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Tropical Leaves

Jesus is Our Freedom

March 15, 2022

Paul said that those who hope in Christ their lives have been predestined according to God’s plan for them for his purpose of his will.
Ephesians 1: 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

So, we can look back at our life and see God’s plan that he had predestine for us to find the hope we now have is Jesus.

Looking back, I grew up in a home that did not know Jesus. We were supposedly Buddhist, but I did not know what that meant because we did not study or practice Buddhism. I first heard the gospel of Jesus when I was 21, when I attended a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting and heard the 4 spiritual laws of God.
This is the 4 spiritual laws.
The 1st law.
1. God loves you and created you to know Him personally. John 3:16 "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life".
And this is eternal life: John 17: 3 "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent".
The 2nd law is Man is sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know Him personally or experience His love. Romans 3: 23 "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".
Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his own stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin. Our sins separate us from God. Romans 6:23, "The wages of sin is death"
This death is spiritual separation from the presence of God. 2 Thessalonians 1:8,9 "...(Those) who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus...will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord..."
The 3rd law is Jesus Christ is God's only provision for man's sin. Through Him alone we can know God personally and experience God's love. Jesus died in our place for our sins. Romans 5: 8 "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us".
Jesus Rose From the Dead. 1 Corinthians 15:3-6 "Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred..." .
Jesus is the Only Way to God. John 14: 6 "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me'".
The 4th law, it is not enough just to know these truths... We must individually receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord; then we can know God personally and experience His love.
These 4 spiritual laws as a disciple of God’s word for 23 years I have come to truly believe they are the gospel truths that will give eternal life to anyone who believes in it by faith.
When I first heard the spiritual laws, I did not understand it or believe in it, because when I went to Campus Crusades, I was not seeking God. I went there because of the deep loneliness that I had. But after attending several meetings I found a strong presence of God’s Spirit in the students there and at one meeting God made himself real in my heart and miraculously my loneliness disappeared making me believe that God was real in my life, and I never wanted him to leave.
At that time, I was someone that Paul described in Acts 17. Someone seeking and reaching out to God but did not know how to find him.
The 4 spiritual laws were shared to me again, but I still could not grasp its meaning because I did not understand what eternal life was because I did not know the true God and Jesus Christ which Jeus said in John 17:3, you needed to know to have eternal life. So, I became a disciple of God’s word and sought to know the true God and Jesus Christ for the Bible.
Learning from God’s plan in my Campus Crusade experience I saw that the gospel was presented in 2 ways in the New Testament. One to the Jews which Peter did in Acts 2. Peter shared Scripture from the Old Testament to reveal Jesus because Jesus said he came only to the lost sheep of Israel. The Jews were God’s chosen people who knew and believed in God and the covenant God had with their father Abraham from the Old Testament. They believed in the written words of his prophets and their prophecies of their Messiah. That is how Peter shared the gospel to Jesus them.
But through God’s grace and faith in Jesus dying for the sins of the world even the Gentiles who believed in Jesus would have eternal life.
Paul was sent by Jesus to be his apostle to the Gentiles, so his gospel would take a different approach then Peter’s gospel to the Jews which we see in Acts 17.
Most children who were raised in a Christian church grew up believing in God like the Jews. Debby as a child and my children grew up in church believing in God of the Bible. I was different, I did not grow up believing in God, I was a Gentile pagan who did not know or believed in the God of the Bible.
I believed in things of the world just like the people in Athen the apostle Paul spoke to in the Acts 17. That is why I could not embrace the 4 spiritual laws because I did not know the true God and Jesus Christ as someone who was a Gentile pagan. It took a long time seeking to find the true God in the Bible and I did find him and now understand and believe in the 4 spiritual laws.
Paul’s Galatian’s letter was written to Gentiles that he converted through his teachings of the gospel that gives freedom from the law because of the hope we have in Jesus. But these Gentile believers were easily swayed to follow a different gospel by Jews who told them they must obey the laws of Moses or they would not have eternal life.
Galatians 1: 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by 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.

Paul received the true gospel personally from Jesus and he battled against the Jews who misused God’s laws to confuse and pervert the Gentile believers to follow a different gospel other than the one they first believed in Christ. Paul knew if they followed this false gospel, it would lead them away from Jesus and to spiritual death.

This Galatians letter and all the other letters written by Paul and the other apostles are the written truth of their Lord Jesus which they wrote through the Holy Spirit. The gospel truth of Christ frees us from the curse which Paul said came from God’s OT laws because no one could fulfill God’s law that would have made someone holy and righteous because our sinful nature. The laws led us to death which is not good news.

As we study Galatians you will see how Paul clarified and justified the freedom we have in Jesus and not in the OT laws which cannot help us come to know our true God and Jesus Christ and provide a way home to our loving God.

We may have come to know God by being raise in a Christian church or come to know of God as a Gentile pagan of this world. But understanding the truth of the gospel is how we each heard it shared from where we were in our belief in God.

Jesus said he came to give us eternal life, so what you have been taught about the gospel is to learn to know the true God and Jesus Christ which would give you the hope of having eternal life.
John 17: 3 "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent".
Our hope in receiving eternal life is to know the true God and Jesus Christ and obey his gospel.
2 Thessalonians 1:8,9 "...(Those) who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus...will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord..."
In hindsight can you see God’s predestine plan he had for you to come to where you are today as someone who is his chosen, his elect, his son and daughter.

Be safe in Jesus,
Ps. Glenn

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