Slavery Freedom Faith and Fruit

by Mike Ratliff

Τῇ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἡμᾶς Χριστὸς ἠλευθέρωσεν· στήκετε οὖν καὶ μὴ πάλιν ζυγῷ δουλείας ἐνέχεσθε. (Galatians 5:1 NA27)

For this freedom, Christ freed us, therefore, stand fast, and be not held again by a yoke of slavery. (a personal translation of Galatians 5:1 from the NA27 Greek text)

In Galatians 5:1 (above), the reference to the freedom for which Christ freed us is refers to Paul’s arguments from Galatians 4. Never forget the purpose of this letter to the Galatian churches. They were being attacked by “Judiazers” who were attempting to get these Gentile believers to look to keeping the Jewish ceremonial law and regulations because they were saying the atonement bought for them through Christ’s blood was not sufficient for their justification. Paul’s argument is exactly the opposite. In Galatians 5:1, he makes it clear to them that Christ freed us through His atoning death especially for this freedom and those who have it must stand firm and not submit again to a yoke of legalism or slavery. 

Ἴδε ἐγὼ Παῦλος λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἐὰν περιτέμνησθε, Χριστὸς ὑμᾶς οὐδὲν ὠφελήσει. μαρτύρομαι δὲ πάλιν παντὶ ἀνθρώπῳ περιτεμνομένῳ ὅτι ὀφειλέτης ἐστὶν ὅλον τὸν νόμον ποιῆσαι. κατηργήθητε ἀπὸ Χριστοῦ, οἵτινες ἐν νόμῳ δικαιοῦσθε, τῆς χάριτος ἐξεπέσατε. ἡμεῖς γὰρ πνεύματι ἐκ πίστεως ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης ἀπεκδεχόμεθα. ἐν γὰρ Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ οὔτε περιτομή τι ἰσχύει οὔτε ἀκροβυστία ἀλλὰ πίστις δι᾽ ἀγάπης ἐνεργουμένη. Ἐτρέχετε καλῶς· τίς ὑμᾶς ἐνέκοψεν [τῇ] ἀληθείᾳ μὴ πείθεσθαι; ἡ πεισμονὴ οὐκ ἐκ τοῦ καλοῦντος ὑμᾶς. μικρὰ ζύμη ὅλον τὸ φύραμα ζυμοῖ. ἐγὼ πέποιθα εἰς ὑμᾶς ἐν κυρίῳ ὅτι οὐδὲν ἄλλο φρονήσετε· ὁ δὲ ταράσσων ὑμᾶς βαστάσει τὸ κρίμα, ὅστις ἐὰν ᾖ. Ἐγὼ δέ, ἀδελφοί, εἰ περιτομὴν ἔτι κηρύσσω, τί ἔτι διώκομαι; ἄρα κατήργηται τὸ σκάνδαλον τοῦ σταυροῦ. Ὄφελον καὶ ἀποκόψονται οἱ ἀναστατοῦντες ὑμᾶς. (Galatians 5:2-12 NA27)

Behold, I Paul say to you that if you are circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man being circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law. You are estranged from Christ who would be justified by the law have fallen from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly await the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision is of any force nor uncircumcision, but faith working through love. You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not of the one who called you. A little leaven leavens the entire lump. I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will think as I do, but the one troubling you will bear the judgment whoever he may be. But I, brothers, if circumcision is still proclaimed, why am I still being persecuted? If so, the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished. I would that the ones troubling you would even emasculate themselves.! (a personal translation of Galatians 5:2-12 from the NA27 Greek text)

Paul knew perfectly well that no one can perfectly keep the law. Only Jesus Christ could and did that. That is why He is our propitiation. For anyone to claim that we must add anything to Ephesians 2:8,9 like works or keeping the law in order to be justified before God shows that they have no understanding whatsoever of grace or the Gospel. In fact, Paul says that anyone taking that road becomes a debtor to the whole law and that means they take on a debt they cannot pay. How are we justified? Paul makes it clear that all who are in Christ are so through faith working through love.

