Friday, November 11, 2016

Ponder: "No shortcuts to this freedom"

“In the Bible, freedom is an ambiguous word. It was a very great good for the Israelites to be liberated from slavery in Egypt! But the very first thing the children of Israel did with their freedom was worship a golden calf. And so God brought them to Mt. Sinai, where they were given the Law and commanded to teach it to their children’s children. They were given the Temple, to worship God and make atonement for sin. They were given the land and a king in Zion. But the children of Israel worshiped idols all the same, and their kings became lovers of power and money, and the twelve tribes turned on each other. And so in the fullness of time they were given the Lamb of God and the King of Kings, the great deliverer from every enemy and the perfect atonement for sin. In the Church we are given all of this too, by God’s grace. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! For in Christ’s body we are set free to worship him without fear, all the days of our life (Luke 1:74).

Here is no rigged system, but a God in whose service is perfect freedom, in whose Son is pardon and deliverance from all our sins, and in whose Church is perfect communion, as all join together with one voice in praise and thanksgiving, now and forever. Amen!

There are no shortcuts to this freedom: no way to get there without God and his saving and sanctifying gifts. Insofar as American freedom has told us that we could, it has all been a lie, just another golden calf. Insofar as our church has bought into this lie, we too have bowed the knee to Baal. But God has given us everything we need to follow him now, without any fear. We have the Word to teach to our children’s children. We have the gospel to proclaim, sins to confess and absolve.”

Jordan Hylden, “Free to Worship Him Without Fear.”  Covenant.  11 Nov. 2016

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