March 31, 2010
Jesus says in Matt. 23:8-10, “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and He is in Heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.”
From verses 1-7, we know that Jesus was referring to “the teachers of the law” (v. 2), those that preach (v. 3), and those who consider themselves to be worthy of being treated with higher honor than others. (v. 6,7) Then in the rest of the chapter, He gives a scathing rebuke to all who have such attitudes.
In view of this, I do sincerely wonder why the Christian culture continues to blatantly disregard this teaching of Jesus’. Why are Bible-proclaimers so adamant against disobeying some of Jesus’ commands, but not others of His commands? The command to call no one Rabbi, (Pastor), Master, Father, or Teacher is very clear. It does not take exceptional intelligence to realize that Jesus is teaching (and commanding) that we are not to give titles to those who are teachers of the law of God. We can certainly say a person teaches, or that he pastors (shepherds) a church group, but those are functional descriptions, not titles to be put in front of someone’s name. To do such a thing is to elevate another when Jesus says in the same command “for… you are all brothers.”
This elevating of men through the use of titles, is contrasted by Jesus when He says, “For you have only [ONLY!] one Master… for you have one Father… for you have one Teacher…”, meaning that if you do this, you are setting men up in what is only for God. –That you are exalting men to a place that belongs only to God, and that you have thus set up an idol in the heart.
Jesus continues in verses 11 & 12 of Matt. 23, “The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” And let’s remember, this is all in the context about those who teach the law of God.
In Luke 9:48 Jesus again says, “For he who is least among you all –he is the greatest.” And He said this as He “took a little child and had him stand beside him.” (v. 47) Why? Because, as verse 46 informs us, “An argument [had] started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.” Proclaimers of God’s Word may not commonly be that obvious now, but this attitude certainly has not gone away –as can be seen by the honor they demand through titles, submission to their beliefs and decisions, and tithes or fees they attached to their “broadcasts of the Word” (whether that be from a pulpit, a website, a book, a CD, or a seminar.)
Yet all this in spite of the fact that Jesus speaks of this again in Matt. 18: 4 saying, “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” And even says, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.” (v. 3) And once again, in 19:14, “…for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these” –referring to little children.
Jesus is not teaching that we who proclaim His Word are to be uninformed or gullible. He is telling us that we must be innocent of evil and humble. That we are not to think we are in authority over others –even if we know the Scriptures better than most. Isa. 11:6 says, “…a little child will lead them.” Lead who? –The strong, the mighty, and those who would, without having Christ (see v. 1) –the Righteous Faithful One belted on (see v. 5 & Eph. 6:13-17)– would otherwise be at enmity with one another. And the child will lead, yes, –but lead in (true, not feigned) humility –and servanthood.
Many pastors and ministers of the Gospel pretend, or even say, that they are serving the community or the flock of Christ. But are they? Well, though the Lord is the only One who sees the heart, we can tell by their fruit. (Matt. 7:20) And one fruit is if the teacher of God’s Word is making himself a humble slave. (Matt. 20:27) For Jesus teaches in this passage (Matt. 20:25-28), “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave –just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
In other words, the leader of the church must be the slave. And that means, he must be willing to do the most menial tasks. BUT… it also means that everyone in the church must be willing to do the most menial tasks –not JUST the leader! Because we live in a different kingdom –one of equality –where “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28) For we are all “competent to instruct one another” (Rom. 15:14) if we have His Holy Spirit in us –teaching us. For the Spirit gives to each person spiritual gifts and insights as He see fit –that every part of the Body of Christ may be of service to every other part. (See 1 Cor. 12)
Yes, we must submit to one another; plus Scripture tells us to submit to the heathen authorities (if it doesn’t break God’s higher laws.) However, if a Christian brother attempts to lord it over other Christians in any way, then he is not acting in line with the Kingdom of God. He is instead trying to exercise authority over Christ’s sheep like “the Gentiles do.” He is operating in the spirit of the world, rather than the Spirit of Christ. Thus, anyone who acts like this is not worthy to be listened to, for he has stepped out of the Righteous Kingdom –out of Truth –and out of the fundamentals of the Way of the Kingdom of Heaven. He has become a blind guide –blinded by his own elevated opinion of himself.
