Bible Study faith Fight Like a Girl Freedom

1 Timothy: Fight the Good Fight

Have you ever felt worn out while trying to live the Christian life? I have. There are times when doing what is right, going against the flow of culture, and living by faith is downright exhausting. But this is not how it’s supposed to be, and I can see that my problem is not my own weakness, but my attempt to live this life apart from the wisdom and strength God provides.

1 Timothy 1:18-19 

18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.

Paul encourages Timothy, and the rest of us, to fight the good fight and to not shipwreck our faith, as some had done.

It looks like Timothy is a young pastor, possibly just recently ordained. Paul is telling Timothy to remember the truths that were spoken to him during his ordination. While we don’t have a transcript of what was said, we know that it was in accordance with the gospel and that those words gave the strength young Timothy needed during stormy times.

Paul uses two different kinds of metaphors. One is of a military nature and one is nautical. His point is that we need to be good warriors as well as good sailors.


As a warrior we have two jobs. One is to fight against those things that are contrary to God’s Word and His honor. The world calls us to come and rest in her comforts and to amass her fortunes. She tells us to accept her philosophies in order to find joy, and to link arms with those who oppose God. But comfort is not found in stuff, and our value and dignity cannot be found in the world, but only in our relationship with Jesus. We are to fight against lies and injustice, perversion and evil.

But we also have to fight against all those same things that lurk in our own hearts. We are tempted to disbelieve God and we must fight that impulse. We are tempted to dishonor God by being lazy, unkind, thoughtless, or greedy and we must fight.

The second job we have as warriors is to fight for the gospel; to fight for righteousness and goodness and truth. It is not enough to speak out against what is wrong, but to speak clearly for what is right, and to then follow such words with holy actions.

But we must always fight with love and grace because this is how the Captain of Armies interacts with us and we are to be like our Captain.


The second charge Paul gives us is to make sure we don’t shipwreck our faith. We believe that once you are saved you cannot lose your salvation. The sacrifice of Christ cannot be undone, the pardon cannot be taken back, and our adoption as children of God cannot be made void. Our salvation is secure, but we are capable of weakening and even wrecking our faith to the point of bringing shame on the name of God and earthly consequences to ourselves.

In order to be a good sailor we need knowledge and wisdom. We need to know how to spot false teachings that cause harm to people’s souls. We need to be able to distinguish between truth and error. We need to learn how to sail through different kinds of water, whether still, choppy, or turbulent. All of this knowledge and wisdom can only come through the study of God’s Word and communion with God through prayer.

Through all of this we need to remember that we cannot be strong warriors or smart sailors on our own. If you rely on your own strength you will become overwhelmed, fearful, worn out, and ready to give up very quickly. We must rely on the power and strength that God offers us on a daily basis.

Confess your weaknesses, ask for help, trust that God will answer, and watch him work in your life.

Bible Study Freedom Joy Living in the Spirit

Living in the Spirit

In today’s world of social media and selfies, our lives have become more and more about me. How can this benefit me? What do I get out of this? It’s not my problem. Raising a teenager and working with youth, I hear these quite frequently. To live in the spirit you have to realize it is not your life. It is God’s story told through your life. Luke 9:23 says, “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Jesus said put yourself to the side and pick up your cross daily. He didn’t say on Sundays and Wednesday night. He said “DAILY” If you want to live in the spirit, this is the first step.

Ephesians 5:18-33

18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Verse 19 says ” speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.” I love this! My son is always getting on to me because I will randomly burst into song at any given moment. I tell him, “How sad it must be not to live in a musical.”

When everything is right in the life of a Christian, the Spirit of God gives love, joy, and peace which in turn give a song in the heart. The Christian is supposed to be one with a singing heart. Have you met a new Christian and seen the joy of the Lord on his face? Freedom from sin, a sense of God’s presence and a bright future ahead are all to be a part of the life of the Christian.

