The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Author and Finisher"
Deceivers promoting a message of legalism tempted 1st century believers of Galatia, declaring they needed to add rituals and ceremonies to their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be complete in relationship with God.
"For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6).
"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years" (Galatians 4:9-10).
"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you: received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Galatians 3:1).
The Apostle Paul suggests more than mere human deception regarding the Galatians returning to outward practices as the way to spiritual reality. "Bewitched" involves a devilish element and power in the temptation. This is to be expected. Our spiritual enemies cannot steal or destroy our freely given justification and relationship with God. Nor can they separate from the indwelling life of the Lord Jesus. "Ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). Thus, they do the only thing they can do. Our foes seek to deceive us into exchanging the grace and truth of our Savior for "weak and beggarly elements." Rather than seeking to live the Christian life by the same power whereby it began - God's grace in the Lord Jesus received through faith - Satan and his minions tempt us to add ways and means that did not begin our salvation and certainly cannot continue it. This results in having no strength for our walk with God, leading us to live as spiritual beggars rather than sons and daughters of God in Christ.
"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught" (Colossians 2:6-7).
Christ is the root God planted in our heart when we believed. He is also the builder who ever works to construct our lives of godliness. "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Ephesians 2:10). Our role involves trusting and submitting to Him, and thereby becoming increasingly empowered by the only hope we have of accessing the grace of God for a life lived in faith and faithfulness. This means we remain always on guard against deceivers and deceptions that divert our confidence from "Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
How do we avoid the deception? We begin by planting without our hearts the truth of "Christ, the power of God" (I Corinthians 1:24). Our Father gave us a gift eternal in measure and scope when we believed: "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8). Those riches also provide for this day, this hour, and this moment. Other ways will be offered by enemies who seek to distract us from the Author and Finisher of our faith. None are adequate. Moreover, anything that distracts us from the presence and working of the Lord Jesus within us is deadly to consistent and growing godliness. Christ only, Christ always, Christ forever - this is God's way, His only way for a life that began with our Savior, continues with Him, and will forevermore - and in this day - lead and empower us to "walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6).
"To live is Christ."
"Without Me, ye can do nothing… I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
(John 15:5; Philippians 4:13)
Weekly Memory Verse
"The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me. Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth forever."