As Jesus praised in Luke 10:21, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things [insights / keys of His Kingdom] from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children…” And why did He do that? Because He says, “I will not yield My glory to another.” (Isa. 48:11) And since scholars often allow their knowledge to puff them up (1 Cor. 8:1), they then begin to accept praise, admiration, and exaltation that should be given to God, and God alone.
Friends, we are no longer under the rod of any human shepherd. As God said, “I am against the shepherds and… will remove them from tending the flock… I will place over them one Shepherd…” (Ezek. 34:10,23) For “the hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.” (John 10:12,13) Indeed, this is the case with many of the leaders in the church. They care nothing for the flock really; all they care about is getting fed by them –fed luxuries, food, money, entertainment, and most of all –honor.
But, as God’s Word commands –again in 1 Peter 5:2,3– a command to every “under-shepherd” who has truly been entrusted to work under Christ in caring for God’s flock: He must be “eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”
And that means perfect examples –of “the Chief Shepherd” (v. 4) –Christ Jesus– who in John 10:11 also called Himself: “The Good Shepherd.” –The one who “lays down His life for the sheep.”
March 30, 2010
It’s surprising and sad that many who say they believe God’s Word, actually seem like they do not. They do not really believe the way of salvation laid out in Scripture, they do not believe in God’s attributes revealed there (especially God’s wrath, for instance), they do not have faith to step into God’s promises, they do not trust God’s ability to daily deliver them from sin, and they do not heed Scripture’s warnings.
One warning –and in spite of the fact that it is an often quoted one– is Gal. 6:7,8: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction…” –contrasted with: “…the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Now, what are things that please the Spirit? Well, we find much instruction in God’s Word. So, step one would be to immerse ourselves in That Word so as to best find out how to please Him. There we then find that our relationship with God is through Jesus and that we must have His Spirit in us by being born from above. We also find that this relationship is like any good and righteous relationship. There must be trust, pure and self-sacrificing love, and communication. And we find this is done through our prayer, thanksgiving, praise, and obedience to Him as Lord and King. In turn, He speaks to our spirit through His Spirit –teaching us by reminding us of words (in The Word) from The Heavenly Father and His Son. Then, through this abiding, we reap eternal life.
Now, what are things that please the sinful nature? Well, we know that it includes everything that is contrary to a holy, just, compassionate, loving, full of mercy, kind, and perfectly righteous God. So when someone has in their heart disdain for others, conceit, pride, slander, insults, lust, greed, foul talk, rage, jealousy, or lack of empathy… who is being pleased? –The Holy Spirit, or the person’s sinful nature? We all know the answer.
But sadly, many who claim to be Christians… even those who preach or proclaim the Gospel… shrug off these sins as light –things “everyone sometimes does”– and not that which God hates and abhors. Carelessly, they think that since God hasn’t reprimanded them yet, He never will. But they forget that word “reap”. When a person sows… and sows… and sows… to please themselves, they become so calloused, that they can no longer discern that they are far from pleasing the Holy Spirit. –Even though they can read, just a few verses up (Gal. 5:22,23) just what the fruit of the Holy Spirit in us is: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
And verse 24 then says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” In other words, if a person has not crucified their sinful nature –those un-Christlike actions, words, and attitudes– then he does not belong to Christ. Thus eternal destruction awaits this person. For “God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” (Eph. 5:6) And this includes those who have not rid themselves of anger, rage, malice, slander, lies, and filthy language. (Col. 3:8) And as verses 9 & 10 continue, “…since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self…”
The new self is Christ. It is He who lives in us (Gal. 2:20) and we are rendered dead (Col. 3:3) –along with all our own desires– including “dissension and jealousy.” (Rom. 13:13) This is why verse 14 says, “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” For that nature is against God and against one’s fellow man. For in the same context, verse 10 says, “Love does no harm to its neighbor.” And verse 9 says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
So, if someone has even one speck of jealousy, or even one speck of disdain toward another (especially another servant of Christ’s), where is that coming from? –The Holy Spirit, or the sinful nature? If someone continues to have outbursts of rage, or continues to indulge in sensual lusts, or continues to gossip or speak condescendingly about another… If someone continues to watch violence or perverted shows that the Lord would never watch…. If someone refrains from a kind word or deed when it is in their power to do so (Gal. 6:10)… If someone speaks harshly, rather than gently…. –None of these come from the Spirit. They come from the sinful nature. And it means that the sinful nature has then not been crucified. And not having a crucified sinful nature, does reap for that person –Hell.