Today there are many who are suggesting all sorts of things as signs of being filled with the Spirit, but here in Ephesians 5 we have one of the three major signs declared to be evidences.

Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,

In verse 20 we have the second evidence of a Spirit-filled Christian and that is ” always giving thanks to God the Father for everything.” When Jesus is Lord we can expect God’s blessing and know that Romans 8:28 comes true:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

It doesn’t mean that everything will be easy, but the Christian doesn’t look at the present but at the end result.

The story of Paul and Silas in prison is a good illustration of this, as is also the story of Joseph.

Verse 21 gives us the third evidence of one who is Spirit filled. It says, ”
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ .” When we are self-centered instead of Christ-centered, we won’t want to be submitting ourselves to God or to anyone else. This verse says “in the fear of God.” We want to live in the right relationship to God so that we can expect His blessing on our lives. We put others first instead of ourselves. This is why it is a joy to be with truly Spirit-filled Christians, because they are “others-first” minded.

Show me someone with a melody in the heart, giving thanks for all things and submitting one toward another, and I’ll show you a Spirit-filled Christian. If we are not experiencing this, we need to go back and examine our hearts; are they filled with a lack of joy, unthankfulness or lack of submission? God brings His blessings, not so much because of what we know, but rather what we do with what we know.

In Ephesians 5:22 it says,” Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” In Ephesians 5:25 it says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Today we have many broken homes and divorces. Many reasons are given, but without exception you will find husbands have not done what Ephesians 5:25 says, or wives have not done what Ephesians 5:22 says. If husbands would love as they should, wives would submit as they should, there could be a beautiful relationship instead of the other kind.

Many times husbands will say, “If my wife were more submissive I would be more loving,” and wives will say, “If my husband were more loving I would be more submissive.” Maybe we need to mind our own business. Do what we should do and let the Spirit of God show the other what they should do. What a beautiful thing it is to see a loving husband and a submissive wife.

God can do it if we put our self off the throne and let Jesus Christ have His rightful place.

Next we see another area that will be much better if Jesus Christ is Lord. It is the child-parent relationship. In Ephesians 6:1 it says, “Children obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right.” In verse 4 it says, “And you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath.”

It seems that apart from the Lordship of Christ and the Spirit-filled life, there is a natural tendency for children to be disobedient to their parents. And parents, through their self-will, provoke children to wrath. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if the relationship between parents and children were consistently pleasant? It can be if we consistently practice the Spirit-filled life.

Again, if we are children we should concentrate on being obedient; and if we are parents, we should concentrate on not provoking, but bringing “them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (vs. 4)

One other area of improved relationships when we are Spirit filled is that of the employer/ employee. In Ephesians 6:5 we read, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters…” And in verses 7-9 it suggests that masters should do good things for the servants.

Without Christ it is everyone for himself. Thus, in this world we have a great deal of employer/employee unrest. The servant would like to get as much pay for as little work as possible, and the master would like to get as much work for as little pay as possible.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self- control. The first three things are what God gives the saved. We concentrate on outer love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self- control, but the Spirit of God wants to give us a well of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self- control. In other words it is inside, and what you see on the outside is just the overflow.

The world says, “Put on a happy face.” The Spirit-filled Christian will have a happy heart.

Look at the fruit of the Spirit. This has to do with our conduct towards others. It isn’t any wonder that all Christians seem to wish they had the fruit of the Spirit, because they are wonderful things. If we are filled with the Spirit, we will not only have a beautiful spirit within but will also be showing the fruit to others around us.

The fruits of the Spirit also have to do with character. A Spirit-filled Christian will be seen as a person of faith. Others looking at him will put this down as a character description. He is a person of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self- control. .

We all would like to change our world, but are we willing to take the steps necessary in order to accomplish this. God gave you the fruit of the Spirit. All you have to do is use it and grow it.

