The joy of new creation

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15 December, 2019Simon DentOne road to freedom

Isaiah prophesied that a Son of God would come and his government and peace would not end. At Christmas we remember that prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus; the babe in the manger who died on the cross, rose from the dead, was exalted to God’s glory and who now lives in the church through the Spirit. His life of joy is embedded in deep confidence in God’s goodness, humility in the Spirit and deep love for the world. How do we know that? We see it in those who walk by the Spirit and who boast in his cross. Through them the Spirit cries out, join in the dance, there is enough joy for everyone.  

The people walking in darkness

    have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of deep darkness

    a light has dawned.

You have enlarged the nation

    and increased their joy;

they rejoice before you

    as people rejoice at the harvest,

as warriors rejoice

    when dividing the plunder.

For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,

    you have shattered

the yoke that burdens them,

    the bar across their shoulders,

    the rod of their oppressor.

Every warrior’s boot used in battle

    and every garment rolled in blood

will be destined for burning,

    will be fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born,

    to us a son is given,

    and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

    Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,

    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the greatness of his government and peace

    there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne

    and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

    with justice and righteousness

    from that time on and for ever.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

    will accomplish this.

1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!

12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule – to the Israel of God.

17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

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