Re:Verse passage – Galatians 3:1-14 (day five)
“Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”
Paul does does something remarkable in verse 3 of our Re:Verse passage. He changes tenses. He goes from the past tense to the present tense. Yet, the subject stays the same- the work of Christ on the cross that places the Holy Spirit in the heart of believers- the Gospel (Salvation by grace alone through Christ alone). Did you notice the word NOW?
The gospel is salvation from the penalty of sin (past tense). The same gospel is the salvation from the power of sin (present tense). By faith the Spirit entered our lives (past)and in the very same way (faith) the Spirit advances our lives (present).
“Christians think that we are saved by the gospel, but then we grow by applying biblical principles to every area of life. But we are not just saved by the gospel, we grow by applying the gospel to every area of life”.– Dick Kaufmann.
Re:Verse passage – Galatians 2:11-21 (day five) “When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel”
With the presence of the SA Phil at our church, this truth Paul is proclaiming becomes tangible. Every practice or performance, what is the first thing the orchestra does? They tune their instruments. Even the most expensive and well made instruments need to be constantly tuned. Same truth with the human heart. Paul is telling Peter and others they have gotten literally “offline”. They were not “straight-walking”. They were out of tune with the perfect pitch (truth) of the gospel.
God help us hear the perfect pitch (truth) of the gospel! Your Holy Spirit. Your Word. Accountability. Wisdom from other believers. Then give us courage to adjust and tune our hearts.
Christian living is therefore a continual realignment process – one of bringing everything in line with the truth of the gospel. – Tim Keller
Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart…
Re:Verse passage – Galatians 2:1-10 (day five) What do you see and sense first/most in other church members? What draws you to people in the church. Is it their personality? Is it their sense of humor? Is it their likes and dislikes? Is it the presence of Christ? It is something inward our outward about them?
In our Re:Verse text this week, it is worth noting how these believers saw and regarded one another. Paul, Peter, James, and John all sensed and saw the Lord at work in and thru each other. The affection and respect they have for each other is influenced by their “recognition” and regard for the Lord’s presence and activity. Oh to sense and see the Lord’s presence and activity in other believers in the Body of Christ. Makes me want to walk closely with the Lord so that others could see and sense that in me. Makes me want to recognize and affirm the presence of Christ in them. Only the Holy Spirit can help and guide us in those ways. When we can’t or don’t, does that say more about them, or more about me? “Lord, help us see your presence in all your saints as we worship, study, serve, and fellowship together”.
We should never leave our church meetings, having spent time surrounded by beloved, distinctive people of faith, without feeling encouraged! – John Piper
Re:Verse passage – Galatians 1:11-24 (day five)
“For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.”
Does God save “good” people, or does He save “bad” people? The answer according to Paul, is YES!! Both!!
I like the words of Tim Keller as he expounds on this truth.
The gospel calls us out of religion as much as it calls us out of irreligion. No one is so good they don’t need the grace of the gospel, nor so bad that they cannot receive the grace of the gospel.
There is hope and salvation available for all of us who will repent and believe. That is Amazing Grace!!
Re:Verse passage – Galatians 1:1-10 (day five) “who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us”
Being the Youth Minister at FBCSA for 20 years has provided hundreds of memories and stories. One that is still etched in my mind was from an All-Nighter. Our very first activity was to go to SeaWorld and swim in the wave pool. We hadn’t been there 10 minutes when I heard the lifeguard blow his whistle. Then again. And then another whistle blew. If I’m being honest, my first thought was these were college kids exerting their authority over younger teenagers- a power trip. What I quickly discovered was one of our middle school boys had swum too close to the “wave making contraption” at the head of the pool and was being sucked under- continually and violently. Before I could verify that in fact the teenager was in trouble, the lifeguard was already in the water rescuing the student. When they pulled him out, I tried to console him and convince myself that in fact it wasn’t that bad. But when I saw the fatigue in his body and desperation on his face (as he lay there) I immediately understood this was a life and death situation. He had been in trouble. Life threatening trouble, and couldn’t get out/free. He was incapable. He needed rescue.
