Accept No Substitutes (Part 3)

white ceramic teacup on white ceramic saucer on table

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

The genuine article, the original product, usually begins with a wonderful idea that comes at the right time. However, that original idea usually costs more than its imitators. But that’s all right if it works. If it works better than anything else, it’ll sell and we’ll be glad to tell others about it.

You’ve done this. You read the reviews, you asked your friends and you debated if you should buy it. You finally take the plunge and get it. And it works!  It works so well, you invent new reasons to use it. The new vacuum works so well, and it’s so light and easy to use, for the first week, you vacuum every day. The new dishwasher works so well, you make Tator Tot hot dish, just so you can put that pan through the wash cycle and see how clean it gets. I once won a pair of Snap-On screwdrivers and was amazed at how well they worked. That first day, I walked around the house, looking for doorknobs I could unscrew and then screw in again just for the fun of it.

When God gives us the genuine Gospel, we have this same three-part sequence:  An original idea, a great cost, and a wonderful result. But with the Gospel of Jesus, all three of these are unique. We have the amazing God who takes on human flesh to live among us—the ultimate original spiritual idea. We have the great cost of redeeming the world, but God pays that cost himself through the priceless death of his Son. And the result is as Paul says in our verse, we are set free by his work. We are delivered from the fear of death by his being willing to die. He gives us freedom from the demands of the law by fulfilling the law for us. And he lives within us and promises that this life is just the beginning. Heaven and eternity are waiting for us. This freedom changes us every day. We’re not endlessly trying to make amends to God or hoping to avoid him altogether. We’re the children he has adopted and the people he’s joined by taking on our human nature. And we’re the people he’s purchased so that we can stand in awe of the price but never stand underneath its debt. Instead we live with him in the freedom of his original Gospel message. This Gospel is unique and works like nothing else. That makes all the difference.

Heavenly Father, remind us of the unique gift of your Gospel. Remind us of the freedom that comes because of your sacrifice and help us to live lives that celebrate with thanks all that you’ve done for us. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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