Proclaiming Freedom for the Captives

But in the Power of God
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 ESV

“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

When we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others, we first of all need to make certain that we are sharing the same gospel that Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught. For, there is a gospel being preached and accepted widely today that is a half-truth (lie) gospel created in the minds of human beings to make it more palatable and acceptable to human flesh.

I am 71 years old, so I was brought up as a child in the 50’s and the 60’s. When we were taught the gospel back then, we were taught it through literature put out by other humans where they hand-picked Scriptures (out of context) to put them in some kind of a gospel tract which we were then to share with others. It was a formula we were taught to follow.

As I got older and I began to read the Bible in context, I began to realize that a lot of things I had been taught back then were wrong, even though I was brought up in a church that taught repentance, obedience, submission to the Lordship of Christ, holy living, and sanctification. Still, their gospel presentation was weak because Scriptures were taught out of context.

So, we need to make certain that the gospel we are sharing is the truth according to the Scriptures (in context), and that we have not bought into some half-truth (lie) which is being presented as the true gospel, but which is created by humans, and is not from the Holy Spirit at all. For, Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness.

If I had to summarize the gospel into one Scripture passage, besides the one I just referred to taken from 1 Pet 2:24, I would use Ephesians 4:17-24:

“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ! — assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

For, the whole purpose of Jesus dying for our sins on that cross was not just to forgive us our sins so that we could go to heaven when we die. His purpose in giving his life up for us on that cross was to deliver us out of our slavery to sin so that we would no longer live under its control, but so we would now live as slaves of righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit.

His purpose in dying for us on that cross was so that we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us, and so that we would now honor God with our bodies, and so we would no longer give our bodies over to the lusts of the flesh and to sensual desires. For he died to transform us and to conform us to his likeness.

Jesus said it well when he said that if any of us are going to come after him, we must deny self and take up our cross daily (daily die with him to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. And Paul reiterated this when he said that we are to walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but now according to the Spirit, for if we live according to the flesh, we will die.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

They are Spiritually Discerned
1 Corinthians 2:12-14 ESV

“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

The spirit of the world is teaching a diluted gospel which says that all you have to do to be forgiven your sins is to “believe” in Jesus, although they rarely teach what that belief means, or they may quote Rom 10:9 which says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” But that has to be taken in the context of the whole of Romans and the other NT books.

For, Paul is very clear when he says that God is going to render to each one of us according to our works and that for those who do not obey the truth, but who obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. And he is clear when he says that those who walk according to the flesh will die in their sins, and that those who make sin their practice will not inherit eternal life.

[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Co 6:9-10]

So, please take this to heart, and please read the Scriptures in their context, and don’t trust in these formula gospels which cherry-pick Scriptures out of context to present a weakened, diluted, and adulterated gospel. For, Jesus was sent to proclaim freedom for those captivated by sin and to release them from their enslavement to sin so they could now walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, living their lives to please God in his power.

The Lord’s Anointed

An Original Work / December 16, 2011
Based off Isaiah 61

The Spirit of the Sov’reign Lord on me;
Anointed to preach the Good News;
Sent me to bind up the brokenhearted;
Proclaim freedom for the captives.
He sent me to preach release for pris’ners
Who are walking in sin’s darkness;
Proclaim God’s grace to all men who’ll listen;
And tell them about God’s judgments;
Comfort all who mourn;
Give crowns of beauty;
Oil of gladness and thanksgiving.

They will be called oaks of God’s righteousness,
A planting of our Savior, God,
For the display of our Lord’s splendor, and
They will rebuild God’s holy church.
God will renew them, and will restore them,
And you’ll be called priests of the Lord.
You will be ministers of our God, and
You will rejoice in salvation.
The Lord loves justice;
He is faithful to
Reward those who are seeking Him.

I delight greatly in the Lord;
My soul rejoices in my Savior, God.
He has clothed me with His salvation,
And in a robe of His righteousness.
He has given me priestly garments to wear,
As the bride of Jesus Christ.
As the garden of our Lord and Savior,
He causes us to grow in Him.
He makes righteousness,
Praise, and thanksgiving
Spring up before all the nations.

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