Summary: Describes how Christ is the central point to our belief system
Christianity centers in Christ!
1. Christians follow Christ, not men’s rules.
Contexually: Jewish legal system. Not under law…and we’ve never been under it. Make our own rules:
Great ones for making rules. Not so good at making them. Florida:
The state constitution allows for freedom of speech, a trial by jury, and pregnant pigs to not be confined in cages.
Women may be fined for falling asleep under a hair dryer, as can the salon owner.
A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing.
If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
It is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit.
Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown.
It is illegal to use profanity in front of a dead body which lies in a funeral home or in a coroners office.
Donkeys may not be kept in bathtubs.
No one may carry an ice cream cone in their back pocket if it is Sunday.
There are those who make their own rules for faith in Christ. For example, some people think simply attending church will improve their standing before God. People brag to me they haven’t missed church in ten years—but they act as mean as the devil. They keep on believing that by attending church, God will bless them. Or worse, they think if they don’t attend church, God might punish them. So, out of a sense of religious obligation they make their way to church every Sunday—they even park their car so they can make a fast getaway as soon as they have fulfilled their weekly obligation. They may not ever sing a word, or open their Bible, but at least they are there. And “Whew!” as soon as it’s over (or actually before it’s over)—they’re gone. They may have never had a sense of having entered into the presence of the Almighty Creator, but they feel good about being in church. That’s legalism in it’s basic form.
Clarify context: whole Jewish system was a shadow. The reality that cast the shadow has come. So why pay attention to the shadow anymore? The system pictured the Messiah; the Messiah is here.
Paul would say: why impress with your knowledge of the shadow; impress me with your knowledge of Christ.
For us: careful with ritual of any kind. Careful that worship is worship of Jesus; not worship of worship. “I know what I like.” Question: not is it comfortable; did I meet with Christ?
2. Christians follow Christ, not mystical revelations.
Goal of Christian expression: truth seekers; truth speakers.
Careful not to buy into popular expressions of sentiment that are not true.
Two that we can fall into that are problems:
1. Question of angels. “Now one of God’s angels”; “God needed one more angel” NO!
Lay a quick foundation of truth:
Truth: we are currently lower than angels.
Truth: Christ died for us to bring us to a position higher than angels. We become the brothers of Christ.
2. Question of visionary realm. Remember: Goal of Christian expression: truth seekers; truth speakers.
God told me to…
The Lord spoke to me…
Some even claim authority for a position based on what they claim they heard from God.
1. Primary vehicle for transmission of truth is the Scripture. Any revelation from the Lord MUST conform to the eternal message of God’s Word.
Ex.: God told me to leave my husband and to marry this other man. Wrong answer.
2. Primary conduit for transmission of truth is the Body of Christ. V.19
Doesn’t give revelation to the individual without working it through the Body. Application in two directions:
Individuals coming into a church claiming knowledge from God that is different from the understanding of the Body.
Leadership. Destructive leadership into a pattern without resonance in the Body.
3. Christians follow Christ, not manipulative repression of the body.
Years of driving on the wrong side of road steering wheel on wrong side of car.
Weird sensation driving on the different side. Mistake on wrong side of road.
Point: shift country; shift system.
Paul’s point: shift allegiance; shift procedure.
No longer of this world so world regulations fall away.
Specific: Stoic philosophy; Spartan development.
No advantage to utilizing philosophies that abuse the body. This will not lead you into a closer walk with God.
So how do you have a closer walk with God?
Are you a follower?