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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fathers’ Day has come and gone, and what a wonderful Sunday of worship we had! Along with the giving of gifts (you didn’t give another tie, did you?) and making the phone calls (you did call him, didn’t you?) we are surrounded by the memories of our fathers and their impact on our lives. This week I am reminded of my own father’s discipline when I read Galatians 3. My relationship with him has changed in much the same way as Paul explains the advent of grace over the Law.
When I was younger I saw my father as a disciplinarian, as having established rules and guidelines that should be obeyed on pain of punishment. However, as I matured our relationship matured as well. Now, rather than being an insurmountable disciplinarian, he is a voice of guidance, of warning, of grace. I have been set free to be the adult that I must become.
Such it is with the coming of grace into a person’s life. Yes, there is a time when all believers are subject to the Law of God and must be instructed, corrected, and disciplined according to what is right in the sight of God. However, we are called to mature into adult believers who are clothed with the grace of Christ. We absolutely must be mature enough to see beyond the petty squabbles of breaking the rules of the Law and encourage living a life of Grace. Here is the beauty if we do: no longer will there be racism (remember the arguments about immigration?), no longer will there be sexism (remember the arguments about women in ministry?), and no longer will there be a hatred over slavery, for all of us will live like mature believers in the Lord. We will all be clothed with Christ.
So here, in the afterglow of Fathers’ Day, let us take with us the lesson of growing out of the juvenile disciplinarianism of the Law and live in the adult lifestyle of the believer clothed in Christ.

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