Now, for a little commentary on my part. I know that we must charitable and loving as Christian, especially those of us with the gifts of discernment and wisdom given to us to edify the Body of Christ. When we see problems we should, in the power of the Holy Spirit, learn as much as we can about it, and follow Biblical guidelines in making things right for the good of the Body. However, many people in our time think that is just mean. They want us to never confront anyone about anything. Look what Paul says about the person or persons who are teaching this false gospel to the Galatians. He claims that those who are doing so persecute him and then he wants them to go καὶ ἀποκόψονται or “and emasculate themselves.” The verb ἀποκόψονται is the future tense, indicative mood, middle voice case of ἀποκόπτω or apokoptō, to mutilate (the privy parts): – cut off. I’ve never gone that far, but I have taken people’s comment privileges away and I have told you exactly what they teach and why it is unbiblical. We must never stop doing this as long as there are wolves in sheep’s clothing attacking the flock.

Ὑμεῖς γὰρ ἐπ᾽ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἐκλήθητε, ἀδελφοί· μόνον μὴ τὴν ἐλευθερίαν εἰς ἀφορμὴν τῇ σαρκί, ἀλλὰ διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης δουλεύετε ἀλλήλοις. ὁ γὰρ πᾶς νόμος ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ πεπλήρωται, ἐν τῷ· ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν. εἰ δὲ ἀλλήλους δάκνετε καὶ κατεσθίετε, βλέπετε μὴ ὑπ᾽ ἀλλήλων ἀναλωθῆτε. Λέγω δέ, πνεύματι περιπατεῖτε καὶ ἐπιθυμίαν σαρκὸς οὐ μὴ τελέσητε. ἡ γὰρ σὰρξ ἐπιθυμεῖ κατὰ τοῦ πνεύματος, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα κατὰ τῆς σαρκός, ταῦτα γὰρ ἀλλήλοις ἀντίκειται, ἵνα μὴ ἃ ἐὰν θέλητε ταῦτα ποιῆτε. εἰ δὲ πνεύματι ἄγεσθε, οὐκ ἐστὲ ὑπὸ νόμον. φανερὰ δέ ἐστιν τὰ ἔργα τῆς σαρκός, ἅτινά ἐστιν πορνεία, ἀκαθαρσία, ἀσέλγεια, εἰδωλολατρία, φαρμακεία, ἔχθραι, ἔρις, ζῆλος, θυμοί, ἐριθεῖαι, διχοστασίαι, αἱρέσεις, φθόνοι, μέθαι, κῶμοι καὶ τὰ ὅμοια τούτοις, ἃ προλέγω ὑμῖν, καθὼς προεῖπον ὅτι οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες βασιλείαν θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν. ὁ δὲ καρπὸς τοῦ πνεύματός ἐστιν ἀγάπη χαρὰ εἰρήνη, μακροθυμία χρηστότης ἀγαθωσύνη, πίστις πραΰτης ἐγκράτεια· κατὰ τῶν τοιούτων οὐκ ἔστιν νόμος. οἱ δὲ τοῦ Χριστοῦ [Ἰησοῦ] τὴν σάρκα ἐσταύρωσαν σὺν τοῖς παθήμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις. Εἰ ζῶμεν πνεύματι, πνεύματι καὶ στοιχῶμεν. μὴ γινώμεθα κενόδοξοι, ἀλλήλους προκαλούμενοι, ἀλλήλοις φθονοῦντες. (Galatians 5:13-26 NA27)

For freedom, you were called brothers, only use not the freedom for a pretext for the flesh, but through love, serve one another as slaves. For the entire law has been summed up in one word, love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest by one another you are destroyed. But I say, walk by the Spirit and the lust of the flesh you could by no means perform. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and Spirit against the flesh. For these things oppose each other so you cannot do as you desire. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, divisions, sects, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these of which I told you beforehand as I said before that those practicing such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control, against such things there is no law. But those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with it passions and lusts. If we live by Spirit, with the Spirit we should also walk. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (a personal translation of Galatians 5:13-26 from the NA27 Greek text)

