11th February 2017 - Josh Mackay
Barabbas was a man who lived in Jerusalem, Judea, around AD29 during the time of the Roman Empire. Barabbas was a troublemaker, a thief and a murderer. The punishment for his crimes was that he had to be crucified; which was a common punishment. This meant that he was to be nailed to a wooden cross until he would die of exhaustion and suffocation. Beyond these details, the Bible does not tell us very much about Barabbas, so the story described below is a realistic interpretation of what may have taken place. Often the Romans would force a criminal to make the cross that they were going to die on. This may have been to cause the criminal some mental suffering to go with the […]
Walking in fellowship
Paul explained to the Corinthians that ‘alternative words’ can be present in the church. They are put forward by people who do not have the same spirit of faith as Christ’s messengers. Their teaching is contrary to the gospel of sonship that Paul preached. They believe that God’s blessing can be obtained without the need for an ongoing participation in the fellowship of Christ’s offering, as a sanctified member of His body. Through smooth and flattering speech, these people deceive those who are unsuspecting and vulnerable.
Like Eve, we become vulnerable to these other spirits and other words, when we are disconnected from the Lord and from His people. However, we can be protected from the devices of Satan by remaining in fellowship with God and with our brethren in the body of Christ. This is what it means to be ‘in the name of the Lord’. King Solomon declared, ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe [set on high]’.
The apostle John explained that if we walk in the light of God’s word, we will have fellowship with each other and with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Importantly, he taught that in this fellowship, we have access to the blood of Jesus which is able to cleanse us of sin. This means that we are delivered from the desire to live by any principle or spirit, other than the Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus.
Daily prayer is central to our ongoing participation in this fellowship. As we continue in fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit through prayer, we are able to walk according to the Spirit every day. We are able to live in the world without being vulnerable to the deception of Satan. That is, we are able to distinguish the will of God (which is our sanctification) from all the alternative options that are being offered to us.