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Seed – Seeds

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Seed – Seeds

Hello and God bless you.    

Please turn with me to Galatians chapter three, verse 11.

We have discussed in the past, the difference one little word can make in the meaning of a verse.   The mistranslation of a single word can turn the truth on its head and for generations hold a people in bondage.     

Today I would like to share with you an instance of a small misunderstanding that has caused untold misery for centuries.   Large institutions have been built and thrived based upon an untruth.   Wars have been fought over the simple concept.     Untold lives have been sacrificed, burned at the stake, sawn apart, strangled, beaten, imprisoned and starved to death because of either a lack of knowledge or a willful denial of the simple truth.    

Dare we as God’s children blindly rely upon these same organizations to translate the words of God for us?    Any who know even a cursory history of Christian religion in Europe and Briton during the past 2000 years must stand skeptical of the motivation of the translators. 

We must read carefully and with much study to show ourselves approved, workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.   The responsibility of rightly dividing the word does not fall to a few scholars and teachers.  It is the responsibility of every believer to understand for themselves so they may encourage, build up and comfort others with the truth of God’s words.

How often, we have had the unfortunate experience of being in need of encouragement only to be preyed upon by some religious vampire feeding emotionally on our despair.  The religious world is rampant with emotional parasites masquerading as merciful helpers.   Beware.  

Paul wrote the epistle to the believers at Galatia because they were under a frontal assault by blatant religion.  God has set us free from such.   We need to understand that religion is religion.  There are many flavors and nuances but all boil down to the same basic premise:  You have to perform according to someone’s formula to please God.    Religion is religion, no matter the name or label.  Christian religion is religion.  Islam is religion.  Humanism is religion.  God has not called us to religion but instead set us free from religion and birthed us into his family. 

The believers in Galatia heard and believed the simple gospel of God’s grace through Christ Jesus as presented by Paul and his companions.  No religious formulas were needed; neither stations of the cross nor levels of achievement were required.  It was just simply and wonderfully a transition from death to life, hapless and hopeless to focused and filled with hope, a worthless subsistence to priceless eternal life.  They had been miraculously changed from being the devil’s slaves to the God’s beloved children, not by their works, but by the mercy and grace of God through Christ Jesus. 

The assailants came spreading fear, doubt and deceit; fresh from the city of the great temple.   (The bigger the building the bigger the truth: Right?)    The self appointed heads of the church in Jerusalem couldn’t be wrong; or could they?
Imagine for a moment, being a new believer intimidated by a group of missionaries with letters of commendation from the church in Jerusalem.  Would you question their veracity and intentions?   They had traveled a long way to help you after all.  The great James had signed the letters and he was the older brother of Jesus!  He of all people must know the truth!   Yet Paul asserted these interlopers had bewitched the Galatians.

Bewitchment does not come from God.  Bewitchment involves incantations, rituals, temples, priests, priestesses, sacrifices, taboos, holy days, summoning spirits and powers …….  Do you not see the pattern?  

This letter to the Galatians is needed today more than ever.    The concept of true Christianity is hidden from the eyes of the vast majority in the church.   The world doesn’t have a clue.  The world view of Christianity is that it is just another religion grubbing for cash and power.  Unfortunately they are mostly right. 

If you still have your finger in Galatians Chapter three, read with me starting in the first verse:  

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you,            that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes          Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified          among you?
Now let’s skip down to verse eleven:

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of
     God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith.

The false teachers from Jerusalem had come claiming that the new believers in Galatia would have to be circumcised and follow the laws of Moses to be “real” Christians.  The laws of Moses required sacrifices, rituals, priests, holy days,

and performance to achieve holiness.    God requires faith in Christ.  The faith required was freely given us by grace.     Ephesians chapter two verse eight specifically states: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” It is evident: the just shall live by faith, not of works lest any man should boast.  

12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth
     them shall live in them.

Now how plain can it be stated?  The law is not of faith.  The just shall live by faith, the law is not of faith.  If you choose to live under the law then you are stuck in them.  The word also says that anything not of faith is sin.

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law,
     being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is
     every one that hangeth on a tree:

The law is a curse.  What?  How can I saw such a thing?  Let’s read verse 13 again:  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.  That is a pretty pointed statement.   If it was not a curse why would we need to be redeemed from it?  Do you want to live under a curse?  God sent Jesus the Christ to redeem us, or in our modern vernacular; to pay our ransom and rescue us from the curse of the law.  He set us free to live under the blessings of promise as did Abraham.

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the
     Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive          the promise of the Spirit through [hard work and              sacrifice.]   NO! it says that we receive the promise of        the Spirit through  faith.  (and that not of ourselves,          our faith is a gift of God.)

15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though
     it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no
     man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

Even a covenant or contract agreed between humans can not be changed once the agreement has been signed.  How much more the covenant of promise that God has sealed with the blood of his beloved son?  God is not a man that he should lie. 

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises
     made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as        of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

So finally now here is the word I was talking about that was so misunderstood.  The Jews had assumed that the promise to Abraham’s seed was to the many physical seeds or offspring.   They took great pride in tracing their linage back to “father’ Abraham.  As we rocket toward the return of Christ, the world is still reaping the fruit of Abraham’s offspring.  

But Paul sets the record straight by rightly dividing the Hebrew word translated in Genesis as “seed” as singular and not plural as “seeds.”  What a difference it makes.  Bondage or freedom, grace by faith or works, blessing or curse; the turning of just one word changes everything.  For generations and generations the lie was taught as the truth.   The wrath of the religious comes upon those who break the traditions with the simple truth of the word. 

Yet, do we dare comply with the traditions of man or do we live in the simplicity and power of Christ?   The difference is astounding:  Are we redeemed or under a curse?  Are we complete or not yet complete?  Are we God’s beloved sons and daughters or are we yet slaves to Satan?     In this life we reap what we sow.  No man can serve two masters.

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed
    before of God in Christ, the law, which was four
    hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it
    should make the promise of none effect. 

Four hundred thirty years of the law did not, could not cancel God’s contract of promise by faith with Abraham.  God’s faithfulness and patience waited until the fullness of time had come.   The promise was fulfilled in Christ.   The promise that all hope is based upon: Christ in you, the one and only hope of glory.

18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of
     promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

If our inheritance, our full sharing as equal heirs is by the law then we are without hope.   But we do have the hope that comes of promise by faith.  Not of our works but of His work in Christ, lest any man should boast. Our only boasting is of the greatness and grace of God.  For we are his workmanship, He created us in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

So stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has set us free and be not entangled again in the snare of bondage, the curse of the law. 

God bless you

Neil's House