Glorious freedom

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by Ralph Martin

This whole century could be characterized as a great cry for freedom from oppression. Freedom from political oppression, freedom from economic oppression, freedom from oppressive discrimination, racism, sexism, nationalism and militarism; freedom from environmental pollution and destruction. But all these forms of oppression are but manifestations of a more fundamental and terrible root of oppression which resides within the human heart and which expresses itself time and time again in one terrible manifestation after another. Just when one form of oppression is seemingly overcome, another insinuates itself from an unexpected direction. Just when one problem is apparently solved, the cure turns out to be as bad as or worse than the problem.

The incredibly good news is that Jesus Christ came to deliver all of us from the root oppression that overshadows our life that is deeply ingrained in our heart, mind, body and spirit, and that, in turn, leads us to oppress others in so many different ways. Jesus Christ came to set us free in a fundamental and enduring manner and that is really good news.   Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. . . He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord."

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, "Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:14, 17-21).

And every day since, Jesus has been offering freedom to those oppressed. When many in a given situation have accepted his offer, oftentimes the secondary oppression -- the political or economic, for example -- have also changed significantly for the better. But even when that has not been the case, the individuals who have responded have been blessed the day they did.

What is the deep-rooted oppression holding sway over our lives from which Jesus has come to set us free? At root, Jesus calls this fundamental oppression slavery to sin: slavery to that deep rooted tendency towards selfishness and lawlessness that manifests itself in greed, anger, lust, lying, infidelity, stealing, drunkenness, wicked thoughts, wicked words, and wicked deeds; sin in the human heart that expresses itself not only individually but corporately and institutionally in our families, businesses, universities, and nations, that produces economic, political and environmental disasters, wars and concentration camps, the gap between rich and poor, male and female, black and white, east and west, north and south -- and all the smaller gaps in between. Sin is what disunites and divides the human race and turns us one against the other at every level from the most personal to the most global. Unless this root of sin is removed and replaced with something better, there is no hope of any lasting peace, unity or happiness on the individual level or on the wider levels. Thanks be to God for the freedom that is offered all of us in the person of Jesus, both now and in the age to come.

As the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith tells us in the document Aspects of Liberation Theology, "The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of freedom and a force of liberation. . . Christian liberation is above all and primarily liberation from the radical slavery of sin." The first step in getting free from this root of sin, of no longer being enslaved by it, is to acknowledge that we are enslaved and are incapable of getting free by our own efforts. Sin by its nature produces defensiveness or profound denial. We are ashamed, afraid and threatened to acknowledge our shame and our need. We deny we are enslaved to sin and deny our need for help from outside ourselves. We can have just enough "religion" to have hidden from ourselves and, we hope, others our profound and desperate need for God and the humbling honesty and surrender that follows in its wake.

"For you say, `I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,' and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so you may see. . . Be earnest, therefore, and repent'" (Revelation 3:17-19).

Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free" (John 8:31-36).

Paying attention to the words of Jesus and doing what they say is the key to freedom. If we live according to his teaching we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. Coming to Jesus personally and surrendering our lives to him is at the core of what he teaches: becoming his disciples. Through faith and the mysterious transaction that takes place in baptism, we are crucified with him, the hold of sin on us is broken, and a new power and principle of life is established in us, the divine life of the Spirit of God. When Jesus sets us free, we are free indeed!

We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin . . .you too must think of yourselves as dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:6,10).

He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:24).

It's clear from scripture that the freedom from sin that Jesus gives us through faith and union with him in baptism is substantial and fundamental, but it expresses itself in us progressively over time as we increasingly yield to the working of his Holy Spirit in us and experience the renewal of our innermost being. While we can, as we yield to grace, experience substantial progress in this renewal of our being in this life, it will not be completed until we share in the risen glory of Christ. This will come to pass when he himself returns in glory to bring to an end human history as we know it and usher in the fullness of his kingdom in us and throughout the universe.

But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life (Romans 6:22).

The progressive process of transformation and renewal by the Spirit of God in this life— sanctification—is completed when death is finally swallowed up in victory at the resurrection of the dead. In the meantime, as levels and manifestations of the results of sin in our life are uncovered, sometimes painfully and discouragingly, we can count on the mercy of Christ for forgiveness and healing in many different ways, especially in the sacrament of reconciliation. If we say, "We are without sin," we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.

If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world (1 John 1:8-10; 2-1-2).

Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed (James 5:16).

While sin is at the root of all the misfortunes of the human race, the greatest of these misfortunes is death, the end of life. Death is the consequence of sin and the outworking of Satan's desire to destroy the human race, made in the image of God as we are. Satan hates God and hates us who are the special work of his hands, created in his very image. Death is a direct result of that yielding to the false promises of the devil that locked us all into sin with all its wretched consequences.

