Weekly Tip #10
Freedom In Christ
The last two weeks we have read a little about the Apostle Paul. It turns out that he was extremely qualified to make a defense of the law of God. As Paul states in Philippians 3:4-7, he was a Hebrew of Hebrews who followed the law so closely that he considered himself blameless. He goes on to say in Galatians 2:13-14;
13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.
We know that Paul’s life was radically changed by his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul became a believer and was called by God to proclaim the gospel message to everyone. He went on to become one of the most influential early missionaries just after the time of Christ. After all, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote nearly half of the New Testament. This is what the believers said about Paul in Galatians 1:23-24:
1:23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.
The apostle Paul spent some significant time and energy in his travels as well as his New Testament letters, explaining that Jesus should take complete allegiance in our lives and that we do not have to live under the Mosaic law to find salvation and meaning in life. Christ died and rose again as our living Savior to bring us true salvation. He also sent us His Holy Spirit to guide us and spring up in us the hope, joy, peace, and the grace that is ours because of Christ. Check out Galatians 2:1-4 in context;
2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. 3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery-
There was a gradual infiltration of legalistic Jews who wanted to bring both Jew and Gentile converts under the Mosaic law and require circumcision. These Jews had a salvation by works system they wanted everyone to accept. Paul, in the next two chapters of Galatians, stood strong against a works/law salvation. In verse 4 above, Paul states the “freedom that we have in Christ Jesus” as key to his argument.
In your ministry environment, whether it is a college campus, high school, or work situation, remember that we are calling people to the free gift of salvation that is found only in Christ on the basis of faith and not by works. As you think about this time surrounding the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, remember that we are truly free in Christ to live in His grace and not by works.
At this point in your spring term you want to plan out and execute one more significant evangelistic push on your campus. There are a number of creative and effective ideas that you can pull from on the crupressgreen site. Check out the two-fifty book for some great ideas: http://crupressgreen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Campus-Groups-and-Communities.pdf
There are still some great openings for Summer Projects. Send and email to http://gosummerproject.com/contact and see all the openings. This is a great opportunity for you. Ask God if He could be calling you to attend a project.
Plan carefully for your fall term. It’s important that you hit the ground running. Here are some essential things to think about from a past tip: http://www.benrivera.org/2011/03/15/plan-well-for-the-fall/
There is a lot to think about here but go to your leadership team and read through this section on April Rally and decide the steps you need to take. Plan well for the rest of this spring term and for your summer and fall strategic plans.
Talk to you next week,
Cru Ministry, Orlando