Have you ever been in a true revival? I had often heard of revival being like a forest fire (burning at will, where the wind drove it.) Some years ago in revival I’ve seen the Holy Spirit moving like a forest fire from Christian to Christian convicting of sin. People repented of sin and their self-will, then the Spirit of God filled them. No one could tell where He was going to work next. In fact He often worked in several Christians at the same time. The Holy Spirit was at work and His power and working were awesome.

During that time there was tremendous honesty and tremendous love. So often we have little honesty and little love. All true Christians say that this is their part of their doctrine, but in everyday situations there often is very little evidence.

Do you see these in yourself; stubbornness, rebellion, arguing, etc.? When we repent of these things and learn to rest in the Lord, the exciting thing is that He forgives and begins a change in you.

Bible Study Freedom

Freedom: Live Free

Today we are finishing up our study in Galatians and I wanted to review a little of what I learned. Here are the major lessons we’ve learned:

Trust Christ’s death on the cross and grace. Our works will never get us anywhere.

It’s not about what we do, but who God is and what He will do through us.

Don’t seek rules. Walk in the Spirit by seeking God, and He will lead you to where you need to be. As long as God is directing you, you never have to worry if you’re doing too much or not enough.

Galatians 6:15

“Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.”

The Galatians didn’t need to do anything to be saved. They already were. They were already made new by their faith in Christ. From their example, we learn we don’t need to work for what we already have.

When Jackson was a baby, I fed him with a bottle every morning when he woke up or during the day we he was hungry, he would cry for me to feed him because he was unable to get food on his own. Now that he is a teenager, he can get up and get food on his own. He still asks me for breakfast, snacks and supper. I still have to remind him that he is free to get food when he likes. Sometimes as Christians we need reminding that we are free. We get bogged down with traditions as the Jews were and we forget we are free to worship and serve God. We are free from the wages of sin. We are free to live our life for God to the fullest.

That’s the reminder I hope this series gave you. You have freedom with God’s grace. If you are saved by faith, you are free. My hope is that now you are empowered to go out and live free.

It doesn’t matter what church you go to, if you feel the spirit move and you wanna raise that hand do it. If you wanna thank God for his presence in your life, testify. We are free from traditions and rules people put on salvation. God says if you call on his name and believe with your heart your will be saved. You don’t need a class or a special service. You need one on one time with God.

Bible Study Freedom

Freedom: to Carry Each Others Burdens

A month or so ago in Sunday School, the question was posed what do we do when we see someone giving in to temptation or being worn down from temptation. These verses in Galatians 6 came to my mind. The problem most of the time with me is fear. I do not want to damage the relationship and in the back of my mind I am thinking, “I sin too! I just sin differently.” And I don’t want the people to think I am judging them. But Paul tells us how to do this and help others.

Galatians 6:1-6 New International Version (NIV)

6 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

When I see someone being ensnared by sin, I normally speak to my husband. We talk about our burden for them. Daniel(my husband) is very non- confrontational. So when ever this comes up he always says pray for that person and I am like, “what about restoring them?” This is a really tough balance. Gently restore without being judgy or condemning.

For the last three months, I have been dealing with just this. Daniel and I have been praying our hearts out for a friend who is on a slippery slope that will only lead to destruction. We have been trying to find the time and manner to address the problem and we have been praying that God would open a door for us to talk or change that persons heart. We are carrying this person’s burden and I don’t think they even know.

Paul begins with a situation where a person is caught in any transgression. We should begin by observing that Paul is not reserving this discussion for what we would classify as a “serious sin.” Rather, if anyone is caught in any transgression. Please also consider that Paul is not saying that we are catching people in their sins. Rather, the person is caught or trapped in sin. They are ensnared by sin. We are witnessing a Christian who has been overtaken by sin.

Paul says that we must not standby and do nothing. We are not to despise the person or condemn them in our hearts. We are not to gossip to others about the person. We are called to restore the person. This Greek word that we have translated into English as “restore” was a word used in secular Greek for setting a fractured bone. The word means to knit together. Our concern must immediately be the restoration of the person. This is exactly what Jesus taught in Matthew 18:15-17.

