Sunday, July 30, 2017
"Free in Christ" by Pastor Andrew Gu (July 30, 2017)
What do you think of when you hear the word 'freedom'? People are willing to die for freedom and some argue that freedom is one of the greatest virtues. In the movie "Braveheart", the princess tries to persuade William Wallace to pledge allegiance to the King of England. His response "Every man dies. Not every man lives." He would not give up the freedom for his people and even lost his life for them.
Galatians 5:1 tells us that if you're in Christ, you're free in everything that you do. Our identity is not sin. We are all sinners, but if you seek the Lord, we can be a child of Christ even though we are still sinners. "Who you are determines what you do." Yet many times we have this backwards. If you put your identity in things besides Jesus, life will be hard. The more we walk in freedom, the more we can live for Christ.
In today's passage, we see that the devil is trying to disrupt God's ultimate plan of redemption. But we see that Jesus knew these three facts. 1. God is the provider. 2. God is better. 3. God is always with us.
Let's start with the first one. Jesus had just been baptized and he also hadn't eaten in 40 days. We can't think straight when we don't eat food for just even one day. Satan tempted Jesus by saying that the Father wasn't providing for him and that he needed to take it upon himself to satisfy him. Jesus replied with "Man does not live by bread alone." But it was more than just that. Satan tried to convince Jesus that God didn't care. Satan wanted to get Jesus to live independently from the Father.
In Philippians 4:19, it says that God provides all of our needs and we can trust that God is our provider.
Secondly, Satan tempted Jesus by saying that he could have whatever he wanted in the world since he was in control of the world at that moment. In our lives, there's a cost for everything that we do. Many people live paycheck to paycheck and they want the easy way out to get rich and even sell their souls to the devil (figuratively and literally). Jesus didn't sell his soul to the devil (literally) because if he had given into this temptation, although Jesus would avoid dying on the cross, he would have had to worship Satan. In the Bible, it says that no one can serve two masters. He could either serve his Father or serve Satan but his Father already offered him the world as well as eternity. What the devil offered was temporary and counterfeit. He could offer the world but it was eventually going to be destroyed, so it would have been a bad investment anyway. It was just a distortion. We ourselves go on searching for things to satisfy us but what God offers is better.
Finally, God is always with us. In Exodus 17, the Israellites cried out "Massa??" meaning "Are you really with me?" They had legitimate needs because they were hungry yet they started to doubt God and their hearts wandered. Jesus didn't need to jump because he knew God was already with him. When we are filled with God's presence, we are more confident God is with us. In Romans 8:38-39, it says that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Jesus knew his identity. Jesus intimately knew his Father and knew that He loved him unconditionally. God redeemed us and we are free through him.
Scott Worden (The L.A./Seoul Guy)