Thursday, November 12, 2009

Freedom In Christ: Love that Compels Us to Love Others

I shared in my previous blog article “Health through Holy Communion” that I heard a powerful sermon by Pastor Joseph Prince about holy communion. He talked about the word “confess” from the verse 1 John 1:9

”9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

The primary Greek word for “confess” is homologeo which basically means “to say the same thing” and then “agree, admit, acknowledge. He explained that it means that we and God speak the same words and we agree with God. What does 1 John 1:9 say then? We agree we humans sinned and He forgives us completely!

So really, when we take the cup during communion, we should thank God that he has taken away all our sins – past present future by Jesus’ death on the cross and then drink up.
Isn’t it powerful? I used to think that He forgave my sins to the point we accepted Christ only and then we confess every now and then when we do sin. Upon accepting Christ, we are a new creation, so we actually should not sin anymore. I mean we can overcome it even if we do because we are not suppose to let our sin control us anymore because we have God’s spirit in us so we should follow the Holy Spirit instead. This is where our will comes in even if we are Christians. That’s why even Christians are hypocrites because many do not cooperate with the Holy Spirit even after accepting Christ. Ps Vernon Falls took 3 years after accepting Christ. He didn’t go to church, he didn’t like to hang out with Christians because he wanted to continue his party life which included drugs.

It just occurred to me last night (quiet time at 2.30am ha ha! couldn't sleep) that many of us do not grasp the impact of Jesus’ death on the cross, that actually, He has forgiven ALL our sins – past present and future! I mean I knew this but it did not sink in the impact of it. See, if He died for all our sins, we are basically FREE. FREEDOM IN CHRIST Free to do whatever we want because He paid the price for all our sins – past present future. That’s why Paul asked then “Do we sin more so that grace abounds”. I think I didn’t quite understand that line because firstly I didn’t digest He paid for ALL my sins and secondly, I had lost the understanding of God’s grace.

I can actually continue sinning because He has already paid the price. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee! But in Galatians 5:13 Paul said, “do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature”. Cool, Paul can read my mind! He continued by saying “rather, serve one another in love”.

See, it is the latter that most sermons stress that we should then serve one another. It becomes another set of “do’s”. But if we can grasp how much Jesus loves us that He paid the price for us and forgave us all our sins – past present and future and that we can actually PARTY that it hits us “Hey, this man, this God did it all for me? Why? Why is he even bothered I go to heaven?” But He does. He is bothered. He loves us that much! And more importantly, by His death on the cross, we can jump into Father God’s lap (like King Wai puts it) and call him “Abba Father” which really means daddy.

Galatians 4:6
Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out “Abba Father”.

God totally loves us beyond what we can ever imagine. He did it all for us, sons of Adam who are disobedient, once objects of wrath, once with the Spirit of the ruler of the air in us. He put in His spirit and forgave us all our sins – past present future. We are now new creations in Christ, powerfully changes, accepted just the way we are, wonderfully loved.

It is this understanding of Christ' love that compels us to want to tell others about Jesus and cause us to love others.

Galatians 5:6
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcission accomplishes anything, what matters is faith working through love”

So awesome. It’s true. Yesterday, Elaine and I ministered to Robert and Jane Lam at UH. Both of us are like chickens with a willing heart but both encouraging and spurring each other on. Ha ha. She was supposed to lead us to communion and I was supposed to pray. Elaine was actually relieved when Robert said he wanted to do it in Church because then, she needn’t have to talk as it is quite scary to lead communion the first time. And I didn’t get the opportunity to pray and lay hands on Robert and was wondering whether I should interrupt people’s conversations. But love of Christ compelled me to share Christ and my testimony of doing communion at home every day and receiving healing and so in the end, he agreed to it. And love compelled me to lay hands on him to pray when he felt another muscle pull on his chest. Truly, God’s love cast out all fears! Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

So, the next time we sin again, know that He has already forgiven us on the cross 2,000 years ago. That will strike a chord in our hearts how much He loves us when He died on the cross for us.

We are a new creation now. The old self is gone. If we see ourselves still following the ways of the world (drinking, smoking, partying, intention to commit adultery, managing kids with anger, speaking rudely to our spouse, abusing our spouse, being rude to the maid or others, easily angered, sowing discord, talking bad about others etc) we should fall on our knees and talk to God and ask for the Holy Spirit to guide us to teach us. Cast all our old ways unto Him and tell Him we do not want it anymore and ask the Holy Spirit to change us to be more and more like Jesus.

Then, it is the holy spirit that changes us and not by our self will. To give up smoking/drinking by the Holy Spirit and by your own strength are 2 completely different ways. In the former, your habit is completely removed because it is supernatural. The latter, you are only suppressing your desire and when temptation hits you, you might succumb and then the whole process of quitting will have to start again.

Cool revelation in the wee hours of the morning! Thank you holy spirit.


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