In Genesis 3:19, and Wisdom 1:12-16 and 2:23-24, scripture establishes a profound link between the devil, sin and death. When we yield ourselves to sin, we come under the influence of the devil, become his slave as it were, and lock ourselves more deeply into the fate of those who are under his rule: eternal death, hell. Death is a "background consideration" to much of what transpires in human life. Aware of the shortness of life, many adopt a mentality of "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die" and in the process often trample on others and leave a trail of sorrow and destruction in their wake. More sex, more alcohol, more drugs, more money, more power over others, more fame, more relationships, and more popularity can never fill the emptiness which is ultimately the emptiness of death itself. No one and no thing can keep death away; all must die.

Others, feeling the shadow of death over their lives, strive out of fear and anxiety for as much security as they can achieve in amassing money, possessions, fame, power, and "control." Some, aware of the shadow of death over all of human life, live in discouragement and despair -- depressed, hopeless, and unable to attempt much out of fear of failure and discouragement. Others, aware of the big, mocking question mark that death places over all human endeavor, engage in a serious search for truth and meaning in philosophy, art, music, science, or various "religious" quests.

For everyone, whether on a conscious level or not, the fear of simply not being anymore, of dying, influences our life. The fear of not having enough -- enough money, enough love, enough knowledge, enough power, enough virtue, enough mental stability, enough physical health, enough medical care, enough attention (the list goes on) -- casts a shadow over all of life.

In overcoming sin and freeing us from its hold, Jesus Christ also frees us from the power of the devil, from death itself, and from the fear of death. He opens up for us the possibility of living in real freedom and security -- no longer having to fear death and no longer being driven in our life and actions by it. For the "sting" -- what really hurt -- of death was due to sin, and when sin is forgiven, the sting of death is removed and ultimately overcome in resurrection from the dead.  

For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed you from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he [Jesus] likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life (Hebrews 2:14-16).

If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you (Romans 8:11).

Notice how personal it all is. It was Jesus' death that broke the power of the devil, the power of death, and freed us from living in fear of death as slaves to sin and Satan our whole lives long. It's our faith in Jesus and our union with him that free us and enable us to continue to live free, indeed, to grow in freedom, until it becomes the glorious freedom of the sons and daughters of God.

Unless we're alive at the second coming of Christ (wouldn't that be wonderful?), all of us still have to die. There's still a penalty to be paid for sin and we all must share in it. Yet the penalty is now no longer eternal separation from God under the rule of the devil in hell, an eternal death. Death, for a Christian, for one in union with Jesus, becomes a doorway to a more glorious resurrection to be experienced fully when Jesus Christ returns. Death for someone not in union with Jesus is something truly awful: a passageway to the eternal torment of hell.

"Amen, amen I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to his Son the possession of life in himself. And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in their tombs shall hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:25-29).

As Jesus went about Israel, "doing good", healing multitudes of sick people, delivering those oppressed by evil spirits, forgiving sin, and raising some from the dead, he was foreshadowing what was to come to all of us through relationship to   him, beginning in this life and reaching its fullness in the life of the age to come.

Jesus also came to set us free from the divisions and discrimination that flow from our sinful condition that pertain to race, sex, social, economic and national differences. While not denying the relevance, indeed importance, of the God-given differences in creation that remain relevant in redemption, the new family of God is to be characterized by a new equality and unity across these differences.

For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-28).

Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:9-11).

While a lot has already been said about the nature of the freedom Christ has won for us in speaking about what he frees us from, it would be well to consider more directly what Jesus has freed us for. In short, he has freed us to live according to our true nature and identity, as sons and daughters of God.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, Abba, "Father!" The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8:14-17).

The root insecurity of the human race is taken care of in the death and resurrection of Jesus as we respond to him with faith and surrender. We are adopted, taken in to the family of God, written into the will, and offered a share in everything that belongs to the family. And what belongs to this family is everything that is. Once we join with Jesus, fundamental issues of identity and security are settled. We now know who we are, what the meaning and purpose of life is, and where we're headed. Knowing, both intellectually and experientially through the indwelling Spirit of God himself, that we belong to him and are his sons and daughters is tremendously freeing. Knowing that God is truly Father, and our Father, and not just the impersonal principle of some of the eastern religions, or capricious gods and demons of paganism, or simply the distant master of Islam, is tremendously freeing. What a remarkable gift it is that God is revealed to us by Jesus as Father, and even more, as our Father! How extraordinary that everything that the Father has given to Jesus He wants to share with us as his adopted sons and daughters! And it is not just a legal adoption, but an adoption that makes us actual members of the family, partakers of the divine nature, indwelt by God himself -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Once we give ourselves to Jesus in faith, the most important and fundamental decision of our life has been made. If we die in the Lord and united to Jesus, our life will have been a tremendous success. No matter what other achievements we might have, if we die in our unrepented sins, our life will have been a tragic failure.

