27 Aug 1999

Galatians 1: One Message

Submitted by theshovel
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This open letter comes to you from one of the many nobodies God has called. I bring good news to you who struggle with sin and bondage and with the truth of freedom. Just so you know, I am not backed by any kind of religious establishment, for my message is rejected by most. I am well aware that what I'm about to tell you will sound overly simplistic and out of touch with reality. Despite what may appear, there's nothing that happens in your life that is not directly affected by the freedom of Christ. It was to deliver us from this present evil world that he gave himself for our sins.

I have viewed the Christian scene for decades, and it disturbs me. It disturbs me because you are so willing to try any means of freedom other than Christ himself. Sure, many will agree that grace is important, but their version of grace is pathetic. You have been so influenced by the religious system and all its methods of freedom the idea that grace is all you need probably sounds ridiculous. What I want to know is, what formula or program have you settled for to help you cope with daily living? Although it may seem to work for a time, I'm telling you that it's not freedom.

There is only one message that brings freedom, and it has been twisted for centuries. It makes no difference who offers it to you – whether a messenger from God or a respected preacher – anyone who tells you there is freedom in anything other than Christ and his finished work should be viewed as offering death! If a restaurant served me their dinner special that had rotten meat with maggots in it, I wouldn't be fooled by the propaganda that claimed it was fresh, would you? Why then, do you accept a perversion of freedom as being the real thing?

There are lots of deceivers who say they believe in grace. Of course, if they actually did believe it, would they be so caught up in the reputation game? Oh, I know what it's like to be considered an authority in spiritual things, for it used to be important to me, too. I don't care that the system doesn't validate me. You know what? If religious validation was important to me, then I wouldn't want anything to do with Jesus Christ, because the system didn't validate Him, either.

Many have claimed that I have nothing different to offer, that I'm just a product of my upbringing. Sure, I've studied theology and I've read many important men's views, but I didn't learn this message of freedom from a book or from a man. This truth comes from Christ. If He hadn't opened my eyes to it, I wouldn't have seen it. I used to resist this freedom just as many of you have. Although I had shown great promise and was actively involved in ministry, I turned out to be quite a disappointment to my teachers, my peers, and my family. Believe me, I heard and felt their condescension.

You see, I thought I already knew God's grace, but what was being revealed to me began to blow my whole belief system apart! God, who makes no mistakes, purposed this inconvenient interruption before I was even born. Had I followed the advice of my peers I would have abandoned this so-called heresy before it ruined my chances of operating within the system! Why do I tell you this? So that you don't try to credit any man with the message of freedom that I speak. Its understanding comes directly from God! And what proof do I offer? Only that those who hear me give God the credit for it.

New Testament: 


My absolute favorite bits:  "... so willing to try any means of freedom other than Christ."   "It makes no difference who it is - a messenger from God or a respected preacher - anyone who tells you there is freedom in anything other than the finished work of Christ should be viewed as offering death!" "... the system didn't validate Him, either." "It's understanding comes directly from God ... those who hear me give God the credit for it."                    <~just pretend that i have that many thumbs!       Just as any other gospel, other than the gospel of Christ, is NOT the gospel but indeed a lie, so any other freedom that is not the freedom of Christ is NOT true freedom either.  It is not the freedom of Christ.  It is not the freedom man has with GOD in Christ Jesus. Thank you so very much for all the encouragement and true support for and toward those in Christ that you offer so freely here!  :) 

This was a refreshing read today, I enjoyed it! Thanks!

No! I lost my message SIGHH!! WHY, BACK BUTTON! WHY!!!! (Said in Mrs' Puffs voice. (No, I haven't watched anymore Spongebob.. I promise! LOL )  After all that work!! SIGH!  and now this less commenty form is all that seems to be all that is coming.. So it is all I can do for now I guess.  Sorry its a bit less personal than b4 though. What reputation can we gain if our identity is Christ? That is if we have been made one-- if there is now *no disticintion*  How can there be more to (and Hmm.. Lol. I shall change it a bit more, and copy a style I read on the shovel shack for fun! As it seems to actually flow better LOL I think it in the right context?) Who told you that there is more to gain? Who told you that another has more than you--that someone is better than you? Who told you that you are missing something? That is, who told you there is something you need to 'seek'? (That in turn might make you more reputable?) This voice to often likes to try and decieve me (daily ), and sadly it often 'seems' to suceed in its goal of separation. and even if/when I eventually notice the deception, then comes the feeling that I need to 'get back' on track in regards to Christ.. (and yet.. Who told me that I have been separated?) But thankfully my our train of life has not been, and cannot ever be derailed! For It is eternal! There is now no separation! Christ, who is our life, has become our identity! Our only true reputation if you will.. :) ( I feel like there is a link there, IDK if the textbook definition of reputation fits my feeling though?  (I'm also having a blurry thought that maybe there are really only two options in regards to reputation? Adam, Christ - Death, Life? Anything else is more of a facade? I think I have heard something simalar b4 on here?) Oh well, thats enough for tonight I suppose! I hope you all have a great night! Thanks again Jim for stirring up these thoughts ! Nathaniel
theshovel's picture

Hello Nathaniel! I found your post this morning before heading out the door. I'm sorry that you lost your original version, but what you wrote here is very uplifting and thoughtful. Thanks! By the way if you use either Firefox or Chrome, there is an extension called Lazarus that will save your forms (it raises them from the dead ... LOL) and allow you to repost them. Jim :)

LOL Lazarus! I use Firefox, so I will have to go check it out! It sounds like good add-on to add to my collection. Thanks!
theshovel's picture

When resurrecting saved text with the Lazarus extension on theshovel.net while using the Rich Text editor, right-click inside the subject box and choose the "Recover form" option that shows on the popup. The top item in the list will be the last thing it saved (and you will notice that it has saved many other forms that might come in handy). Anyhow, click the appropriate item, and it will be added back for you! If you post using the plain text editor (which is all you'll have if you're not signed in), you can click in either the subject box OR the comment box and you'll see two options. One says, "Recover form", the other says, "Recover text". From my own use, it seems that you can choose either one. The "Recover text" option is nice because it shows the first phrase of the saved comment. You can switch back and forth between Rich Text and plain text. If you look just under the text input box you'll see a link that says, Switch to plain text editor. Click it, and it will change to plain text. Now you can right-click anywhere in the text box and you'll see those Lazarus options. By the way, anyone who happens to post without signing in won't have the option to use the fancy editor but only has the plain text input box. Anyone can fix that by signing in, plus the comment will immediately go through with authorization. JIm

Jim I meant to tell you that I really like and appreciate that fancy editor. It is really good!   Adam
theshovel's picture

Thanks Adam! You just have to be careful when pasting stuff from the Internet because it injects a lot of behind the scenes coding that forces large breaks that you didn't add yourself. I've been helping Sherri reformat a comment that got skewed from a copy and paste. LOL! I'll be adding an extra feature shortly that might help a little bit for that sort of thing. It's a special copy and paste from Word documents that seemed to help some pasting I just tried from Biblegateway. Jim

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