18 Aug 2001

Ignoring the Label

Submitted by theshovel
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Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? Galatians 4:21

Those who don't pay attention to the warning, "Fatal If Taken Internally", become statistics validating the product label. I remember figuring out how people knew why certain pills or chemicals or berries or animal bites would kill you, and it horrified me. I realized that these warnings were not written to tell me that someone COULD die, but that many people ALREADY HAD.

Most of us have come to the conclusion that this is why it's necessary to follow an established set of rules or principles. But what happens when those who take heed to certain principles find themselves breaking others that have the same fatal consequences? And what if those who know how to cover their tracks pretend they are above those who haven't figured out how to do it yet? This was not only true of the world Jesus was born into, it remains the same today. Those who want to live by a set of guiding principles are ignoring the label that says, Fatal if taken internally!

Paul's question to the Galatian believers was posed because some were considering the Biblical ritual of circumcision. Being far removed from this scene causes many to assume that Paul's concern is no longer valid - but it is closer than we have imagined! You see, those who were pushing the circumcision issue were part of a group of self-proclaimed authorities resting on a privileged heritage offering an initiation ritual to the spiritually-deficient. Their message? If you don't come through US, you can't have our goods.

Today this initiation is offered in many ways but always sounds the same. At any given moment it is the ONE thing you need to make the lasting difference in your spiritually-deficient life. Forget hypothetical examples and simply ask yourself what that ONE thing is to YOU. What program are YOU considering - or trying - that appears to be the answer to your struggles? Whether a ritual to be performed, a good deed to do, Bible knowledge to learn, a gift to receive, a position to acheive, or even a believing to produce or maintain, the label states, Fatal if taken internally!

What does the law tell us about being under law? That the life that depends upon principles to control it is enslaved to those same principles, for only those born according to the promise are truly free. While it is natural for a law-slave to live under bondage, it grates against the one miraculously born of the Spirit. This means that those who live by principles don't have a clue as to the life by which you live for they don't even know who you really are. So, before you follow their program, consider the question:

Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law?
Galatians 4:21

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These comments were all transferred over from the original website


Posted: August 18, 2001 by HumblyHis

So is it law or grace? After starting in the Spirit why are you turning back to those miserable principles. The law was our school master, but now we have a better teacher, the Holy Spirit who will bring us into the truth, and convict us of sin. For, we have been given a new heart, God's laws our writen on our hearts, and it greives us, our spirits have been made alive to Christ, so when we sin, it grieves our spirits, we do not want to sin. Paul explained in the bible to struggle that we will still have with our flesh, but we are to consider ourselves dead to the law, and alive to Christ. So sin can no longer dwell in us, for our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak, who will save us from our fleshly soulish desires? Thanks be to Christ, who freely gave his life for us, that we may live a victorous life of freedom from the control of sin. We can not live righteously without the power of God! I'm thankful to my Lord Jesus Christ who made the way for me! Without Him I would still be in need of a savior, for I know in and of myself I cannot save myself! I was in need of a savior, and God has provided everything I need to live a holy and righteous life! I do not need to fear God's wrath, for Christ has paid the debt that I could not, it was a free gift of salvation for all those who will believe in the One who God sent! Thank - you Jesus! :)


Posted: August 18, 2001 by Sherri

Okay, I know that I am going to quote almost the whole Shoveletter on this one, but ... so much thought was stimulated! Your shoveling tends to do that to people, ya know?

You said:

"...what if those who know how to cover their tracks pretend they are above those who haven't figured out how to do it yet? This was not only true of the world Jesus was born into, it remains the same today ..."!!

I started thinking ....

Covering tracks and/or learning how to is how humans learn to survive in the world ... to manipulate and function amongst each other ... for gain or for whatever. However, it is sad, painful and destructive when this mind-set bleeds into our New Life and our function with one another as Christians. I don't know if that really made any sense, but ... I will think about it some more.

HA!

You said:

"... self-proclaimed authorities ... offering an initiation ritual to the "spiritually-deficient". Their message? If you don't come through US, you can't have "our" goods."

I started thinking:

This is exactly how religion functions. It is soooo creative, isn't it? Like a bunch of cliques and clubs! Life without GOD has no other recourse, does it? Christians have no place or business living that way any longer. It is only food for sustaining the constant compare and compete world, which is more food for the constant judging and condemning of self and one another.

We are made New Creations in Christ ... we are Miracles ... we were not accepted just the way we were ... He made us NEW! He did not 'change' us, as simply from one state to another, or an alteration or a modification of the same. We were miraculously REBORN into a Life that is completely brand spankin' NEW! How do we miss this? To view ourselves any less than that is simply a pathetic and sadly anemic interpretation of Who GOD is and who HE has made us in Christ ... a mockery to Him and His death and all that He accomplished to present us Holy and without spot or wrinkle, totally and completely pleasing to the FATHER! He is the 'pleasing' in us, and we are the 'pleasing' in Him! That is the union we share ... the unity that is spoken of.

: )

I say all that as one who has been guilty of that same very anemic and pathetic frame of mind ... as one who has been caught in the religious traps of bogus, superstitious, and fleshly interpretations of GOD, and being deceived about HIS 'expectations' of me and others. This only led me to treat myself and others the same way ... as those always 'lacking' ... always needing something more ... NOT seeing Christ as our total and complete sufficiency.

You also said:

" ... those who live by principles don't have a clue as to the life by which you live for they don't even know who you really are. So, before you follow their program, consider the question:

"Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law?"

I think:

That is a very good realization to come to and a good question to ask ourselves and each other from time to time ... when we are feeling the strong pangs of 'lacking' and/or feeling 'spiritually - deficient'.

And you said:

"... simply ask yourself what that ONE thing is to YOU. What program are YOU considering - or trying - that appears to be the answer to your struggles? ..."

I think:

Soooo good with the questions, you are!!

: )

Keep on shovelin' ! Good stuff!!

Sherri


Posted: August 18, 2001 by Angie

Hi Jim!

« My desire is that you come to view all things through Christ, and him crucified because every other perspective is delusional. A religious
Jesus will do you no good so why would you waste your time with one? »

I know this isn't even the actual letter yet, but already your words have messed with my head :)

Seriously, I absolutely love this! Christ is the reality, and anything else is insane delusions of life! Can I use it in the signature to my email?

Angie


Angie, sure, you can use it as a signature!! :)

Jim


Posted: August 18, 2001 by Becki

« I am learning to put a lot of material in a much shorter letter. I'm keeping them at approximately 500 words now, whereas, I've sent out some in the past that were triple that. »

I've noticed the shorter length! I love getting your shoveletter, but almost every time, I mark it to save, and I set it aside to read it later, when I have time. The last couple of letters, however, I noticed how short they were and simply stopped to read them instead of saving them for later. I know how it kills an author to write short pieces, but the benefits by email are great!

Hugs from Becki

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