“Do not be deceived…” That is how Gal. 6:7 begins. Why? Because many –many– are deceiving themselves. They proclaim God’s Word and thump their Bibles angrily concerning the immoral, the thieves, the homosexuals, the adulterers, the baby-killers… But they do not see their own sins. — Sins that also are absolutely not tolerated by a Holy, Just God.
For… “God cannot be mocked.”
March 29, 2010
Are we thinking about the cross this week? –What Jesus did there? –The enormous price paid to ransom us from the penalty and power of sin? Oh, how we should love the cross! Yes, it is a wretched instrument of cruelty and death, but it also is the symbol of our glorious deliverance and freedom!
I suppose someone who has had it all, who has never been under the clutches of sin’s unmerciful grip, will not understand the joy of being set free. Indeed, one who has crawled around in a six-inch kiddie pool, cannot fathom the beauty of diving into a clean and deep mountain pool of spring water, or comprehend the exhilaration of surfing a magnificent ocean wave. Both experiences are like that of the feeling of freedom.
But compare that freedom to being slumped in a gutter, craving even more alcohol… or wallowing across the cesspools of the internet, craving even more porn… or laying upon one’s bed, fuming uncontrollably in jealousy or rage, craving retaliation… or sitting in one’s car, staring –all hope gone– at the bridge, craving to end it all… Aren’t such driving compulsions nothing other than enslavement?!
Yet the cross ended this slavery! What Jesus did there, shedding His blood, dying, paying the price of God’s wrath against our sin, then rising the third day to proclaim victory over the evil master, is a freedom offered to all who believe and take the pardon. Which, having done so, we die to sin, the world, the old evil realm, the old evil nature, and the old evil master, and fuse our spirits with His. As Col. 3:3 says, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
So the cross then, is not only that on which Jesus died, but it also is that on which we –if we’ve been “born of the Spirit” (John 3:8)– died. As Gal. 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
That verse means exactly what it says, so don’t listen to those who teach that we carry around the old nature / the old man –along with the new. God’s Word teaches the opposite. One place is in Rom. 6:6 –“For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin –because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” This is true for anyone who has truly been born again into the Heavenly Family –because “all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death.” (v. 3) “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that… we too may live a new life.” (v. 4)
Another example is 2 Cor. 5:14-17 which says, “…we are convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him… Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” And gone means “G O N E” ! However, this is only the case for all who are “in Christ”. And if anyone is not “in Christ”, then Christ’s Spirit is not in him, and he therefore does not belong to Christ. (Rom. 8:9) And he who does not belong to Christ, will not inherit eternal life; but will instead inherit eternal death.
However, for those of us who do belong to Christ because we have embraced the pardon whole-heartedly, we are rescued from eternal damnation. We have “crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24) –from being “unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin” (Rom. 7:14), to being rescued from that body of sin and death “–through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (See v. 23-25)
In view of all this then, let us rejoice in the cross and with grateful hearts thank our God for it. Let us say along with Paul in Gal. 6:14, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” For definitely, if we’ve been born anew –“born from above” (John 3:3)– then we are dead, and we walk in a new realm –the one of freedom. (Ps. 119:32,45 & Rom. 6:18)
March 28, 2010
Well, so…? How many bottles of tears have you cried so far? –Over that certain request? –That one you’ve heard, deep down in your spirit –from the Holy Spirit– that He has promised to answer? –But which, for so long now, seems to have no way possible of being fulfilled?
