Traveling Inward to Come Out: Part 9

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Yesterday ended with a relatively large freedom. To be sure, I did not invent or interpret that freedom. That freedom is what is given to us by God.

Today, let’s continue looking at the rest of Galatians. I would encourage you and some point to read the last 3 chapters in their entirety on your own…

Galatians Chapter 4
Galatians 4:9

So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world?

(NLT Used Here)

 

 

Paul insists that it would be foolish to turn back to the law now that a direct relationship with him (where we know him and he knows us) is possible.  He phrases “turning back” to a reliance on the law as becoming slaves to it… as becoming slaves to the world again.

 

 

Galatians 4:10

You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years.

(NLT Used Here)

 

He speaks out against those trying to impose the observation of the religious holidays from the Old Covenant as a requirement for salvation. (Paul is speaking out against the observation of these things as pre-requisite, not necessarily barring them culturally. Think about how Matthew 7:21-22 connects to this idea…

 

 

Galatians 4:21

Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says?

(NLT Used Here)

 

 

Paul insists that if one wants to live under the law, they are responsible for knowing and following it perfectly.

Think about how this also relates to judging others.

 

Matthew 7:1-5

 

Galatians 4:22-3

The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife.

The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise.

(NLT Used Here)

 

 

Abraham was not blameless and tried to fulfill God’s promise his own way, David did the same thing… yet God had patience with him because they had a relationship… ultimately, Abraham was justified by faith and God’s will was exercised through him.

 

Galatians 4:31

So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.

(NLT Used Here)

 

Self- explanatory…?

 

Galatians Chapter 5
Galatians 5:1

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

(NLT Used Here)

 

The yoke of slavery= the misguided love and desire for religiosity.

Galatians 5:6

For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

(NLT Used Here)

 

 

When we have a relationship with Christ, there is no benefit or harm that should be applied to our lives based on cultural or religious expectation; rather, what is expected is a faith that shows itself through love (not condemnation).

Matthew 7:12

 

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

(NLT Used Here)

 

1 Corinthians 13

I would encourage you to take so time to read and study this chapter… use the context of these verses in search of new meaning.

 

Galatians 5:13

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

(NLT Used Here)

 

Paul reminds us that the freedom given us by Christ is not a mandate to do whatever one wants or thinks, but to serve one another in love.

 

The phrasing here is important: Why would Paul phrase the second part of this statement in terms of love, not condemnation?

 

Galatians 5:14

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

(NLT Used Here)

 

 

Love is the criteria that can be used in checking to see if we are on the right track.

Galatians 5:15

But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

(NLT Used Here)

 

 

Is there any way this verse can apply to how Christians today treat their LGBTQ brothers and sisters?

Galatians 5:16

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

(NLT Used Here)

 

 

This is the key point. In order to truly be in Christ, we must relinquish our control and our own moral judgement to let the spirit do its work in guiding us.

Galatians 5:19-21

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,

idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,

envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

(NLT Used Here)

Paul provides this list of actions as a counter-balance, an illustration of what love for God, love for self, and love for each other doesn’t look like.

 

Hopefully by now, you can conceptualize that there are LGBTQ people like me whose relationships and desires don’t match up with these red flags…

 

And what about the non-sexual actions listed here? Hostility, quarreling…anger…dissension… is there any way these can be applied to how Christians treat their LGBTQ brothers and sisters?

Galatians 5:22

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

(NLT Used Here)

 

 

If we are known by our fruit, we should concern ourselves with doing these things, and not with not doing those above.

Galatians 5:23-26

gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

(NLT Used Here)

 

 

We should just… just read and re-read this over and over.

Galatians Chapter 6
Galatians 6:2

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

(NLT Used Here)

 

What does this mean when it comes to people we don’t like or understand?

Galatians 6:10

Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone–especially to those in the family of faith.

(NLT Used Here)

 

 

Again, what does this mean when it comes to people we don’t like or understand?

At this point, this is where I am at:

  • I don’t need fixing because I am Gay
  • I seek God in all that I do
  • I seek and advocate for love
  • I seek the acceptance of other Christians while I accept others
  • I believe that Christ’s core teaching is love and grace.
  • I trust that God will reveal any flawed thinking as I run into it as a part of the process of Him revealing and fulfilling His good and perfect will in my life.

I only ask for what my fellow Christians ask for; Please trust in God’s willingness and ability to have a relationship with me (and my fellow brothers and sisters/ non-gender conformers) instead of insisting you have it all figured out.

It is our job to encourage one another in our walk with Christ, not tear each other down. If we can do this, Christ promises that everything else will be taken care of.

Just remember:

If we want to remain punitive, then the bible says we need to follow the whole law, which includes:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/List_of_actions_prohibited_by_the_Bible

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