.

“the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.

Living in the Spirit frees the soul and a person finds the freedom we all seem to desire.  One is no longer driven by greed, but rather by the overwhelming desire to become a servant to others.  In that service you will find the same freedom Jesus found.  It is not the easiest path, but it is the most profound and peaceful path.

“24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.”
 
Declare your freedom today and join those who live in the Kingdom here on earth guided by the Spirit.

God Bless and May God Walk Beside You Each Step You Take This Week. Amen

© Ed Cooper, July 3, 2016, Stoney Creek, Tennessee, Appalachia  
  All rights reserved
(Ed Cooper is an ordained minister and mental health advocate. He lives with his wife Patty in the mountains of East Tennessee.)

No comments:

Post a Comment