Sunday, January 27, 2008

“Dude! Cecil got saved!” is replaying over and over in my head. It helps of course that Papa is striding around the house repeating it as well. The enthusiasm is contagious. So is the language. We visited First Baptist in D-town with Zach (or he with us, to be technical) and got to hear the testimonies of a group of teens in whom the Lord is working—including Cecil, who is one week old in Jesus. The glory is all the Lord’s. In the words of Cecil himself, “God is just great!” Over and over again. Which actually is pretty Biblical. The guys are all part of Zach’s Bible study, which Josiah’s joined a few times, and the girls are gearing up for some time in the Word with Lindsey. As each of the teens stood up and shared what God had done in their lives and how He is at work in the school (“Even the locker room has changed,” said John. “Now we all just talk about Jesus.”), my mind kept coming back to Choices PRC and the abstinence program question that still dangles unanswered before me. Once I found myself resisting it, then slowly relenting as I suspected this might be something the Lord had for me. Tonight I saw that the Lord is alive and moves even in public schools. I met kids who I know will be allies from the audience. For the first time since Papa mentioned it to me last fall, I want to do this thing for the glory of God.

I need to broach the subject again with Papa and see what he’s thinking.

Papa’s decided to teach through Galatians on Sundays and started out with an overview from Acts of the history of the Galatian churches. He assigned us the task over overviewing the book itself for the purpose and theme of the letter. I’ll wager a guess based on the best of my memory abilities: The theme is the gospel is salvation through faith not through the works of the law, and the purpose is to awaken a group of believers who have become enamored with law-keeping—especially circumcision. As believers we are freed from the Mosaic law to keep the law of liberty—not to gain salvation, but as a result of it.

On the topic of Mosaic Law, I found myself immersed in it as I waded through the middle of Exodus. Somehow the rules and regulations there had always breezed by me. Quite simply they boil down to one word: responsibility. If we want to learn something from the Mosaic Law, that’s the first step: God wants us to take responsibility for our actions. Of course, it’s also the predecessor for the important truth that we can’t remedy some actions and are hopeless lost before God—without His merciful Son. It all comes back to God’s worthiness because He alone is both just and justifier.

Lord, Thy law can’t take my hand
And lead me to Thy promised land,
But it can drive my soul to Thee
And Thou leads to eternity.

And so I see Thy law, while good,
So often is misunderstood
And though it never is erased
It cannot substitute for grace.

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