SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY (October 23, 2013)
“But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain” Galatians 4:8-11.
“BECAUSE OF THE INCREASE OF WICKEDNESS, THE LOVE OF MOST WILL GROW COLD, BUT HE WHO STANDS FIRM TO THE END WILL BE SAVED” Matthew 24:12,13 (NIV).
Believers have been struggling with sin from the very beginning of our lives. This is because of the sinful world into which we were born. Due to our sinful nature, we became enslaved to sin and Satan. So even after coming to know Christ it still becomes hard for us to live without sin. This is because Satan is not happy to lose us to Jesus Christ. Being the originator of all sins, Satan tries always to take us back to our former position from which Christ Jesus bought us with His blood. He does not care how matured or young we are in the Lord, he always battles with us. His intention is to take us to where he is by stealing us, killing us and destroying us. But as people who have been bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, we should always be aware of the schemes of Satan and draw closer to God before we become slaves to Satan again. In this edition of S N F T, we want to look at Paul’s reaction to the attitude of the Galatian believers who were falling away from the faith. After saying that believers become children of God through faith and by virtue of their new position as children of God become heirs, he now wonders why the believers who have become heirs of God by virtue of their faith in Christ Jesus, could suddenly turn away from the very faith by which they were saved. He reiterates the fact that before coming to Christ, the believers were enslaved to the things they worshipped (The Galatians were pagans before coming to Christ). They mostly indulged in idolatrous superstitions and practices before coming to Christ or being known by God. This implies that they were slaves to Satan through the gods they worshipped. Every sin we find ourselves in becomes a master to us. We are enslaved by the sins which control us. We can never get out of the slavery of sin because it is controlled by a strong man called Satan. He uses sin to enslave us. Being slaves to sin means that we have been alienated from god the father of Jesus Christ. We can no longer be called children and subsequently heirs of God when we become slaves to Satan. But we can be rescued from the slavery of sin when we come to Jesus. He is the only one who has power not only to forgive our sins, but to also rescue us from the grips of the strong man who seeks to enslave us with sins. If you are still battling with particular sins, humbly acknowledge it, talk to Jesus and he will rescue you. Sometimes sharing with matured believers after asking for forgiveness could also go a long way to help. It was a very important issue for Paul because the Galatians had been saved through their faith in Christ from their previous idolatrous lives but were now going back to them because they had probably become confused. They were going back to the observation of special days, seasons, years and moths as prescribed for them before they were saved through the mercy of God. They were being taken them back. This is just how Satan works. He always wants to take us back by telling us that what he offers is always the best. He tells us Christianity rather enslaves us. He continues to remind us of how good sexual immorality, smoking, drugs, alcoholism, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, murder, impurity, debauchery, enviousness among others from which we have been rescued are. He makes them look good all of a sudden to us in order to entice us. I do not know the sins from which Christ saved you. It may be found among those mentioned above or not. But these sins will always come into your mind from time to time. Satan is the chief architect behind that. His objective is to take you back into the world. We should therefore be very vigilant in these times in order that we will not be taken back into captivity by Satan. Satan makes people in sin feel that they have freedom, but that exactly what he robs them of. Paul was surprised that the believers were going back to the very things Christ rescued them from. He even began to feel that his work among them was going in vain. This is so among many believers of today. After coming to know Christ, we keep going back and forth; sometimes making nonsense of what Christ came to do on the cross for us. Yes it is true that Satan fights against us and causes us to sin. However, we also play a part in giving Satan the room to operate. We can resist the devil (1 Peter 5:8-9) by drawing closer to god through constant prayer life, consistent bible study life and obedience to god’s word under the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus predicted such times in the lives of believers. We should always focus on the crown ahead of us, and stand firm in order that we may receive the crown of life. Let us therefore stand firm in Christ in spite of the challenges we face each day, and victory shall be ours in the end. Paul encouraged the Corinthian church to stand firm in the lord because their labor would not be in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). This is very relevant for us as believer of today. There are many things going on in the world which have been planned by Satan to lure us back into the world. The world is becoming more and more attractive due to scientific advancement, technological advancement, industrial advancement, information technology, urban lifestyles, fashion, architecture, music, and many more. But these are just temporal things which do not have any eternal significance. If you bank your hopes on the things of the world, you will become just like a person who still saves money with a bank which has gone bankrupt. You will soon realize how foolish you have been all this while. Do not be fooled into going back to the sins from which you were saved. Don’t go back to the old life, Jesus is coming soon! Be wise!
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.