Serving one another in love fulfills the law. Look at the chaos eating up much of the visible church right now. There are heresies to be sure, but there is also a lot of people in leadership who are in it for all the wrong reasons. The reason Ulysses S. Grant was able to subdue Robert E. Lee and eventually cause the Army of Northern Virginia to surrender where his predecessors could only eek out small victories here and there was he understood what war was all about. He understood his role. He was not confused about it at all. His job was to lead his army into battle to kill the enemy and bring about its destruction or surrender. Those who came before him lost sight of that and had other agendas. As Christians, especially Christian leaders, there is a tendency to forget why we are here. We are not here to create our own empires. We are not here to get rich off of the Gospel or our ministries, et cetera. Nope, we are here to obey our Lord in all things even if that means standing firm and enduring the hatred and persecution coming from those who hate God and His truth.

We are strong in Christ as our assurance is strong. Assurance of salvation is also a strong motivating factor for holy living. When our love for Christ is strong and growing we are also assured that He calls us His own. This love causes us to keep His commandments. This, in turn, helps us advance in holiness.Our assurance is grounded in the person and work of Christ, not our feelings or circumstances. His life, death, resurrection, and intercession reveal His full ability to save those who trust in Him. Our confidence in our redemption is rooted in His perfect and effectual work.As Paul stated in those passages above about the fruit of the Spirit, our works reveal that the Spirit is working within us to make us bear fruit. Over time, this fruit, in the form of our dispositions and deeds, is increasingly manifested in our lives. As we progress in holiness, this fruit will grow and mature, and will become more and more like Christ Jesus.Sinless perfection is impossible in this life, so we will never exhibit any of the fruit of the Spirit flawlessly on this side of glory. Nevertheless, there is a difference between those who do not exhibit the fruit at all and those who exhibit the fruit intermittently, between those who want to bear fruit and those who do not care at all about the work of the Spirit. If we are bearing spiritual fruit in any way, we belong to Jesus.

Soli Deo Gloria!

13 thoughts on “Slavery Freedom Faith and Fruit

  1. Dear Mike,

    My pastor made the point that people who speak in truth and love are often like astringent; they are both therapeutic and painful all at the same time:)

    Those who love Christ and are being taught by the Holy Spirit abiding in them, generally respond positively and benefit from the treatment. Those who are averse to God and His word of truth, loathe the cure and will avoid the sting for earthly comforts.

    Gratefully governed by His grace, charisse

  2. Mike, Thanks for the reminder that we are here to obey our Lord in all things, even if it means facing hatred and persecution from haters of truth… as well as distrust, and ridicule from professed brethren of ours…
    Pray for me, that I will stand for truth..while at the same time showing forth the fruit of the Spirit :meekness,patience, and self control!