It's clear, that even for a son or daughter of God, there will be in this life, sorrows and difficulties, but what joy and fundamental peace there can be through remembering that, if we are indeed willing to suffer with him -- and he'll be with us to help us do exactly that, we will also be glorified with him. Next to having come home to God our Father through Jesus Christ his Son in the power of the Holy Spirit, everything else is secondary. And yet, even those secondary things, will fall into place if we live our life focused on seeking first the kingdom of God. What security, what peace, what confidence is ours through Jesus our Lord!  

As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom and these other things will be given to you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:29-32).

Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for God has said, "I will never forsake you or abandon you." Thus we may say with confidence: "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me" (Hebrews 13:5-6)?  

Confidence is a key word in describing the freedom that Jesus has given to us: confidence in our relationship with God, confidence in God's care for us, confidence in the meaning of our life and its significance, confidence in the midst of the sorrows and disappointments of this life. The Greek word that is often translated confidence is parresia which literally means the freedom to say everything.

In Christ and through faith in him we can speak freely to God, drawing near him with confidence (Ephesians 3:12).

So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help (Hebrews 4:16).

And now, children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not be put to shame by him at his coming (1 John 2:28).

The confidence scripture is talking about is not a psychological technique or personality trait or a product of positive thinking seminars, it's an attitude and perspective that develops as a result of the objective facts about what Jesus has done for us in his death and resurrection starting now, and what he will do for us in the resurrection of the dead. It's based on realities, facts, and truths -- not wishful thinking.

Such confidence we have through Christ toward God (2 Corinthians 3:4).

Therefore, since we have such hope, we act very boldly (2 Corinthians 3:12).

Sometimes we Catholics are particularly noted for our timidity, fearfulness and insecurity. Many of us don't understand what God has done for us. Many of us haven't entered into the personal relationship with Jesus that he is offering. Many of us haven't heard preached or taught the great promises of scripture about his commitment to us and our relationship to him. Many of us seem to have a relationship to the Church as an institution but seem to be only dimly aware of Jesus as the Head of the Church or the mystery of the Church as his Body. Many of us are aware of the possibility of "not making it" to heaven but not aware of everything God has done to enable us to "make it."

While we, like Paul, need to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" in a holy humility, appropriate fear, respect, and reverence for God, aware that it is possible to turn away after knowing the Lord, we also need to know how deep God's commitment is to us, how much he wants us to make it, and how much he is doing to ensure that we will.

No outside force, no pressure or stress, can ever separate us from the love of God.

What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written:

"For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered."

No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).

The only thing that can cut us off from God is if we choose to do so and he's committed to give us an immense amount of help not to do so. After investing so much in us through the death of his Son, and knowing our human weakness so well, he's not about now to abandon us, but to overwhelm us with grace all along the way.  

What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God's chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Who will condemn? It is Christ (Jesus) who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us (Romans 8:31-34).  

God's love will never abandon us; it is steadfast, it is reliable, it is always there for us.  

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his kindness endures forever (Psalm 107:1)!

Give thanks to him; bless his name, for he is good:
the Lord, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations (Psalm 100:5).

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his mercy endures forever (Psalm 136:1-2).

Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you (Isaiah 54:10)

God intends that we have a fundamental confidence in his love for us, a confidence that his love and mercy will bring us home to heaven, giving us the grace we need along the way to stay faithful to him. He wants us to know his love in such a way that it casts out an anxious and debilitating fear of damnation.  

In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love (1 John 4:17-18).

People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads, because your redemption is at hand (Luke 21:26-28).

Sometimes Catholics have not just an unhealthy fear of hell, the second coming or the final judgment, but also a gloomy view of purgatory. Even if, when we die, there is some additional purification that needs to take place before we see God face to face, there is already cause for great joy. Let's recall what John Paul II said recently in relationship to purgatory:

One further point should be made: life's earthly journey has an end which, if a person reaches it in friendship with God, coincides with the first moment of eternal bliss. Even, if in that passage to heaven, the soul must undergo the purification of the last impurities through purgatory, it is already filled with light, certitude and joy, because the person knows that he or she belongs forever to God. At this culminating moment the soul is led by the Holy Spirit, the author and giver not only of the justifying "first grace" and of sanctifying grace throughout one's earthly life, but also of the glorifying grace in hora mortis - the grace of final perseverance. ("The Holy Spirit and Hope," L'Osservatore Romano, English language edition, July 8, 1991)

This fundamental joy, confidence, and trust we are to have in God and his love for us and the final outcome of our lives doesn't mean that the negative surprises of life may not momentarily   shake us, but that we have an anchor to hold us steady and help us recover our balance.

O Most High, when I begin to fear, in you will I trust (Psalm 56:3-4).

