Author Archives: lrbartel

God’s word… and ancient Babylon (a lesson to be learned)!

Babylon todayGod’s word is true! And the inspired predictions of Biblical prophecy have been – and will be – fulfilled!

In my Bible reading today I read such a passage… Jeremiah 50:33-40, addressing the utter destruction of the ancient city of Babylon… (Then look at the pics…)

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah with them. All who took them captive held them fast; they refused to let them go. But their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name! He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon.

“A sword against the Chaldeans, declares the LORD, and against the inhabitants of Babylon, and against her officials and her wise men! A sword against the diviners, that they may become fools! A sword against her warriors, that they may be destroyed! A sword against her horses and against her chariots, and against all the foreign troops in her midst, that they may become women! A sword against all her treasures, that they may be plundered! A drought against her waters, that they may be dried up! For it is a land of images, and they are mad over their idols. Therefore wild beasts shall dwell with hyenas in Babylon, and ostriches shall dwell in her. She shall never again have people, nor be inhabited for all generations. As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, declares the LORD, so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her!” (Jeremiah 50:33–40 ESV)

Just let me say, given what God’s word says, and the sad history of this ancient city, I would not want to be guilty of antisemitism today… Just say’n!

Real freedom! (or bondage cloaked as freedom?)

Freedom in ChristYou can’t “get right with God” [be “justified” or considered “righteous” by God] by keeping a list of rules! Apostle Paul declares that fact in both Romans and Galatians (Romans 3:20-25; Galatians 3:10-14).

The “Good News” is that freedom from that approach to trying to please God is available through faith in Christ… “For freedom Christ has set us free! Stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery!” (Galatians 5:1)!

But before you utter a big “Whoopee!” and get carried away with your new found freedom in Christ, a word of caution! Christ did not save you and free you to go back into sinful, self-centered living! Freedom in and through Christ can never be an excuse for “the flesh” [living to gratify what the old self, under the control of sin, wants to do]!

Here’s how Apostle Paul puts it in Galatians… “You were called to freedom, brothers (and sisters)! Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh! … Walk by [in keeping with] the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh!” (Galatians 5:13 & 16)

In Romans Paul puts it another way… “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death! For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit!” (Romans 8:1-4)

Listen… The HOLY Spirit is a reliable inner guide and enabler! He will not lead us back into bondage and sin – His work within our lives will prompt and produce holy living – a life that honors and pleases God! I’m so grateful for the Divine Helper – the Holy Spirit is at work within my life! I want to cooperate with His promptings and empowering presence! Don’t you? Real freedom!!!

I want this to be my life testimony…

Hebrews 11 5-6

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