June 28 – Freedom for …

Imagine if you could drive however fast you wanted without any consequence. No speed limits. No radar traps. And no speeding fines.

20 mph on wet winding way

Of course a few people would use our freeways as their personal race tracks: treating other drivers as if they were competitors to be beaten, even run off the road. And others would drive so slowly as to become hazards, rolling barricades that without any warning suddenly choke traffic to squeeze around them if not to an inexplicable standstill.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans he supposes his opponents might ask: Since believers are free from the law, why not take full advantage of the freedom Christ won for us and enjoy life to the fullest as we understand it?

Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace?
— from Romans 6:15

If then we are freed from the law, can we consider ourselves free agents, able to discern for ourselves how we should act? Most certainly not, for to do so would make us equals to God, who alone sets the limits of good and evil. This is the trace of Original Sin that sticks to each person. Choosing to do what we know is wrong demonstrates Intentional Sin, either by omission or commission. The most insidious form of sin is Corporate Sin, for it leaches into all that we do and say and appears quite normal. To use the speeding example, Corporate Sin ignores safe limits, because everyone else is doing it.

Instead Paul challenges us to ask: For what purpose have we been freed?

Consider the speeding example above again. Since we have been freed from the law we are thus freed for the kingdom of heaven. The speed we drive would consider the impact of our driving on every other driver on the road, on those living near the road, on the environmental impact of fuel consumed, and so forth. If traffic laws were perfectly efficient, posted speed limits would balance all of those factors with our personal needs to efficiently get from one place to the next to transact business. In such an ideal community, speed limits and traffic fines would guide drivers non-believers to drive at the same rate as those motivated by living for one another, that is living to advance the Kingdom of Heaven.

No longer present your members to sin as armaments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as armaments of righteousness.
— from Romans 6:13

I will have more to say about Romans 6:12-23 here before 8:00 AM on Sunday, June 28th.
Robert Shaw, Pastor

A Tip for Parents

Image of character throwing a boomerang by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay.

If thrown correctly, a boomerang will return to the person who threw it.

So to will the gift of love return to those who generously love their neighbors.

and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple —truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

Matthew 10:42

Tell your children about time when a gift of love unexpectedly returned to you.

Worship

By 8 AM Sunday, June 28th, a video of this worship service will be embedded here. After that time, you will also be able to view worship on a smart-TV through YouTube by searching for Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.

The Offering

As disciples of Jesus Christ we give so that we may dedicate the whole of our lives by sharing a portion of what we earn with others.

Although COVID-19 has forced us to curtail all in person groups, meetings, classes, …, even office hours. Yet we continue other ministries. For example: Wednesday Bible Study, Sunday school for children and the Fellowship Hour all meet via video-teleconference.

In these unusual times we deeply appreciate your giving through your bank or by clicking our Give Now button. We continue to check our mailbox regularly so you may mail your check to us.

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