|FREEDOM TO LIVE|
Rom 5:5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
I went to the Free Community Church Singapore last Sunday, their first service at One Commonwealth Lane. It was a touching service of shared stories and journey of GLBT Christians.
The Pastor was lamenting that his call for dialogue with Pastor Lawrence Khong of FCBC has been denied. Although it seems that Faith Methodist, and Church of Our Saviour is not too far away. His sharing on his friend Terry who had committed suicide sometime ago touched me.
Being of Religious Faith is a choice, even a lifestlye. Being straight or gay is innate. We are Pink on the inside, but the likes of FCBC and Love Singapore will try hard each day to put on White by their own self righteousness and Holiness. It is hard work, and a heavy yoke and burden.
At FCC, FREE stands for "First Realise Everyone is Equal", It is important to see people as equal and be inclusive. We are all the same, no one greater, no one lower. All of us are equal at the Cross of Calvary, all saved by Grace. Hence, we have kindom relationships.
The Table of Communion is inclusive when we bring nothing but ourselves. When we bring Bread and Wine made by many, we insult the Host for bread and Wine are already served at the table as the main offerings.
What does FREE means to me, apart from the inclusivity that everyone tries to do but few succeed and ended up coming into cliques! and enjoying life through our commonwealth kindom feasting, travelling and shopping.
The awkard reality is that we are not equal in many sense. It is easy to say that everyone is equal if you arrive at church from a nice condor, drive a Mercedes, and fly business class. Otherwise, nothing is Free.
I found out the hard way when my Father died in Hospital in Sydney more than a year ago. There were few doctors and nurses around. Tests and monitoring were ad-hoc. The cancer ward was a place to wait and die for the poor.
My father ended up dying of Liver failure, a known adverse reaction of the anti-cancer medication. He was not monitored closely. We didn't have money for the First Class hospital ward in Sydney, for my Father did not have medical insurance. I changed that for my Mom.
I didn't have sufficient credit to pay for all the flights for my aunties on Singapore Airlines from Malaysia/Singapore to Sydney. They were not rich and I had to pay for their flights and accomodation over the last month prior. They missed saying their final farewalls to my dad because I booked them with the cheaper Air Asia.
As the eldest boy, I paid for a large part of the funeral. Again, my credit card had reached the limit and my brother had to help out with me repaying him daily from the ATM.
Over the last few trips back to Sydney. I slept on the floor in the flat my family stayed in. We don't have an extra room. I stared at the facebook postings of all my friends in their 6-star hotels.
Do I live a free life even without much? What is the First in Free?
In John 8:31-36, it is knowing the truth that makes us free. It is abiding in the Word of God ie through the bible we can see Jesus. It was not the truth about the Law or even the Love Commandments for in John 8:34,35, whoever commits a sin is a slave to sin. Therefore, the law is a slave, and Moses is a slave in the Household of God. The Son is higher than the slave. The Son is Jesus Christ. If Jesus, the Son of God makes us free apart from the Law of moses, then we are free indeed.
We live in tough times where we have a lot of lack. What does the bible say about what is first:-
1. Justified by Faith
In Rom 5:5, the "first" is to be justified by Faith. It means that God no longer considers us as sinners. We will sin, but God sees us Holy and white. Our morality and our love for each other does not justify us. Neither do our sins unjustify us.
2. Peace with God
The "Second" is to have "peace" with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray the Lord's prayer (which is before the Cross). But the prayer was fulfilled because the Kingdom of God where Jesus is King came into our hearts and we have peace in God's Kingdom. It is having peace with God and peace with ourselves.
3. Love of God poured into our Hearts even through tough time
After having justified by Faith in Jesus Christ, having peace with God, standing in God's grace, with the Hope of God's glory coming upon of lives. When we persevere, it builds of character for we live in a tangible hope keely aware of the Love of God being puored out in our hearts.
What is being Free
It doesn't matter anymore that we are not equal. For all that matters is that I am a beloved of God. He will make a way, and will take care of me. When I am at peace with myself and with God I am Free indeed.