Has the Lord given you the promise? If you are walking in the Spirit, abiding in Jesus and His Words… and if you belong to the Heavenly Father –are His child and His servant– walking in obedience to the light you’ve so far learned, then that request you have not given up on is, without a doubt, being impressed on you by Him. And if (or –since) it is, what must you do about it?
Well, there’s a few things to be done. One is rest. But rest while continuing to pray. Praying in such a way as to not give up hope, to not become weary in laying the request morning by morning in patient expectation at His feet (Ps. 5:3), to trust that He has heard and is already intervening, to go about the remainder of the day with the request left confidently in His hands, and to not get anxious when you see absolutely nothing changing.
Have you ever asked the Lord to give you just one more assurance that you’ve heard correctly? –That the wonderful whispered promise is not actually an illusion of sound merely from the depths of your wishful thinking? Maybe even after hearing many times over through the Scripture itself, you’ve still craved a “more definite word”. Yet there is no more definite word than through THE WORD… –right?
There is, actually, a more sure word –even though most of us would certainly say the Word of God is sufficient to enable us to stand on a promise. But is it? It’s not.
Before you screech, “Blasphemy!” let me remind us all that God’s Word –as powerful as it is– is subject (by the will of God Himself) to be put into effect… (no, not always, as He can supersede this when He wants to)… by something we do. What’s that? It’s to believe. To trust the word. To have faith in what He is continuing to say to us –through His Word by His Holy Spirit– about a certain thing that He is going to have come to pass.
Believe me, I’m not in the camp of the “Word of Faith” group. They have twisted the truth of faith into an unreasonable, selfish, almost occult doctrine. And really the pagan world has too. For what is that term supposed to mean –“People of faith” –or the popular affirmation: “Yes, I have faith.”–? C’mon. We know everyone lives by faith –faith to drink tap water, faith to accept food at a restaurant, faith to get on a bus, a plane, or even drive a freeway… Life demands faith –faith in others mostly –that they will be fair and careful and wise and honest… But just any type of faith is not what saves or delivers, or what brings us into favor with God.
So, what is this I’m saying about faith in God’s Word? I’m saying that just as Jesus died for the sins of the whole world –everyone’s– each person has to DO something for that pardon to be enacted on their behalf. And that “doing” –that “action” –is belief. It is faith. Faith in what He is saying… about what He did… on our behalf.
This then, is what also is necessary in order to stand on any other promise in Scripture. It is: Faith. Trust. Belief. –To believe that what He has said to you IS indeed what He is saying to you –if it has come through His Word and by His Spirit in you.
This kind of faith is what God is looking for. Not blind faith. Not stupid faith that rests on presumption. Not wavering faith. But confident, solid, real faith.
Therefore, do you need any other thing more sure than faith? –Like a sign in the sky, or on a billboard, or off the T.V., or in a book, or from another person? Or even additional Scripture verses? No, not if your faith has already been resting squarely on one (or more) of God’s promises in His Word. For you cannot have solid faith without His Spirit’s enablement anyway. And if the request is still strong in your heart –with a Scripture promise supporting it– you can be confident that the faith you are abiding in does come from the Lord.
So rejoice! For your real (true) faith honors God, and He will then honor that faith. And is not “faith being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”? (Heb. 11:1) Yes. For if you already saw it, it would no longer be faith.
Encourage yourself as Abraham did. As Rom. 4:18-21 tells us, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” And verse 22 tells us that “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Yes, for God is very pleased with faith. –The right kind of faith. –That faith that, with full assurance, and with calm, patient trust, solidly believes in what He has impressed time and again into your spirit.
You need nothing more sure than that.
Now praise. And if you still must shed tears as you continue to pray (reminding Him of the promise), may they be tears of joy –as you thank Him for the promise that is already on its way, and which will arrive at just the exact right moment –in His timing –not too early and not too late.
March 27, 2010
I’ve been sitting here by the fireplace, adding logs to the fire with the last of what I collected over the winter. (It’s okay if I use it up, for strewn across our acreage there’s tons more collecting available for many winters to come –being that about 30 of our 300 or so oak trees died in the terrible two year drought northeast Texas had throughout ’05 and ’06.)
But, as I fed the fire, watching the flames lick up along the wood, I once again wondered how anyone who has the beautiful Holy Spirit within one’s own spirit –that Spirit who gives us His fruit (Gal. 5:22,23) –that of kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, etc. (oh, yea, and I better at least mention love and peace)– could possibly order another human being to be tied to a stake and have him slowly burned alive –while he screamed out in pain for half of an hour. It’s worse than despicable. And only an evil heart could do such a thing.
Yet this evil heart imagined up a whole doctrine that is being taught at numerous seminaries. –Christian seminaries (–supposedly) –as if it is the Gospel Truth.
I see no difference between this guy and that other evil guy named Mohammed who thought up the appalling religion of Islam. If these two men’s lives are studied through reliable sources, no honest person can deny that both had murder at the core of their beings. Both killed many, and/or ordered the killing of many. And neither ever repented, but instead defended their murderous and cruel treatment of others –to their dying breath.
Anyone who murders or promotes murder, and then develops a belief system about God and His relation to mankind, should be scorned. Yet, neither of these men are. Even amongst those who are not Muslim, there is the prevalent attitude that Mohammed was a fine individual and we are to respect his teachings. No, a murderer’s teachings are not to be respected –or tolerated– one bit. Nothing a murderer teaches should be given a listen for one minute.
Many reasonable people can understand this. And we would think that Christians are able to reason correctly on such an issue –the issue of not listening to the teachings of a murderer. And why would we assume such a thing? Well, maybe for that simple reason that God’s Word speaks quite a bit against the evil of murder and those who commit it. In fact, it is one of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not murder.” (Ex. 20:13 & Deut. 5:17) And Num. 35:16-34 says numerous times that a murderer is to be put to death.
Jesus taught that those who murder are those who “want to carry out their father’s desire… [for he, the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.” (See John 8:44)
In view of that statement, how could a teacher / preacher who committed murder (and never repented of it) be teaching anything except that which comes from the devil? Jesus says that such a person has NO truth in him. So these seminaries and churches and pastors and teachers and internet bloggers who are holding to and promoting a murderer’s teachings… –well, there’s no way they could be teaching Truth, is there? Or is that NOT what Jesus just said in John 8:44?
Rev. 21:8 teaches that the destiny of murderers is the lake of fire. So… was this man who many Christian seminaries and churches tout as a “highly esteemed theologian” a murderer? Like I said, anyone who does some simple, but honest, unbiased research will have to say, “Yes, –and many times over.” For whether or not this man actually slew others himself, or just ordered their death, is inconsequential. Nathan, the prophet, told King David he was a murderer when he ordered Joab to make for a situation in which Uriah would get killed by the enemy army. Did David actually kill Uriah himself? No. Yet David was considered to be the murderer.
Well, I’m sure most of you know who this theologian is who is also a murderer, who is also a son of Satan’s, yet whose teachings are followed by many a “Christian” church-goer. Yes, John Calvin. And his followers are called Calvinists –and they are everywhere now. –On massive websites –as well as throughout church congregations, Bible studies, and seminaries.
But Calvinism is a very wicked teaching straight from the father of murder and lies. It is more evil than many false religions, for not only does it give a false way of salvation, but it defames God’s character –making Him evil! (For more information on the religion itself, see “The Evil Theologian, John Calvin” under my Sermons section.)
