SCHOOLBOY HOWLER:

“MATTHEW FLINDERS WAS THE FIRST MAN TO CIRCUMCISE AUSTRALIA!”

 But first a story:

A young boy was following his Dad around the garden one day, when he suddenly asked “Dad, what is gravity?”

Trying to make it as simple as possible, his father replied “Gravity is the thing whereby everything is pulled down and attracted to the earth. It is a law of nature. It’s like when you jump up and down on the trampoline, you don’t keep soaring up to heaven, but you always come down. It’s like if you drop a stone or an apple, the earth draws it down, and it falls to the earth.”

Now the young fellow thought for a while and then said “But look at those flowers – they all go upwards. They are not falling down.”

To which the father replied “That’s correct, but that is only because there is another law at work, and this law is stronger than the law of gravity. It’s called the law of life. This law of life has made those flowers free from the law of gravity – as long as they live. That means if I cut off one of the flowers it will fall to the ground.”

 Now Dear Reader, we use the above example to explain the law of the Spirit of life in Christ. The Bible says For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2). Christ has made the Christian free. We are not struggling to get free. Why? I have been made free, not just set free, by Christ.

As Paul so forcefully puts it “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ HATH MADE us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1).

(Comment: The word “hath” stands for the present, continuous and ongoing – without stopping or ceasing, that is, into the future for evermore without a gap. Whereas if the word was “has” that would mean I was once set free but now I could lose my liberty. “Has” would mean it happened once but there is no guarantee for the future. “Has” is like a horse escaping from an enclosure but could be captured again. “Hath” means it is made free for evermore, and never to be captured again.)

As a Christian, I hath been made free. I am not struggling for liberty or freedom as I am standing in liberty that can never be taken away from me. “I hath liberty!” “I hath eternal security never to be lost.” “I am in Christ and as he can never die again, neither can I.” (Rom 6:7-11)

 

 But how did you get this liberty?

Unlike the flower that has died and can never come back to life again, I had to die that I might live again.

 

 What! That doesn’t make sense! When you’re dead you are dead. Full stop!

In the physical that is true. The body dies and rots. But the real you lives on. It’s called your soul, and it is very much welded onto your body. Now if your sinful soul is not separated from the sinful flesh of your body when the body dies, it can’t get into heaven because it’s sinful. Therefore God must cast you into hell. But there is a solution.

 
What’s that?

If somehow your sinful soul can be made into a sinless soul, then when you die, God will welcome your sinless soul into heaven, won’t he?

 
I guess so.

So here’s what God does. He puts to death the sinful soul so that it no longer lives. As the Bible says, the Holy Spirit of God takes our sinful soul and places it into Christ’s death (1Cor 12:13). Now as Christ has risen from the dead, so our soul can rise from the dead also because it has been put into Christ.

It’s like a gardener’s twig or graff that is put into another plant, such that, the graff comes alive again because the live juices and nutrients of the mother plant now become those of the twig. That’s what can happen to your soul so that it gets into heaven.

Another example is a tree that has been ringbarked. It dies because the nutrients needed for living have been cut off. As the Bible says we are Christians because we have been spiritually circumcised – the soul is cut off from the sinful flesh, our soul has been ‘ringbarked’. The Bible says

“In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” (Col 2:11-12)

 

“Ah! Billy! I understand now! You mean Matthew Flinders was the first man to circumnavigate Australia.”

“Yeh Miss! At’s wha’ I say’d didn’ I?”

 

**** ****

Harley Hitchcock

Sunday 29th August 2021


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