Minister's Blog

Dimensions of salvation 2: Freedom

Dimensions of salvation 2: Freedom

Forgiveness lies at the heart of our relationship with God. For sin has broken our relationship with God, and forgiveness covers sin, forgiveness forgets sin, forgiveness takes sin out of the picture.

For this reason, forgiveness is prominent in the Bible, and the assurance of forgiveness is central to our worship. Forgiveness is the path to a restored relationship with God.

And yet forgiveness is not the only destination on this path. Once our relationship with God is restored, he blesses us in countless other ways.

For example, consider the blessing of freedom.

The book of Exodus begins with the people of Israel living as slaves in Egypt, where according to Ezekiel they worshipped that nation's idols (Ezekiel 20:7-8). Yet when "the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help," the LORD "heard their groaning" and pledged to set them free (Exodus 2:23-24).

He rescued them from their slavemasters, and from the idols of Egypt. Through the sacrificial blood of a Passover lamb, they were set free to worship the true and living God, who spoke to them from Mount Sinai to guide them in paths of liberty.

From that moment on, the people of God have been called to embrace the freedom for which Christ, our Passover lamb, was slain. We have died in Christ and been "set free from sin" (Romans 6:7). We embrace freedom by offering ourselves as slaves to the One who set us free: "present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness" (Romans 6:13).

Another chiasm in Luke 22

This one is fairly obvious, but it's nonetheless instructive, not least because of some suggestive parallels in the central three sections. I'm not quite sure what these parallels are, but the parallel elements on the outer sections make the chiasm as a whole completely obvious, while the "angel from heaven" saying is sufficiently different from the two surrounding sentences that it clearly w...

Bittersweet goodbye

It’s always sad for a church to say goodbye to our friends. It’s inevitable, of course, for people move house for many different reasons – work, family commitments, and so on – and very often this means leaving their church to worship elsewhere. But this doesn’t make it any easier when we suddenly realize that friends who’ve been a permanent fixture in our lives are going to be arou...

Jesus is not the only substitutionary sufferer

Most Christians are familiar with the Bible's teaching that Jesus took upon himself the burden of his people's sin. But most Christians are less familiar with the equally clear biblical teaching that each of us, as individual believers and mambers of the body of Christ, are called to bear the burden of one another's sins too. There are crucial differences, of course: Jesus is t...

Dimensions of salvation 1: Unity

Forgiveness lies at the heart of our relationship with God. For sin has broken our relationship with God, and forgiveness covers sin, forgiveness forgets sin, forgiveness takes sin out of the picture. For this reason, forgiveness is prominent in the Bible, and the assurance of forgiveness is central to our worship. Forgiveness is the path to a restored relationship with God. And...
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