The Shark Still Looks FAKE

Daily Reading: (Galatians 1:6-10)
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
bible study, online church SLXLM

In the church of Galatia-there had been false teachers preaching a false message/Gospel (Galatians 1:6).
False teachers were trying to implement the law in place of grace and this is evident in 3 ways:
#1 (Verse 6) Deserting/(metatithēmi)-  to transpose (two things, one of which is put in place of the other) or desert from one person or thing. A group of Judaizers—those who sought to make living under the Mosaic Law a requirement of the Christian faith—had gained an influence in the Galatian churches. We actually learn about this from Acts 15:1–30).
#2 Different gospel/(euaggelion)- the glad tidings of salvation through Christ, the proclamation of the grace of God manifest and pledged in Christ (Galatians 1:6-7).
#3 Pervert/(metastrephō)- turn around. A perverted gospel is a turned-around gospel. It is a gospel which turns the focus away from Jesus onto something else. If the gospel of grace reveals Christ alone, then a perverted gospel is Christ plus something.
The Genuine Gospel:
To preach the gospel of grace is to preach the exceeding riches of God’s unmerited favor revealed to us through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:7).
So, Paul says, “Cursed — be those who lead people away from the curse-removing gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:9).
Two things are at stake when the gospel is perverted: one is the glory of Christ; the other is the salvation of sinners. If the gospel is turned around, the all-sufficiency of Christ’s work is dishonored, and the way to salvation for sinners is blocked.

Forgiveness of Sin

Daily Reading: (1 John 1:7,9 2:12) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
Sadly, today when many Christians read 1 John 1:9 they incorrectly believe that forgiveness is conditional, based on what we must do in order to receive it. (“If we confess” then forgiveness will come).
According to 1 John 2:12, our sins have been forgiven because of one thing; on account of Jesus. What purifies us from our sin is not our confession but His blood that was shed on the cross for our sins (1 John 1:7).
In 1 John 1:9 the word confess (homologeō)- in the Greek means agreeing with (what God has said). When you go back to 1 John 1:9 armed with the correct definition of the word confess; everything else makes sense. When we agree with what God says (that your sins have been forgiven on account of his name—[1 John 2:12] He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. The condition for forgiveness is Jesus.
God has already forgiven us of our sins us when Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross. There is no more forgiveness that remains to be given for believers (Ephesians 4:30-32). Since this is true, confession of sins is not a requirement to receiving forgiveness, however, confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in your heart that God raised him from the dead (is)… you will be saved (Romans 10:9).

 

Bare Necessities

 

Daily Reading: (Philippians 4:10-20)
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Philippians 4 reminds me of a classic scene in the movie Jungle Book where Balou the Bear sings about the “bare/bear necessities” of life. If Balou ever matured beyond simply the bare necessities of life- (faith in Jesus Christ) who is our life (Colossians 3:4) -he might spent some time singing about what is essential for us to thrive on earth right now? The song would be called “living in the New Covenant by Faith”.

We can learn from David who lived by faith in the promise of the covenant in which he lived. The Davidic Covenant is unconditional because God does not place any conditions of obedience upon its fulfillment. The surety of the promises made rests solely on God’s faithfulness and does not depend at all on David or Israel’s obedience.

When David heard the same mockings of Goliath that the rest of the Israelites heard he responded in an entirely different way than the rest of the Israelite army. The difference between the response of David and the rest of the army was faith in God’s promise that caused David to act on his belief. Because of what Jesus has done on the cross, we have victory over every giant.

Paul just like David, lived by faith in the Covenant he lived. Paul learned during his missionary endeavors that you don’t need as much as you think you do (Philippians 4:11).

Because I have Jesus in my life, who is my life, I lack nothing. Do I see my needs through my supply or am I missing my supply because all I see are my needs? (Philippians 4:12). Our responsibility as we live our lives in the New Covenant is to exercise faith in Christ.

God invites us over to see our needs from the supply side and then recognize God’s provisions are ongoing (Philippians 4:19).

The strength of God (verse thirteen) and His supply (verse nineteen) often are revealed through our greatest struggles. Isn’t that the story of a scrawny small shepherd boy versus a massive 9 ft 6 inch giant or Paul’s autobiography?

It’s a Small World

Daily Reading: (Read all of Philemon)
The entire theme of Philemon can be summed up as follows: Through the shared affliction of Paul and Timothy- God would bring about the healing relationship of (Philemon and Onesimus) and form a new partnership.
“Formerly he was useless to you,” (Philemon 1:11). There was 3 ways a slave in Roman times received their name? 1) the region they came from Britanicus is from Britania. 2) Slaves could also be named in the possessive form of their owner. Example: Caesaris belongs to Caesar or 3) Slaves might also be given a name to describe them or the work that they do. Example: Felix (“the lucky one”) In this case – Onesimus is named for what he does. Onesimus = “profitable or useful”. According to verse eleven, he wasn’t living up to his name.
“But now he has become useful”. (euchrēstos)- easy to make use of, useful. It is the same root word as eucharist- communion of the Lord’s Supper. Through receiving Christ, Onesimus has become what God intended, “useful” not as a slave but as a son in the kingdom.
When we look back at things that seemed to be negative, detrimental or didn’t make sense, may we look back by inserting a perhaps (Philemon 1:15).
Paul’s desire is for Philemon to treat Onesimus as he truly is, your blood brother (Philemon 1:16).
Onesimus ran from his situation in search of freedom. He found that his true freedom wouldn’t be found in running from his past, but in a God-ordained moment in his present, a prison encounter with Paul and Timothy. As Onesimus received the love of God through Jesus, he found freedom from the slavery of sin, adoption into the family of God, and brotherhood with his former slave owner.
What brotherly Christian love looks like in action
Paul gave freely to Philemon, he expects Philemon to give freely to Onesimus, but even if he is not at that point in His spiritual life where Christ has been able to cultivate the fruit of generosity through him, Paul is willing to pay whatever debt Onesimus owes (Philemon 1:18-19).