Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Extremely Zealous for the Traditions (Gal 1:14)

In Galatians Paul reveals his past and present conditions. Before he met Christ he was extremely zealous for the traditions of his fathers (Judaism) but how wrong he was, so much so he persecuted the Way thinking that his zeal had sanction in his religion. Today we see much extremism and violence committed in the name of religion and the traditions of our forbears. Even when violence is not practised in some circles, the traditions of the fathers seem to cause much division and hatred in the body of Christ. Each tradition and its adherents claim to have the truth or the proper interpretation of the truth. One can be a work-based devotee, going about promoting a certain diet and drinks instead of the gospel of salvation. One could preach grace so eloquently in the name of tradition, Reformed or Protestant but the life exhibited is anything but gracious.
He who preaches love but does not love from the heart is the greatest hyprocrite of all, since knowing the greatest commandment of love, preaches it but yet there is no love in the heart and no acts of love. In the name of traditions, even God-sanctioned traditions in the Bible, Paul committed atrocities and went on a murderous campaign until he met the One, who is not any tradition but is the Word, the living Christ who has said that when the Holy Spirit comes he will guide you into all truth. Note the future tense and the continuous process of truth-revealing work of the Spirit, taking from Jesus who has spoken, but still speaks and will continue to speak to his church even as John saw in his vision that what Jesus says is what the Spirit is saying to the churches. So beware of all traditions, don't be too quick to equate one's view of tradition to be the truth lest as Jesus says, "your traditions have made the Word of God null and void" but be open to the Spirit for he will speak a word in season, a fresh word revealing truth even when it is drawn from the Word written 2,000 years ago.

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