|Posted on Sunday, July 25, 1999 - 7:13 pm: || |
Animated discussion characterized the weekly Former Adventist Fellowship meeting last Friday, July 23, at Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Redlands.
Richard led the discussion, and after prayer he opened with the question, "What was the first thing that made you seriously question Adventism?"
Answers varied from Bruce?s revelation that his salvation was secure to Bob?s realization that E.G. White was not a true prophet.
The study examined Galatians 5:16-26 (see Bible study page on this website). Several significant points emerged. One was a comparison of the list of sinful behaviors characterizing the "sinful nature" with the list of the fruits of the Spirit. The sinful behaviors could be labeled the "fruits of paganism" or the "fruits of legalism."
Legalism, Galatians has underscored, is the condition of natural, sinful man. Unless a person is born from above, his natural state is to try to improve his own life in whatever way he decides is right, whether that way is the law, an eastern religion, or agnosticism, or some other philosophy.
Another interesting point was that God abandoned the Old Covenant when Jesus died. His presence left the temple when the veil ripped. The Old Covenant is now an empty ghost town. With the presence of God gone from it, the empty structure can only house spirits of deception. When we go back to the law, we are walking away from Christ. (see Gal. 4:8-10)
The group also discussed how to "live by the Spirit" when the "sinful nature" is still in the body. Living by the Spirit involves continual decisions to submit to the Spirit, and it involves the Spirit keeping the sinful nature "dead" so Christ can live his life through believers.
The evening ended with prayer.