DJ Gorena

Life as I see it

Month: November, 2012

Freedom

To be free is to be at one’s own disposal. This is the underlying formal sense of independence of others persisted in the Greek world. It was partly fashioned by contrast with the bondage of the slave. The slave is the one who from the first, by nature, does not belong to himself but to someone else. In the Greek world this concept was formalized within the political institution. There were those who argued for the slavery of others while others argued against slavery and desired freedom for all. Plato believed that if slavery was abolished it would create all sorts of major consequences for the community-at-large. The political institution in the Greek world made the idea of slaves and freemen a part of Greek life.

The New Testament concept of “freedom” is equally interesting. It is evident in the New Testament that freedom is not absent because there is inadequate control of existence but because there is no control of it all, and therefore no self-dominion. It teaches that existence in and of itself is not threatened by some outside force but rather by itself. Therefore, to take oneself in hand is simply to grasp a deficient existence. Man trying to preserve himself is merely a way of losing one’s true self. In face of lost existence there is only one possibility of coming to oneself, and this is by surrender of one’s own will to the will and power of an external force. Man attains to self-control by letting himself be controlled.

Set in the stone of God’s Word we find that the man who surrenders himself to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior receives freedom from sin, from the Law, and from death. Freedom is freedom from an existence which in sin leads through the Law to death. See how the New Testament cites for us the truth of freedom:

But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:17-23)

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31-36)

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:1-8)

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery…For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:1, 13)

Freedom! This is what man desires. This is what man fights for and yet there is no freedom in and of himself. Although man believes he is free he continually enslaves himself to the sin that resides in him. In addition, the Law enslaves man because it points out the sin of man in the breaking of the Law. Therefore, man is enslaved not only to sin but also to the Law. To what does this point us? To whom shall we go for freedom?

The above-mentioned verses are clear! Freedom comes to man when man surrenders himself to another. In surrendering to himself he only exhibits that he is enslaved to his own lusts, to his own flesh, to who he is by nature. To turn to and to surrender to Jesus Christ is to find freedom, it was for freedom that Christ set us free.

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Reaching the Lost for Jesus Christ

I believe that as a Christ-follower I am to faithfully spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through evangelistic opportunities to those around us. Here’s the reasons why:

Matthew 28:16-20

But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Mark 16:14-18

Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believe: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

Romans 10:14-21

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, but a nation without understanding will I anger you.” And Isaiah is very bold and says, “I was found by those who did not seek Me, I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

2 Corinthians 5:9-21

Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences. We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Timothy 4:1-5

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Sunday Review, November 25, 2012

Paul the apostle takes his time teaching the churches of Galatia — as well as teaching us, I might add — that we are free from the Law and licentiousness. He addresses this in Galatians 5:7-15 a he continues to speak of turning away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we as believers turn to legalism, then we ruin the grace that God has given us. The Law makes us a debtor. Finally, if we turn to the Law and turn away from the grace that God has given us through the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, then we fall away from grace. This does not mean that we lose our salvation, rather, it means that we leave behind what it is that we know to be Truth, that is, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is Truth! In addition, Paul continues to say that turning to the Law hinders our growth in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, turning to the Law removes the offense of the Cross of Christ. Rather than that offense, the offense is the breaking of the Law. Paul then encourages us to live a life apart from license. You can listen to the sermon here:  http://deniliojgorena.sermon.net/da/1199889021/play.

This evening’s message was about the calling of Moses and the structure of Exodus 3-4. Written in narrative form, Moses tells us his story of when God called him from the burning bush. Interestingly enough, the bush is not being consumed by the fire as it is “the angel of the LORD” that is speaking to Moses. He tells Moses that He has heard the cries of His people and He has seen the affliction brought on by the Egyptians that are holding them in bondage. God tells Moses that He is going to deliver His people from Egypt and will free them. This is a beautiful picture of how God hears the cries of those who are held in bondage to sin. And those who are without Christ are certainly held in bondage as they are slaves of sin. God, however, comes to those who are crying out for salvation and He hears their prayers. In addition, He hears the cries of His afflicted people — those who already know Jesus Christ as their Deliverer. You can listen to the sermon here: http://deniliojgorena.sermon.net/da/1199889028/play.

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