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

Who is supposed to do the work of restoration? Paul says, “You who are spiritual.” Who are the spiritual? I believe our context would direct us back to Galatians 5:16-26 where the spiritual are those who are walking by the Spirit and that walk is observed by the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. The spiritual are those in whom the fruit of the Spirit is seen. These are the ones who should see the opportunity and take responsibility to go to a brother or sister in Christ who has been captured by sin.

Paul also tells us how we are to go restore someone who is captured by sin. The spiritual are supposed to go to that one in a spirit of gentleness. Gentleness is one of the characteristics we read that reveals the fruit of the Spirit. We are coming to them with our emotions and words under control. A lack of gentleness is a sign of immaturity and is why the spiritual are commanded to go restore a fallen believer.

Warning. Paul also includes a warning for this process. The one who is spiritual who is trying to restore the brother or sister must keep watch on himself or herself. There is a temptation to sin in this process. Spiritual pride is a great temptation in trying to restore another. We must be mindful that anyone can fall and no one is above temptation. Even in trying to do the right thing, Satan will tempt us to sin in this process.

Bearing one another’s burdens is described as fulfilling the law of Christ. Christ is the ultimate example of love and serving, who bore our burdens of sin so that we could be restored to him. We are commanded to love others as Christ loved us (John 13:34; Ephesians 4:32). Bearing burdens is one way we follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Remember what Paul taught earlier in Galatians 5:13-14 that through love we serve one another and thus are fulfilling the law.

This command implies that we have relationships with each other. We cannot help each other unless we are in relationship with each other and have fellowship with each other. This means we must open up to each other and welcome deeper relationships as family than just cursory, obligatory conversations. We must spend time together and speak to each other about spiritual things if we will have any opportunity to help each other grow and be able to restore each other.

This is a beautiful picture God has given us. If we walk by the Spirit, we will love one another more, and in loving one another more, we will bear one another’s burdens. In desiring to bear one another’s burdens we will attempt to restore anyone who is caught by a transgression.

But again Paul must warn us about the proper way about how we can help each other and bear one another’s burdens. Paul must caution us against a temptation to pride. “For if anyone thinks he is something, then he is nothing, he deceives himself.” It is important that we read this explanation carefully because it will help us in our fight against pride. The middle of the statement is what we need to hear. Before God we are nothing. Therefore, you must not think you are something because you are deceiving yourself.

The gospel is to create in us a new self-image. My sin and God’s grace humbles me. Yet his grace empowers me because all that matters is the praise and honor that comes from God. My value is not in myself but in God who loves me and gave himself for me. This is the new image we are to possess that the gospel creates in us. Jesus’ approval of me is what matters! What I think of myself is not important because I am likely wrong. We are nothing of ourselves but made valuable in Christ.

“But let each one test his own work.” This is not a competition. We are not here for comparison. Keep your eyes on God, not others, when looking at your own work. Comparison wrecks us. Look at your own work before God and take joy in your work. Do the work given to you. Take joy in your own work that you have granted to you by God.

“For each will have to bear his own load.” This is not a contradiction to the command in verse 2. The point is to just carry your load. Stop comparing your load to others. Stop worrying about how you are doing in comparison to others. This is the same message as the parable of the talents. Each of us have been granted different loads and different responsibilities. What matters is what you do with what has been granted to you. In this, there is no room for pride because we are nothing before God, carrying our loads, and helping each other when we are caught in a transgression.

I needed this study now more than ever. Hear is what I learned: We need to care about each other. We must care enough to act when we see one another struggling spiritually. We must attempt to help with a spirit of gentleness, watching ourselves so that we are not tempted into pride because we are nothing. But God has made us his chosen possession by His grace. Look at your own work. Do not compare your load to others but carry your load, enjoying the work God has given you.

