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Showing posts from September, 2016

For Freedom Christ has set us free

Galatians 5.1-15 ​ The gospel, good news, is liberating
Religion tells us that we need to prove ourselves to God. We need to make ourselves acceptable to him. And we do that by following certain rules, laws. If we keep them then we are OK.
But the gospel is very different.
It sets us free from the need to prove ourselves to God. It sets us free from trying to make ourselves acceptable to him.
And that is great news, because we could never prove ourselves to God, and we could never make ourselves acceptable to him.
Alongside the good that we see in each of us, there is also deep corruption, deep rottenness in each one of us. And we find that we are trapped.
Thomas Costain tells the story of a 14th-century duke in what is now Belgium known as Raynald III. Raynald was grossly overweight, and was commonly called by his Latin nickname, Crassus, which means fat. After a violent quarrel, Raynald's younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him. Edward captured Raynald, but did not kil…

Why should I love Jesus more than the members of my family?

Luke 14.25-33

'Whoever comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, and even life itself - cannot be my disciple'. Luke 14.26
That is a hard saying! And I would like us to focus on this verse for a few minutes and to see if we can work out what is going on here.
For most of us, our family is our life. It is our family who give us our name, our values and our identity. Even if we have rebelled against our parents, it is our very act of rebellion against them that has given us our identity: we are not them.   And it is usually our family who we rely on. If everybody else fails us, we turn to them as our last resort. Think of the prodigal son. He had rejected his father and walked out on him, but he makes the decision to go back to his father when everything else had failed.
So it makes sense for Jesus to link our family and our life. Hating your family and hating your life go quite close together.
So what are we to make o…