All human authority comes from the supreme Son of God. How should the community of the redeemed handle worldly power at home, at work and in the world? If under authority, submit graciously. If having authority, exercise it after the manner of the Crucified One, that is by service and sacrificial love.
With minds governed by heaven, live out the freedom of the gospel without putting the gospel to shame.
A robust, growing Christian walk is built not by the added ‘vitamins’ of special knowledge, religious formulae or heightened experience, but by the discipline of pursuing more of the Christ we’ve already trusted. Never forget the wonder [v13] that you have been made alive with Christ in whom dwells all the fullness of God.
All believers enjoy the very high honour of being entrusted by God himself with bringing to people the great news of the Gospel. Our service will bring such extraordinary outcomes as the riches of glory; a sure and certain hope; the treasures of knowledge and wisdom; people coming to maturity in Christ; and hearts being encouraged and united in love.
The Christ we worship and serve is more than the man Jesus of Nazareth. He is equal to the Father. He created us and everything else. Nothing, including the church, works without him. And he is fully God. He is not only our redeemer. He is also our creator, the source of our very existence. There is and can be no spiritual path beyond him.
Do you want a richer, fuller Christian experience? Do you want to grow more like Christ sooner? Do you want a deeper experience of God? Then don’t add anything to the Gospel you’ve believed. Instead meditate more and more on how richly God has loved you in Christ and so believe the Truth with deepening passion. Then you will know the Father and love God’s people more.
Exodus is a story of God’s presence with and among his people, climaxing finally in his glory filling the place where people meet with God. Authentic worship is the product of human readiness and God’s presence. God’s presence in the tabernacle foreshadows the time when he will dwell among people in human form in his Son, and in them by his Spirit.
A reasonable working definition of idolatry might be: “Being satisfied with anything as a substitute for God.” Idolatry is alluring because it promises immediate satisfaction, offers an illusion of being in control, and makes wrong feel right. What might your idol/s or potential idol/s be?
Israel has encountered God in his holiness, power and grace (Exodus 19). God has given Israel laws to live by — first the ten commandments (chapter 20) as the foundation, then three chapters of practical examples of what keeping this law might mean in practice. Now the Covenant must be confirmed in a sacred ceremony. The ceremony includes the sprinkling of sacrificial blood and the extraordinary privilege of a meal with God. All foreshadowing yet again another sacred meal by which followers of Jesus will commune forever with him.
God gives his law where his people are vulnerable to sin. The purpose of the foundational ten commandments, and of all the laws built upon them, and of all the ensuing commands in all of Scripture, is the protection of God’s sovereignty and of the covenant community formed by him and for him.