August 9, 2009

Preaching Liberation

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:42 am by Editorial Team

The Bible story, which we find ourselves in, is cyclical.  Over and over, we find the same stories repeating:  the stories of the fall, the wilderness, and the redemption.  When we read and interpret scripture, we must place ourselves into those events, because they are happening each day of our lives.

The story of the Bible is one of liberation.  The liberation story is repeated countless times.  God protected Noah from the flood.  He delivered Abraham from Babylon.  He hurled pharaoh’s armies into the Red Sea to liberate Israel from bondage.  He used the judges to rescue Israel from surrounding nations.  He preserved a remnant at Babylon to return to the land of promise.  He fed the crowds in the hills.  He healed countless numbers of people.  He set Paul free from prison on numerous occasions.

Liberation is at the core of the gospel.  God in Christ liberated us from the bondage of human sin, freeing us to seek his kingdom and live as humans, created in his image.  Our story is one of liberation.  And our calling in the kingdom is to be liberators — to set people free from the suffering of a flawed humanity.  If we fail to liberate those around us, we fail to understand the kingdom and the gospel message.

We must seek liberation each day — for ourselves, but most of all for those suffering around us.  The power of the gospel is found in God’s agony for his people.  The gospel preaches a material restoration of God’s creation.  Therefore, our gospel of liberation is every bit as physical as it is spiritual.  It is why Jesus and James both harped on the importance of actions and our treatment towards each other — they realized the gospel was largely implicated on earth.  We must constantly heed our calling into the forgotten, ignored parts of our society, for where there is suffering, God is in the midst, comforting and leading the liberation of his people.

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