Bible Study Freedom

Freedom: To Be a Little Fruity

One of my husbands favorite songs is “The Fruits of the Spirit.” The fruits of the spirit are important to every saved believer and we are free to be fruity. But we can not forget the section of verses above and below it.

Paul explains in the last parts of chapter 5 that the freedom that we have in Christ does not mean that we just do whatever we want. It is that we desire, especially if we desire to sin. This freedom calls us higher. It’s a freedom that empowers us to do what God called us to do, and it frees us from being ruled by our sinful desires. We should use our freedom in Christ not to indulge in our desires, but to serve and love and be the women that God has called us to be. God’s freedom is from the desires of our flesh so we can be free to do God’s will.

Galatians 5: 13-26

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself. 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

If we want true freedom, we must walk by the Spirit. When you give your life to Christ you receive God’s Holy Spirit. And it is His Spirit in you that convicts us and lead us to be more empowered and shows you God’s will. Walking in the Spirit means giving your spirit what it needs to survive, which is the complete opposite of what your flesh wants. Either you will feed your Spirit or you will feed your flesh, and the one you feed more will win. Feeding your spirit will lead to freedom. Feeding your flesh will lead to sin and slavery.

You’ve heard the phrase: “You are what you eat.” If you put in lust, unfaithfulness and lies what do you expect to come out? If you put in looking at others, jealousy will arise. If we put in fear, hate will come. If we put in gossip, we will produce confusion. However, if we put in hope and truth, there will be peace. If we put in prayer, there will be power. If we put in fasting, there will be freedom from sin. If we put in Bible reading and studying, there will be clarity and direction.

I’m not telling you how or when to do all of this, but not doing it will starve your flesh and the slavery to sin it brings. Pray to the Lord about which ways to best feed your spirit and do it for freedom’s sake. as you read above, Galatians 5:19-23 says:

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

First, I want to point out the difference between the acts of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. The works of the flesh represent a lack of trust in God and what we think we can do apart from Him. Works represent what we do and not trusting what God can do. All mistrust of God leads to sin. But the fruit of the Spirit represents a reliance and dependence on God, like roots to a vine, that produces a God-glorifying life. We cannot control the production of fruit, but when we are connected to God and walking in the Spirit, fruit will grow.

When we walk in the Spirit we will experience all the fruits of the Spirit that Paul lists in Galatians, about which he also says, “against such things there is no law.” That means when the Spirit is leading and producing these fruits in your life, you don’t have to worry about if you’re doing enough for God. When we are worried about what we do, if we’re doing too much or not enough, we’re concerned about the flesh and what we can do. It’s all about works. But when we are lead by the Spirit, we know God is leading us in the right direction. No law or rules can trump that.

God is not holding back His will, waiting to see if we can guess it correctly. He speaks to us through His Holy Spirit to let us know which way to go. So we can live in freedom—free from doubt, insecurity, and fear. We can go in full assurance that His Spirit will never lead us where we are not to go. So we don’t need to stress out about figuring out what’s the right thing to do. We just walk by the Spirit, and He will lead us to be very fruity,

Bible Study Freedom

Freedom: To Stand Firm

Throughout this study in Galatians one shining fact has rang true,we cannot work for our salvation, but God gave us a gift of salvation by His grace through faith. In Chapter 5, Paul reminds use that we are free and not to get bogged down with slavery.

Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

We know that we are already free from sin and condemnation. However, Paul tells us that we need to stand firm in this freedom. If we do not, we will easily become burdened by living in the lie that we have to work for God’s love and forgiveness. How do we actually do that? How do we stand firm in the freedom that Christ died for us to have?

Galatians 5:4 (NIV)

“You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”

It’s the word “alienated” that got to me. It means a separation or a destroyed fellowship. If we are putting our faith in anything other that salvation through grace, we are separating ourselves from God. Why do we cheapen grace in such a way. Are we so prideful and arrogant to think that we could work enough, and fight long enough, and hustle fast enough to come close to what God has done for us. You can’t! Salvation is based in Grace. Don’t waste your lives trying to get something that God gives for free. Our trying to work for God is the very thing that distances us from God.

