‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. ‘ Galatians 5:1
Read the first stand-alone installment here: https://transformationplace.blog/2020/02/12/the-freedom-to-live/
Philip and most of the Christians in Jerusalem left their homes, jobs, and lives when the persecution started. They ran away, or so it seemed.
Saul victimized the Christians in Jerusalem, abusing them as the enemies of the law. He ransacked Christian homes, businesses, and meeting points with his men, declaring them desecrators of the holy place. Saul caused chaos in Jerusalem, punishing, and committing Christians to prison; he had to destroy the ‘cult’ of Christ. Most of the Christians left Jerusalem, drifting all over the region to different locations away from the law, or so Saul thought.
Philip went to Samaria. The Bible records that the Samaritans stood as one in their belief in Christ because of him. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Philip preached the word and performed miracles, and as scripture foretold, God gave them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; they became plantings of the Lord. The Holy Spirit worked through Samaria, leading Philip in the spirit, from location to location. That wasn’t just Philip’s story; there were others. Is that how a persecuted church lives? Shouldn’t they have been hiding in caves and underground, losing their faith and having changed mind-sets?
Now, for the real story. In the fullness of time, the scattered church spread the gospel beyond Jerusalem, and as you know, it continued to spread reaching you and I. Though persecution seemed to cause chaos in the lives of the Jerusalem Christians, most of them knew that they were already free in Christ. They continued free, not held down by time, location, persecution, or Saul. The Spirit of God empowered them, and that’s all they needed. Most of these people abandoned careers, businesses, and lives in Jerusalem, and God cared for them.
We carry the Spirit of wisdom, revelation, and power. There is no excuse to get entangled in any yoke the enemy tries to confuse us with, except we have forgotten who we are. Nothing can hold us down. Philip left Jerusalem, not beaten down by the strength of the persecution, but renewed by God’s Spirit for His glory, ready for the next chapter of his life.
That is also true for us now. There may be an epidemic, hunger, loss of jobs, confusion, and death, but scripture encourages us to stand fast in the freedom Christ wrought for us on the cross. It wasn’t in vain, and the power of God surpasses everything that might stand against us. Where there is Christ, there is victory, and though you may not see it, you have it in Him, so arise. You have freedom, don’t exist, live.
Till next time, be transformed!!