(SERMON BY ANDREW ALLISON)
One of my favourite movies is the animated “Surf’s Up” – it’s about a teenage penguin named Cody who loves surfing so much so that he leaves his home in Shiverpool, Antarctica and heads for Pen Gu Island, site of the the Big Z Memorial Surf Off. Cody wants to be respected and admired, and he believes that winning the competition will bring him what he craves. However, as he carves out his surfboard the way he wants, life also teaches him that “going with the grain” is the better way to go.
Freedom is going with the grain. We were designed for freedom.
But freedom isn’t doing what you want, when you want.
Freedom always includes restrictions.
Saying “Yes” to one freedom is saying “No” to another freedom. Freedom is going with the grain – going with the way we’re designed because according to the scriptures, going a different way means we’re falling into slavery. Jesus set both the Jews and the Gentiles free but people tried to make these people go back to following the law.
Rules can be comfortable when we’re used to them but we can get trapped in following them. Paul is saying that if we start with the rules again, we’ll be a mess – he describes it as “falling from grace.” (verse 4)
Law thinking is “when you only count the good shots.” Asking questions like, “What did I do to deserve this?” and “Why doesn’t God bless me more?” or making comments like, “I’m a good person. I deserve more” is saying that God owes you something.
So, how do we get out of law thinking?
The Spirit of Jesus in us sets us free. (verse 5) When we come to Christ, we don’t need to go back to the cesspool of law thinking. We’re set free.
The Message puts it so well: