Christian Devotions
By Ross Freeman

Reactivate Our Walk

1. Galatians 3:10-14

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Verse 10
The reference here is to legalists – those who refuse God’s offer of grace and insist on pursuing righteousness through works.

Works of the law brings a curse because no one under the law was ever able to keep the law perfectly as we see in James 2:10.

God’s blessings have never been earned but have always been freely given.

Verse 11-14
Paul presents the alternatives of faith and law as the means of Justification.

Through His death on the cross, Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves. His work, not ours removed the curse.

By faith we receive the benefits provided by His death, which includes justification and the promise of the Holy Spirit just to name a couple.

We need to understand that we receive the promise of the Holy Spirit the same way we receive salvation, through Jesus. (Acts 2:38-39)

2. Ephesians 4:8-11

Therefore He says: “ When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

Verse 8
If Jesus ascended then He must have descended, as we see in verse 9. The captives are probably the spiritual enemies Jesus defeated at the cross. The gifts are mentioned later in verse 11.

Verse 9
The ascent implies a prior descent. This passage does not teach as some translations suggest that Christ descended into hell. There is no Biblical support for this notion that Jesus suffered in hell, only that He descended to Sheol to release the righteous dead into eternal glory. Jesus, in fact, descended from heaven to earth and then the grave.

Verse 11
Here we see the gifts previously mentioned in verse 8 known as the ascension gift ministries given by Jesus.

These gifts given by Jesus are for the nurturing and equipping of His church, not hierarchical control or ecclesiastical competition.

The most commonly acknowledged of these offices in the church today are the evangelists, pastors and teachers. But we must understand that the five gifts also include apostles and prophets and are still in place today and always will be. God uses different people in different ways in each of these five ministries. Uniqueness is manifested in individuals according to the varied gifts God has given them and joined with whatever gifts the Holy Spirit distributes to or through them.

3. Hebrews 4:11-16

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Verse 11
This is not a call to earn one’s salvation by works, but an exhortation to enter salvation-rest by faith.

God gives us two great provisions to encourage us in our faith.

a. The word of God which reveals whether a person is living a spiritual or soulish life.

b. The ministry of Christ our great high priest, who alone is able to bring us into fellowship with God.

We must allow the word of God to judge the intents and thoughts of our heart. We must be tenacious in holding on to God’s promises, and aggressively pursue God, study His word and build up our faith.

Verse 15
There is a parallel between the temptation of Jesus and ours. He did not have each temptation we have but experienced every kind of temptation a person can have, but was without sin.

The way in which Christ’s temptations were completely different to ours was in the results – His temptations never led to sin. (Matt 4:1-11) Jesus was tempted by satan when He was at is weakest.

Verse 16
Come boldly literally means without reservation, without fear, with frankness, with full and open speech. We approach a throne of grace, not judgment, obtaining mercy for the past and grace for the present and future.

Because Jesus our high priest has experienced human temptation, He stands ready to give immediate help when we are tempted.

Revelation 3:11-17

Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’ “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’— and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—

Verse 11
This is a warning to the oppressor and an encouragement to the oppressed.

Verse 12
A city often honored noted citizens by erecting a pillar in a temple with his name inscribed on it.

So the Lord will honor His faithful permanently by inscribing on them the name of God of the New Jerusalem and of Christ, indicating identification with and a possession by God, a spiritual citizenship, and a reflection of the character of God.

Verse 13
Listen to what the spirit is saying to the church when forced to choose, obey God, not man.

Verse 14
"The Amen” is the God of truth and the guarantor of all of God’s promises. The God of the Amen, a personal designation, describes one who is perfectly trustworthy or faithful. The faithful and true witness, Jesus our Lord.

Verse 15-17
Cold springs are refreshing, hot mineral springs are medicinal, lukewarm spiritual indifference and worldliness is nauseating.

The distaste and nausea produced by lukewarm food, which the stomach naturally rejects with loathing are used here to express the abhorrence of Christ to those who lack zeal in His service. However there is still hope for timely repentance.

Avoid being lukewarm, stir up your zeal for the Lord.

5. Six points of Lukewarmness.

  • a. There is a difference between professing Christianity and practicing it.
  • b. Lukewarm Christians are more difficult to teach.
  • c. Lukewarm Christians are full of self deceit and have no conviction.
  • d. A lukewarm Christian makes a vow which he does not pay, or makes a confession but does not walk in it.
  • e. Lukewarm Christians tend to be troublemakers causing strife that threatens to pull down the church, if they are not dealt with.
  • f. Jesus will reject lukewarm Christians with special displeasure. Nothing is so offensive to Him as a corpse in a religious cloak.

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