Summary: Our purpose and Gods purpose suffering in Christianity, questioining God
Call to worship Psalm 143 v 1&2
Old Testament Lesson Job Ch 42 vs 1 to 6
New Testament lesson Galatians Ch 5 v 16 to Ch 6 v 10
Often in our world today we see many organisations, charities and governments who seem to be in pursuit of charitable acts and good works based on Humanitarian grounds, aid to suffering people in third world countries celebrities giving their time to plead the causes of victims of disasters.
These are in human terms good deeds, acts of kindness we are giving the best of our human nature as we see it. Sadly and yet consistently today this becomes more and more necessary.
Our Lord himself was no stranger to the suffering of mankind in all its impoverished states was he? . He had a great concern for those he came to Minister to. Doesn’t scripture show us Just how he felt for those who had physical infirmities or needs. Didn’t he feed the 5000 rather than send them away hungry? , What about the man possessed with demons, the centurion’s servant, or the woman who touched the hem of his garment, or the widow’s son that he raised from the dead.
Yes our Lord truly Ministered to the needs of the people in every sense of the word .Ive heard it said and it could be argued that he came to Minister to the people spiritually, to bring about the means of Salvation through his Grace, but I feel that our Heavenly Father knew about mans physical needs and his state of physical suffering too. After all no man ever suffered like he.
I’ve spoken before about the war between the physical and the spiritual and I don’t aim to be forever the cynic when I make the statement that the world we live in today seems to be going full speed towards fulfilling some destiny of a physical nature, man perhaps proving himself the wiser and all the time pushing the word of God to one side ignoring our Spiritual destiny, and its going to cost us dearly some day.
The two passages of scripture we’ve read earlier will I hope be seen to point us in the right direction as we keep in our minds what I have already said.
If I am to adopt a text then perhaps it ought to be this; straight from that passage from Job ch 42 v 5 the Lord reveals something of his will and understanding to Job and as a result he makes this startling statement of faith, recognition and deep understanding. “ I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee “.
To begin with what of this passage, Paul’s letter to the Galatians? . The key statement is “ Stand fast in the liberty that Christ hath made us free ”. Some people argue that Christianity is not liberty but that it prevents us from living a life to the full; they say it restricts us and puts moral restraints upon us. That is of course not true, look around you do we see much enjoyment and I add, lasting fulfilment, when we shake off Gods supreme words and will for us? , The results can be seen look on the television and in the newspapers even today. Chaos and wanton destruction. No rather our Liberty is in Christ our freedom is within his laws; to do his will and to reap a satisfaction from a spirit filled life that this world can never match.
The Galatians had had the message of salvation through Faith in Jesus Christ alone preached to them, by Paul himself and they had believed and acted on it, but then others with different doctrines came, teaching them to look to the law, customs and ceremonies, circumcision and actions rather than faith in the word and person of Jesus Christ. They begin to have doubts and to waiver.
So Paul sets forth his credentials as an apostle not of men but of Jesus Christ. He is telling them that his teaching is not of man, not even of one of the other apostles but that it is a message sent by God.
Our works as human beings are merely works of the flesh. Since the fall of man as documented in the book of Genesis we have all inherited a sinful nature. Before the fall there was no law, man was free to do as he would, there was no need of laws as mans heart was clean and his nature was to please and glorify God.
We have all inherited that sinful nature of the fall let no man tell you any differently; we can see it around us as well as set out for us in this chapter. The works of the flesh Adultery, Fornication, Uncleanness, Lasciviousness, Idolatry, Witchcraft, Hatred, Variance, Emulation’s, Wrath, Strife, Sedition’s and Heracies, Envying, Murder, Drunkenness, Revelling.