ADVENT DEVOTIONAL 2017
REIGNING WITH CHRIST
But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. Galatians 3:22-25
Our taxes do many good things: maintain schools, build highways, help poor people. Many people say that our taxes do so many good things that they (the taxes, not the things) should be higher. For those who so believe the Bureau of Fiscal Service will accept donations to help reduce the Federal Debt. So far in 2017, $2.6 million (with an “m”) has been so donated. In the same year, a single individual, Bill Gates, has given in excess of $4 billion (with a “b”) to fund the charities of his choice. People tend not to give voluntarily above and beyond what they have to give, but some people who are given freedom will give far beyond what could be required even though it is not required. God understands this. He knows that if rules and regulations placing his subjects under obligation will only call forth a begrudging “bare minimum” goodness. But if He is able to adopt people into His family and make them co-regents with his Son, they may well be motivated to be like the Father and Son into whose family they have been adopted. They may indeed freely go far beyond the minimum requirements.
FJ HUEGEL: Our Heavenly Father has something infinitely better for His children than a legal system of Thou shalts and Thou shalt nots. Paul declares that the real purpose of the old Mosaic code was to show up sin as such and to reveal its awful heinousness.
No, the Christian is not under law. He has been adopted into the family of God and been given the Spirit of the Son whereby he cries: Abba Father. He can do as he pleases because, being a temple of God and indwelt of the Holy Spirit, he only pleases to do what pleases his Heavenly Father. Exceeding great and precious promises have been given unto him whereby he has been made a partaker of the divine nature. That sets him on infinitely higher ground. His supreme delight is in pleasing his Father and in the indwelling Holy Spirit he finds the capacity for this. Nor need we fear that such freedom may result in licentiousness, for grace can achieve what law never can.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank you for Freedom in Christ. I long to do more for you with my freedom than I could have done if you required it. In Jesus’s name. Amen.