Tag Archives: Christians

Freedom Fighters

We celebrated this Independence Day by rejoicing in our freedom and remembering the sacrifice of so many! As Jesus said, there’s no greater love than giving our lives if necessary for one another (John 15:12-13). This is exactly what Jesus did to free us from the bonds of sin – rebellion against God and the resulting judgment – through choice (Romans 5:6-9).

What does freedom mean in the context of our Christ and His death for us? The Hebrew text (Isaiah 61:1) quoted by Jesus (Luke 16:4-21) gives a glimpse: “To proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners . . .”

The Hebrew word for freedom in this case means ‘opening’ and ‘jail delivery’ (figuratively salvation from sin according to Strong’s Concordance). We are set free from slavery (Galatians 5:1) to sin (John 8:32-36 and 1Peter 2:16).

You’ll encounter the word ‘law’ in related study. What law . . . or laws? Here are at the two you’ll be faced with:

  1. The ‘Law of Moses’ necessary to teach the people of Israel how to honor God and treat their fellow man. We learn that one of two of Jesus’ commandments sums up this ‘law’: Galatians 5:13-14. That ‘law’ also served to show that it’s impossible to meet every single piece and work your way into salvation (Romans 3:19-25 and 5:19-21). This idea of the Law and its conviction of sin and inability to save from God’s wrath are confirmed by Paul (Romans 8:1-4).
  1. So, if the Law of Moses can’t set us free by obedience to it, what will? Obedience to the perfect law written on our hearts by the Spirit of God, given to all who believe and follow Jesus. (James 1:21-25).

True freedom summed up: it’s the freedom to choose the alternative to sin and its death sentence. That alternative is eternal life and righteousness that comes from doing what we ought, not what we want, through guidance of the Spirit. It’s this freedom that enables us to deal effectively with temptation as a result.

Remember those who gave their lives for your freedom: your fellow human and your Christ. Honor; believe; follow.

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!

Weeds in Church?

Satan, as the father of lies (John 8:44), has been deceiving the world since Adam and Eve occupied the Garden of Eden roughly 6,000 years ago. Those who learn from him to deceive others become children of the evil one as does anyone who becomes deceived and therefore follows attractive but unscriptural doctrine.

Deceivers take the form of spiritual weeds – tares – that come up alongside true believers in Jesus and often squeeze the life out of the body of Christ. They also come as false messiahs or false prophets. Many of these have been on earth since the time of Christ, but a special false Christ and false prophet will exist during the time of the end just before our Lord’s return and subsequent wrath of God (see my 2011 book titled “Finding the End of the World” for a comprehensive study of this important topic!).

How can we tell the tares apart from true followers? It seems that tares are made evident at the “fruit-bearing stage” when, at the same time, “the wheat sprouted and bore grain” (Matthew 13:26). This is verified by Jesus’ emphasis upon the good works that a true follower will produce in his/her life: “By their fruit you will know them” (Matthew 7:15-20). Thus, tares, as false wheat, look like wheat (even sound like wheat) but the fruit of their character will identify their true spiritual nature and parentage.

Test what you hear or see in the Church against God’s standards to avoid deception. Continual study of the Scriptures, fellowship, and discipleship will help you learn those standards and strengthen your faith. Don’t let church weeds choke the spiritual life out of you!