So how do we not lose the freedom that we already have? We stop trying to work for it or change it. We place our faith in the finished work of Christ, and we rest in the truth that God’s grace is enough. Do we mess up? Yes. Do we still need to turn away from sin? yes! But God’s grace is sill there to cover our sins and hisa mercy forgives us when we repent.

I don’t know about you, but I want it all. I don’t want to be alienated from anything that is rightfully mine in Christ. So we must stand firm. We must live like we are loved and accepted and we must not allow any person, system, or thought to allow us to believe otherwise.

Bible Study Freedom

Freedom: From False Teaching

In the world today we have to be diligent when studying the Bible. There are many “Preachers” and teachers out there teaching for there own agenda. More and more do we see people turning away from the Gospel of Christ which tells us that we are sinners and Christ is the only way to everlasting life. There are false teachers that are simply motivational speakers. One of the major reasons Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians because they had encountered false teachers who have told them their faith and God’s grace is not enough for salvation. So I want to take some time and help you to be able to recognize false teaching.

Galatians‬ 4:17‬ (NIV‬‬)

“Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them.”

The number one thing false teachers do is lead you to become more dependent on the teacher and less dependent on Christ. They want you to only listen to their teaching. I have seen this in people who hero worship some “Preachers” (and I use that term loosely). They take everything the speaker says as gospel and does not check for themselves or study the bible to make sure the teaching is sound. It’s very controlling and not freeing like the gospel of Jesus Christ is.

A false teacher will be zealous for you. They will build you up, not to grow your relationship with the Lord, but to grow your loyalty to them. It’s all about them and their ego and what they can get from you to build themselves up, not the Kingdom of God. So they will tell you what you want to hear, even if it does not align with God’s truth. It will seem like they want to help and care about you because they are telling you all these good things. But true love does not tell you what you want to hear. True love tells you the truth. False teachers will lure you with flattery, and they will speak to the desire of your flesh more so than the things of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ that gives all honor to Him and not our works.

False teaching will look really religious. As we see with the Galatians, they were told to do all these religious things in order to be saved. But the true teaching of Jesus Christ focuses on the finished work of Christ and not what we can do for Him. Always Check for yourselves. Study they word and let God show you His gospel.

If you find yourself being drawn in by one of these false teachers, remove yourself from that situation. God is not going to lead you to a church that is not teaching his word. If you have the opportunity and feel safe, let them know why you’re leaving and why you believe their teaching is false. If they’re unwilling to change, you’re going to have to dust your hands off and find a good Bible-teaching church that stays true to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Do your homework and study the Bible. Be grounded in your faith in God and not faith in a teacher or a church building. If you know what you believe you are like a old tree with deep roots in the word, unwavering. If you aren’t rooted in the word, any gust of wind could uproot you and blow you away.

When Jesus died on the cross, He opened the door for everyone to know Him personally. When you accept Him as your Lord and Savior, you receive the Holy Spirit to help guide you in your walk with Him. Use those things to dig into the Bible and start growing roots.

I strongly believe in joining a local church, but I also believe in seeking the Lord for yourself and not always relying on someone else to pray for you, understand God’s Word, and hear from God. God wants a personal relationship with you, not some secondhand relationship through someone else.

So, as a quick review, false teachers:

Want you to be dependent on them, not dependent on Christ.

Are not focused on Jesus’ finished work on the cross, but on our works.

Use flattery to build loyalty only for the purpose of building themselves up.

Tell people what they want to hear, even if it means not telling the truth.

There are many Bible believing preachers and teachers out there, do not get me wrong. But as long as Satan in prowling around looking for those he can devour, unfortunately some people are going to fall in his trap.