  3. Good morning to all!
    I remember well as a new believer the many “requirements” others would place upon me as Christian necessities. First and foremost, you must read your Bible- daily. Then you must pray, preferably about God, then others, then self. By no means forget to attend church, bible study and every other function lest you backslide. And for super spiritual elite, share one’s faith at least once a week and memorize several verses.
    Now please hear me here. These friends were brothers and sisters in the Lord, and they really did care for my well being. They were simply following those who had lived before them a similar example and simply followed suit as they thought they should. After all, what’s wrong with any of the above.
    In a similar way, I also remember the days when I used to make “lists” of do’s and don’ts. If I attained to the standard, all was well and God loved me. If not, well God was not pleased and my salvation may even be in jeopardy. Oh the vanity of mans own standards and even one’s own! How quickly can we complicate what God has made so simple.
    These days, the criticisms still come, primarily due to my refusal to attend “church.” People just cannot conceive how a person can possibly remain faithful away from what the perceive to be God’s will for every Christian. Once again, culture and mans traditions rule the roost, sad.
    I sometimes wonder why these same Judaisers in Paul’s day would sneek around in order to spy out the liberty these Christians were living IN CHRIST. We’re they curious, envious of their freedom or jealous in losing some “members” to those other fellowships. It does say, “in order to bring them into bondage.” You’ve got to love Paul’s response: We did not yield to them for even an hour (just long enough to have a little dialogue about their false gospel). Why? So that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.
    As you all know, not much has changed these days. We still have the legalists, gnostics and those who want to either live by the law or add law to the gospel of grace. We even can find similar spies if you look with a discerning eye- those who are of a “high reputation” (we know who they are- the opposite of Jesus who made Himself of no reputation).
    Today, I’m living free and it’s due to a revelation God taught me many years ago- that a man is subject to the law as long as he liveth. (Romans 7:1) Was not the law brought to bear upon the consciences of sinful men bound in Adams disobedience? Are we not now presently freed from those claims seeing that we are both baptised into Christ’s death and crucified with Him? As such, the law has no claims upon those recreated in Christ, neither for justification, NOR sanctification. If A Christian is attempting to use the law in any manner, is that not falsehood? I’m not speaking for any of you, but in my house life rules. Not the former rules for living I used to promote, but rather the very life of Jesus to Whom is my Life. For the the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)
    A man must act, but those actions are not what chages us but merely the environment wherein God brings about change. Instead of “doing,” try abiding and dying. Only then will we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, will be transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

  4. forgotten: not all use of the law is legalism. The moral Law of God is a rule for life to the Christian. We exhort one another daily to obedience, by the power of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of God. Not to earn merit, but as an offering. To live as if the Law has no bearing is sin, as Paul wrote at length. And one thing clearly spelled out in Scripture is the command that we not forsake the gathering together as saints of the living God – the assembly of the local church. Not for man pleasers, but to worship God and hold one another accountable before Him.

    As Charisse’s pastor put so well above, “people who speak in truth and love are often like astringent; they are both therapeutic and painful all at the same time”.

  5. 1 John 2:3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
    1 John 3:23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
    1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments ; and His commandments are not burdensome.

    Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another ; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. … 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor ; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

    Thanks Mike for this excellent post, you are indeed living up to your mission of providing spiritual food for us. Thanks so much!

  6. Sorry Manfred, but I cannot agree with you. This of course is in no way meant to demean you or your present understanding of God and the Scriptures. I do welcome other Christians and their comments or criticisms as to what I write, and value the concerns others show toward me. This is proper as brothers and sisters in the Lord. The issues Mike is touching upon are in one sense simple, and yet in other ways quite profound. (Think of the difference of holding a diamond and then picking it up and turning it about near a source of light). There is so much more than what we first saw was their not?
    That is the way I view and serve My Savior today. It’s not that the law isn’t relevant, important and holy, it certainly is, it simply doesn’t carry the function it once did in my life. The same goes with church in my life. I don’t disregard the need for fellowship or the command to not forsake family, I just find fellowship in daily interaction among the saints. The venue is more or less irrelevant to me these days.
    Without going on and on for which I’m all too willing, in this I’m sure we can agree: remaining civil despite our disagreements and remembering the reasons for this blog. Mike has graciously allowed us the freedom to comment (to him and each other) and will likely allow that to continue provided these discussions are encouraging one to another. We’re all growing and learning as He leads us and in the degree of revelation we’re able to receive at present. I will quickly allow you the last word as to these topics as I long ago decided to refrain from defending myself. Thank you for your willingness to respond to what you believed to be error or misjudgment in light of what I wrote- Michael.

