This month: Freedom in Christ
Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Matt Dabbs

Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

Homepage: http://mattdabbs.com

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” – Galatians 5:1

Let’s start a conversation this Independence day. It is a conversation about our freedom in Christ and exactly what that means for a Christian. There are so many things in this world that can enslave us. If we aren’t careful we can even do things to keep each other bound up. What does it mean to be…

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Listening is a discipline. It isn’t a skill that comes naturally to many of us. Talking is much easier and often much less thoughtful.

Listening is a discipline. Listening takes security. It is difficult for an insecure person to be a good listener because an insecure person is always testing the waters of how others see them and this isn’t easy to gauge as a listener as much as it…

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James makes a connection in James 1:19 that I have not only missed in the text but failed to notice in my own life. Here is what James wrote,

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

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The Bible is full of reminders on the importance of listening to God but how often do we intentionally do so? There are many stories in the Bible where the people failed in their plans because their plans were not initiated by listening to and for God. This happened in Joshua 7 when they entered the promised land and first took Jericho with no problem but second tackled Ai…

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Paul was much more ecumenical than I was growing up. The more I read Paul the more divisive I became, not because of what Paul wrote but because of how I read Paul. I read Paul looking for the rules, not that they aren’t there but that I found what I was looking for even when it wasn’t there. I read Paul looking for the marks the true believer…

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In times past the transcendent God above made moves to show his immanence or closeness in the world and to the world. We see this in the creation of the universe (Gen 1:2) and especially in the breathing of the breath of life into Adam’s lifeless body in Gen 2:7 (both expressed as ruach – spirit). We see this at Sinai (Exo 19). We see this in the incarnation…

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Pepperdine Bible lectures, now known as Harbor, concluded this past weekend and the audio is now up in itunes. The theme was on “The Spirit Filled People of God” and the classes were excellent. I would like to highlight the keynotes in particular: Rick Atchley, Don McLaughlin and Josh Ross. Their lectures were life-changing and have already impacted my daily routine. There were other keynotes that I am sure…

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In the last post I mentioned the ire of the Jewish leaders that Jesus would heal a man on the Sabbath. There is a similar story in John 5 where Jesus heals the man by the pool called Bethesda. Once the man was healed, Jesus didn’t just tell him to stand. He told him to get up, take up his mat and walk (5:8). The Jewish tradition specifically said…

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There is a series of stories in Mark 3 that was part of my change of heart and mind on the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath. The reaction of the Pharisees was not to recognize the prophesied work of the Spirit and the Messiah and praise God for it! No. Instead, the plotted to kill Jesus (Mark 3:6). A few verses later…

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The more you study the Bible the more your views will change. It is inevitable and it is good. Somehow change has become a byword in our fellowship especially in two areas: worship practices and our view on the Holy Spirit.

I grew up like many people in my fellowship, believing the Holy Spirit had little to nothing to do with my life. The work of the Spirit was complete…

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