Bible Study Freedom

Freedom: Never Stop Trying

The last post in Galatians, was about no longer being slaves. Paul continues today asking why we turn back to be slaves of sin. So many times, I myself have fallen into that pit. Not because God didn’t know me but because I let my sinful fleshy self win. Knowing God and Him knowing us gives us the freedom to fight that temptation. Having a relationship with God is what being a Christian is all about. To know God personally and intimately, is the way we grow and change. This is why we can never stop trying to fight sin, trying t o know God, trying to be an example and trying to do God’s will

Galatians 4:8-9,

8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces[a? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

Before the Galatians were saved and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they gave in to their sinful nature or “weak and miserable forces” as Paul described them. Like many unbelievers at this time, they worshiped false gods, lived immorally, and allowed their lives to be ruled by their sinful nature. They wanted to live their lives and do anything they desired. Paul calls this slavery because because sin ensnares you and pulls you down. We do not have to be slaves to our old selves. So for the Galatians to be going back to our old selves or giving into our sinful desires is slavery.

So Paul reminds them: not only do they know God, but more importantly, God knows them and has already imparted all the righteousness of Jesus Christ on them because of their belief. So why do we keep giving into our sin and desires. The Galatians already have what they need to fight them. God knows them, and they already have His love, acceptance, and approval. No need to go back into slavery.

What does this mean for us today? This means we don’t have to give into ourselves God is there with us to help us fight temptation. We don’t need to try to face it alone. God’s love and power is more that enough to help us stay out of slavery for good.

So if you are being tempted or have fallen into temptation, remember it is never to late to repent and turn around. God will help you and hold you while you find your way back. Sin is never the answer and will only consume you from the inside out.

Bible Study Freedom

Freedom: No Longer Slaves

As Christians, we sometimes forget that we are no longer slaves to our sinful self. We can fight it because of what Jesus did for us. As we continue our study in Galatians, Paul explains to us why we are no longer slaves.

Galatians 4:1-7 New International Version (NIV)

4 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

If there is one thing I hope those reading this series understands is that our salavation is a gift and we have been set free because of it. the only work we have to do is believe, confess and pray.

When we accept the freedom God has given us over our sinful desires, we are able to fight that temptation, with God’s help. Not only has He freed us as slaves, he also accepts us into his family and calls us heirs.

Not only are our sins wiped clean, not only are we accepted as God’s daughters, we also receive an inheritance. We receive the righteousness of Christ.

When God sees us now, He also sees His Son. All the good that Christ did to fulfill the law has now been imparted to us as our good works.

So Jesus alone completely frees us from our sin and the punishment we deserve for it. But He also works for our righteousness and gives us its benefits. We receive His inheritance as both daughters and heirs. We can see this truth more clearly in John 8:31-36:

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John‬ ‭8:31-36‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It’s funny because like the Jews here many of us are in bondage and slavery and don’t even know it. The world will tell you freedom is being able to do whatever you want but Jesus says freedom is abstaining from sin. He tells us all who have sinned are slaves to sin. We are born with this desire to go against God’s will. It is easier to follow our own desires than the will of God. So until we accept Christ in our lives we are bound to our own desires and wants. Maybe that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. But the problem is there is so much more to our lives than our desires. Anyone can do what they want. But there is more: Jesus says He came that we may have life and life to the full (John 10:10). This full life is experienced in a relationship with Him. The thing is, we must turn from our ways and follow Him (His Way). There’s just one thing. Sin has a good way if getting in the way, but Jesus died to make a way.

You may be free to do whatever you want but can you use that freedom is to live for Christ? Or has your physical freedom left you in bondage to sin? And as daughters of the Most High God freedom is our rightful inheritance. So let me ask you, are your living like a slave or a daughter?

A slave always wants more or what they can’t have. A daughter is content with her life and the blessings in it.

A slave works to pay off a debt a daughter lives in the security that her debt has been paid.

A slave has no inheritance a daughter has rights to all that is her Father’s.

A slave is incapable a daughter has power.

