Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 15:1–17:5, Gal 5:1–6:18, Prov 8:1–8
Today’s Theme: Free to Love
Today we look at the wonderful truth of our freedom in Christ. We have been freed to love so the crux and cycle of love, faith and work can operate in our lives and leave a legacy for generations to come to the Glory of God.
2 Kings 15:1–17:5
The Long Reign
He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. (2 Kings 15:2, ESV)
Uzziah was the longest reigning monarch in the history of Israel which is directly connected to his mostly godly life.
A godly legacy
And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah had done. (2 Kings 15:34, ESV)
Again the importance of a godly legacy and example.
Don’t burn your children’s heritage
but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even burned his son as an offering, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. (2 Kings 16:3, ESV)
When we compromise and commit sin, it is the same as burning our children in sacrifice… The opposite of legacy.
Hold fast to true religion
When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. And King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details. (2 Kings 16:10, ESV)
We should be careful not to copy false religions, the pomp of state religion or the new untested and sometimes ungodly church fads. We should hold fast to the tried and tested faith.
Sanctification is needed
And the bronze altar that was before the Lord he removed from the front of the house, from the place between his altar and the house of the Lord, and put it on the north side of his altar. (2 Kings 16:14, ESV)
A church goes very wrong when a need for sanctification is removed. In fact a church that takes away an emphasis on living godly lives is a ticking time bomb. All those people coming together without godliness can only result in sin, hurt and frustration.
Northern Israel’s fall
Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria, and for three years he besieged it. (2 Kings 17:5, ESV)
The great fall of Israel, this was a sad day in the land of Israel (the northern kingdom). The fall was not happenstance, it was judgement from God.
Stand in Freedom
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1, ESV)
We are called to make a stand, that takes effort, to stand in freedom. Notice also to submit to the bondage of sin’s slavery is not involuntary but requires submission to those passions and lusts.
Don’t fall away
You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. (Galatians 5:4, ESV)
We can fall away from grace so we need to make an effort to stand in freedom.
The rhythm of life
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. (Galatians 5:6, ESV)
A summary of the rhythm of our lives, they should be lives of faith operating through love. Love > Faith > Work.
Sin is like a virus
A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9, ESV)
A little compromise can destroy your whole life/group. Sin’s nature is like a virus, it is spread with aggressive speed and intent so we must cut it out or we will harm our own lives and those around us.
Free to love
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13, ESV)
Love is the key, yes we are free but we should not use that as an excuse to sin (this would actually be evidence of bondage to sin), we should use the freedom to willingly and lovingly serve.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14, ESV)
The crux of Christian life and practice is to love your neighbour as yourself.
Walk in the Spirit
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16, ESV)
We should, live, walk and behave ourselves in line with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Desire vs desire
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:17, ESV)
Which desires will you satisfy, the desires of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you or of your flesh? You will inevitably satisfy one of them so make a choice today.
envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21, ESV)
Drunkenness is a sin which leads to other sins. This is why I (and many other Christians) choose not to drink alcohol.
This is a really clear, black and white statement, those who walk in sin shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
The fruit of the Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Galatians 5:22, ESV)
The result of the Spirit, of walking in the Spirit is fruit.
Kill the desires of the flesh
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24, ESV)
Yes we must put the flesh and its desires to death.
Keep in step
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25, ESV)
We must have daily sensitivity to this.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (Galatians 6:1, ESV)
We should seek to restore our brothers in the right spirit.
Bear others burdens
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2, ESV)
This is the church, we need to bear each others burdens, this is Christ’s law of love for one another.
Bear your load
For each will have to bear his own load. (Galatians 6:5, ESV)
We each have a load to carry and should be sober in our awareness of this not thinking of ourselves as more than we actually are.
God is not a force
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (Galatians 6:7, ESV)
God is not some force we can fool, He is a person and knows our hearts.
Invest in the Spirit
For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:8, ESV)
My life verse for investing in the things of God’s kingdom.
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10, ESV)
Doing good is part of the Christian life, especially within the church, we should not grow weary in this.
A new creation
For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. (Galatians 6:15, ESV)
Both Jews and Gentiles are a new creation in Christ.
The ultimate Israel
And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. (Galatians 6:16, ESV)
This is wider from the context than the physical Israel of circumcised Jews. This speaks of believes past, present, future, Jew and Gentile.
Men be wise
“To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. (Proverbs 8:4–5, ESV)
God is specifically calling out to men to learn to be prudent and to have good sense. This is why our culture has tried to make it normative that it is cool for men to be dumb when in fact we are called to be wise.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.