That's why scripture so often calls us to remember and not forget what is our new position because of the faith we've put in Jesus. That's what the Eucharist is about -- remembering the great sacrifice of love made for us by Jesus.

Of course, the freedom that Jesus has won for us can be misunderstood and abused. Christian freedom has nothing to do with lawlessness or licentiousness. Confidence is not foolish presumption or irreverent casualness. The apostles did not shrink back from proclaiming the radical and substantial freedom characteristic of the gospel. But they knew that such a powerful and attractive gift could be abused itself, just as the law had been misinterpreted and misapplied.

For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather serve one another through love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Galatians 5:13-14).  

Freedom from sin and the rule of the devil means freedom now to love, serve, give, and obey: to live a life worthy of our calling, pleasing to God, showing forth the character of Christ.

Be free, yet without using freedom as a pretext for evil, but as slaves of God (1 Peter 2:16).

There is a false freedom that is a cloak for corruption that the apostles warn about:

[He knows especially how to treat those] who follow the flesh with its depraved desire and show contempt for lordship...They promise them freedom, though they themselves are slaves of corruption for a person is a slave of whatever overcomes him. For if they. having escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, again become entangled and overcome by them, their last condition is worse than their first (2 Peter 2:10,19-20).

Faith in Christ doesn't free us from the moral law; it gives us the power, motivation, and help to live it as it is now more deeply understood in relationship to the person of Jesus, as it is increasingly the law of the Spirit written on our hearts.

But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Avoid immorality...Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body
(1 Corinthians 6:17-20).

Scripture is clear that genuine faith, genuine relationship with Jesus, is transforming and expresses itself in "works" -- prayer, moral living, love, service, good deeds. If these "works" don't eventually express themselves, a serious question is raised about the genuineness of the faith.

What good is it, my brothers,if someone says he has faith but does not have works?...So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead (James 2:14,17).

Sometimes scripture even indicates that it may be appropriate for us to voluntarily place limits on genuine gospel freedom out of concern for others, such as in 1 Corinthians 9:19-22.

But there is a certain fundamental gospel freedom that we are not at liberty to voluntarily relinquish. To do so would be to be unfaithful to Christ. We are not free to put our faith, hope, or trust in anything other than Christ himself in order to find salvation: no practice, no devotion, no ceremony, no person, no 'secret knowledge' or revelation, no sacrifice, no discipline, no system; nothing and no one other than Christ himself. And scripture makes clear that there are those who would like to draw us away from putting our trust in Christ and take away our gospel freedom.

...but because of the false brothers secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, that they might enslave us -- to them we did not submit even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain intact for you (Galatians 2:4-5).

These passages warning us about having our freedom taken away are in reference to the strong pressure early Christianity experienced to drift back into relying on the Jewish law as an integral part of the message of salvation, rather than on Jesus and the new law of the new covenant which is now also written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. But these warnings are very applicable and relevant for us today, as it is as easy today to look to something or someone other than Jesus to justify us in our relationship with God. There is a tendency in the human heart that can express itself corporately and institutionally to want to hold onto something or someone else more "tangible" than the person of the risen Lord Jesus. As time goes by with individuals and institutions, there is a tendency to rely on the forms that have evolved to focus our response to Christ to sometimes overshadow the person they were supposed to focus on, Jesus himself. Paul resisted these pressures and tendencies, even opposing Peter on one occasion, "so that the truth of the gospel might survive intact for your benefit," and so must we.  

For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. It is I, Paul, who am telling you that if you have yourselves circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. Once again I declare to every man who has himself circumcised that he is bound to the observe the entire law. You are separated from Christ, you who are trying to be justified by the law; you have fallen from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love (Galatians 5:1-6).

You have been purchased at a price. Do not become slaves to human beings (1 Corinthians 7:23).

The freedom that Christ died to gain for us is so precious that it's longed for by the entire creation, not just by the human race in the closing years of the twentieth century, and is properly described as "glorious."

I consider that the sufferings of the present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:18-23).

In these closing days of the twentieth century when a cry for freedom arises from around the world, let us turn to him who is the source of true freedom, Jesus Christ, and allow him to transform us into truly free men and women, sons and daughters of the Father, so the Church may be renewed as his bride, so the world may behold him in our midst.

But whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. All of us, gazing with unveiled faces on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).

Indeed, come Lord Jesus! Come Holy Spirit! Renew us and the face of the earth! Bring us home to the Father!

Renewal Ministries
P.O. Box 1426
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106
In Canada:
Box 400, Station U
Toronto, Ontario
M8Z 5Y8

Copyright © 1994 by Ralph Martin All rights reserved. Published by Renewal Ministries

Scripture texts used in this work are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament, copyright © 1986 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC 20017-1194 and are used by permission of copyright owner. All rights reserved.

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