It is unbelievable that so-called Christians can think this doctrine lines up with the Bible. Even though it comes from the imaginations of a murderer. And even though 1 John 3:15 says, “No murderer has eternal life in him.”
Next time you stare at a fire… think about it. Think about the evil. Think about the teachings –promoted as the Christian Gospel– by someone so evil.
March 26, 2010
I’m sure this happens often to others of you… but don’t you just sometimes, while driving through busy city freeways –especially around “rush-hour” time (yet the cars still clipping at steady speed)– marvel at the multitudes rushing together –alongside each other– heading somewhere? Do you, like I, often get hit with, “But those are not cars! –They’re people! Each car represents one or more human souls for whom Christ our Lord died!”–? Well, it makes for more considerate driving, that’s for sure.
Or how about, as we stand at the bus stops… and the light changes… and a whole sea of people walk across…? All those dear, precious people! They all have hurts, and sorrows, and fears… most have had heavy disappointments… confusions, betrayals…. I often want to weep. Yes, I know many are wicked, they’ve rejected God’s loving nudges of direction, His generous pardon, His Self-revelation –through the Word that sits neglected on their shelves, and even through the gorgeous creation He has given us. But I still love them. Did not Jesus die for us while we were still sinners?! He did. God so loved the world that He gave His Son –to take the penalty for the sins we committed.
Even when the rich young ruler rejected Jesus’ offer of eternal life because of the condition attached, Mark 10:21 says Jesus loved him. Jesus knew ahead of time that he was going to reject Him, just as He knows that case for most humans; but He still loves the world. And He still died for each and every human (1 John 2:2) –His atonement more than abundantly sufficient for all. –Though sadly, many do not believe, and they turn their noses up at this “foolish message of the cross.” (See 1 Cor. 1:18)
But even so, we too need to have this same love –coming from Christ in us. A love that will go, that will speak Truth in love, that will not fear, that will care more for the other than for ourselves…
There is a world out there… and they desperately need to hear of Jesus –Jesus and His love.
Let’s show them, not only in word, but in action.
March 25, 2010
We are having a discussion again about law at Truthspeaker’s site. Below is my new comment –which I posted there today. My past comments there (as well as some other’s comments), may also prove helpful to you.
Did you read my explaination here?
We are not under any Old Testament law if we are under Christ. That law was only to point us to our need for Christ (Gal. 3:24a) by making us “conscious of sin.” (Rom. 3:20) Then we throw ourselves on His mercy and become “justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24b) “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” (v. 25) That verse means exactly what it says.
The only reason we would have to be under law is if we are still under (or running back to) sin. Law is there to make us conscious of our sin. But for those who are maturing in the Truth, abiding in the Truth, and who are obeying the Truth, we need no other Master. The Counselor / Comforter is sufficient. To say we also need law ruling us, is to reject His sufficiency in being our Lord and King.
Those who remain under the rule of law have not “died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another…” (Rom. 7:4) But for those of us who have, we live a very different way –with a much better Husband / Master. (Heb. 7:18,19) For as Rom. 7:6 tells us, “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” Serve, as in: Obey.
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.” (Gal. 5:18) And we MUST be led (and controlled) by the Spirit –if we expect to belong to Him. For you “are controlled… by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” (Rom. 8:9) “Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (v. 14)
Those led by (–serving, controlled by, or in obedience to) anything else –sin, the devil, the world’s philosophies, one’s own viewpoints… OR law– are not His.
That this matter be understood, is crucial. For it is a matter of who you belong to, what kingdom you’re a member of, and whether or not Christ is of any value to you (Gal. 5:2) –toward your eternal destination. For to be “alienated from Christ… [and to] have fallen away from grace” (v. 4) does NOT equate getting to Heaven. And of whom is this the case? –Those “who are trying to be justified by law.” (same verse –v. 4) –ANY part of the written law. (Col. 2:14-17)