  7. Manfred, for your consideration…The vast majority of folks warming pews every Sunday believe they are indeed not forsaking the fellowship. But where exactly is the one anothering that is talked about in the context of the verse you quoted, along with many others who regularly trot that one out. Does shaking each others hands at “the appointed time” on cue from the pulpit count…even as most are shaking your hand and looking on toward the next hand they will shake, reciting the same “peace be with you” phrase, and perhaps, “peace be with you brother/sister.” Have you ever counted the number of exortations in the New Testiment to “one another?’” (Please. Manfred, I am not pointing at you, but asking you and others to consider thoughtfully my points.) 3 meetings a week…Sunday morning, sunday evening(perhaps) and Wednesday evening. 1 to 1 and a half hours sitting standing, singing, and listening to a sermon. Rushing there, rushing to the resturant, or home for a nap, on edge because of family issues. Perhaps some small talk in the hallway on the way to pick up the kids.. But hey, we aren’t “forsaking the fellowship.” The contemporary service folks entering the parking lot, angry already from the above mentioned family issues, no madder at the old folks taking their time leaving the traditional service, whose names i don’t know nor even care to. “Hey, You watching the Steelers today?” “No, I can’t i got a birthday party to go to.” NEVER A MENTION of the ONE ANOTHERING!!! Most folks are there, but alone in a crowd, but we met the “not forsaking the fellowship requirement!”
    Sorry, but from where I stand, the folks forsaking the fellowship are sitting in pews daydreamiong, texting or worse. Jesus builds the church, it’s his, He orchestrates the fellowship, and the one anothering…since “church” is not a place, but the called pout ones, one anothering is also orchestrated by Him. Thus anything that He is not doing, but man is attempting to do is religion/rules and 180 degrees from what He means. You can’t one another by sitting in silence in a movie theater and you can’t one another sitting in pews either. That is WHY American Churchianity is in the shape it is! further, when you made your wedding vows, the word forsake was probably there, as in forsake all others for your spouse. Forsake means… well… forsake! Now, if a person chooses to depend on Jesus to be and do what He said and finds that the building he has frequented all these past years isn’t doing things as Jesus said, and in fact has become a hinderence to his desire to do as Jesus said, and ‘one another” then is he really forsaking the fellowship by leaving, or did the fellowship forsake their command, to one another, and thus break the fellowship with him?
    I have not been to a religious meeting in 5 years! But I have never forsaken the fellowshipping, nor the one anothering, and in fact both have increased to DAILY, since I heeded His call to come out from the religious system. I have continually looked for that building of people who neither forsake the fellowshipping, nor fail to one another, and I have yet to find such a gathering in my neck of the woods. But daily I run into folks who tell me how alone they feel in the pews, how unhappy they are, how they miss the old days when things were done better, how bad the situations are in the buildings (around here) and frankly what sticks out the most is that everything is about them and their needs. just tonight my wife ran in to a young man who is a pastor. But he no longer has a church because the old pastor moves back and took everything back over. She encouraged him in the Lord…she too is 5 years removed. She told me he literally was a shell, and that she believed he was heavily drugged on depression medications. I will tell you many have shunned us because of the forsaking the fellowshipping, that is until they need someone to pray for them, or help them through a difficult situation…then they know where we are…or when they have a kid going on a one week missions trip to some exotic destination and need us to pray about sending them cash for their trip to facepaint in a park in Miami or somewhere…oh and all the graduation invitations this year from folks who pretend thet don’t see us on the street. Yet we do also run in to dear saints who are happy to sit and fellowship at a resturant or wherever we may run in to them…becaus He still orchestrates these one anotherings, but not corporately any more… and many are also out of the system, yet growing in Him! Barna estimated that the number of folks like my wife and I who have left the system to be at over 16 million in America…and non I’ve met have stopped one anothering, nor forsaking the fellowshipping. By the way, this sunday, ask an elder to get the keys and show you the “storehouse full of meat” that your fellowship’s tithe has built up lo these many years as discussed most Sunday’s. I’ve yet to see that room either!…and i’m here to tell you that this economy will bring out many looking for the help that isn’t there for them!
    I do love His Church, and do care very much for the things He loves, and I hate the things He hates. contrary to rumors spread about those who have left and not return, most are not hurt, nor struggling. Honest!