Now is the time to stop living like slaves and receive everything that is ours in Christ as Daughters of the King and joint heirs with Christ. Because we when understand we are God’s daughters we also understand that we don’t have to work for His affection or approval. It’s already ours.

And God has already given us His everything. His only Son on a cross even though we can’t give Him anything of value. Why? Because we are His daughters; loved, accepted, valued, highly esteemed, and royal heirs to the kingdom.

Have you ever felt that way? Small, inferior, and not enough. But Paul reminds us: It’s not about what you do. It’s about who you are. And you are a belived child of the most High God. And that truth trumps anything you can ever even think about doing for God.

It’s not about what we do for God, it’s about who we are to God.

Bible Study Freedom

Freedom: To be Children of God

This past weekend, our family was in a regional passion play. There was 45 people in the cast and 18 different churches represented. There was all types of denominations represented; however, we all worked together to tell one story. The story of Jesus. In today’s study of Galatians, we learn how the gospel of Jesus Christ frees us from these dividing lines. Because of Christ’s work on the cross, unity, reconciliation, and healing is possible. How much of that we actually experience is dependent upon if we believe that, and our willingness to surrender to God’s desire for diversity, especially in His church.

Galatians 3:26-28 New International Version (NIV)

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Paul is writing these words to the church of Galatia which received this false gospel that says this: in order to really be saved, in order to really be accepted by God, you need to conform and assimilate to Jewish culture and tradition. Jesus was Jewish and the first people to get saved were Jewish, so this is the standard, right? Absolutely not. Saved by Grace no matter what race or denomination.

For a second. put yourself in the shoes of these Galatians. Imagine someone is having a party and everyone there has on a pink shirt, and you are the only one that has on a blue shirt. You received an invitation to the party, your meal is paid for, but when you go to sit down at the table someone says, “Wait, you don’t belong at this table. You must have on a pink shirt to sit here.”

And you’re like, “But I have my ticket, I was invited, my meal is paid for.” And they are like, “Nope, it’s not enough. You need a pink shirt.” So now the attention is off of what it really takes to sit at this table, and on what makes you different from them. The truth is, you are different. You have on a blue shirt. But the lie is that this blue shirt somehow disqualifies you from sitting at this table. So then the host of the party comes up, corrects the hater, and is like, “No, I invited her. Have a seat.”

This is what the gospel does. It invites everyone to the table. Paul’s words—”There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus“—are revolutionary. Gentiles, slaves, and women can sit at the table too? Yes. Because Jesus invited you and paid for your meal. Have a seat.

This message is so important today, because there is so much comparisons of people and churches. We have to remember, being saved by grace through faith makes you a child of God. It doesn’t matter what church you go to or whether that church has fifty members or 50 thousand. In the Body of Christ, we all have a right to be here.

It’s so serious, in fact, that Jesus gave His life so we all can sit at this table. His last prayer before being crucified was for unity in His Church. Who are we to tell someone they don’t belong? Even more, who are we to cower back and not have our seat because we’re afraid it might make someone feel uncomfortable?

Some Jewish Christians were uncomfortable with Gentiles like the Galatians, we’ve been studying. Even one of Jesus’ disciples Peter was uncomfortable with them at one point. But the gospel frees us from having to please people, and it grants us the power to live for God. In Christ, we all have a seat at the table. Jesus gave His life so that we could. Paul reminds us, we are all one in Christ.

Does that mean we forget our unique differences and cultures? Absolutely not. But it does mean those differences have no power to separate us from God or each other if we live in the freedom of this truth. The gospel does not say, “Your differences don’t matter.” If they didn’t matter, God would have made us all the same. The gospel says, “Despite our differences, we can still sit together.” We are all one in Christ, so if we think that we are more special because of the color of our skin, the money in our bank account, our education, or anything other than simply being a loved and accepted child of God, then we don’t believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.

If this is the case, we do not understand why He came and the work that He accomplished. We live as slaves to our egos when we really could and should be living as free daughters of the King.