That’s how Paul is describing the human race “us” (he also includes himself)- incapable, unable, helpless, lost. Not flattering. In fact, kinda offensive. Scripture tells us that we really are that spiritually helpless and far gone. One of my HPU professors always said, “Until you realize how lost you were, you’ll never understand how saved you are”. WE (all) in fact, needed and have been rescued.
Re:Verse passage – 1 John 5:14-15 (day five)
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13
This week, don’t leave out verse 13 of 1 John 5 when you think about and study our Re:verse passage. That verse gives great clarity and perspective on our prayers. It serves as a reminder and catalyst for a vibrant and personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We have God’s ear, because we have Him (product of His grace and kindness to us). And that’s the real goal/treasure of prayer, not getting things or stuff from God, but getting God, and more of God. It’s not about us and our requests, but about Him and His love and power.
“Our asking and pleading and requesting originate not from our emptiness, but his fullness. Prayer doesn’t begin with our needs, but with his bounty. Its origin is first in adoration, and only later in asking. Prayer is a reflex to the he gives to the sinners he saves. It is soliciting his provision in view of the power he has shown“. – David Mathis
Re:Verse passage – Daniel 9:1-23 (day five)
“for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion.” Can you tell that Daniel’s prayer is being informed and influenced by the scriptures? High view of God. Proper perspective of man. Honest depiction of sin. All of these come from the scriptures. We worship, live, and pray better when we are influenced by the scriptures. Why? The scriptures help us see the truth about God and sin. Our prayers (even our confession) have as much to do with God and His Character (Holiness in the present and mercy in the past) as they do with ourselves and our sin. When my prayers have more focus and attention on me than they do God, I need take notice and be concerned. Need to get back to the scriptures.
Daniel’s confession—biblical confession—is God-centered. The issue is not admitting that we have made our life miserable. The issue is admitting that there is something much worse than our misery, namely, the offended holiness and glory of God. – John Piper
Re:Verse passage – Luke 11:1-4 (day five) “It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray…”. Part of my faith in Christ boils down to the following question, “Does Jesus know how to navigate life on earth better than I do?”
This is one of those moments when a disciple of Jesus was asking the right question. They saw and sensed how prayer helped Jesus. Possibilities of hope and courage- for them and for us. Maybe we could learn from Him. Maybe prayer could shape and inform our lives to live like Him.
“My central claim is that we can become like Christ – by following him in the overall style of life, he chose for himself. If we have faith in Christ, we must believe that he knew how to live. We can, through faith and grace become like Christ by practicing the types of activities, he engaged in, by arranging our whole lives around the activities he himself practiced in order to remain constantly at home in the fellowship of his father” – Dallas Willard
Jesus, teach us to pray!!
Re:Verse passage – Nehemiah 1:1-11 (day five)
“But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’”
Have you wandered away from God? Feel distant? Feel spiritually weak and confused? Maybe that’s where you find yourself now.
God’s Word gives hope and guidance to Nehemiah to us. Our task is to return to him- search, read, and obey God’s Word. Puts our focus and attention away from ourselves and on the Lord- His truths, and promises. God’s role is to do the work. “I will bring you back”. “It is God who works in you…” -says Paul in Philippians 2. Does that give you hope? Does that bring a sense of calm and comfort? He even knows the place He will bring you to “to the place I have chosen”. He knows that the process of returning, if left entirely up to us, would be completely overwhelming. So in His loving kindness, He does the work. We return and obey. God works.
Re:Verse passage – John 17:20-26 (day five) ”I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”
I believe one of our deepest needs is unity. To feel and sense cooperation and agreement. Fractured relationships are unsettling and disruptive to our hearts and minds. The only solution (source) for unity (perfect unity) is God’s love. Unity, when authentic and grounded in God’s love, is a picture of the Gospel. Jesus claims in His Priestly Prayer, that the unity He desires is a picture of God’s Love- sending the Son to repair and reconcile the human race. (Unity seeks to restore and reconcile relationships for the Glory of God). Unity is also a picture of God’s Love seen in our relationships with each other. Kindness. Forgiveness. Accountability. Faithfulness. Only God’s love gives us the hope and chance for unity that will glorify God. When God’s love is the source and catalyst for unity, people will be able to sense and see God’s holiness, grace, and love on display. They will see and experience the gospel at work (in us and through us).