  8. Mickey, Social clubs calling themselves churches are not the same as biblical churches. There is no biblical requirement to “have church” twice on Sunday and once on Wed – those are man’s traditions. The redeemed of the Lord worship together on the Lord’s Day – the local church has been given elders and deacons to serve and lead her. Those who meet apart from the structure God has given are being disobedient in that regard.

  9. Mickey Merrie:

    I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your above comment. I understand exactly what you are saying and have experienced much of what you wrote. Thank you for saying it. I get it. AMEN.

  10. The question becomes, Who appoints ministers, teachers, elders?

    When did,
    1 Cor. 11 “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.”
    become a once a month chip and a sip?
    “As often as I break bread and drink this cup is scheduled for the 2nd Sunday of every month” sure doesn’t seem like anything more then a ritual in most places, whether they are a social club or a “biblical church.”

    Romans 14:5 in context
    One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

    6He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 9For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

    They gathered from house to house…they shared everything…they took offerings for those in need…Paul said don’t be a burden to the preacher he trained…When he was Saul his profession was religion.When Jesus changed him, he quit living off the sheep, and got a job making tents to pay his and his companions way….Freely you have been given, freely give…Anyone seen the storehouse full of meat yet?…They gathered in 2′s and 3′s in His Name and He is in the midst…

    Perhaps I should have made this much more simple…Church is who we are in Him, not what we do…One anothering is our fruit…we have forsaken all others, and all other things about Him for Who He is. A religion about Him, no matter how “biblical” it may appear, NEVER replaces the relationship with Him.

    Thanks Diane, for the encouragement, I believe you do get it.

    Manfred, I love you brother, may the Lord continue to open our eyes and ears to His Truth, and may we become blind and deaf to the traditions of men.

  11. Mickey – for the most part, I follow you. My husband and I have had similar thoughts. Much of what we see today are man’s traditions, and are a far cry from what the assembly of believers looked like in the early years of the church. Ie, your example of the breaking of bread being reduced to monthly chip-n-sip (or at some megachurches, quarterly). But there are still some “four wall institutional churches” where, in spite of some traditions, believers do gather for genuine one-anothering.

    Manfred – I’ve learned to have a lot of compassion for those who **appear** to be “forsaking the assembly”; when you take the time to learn why they are not in the “four wall institutional church”, things often make more sense. Yes, certainly there are some who are disobedient, which is a heart posture, not just an action – and one can forsake the assembly and still be a pew-warmer. But there are those who genuinely have no choice but to gather in small groups in homes, because the churches in their area are all PD or health/wealth or ecumenical… etc. They do their best to honor the Lord, and as the word says, where those 2 or 3 have gathered, He is surely with them. I think of what the late J. Vernon McGee (I think) said, that he pondered if, as the church started by gathering in homes, so at the end of the age, she would be gathering again in homes.

    Final thought regarding Biblical leadership… 1 Tim 3 says if any man **desires** to be an overseer, it is a fine work he desires… there is nothing in the pastoral epistles that says we have to have institutional buildings for Biblical leadership to exist. It most certainly can exist in a “home church” environment. Acts 2 says believers are to gather for the apostles’ teaching, breaking bread, fellowship and prayer. 1 Cor 14 says that worship should be done in an orderly fashion. Again, nothing prohibits believers from gathering in homes to do all of the above. The early church did this daily, from house to house.

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  13. Thank you Carolyn, and I agree with everything you said! When the undershepherd of God shows up in Northwestern Penna. we will be there to support God’s Work through him. Till he does, we are quite content to fellowship wherever and whenever the Lord leads.
    Manfred is quite fortunate to have Voddie in his town, as from what i’ve seen of him, he is a godly man. I think it shows in Manfred’s walk as well. I appreciate Manfred and his walk.
    I never understood anyone’s desire for Mc Mansions like he has in this fine video, but that is Voddie’s choice before the Lord…and my opinion.
    http://webmail.neo.rr.com/do/redirect?url=http%253A%252F%252Fdividedthemovie.com%252F

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