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The Journal

The privilege of being God's children

Adopted children of God One of the most dynamic truths in the Bible is that God adopts us as His children through the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul uses the expression that we are clothed with Christ and equates this with being baptised into Christ 3:27. This union with Christ is expressed through God sending His Spirits into our hearts so that He calls out Abba Father. This means that we are God’s children who are safe and secure and can enjoy our relationship with Him and thrive. Our Christian faith is first and foremost based on what Christ has done. There is great joy in this because it means that we can experience God’s love for us personally. The work of Christ on the Cross is external but the work of the Spirit is internal and He impacts our whole being. Paul is indicating that the Spirit helps and enables us to call God our Father. Our adoption as children of God means that all God’s resources are available to us to enjoy and to strengthen us to follow Jesus. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara  

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Promise and fulfilment

Promise and fulfilment one way to get a handle on understanding the Bible is to use the framework of promise and fulfilment. In Galatians 3:15-25 Paul teaches us that before the Law came God initiated the relationship with Abraham through a promise of blessing to those who put their faith in God and His promises. We are taught that the blessings we receive from God are not achieved by obeying the Law. Paul establishes the logic of this teaching by explaining that the promises to Abraham came before the Law. In 3:18 he teaches that our relationship with God is based on grace or God’s undeserved favour towards us. So much of life is built on earning and deserving god things but the Bible says that God operates differently. He invites us into a relationship with Him based on the promises He gave to Abraham. Importantly these promises to Abraham find their fulfilment in Jesus who is able to give life. The Law shows us our need of forgiveness of sins through Jesus. But the Law has no power to forgive sin and to change our lives. This means that because these promises find fulfilment in Christ when we put our faith in Jesus we find God’s favour because of what Christ has done. We no longer have to strive to win approval with God or justify our existence because God loves us and offers us the opportunity of eternal life and a relationship with Him based on His promise - a gift. There is nothing more secure than this because God doesn’t break His promises. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara 

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Gospel Impact

Gospel Impact today we welcome Rev Ted Brush from BCA. Ted will be sharing about the ministry of BCA supporting Gospel workers throughout Australia. We already support James and Brittany Daymond who serve in Narromine with BCA. The opening of John 1:1-18 sounds like Genesis and this is intentional because God is doing something new and momentous and creative, even greater than the creation of the world. He is sending the word of God who we understand in 1:14 is Jesus Himself who became flesh. There is a mystery about the opening 4 verses because the Word is separate from God and yet is God and is also with God. This is the doctrine of the Trinity being described and especially as later in 1:32 we learn of the Spirit descending on Jesus at His baptism. We learn in these verses that we were made by God for God. Jesus is the source of all life and it is clear that if we reject or ignore Jesus we are cutting ourselves off from the source of life. That is why this world and we as people are not functioning well because we have not recognised Jesus and have not received Him 1:10-11 and mess up ourselves and others. Yet the passage is very hopeful because God offers us the incredible privilege of being His children through faith in Him and the work of the Spirit 1:12. This is why organisations such as BCA put such a strong emphasis on telling people about Jesus through the Word of God where there is little Gospel ministry. We are reminded in 1:14,18 that we can know God because Jesus comes close to us and reveals Himself us. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara  

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Gospel Impact

Gospel Impact in chapters 1-2 Paul has explained that the Gospel he preaches is from God and is not made up and that he must at all costs stand up for the truth of the Gospel - see 2:5,14. Now in chapter 3:1-14 Paul addresses the Galatians that when they first heard the message of Christ crucified it made a deep impact. The use of the word “clearly” is from a Greek word meaning graphically and when combined with the phrase “before your very eyes” Paul is indicating that then message of Jesus touched them deeply. Paul uses the term “eyes” in Ephesians 1:18 when praying for the eyes of the hearts of believers to be opened to the hope of Christ - that they will have and experience eternal life. The preaching of the Cross is accompanied by the work of the Spirit which results in our adoption as God’s children. Our most powerful experience of the Spirit is when we experience God’s love as His children being free of condemnation. Paul says we receive this gift through faith 3:8. He explains justification by referring to Abraham 3:6 who we remember was justified by faith or credited with righteousness - Genesis 15:6. To be justified is synonymous with being blessed and means to have God’s favour. We can’t be justified by obeying the law 3:10-11 because none of us actually obeys the law. He urges us to trust in what Christ has done in dying for our sins alone. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara 

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