Chained to Christ or Chained to the Past?

Good Morning friends

Thanks for joining me this morning as we continue on with our new series on :  "Forgetting What is Behind". This morning we will begin with lesson 2.  If you are just joining us you can view last weeks on our webpage. So, Let's get started.

Key Verse is ....Philippians 1:13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ

In the book of Philippians Paul refers to himself as being in “chains for Christ”. He says in chapter 1 verse 7, It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. Philippians 1:7

Then, in verse 13 Paul continues to say, As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.  Now, we know that when Paul refers to “his chains” in verses 7 & 13, he is speaking to the actual chains he is bound to in prison.   

But what else could Paul be trying to tell us when he says “he is in chains for Christ”? Well, for one thing, he is saying he and Christ are “bound together” as one. In other words, he is “enslaved to Christ”, where Christ goes he goes, he is subject to the will of his master (Jesus).

Not because he does not have a choice, but rather, Paul is sold out to the one who has saved him and changed him forever. He will never be the same! If we look at the word Bondage, which also refers to being bound, it literally means it is “a restraint of a person’s liberty” where one’s choices have been taken away by means beyond their control.

Paul is physically bound by chains, but he is also spiritually bound (chained) to Christ. He is making the distinction that, while he is on this earth whether he is in chains (physically) or not, he is still bound. Paul is saying that “if I am chained” it is against my will, but I have made the choice to be chained to Christ willingly.

 Chains of the past/How do they affect us?

For some, the past can be a source of bondage (chains if you will), where people can still feel bound to specific events and the people associated with those events. Within these experiences there are still unresolved hurts, wounds, broken relationships, and losses.

The past with all of its experiences can make our hearts feel “glad or sad” depending on what we are thinking about or remembering at the time. You see, the past holds good memories and bad ones. We like to relive the good ones, because they make us feel good inside, but when bad memories surface we many times experience a sense of dread that comes with them, making us feel depressed and/or sad. It is unpleasant to remember or relive bad memories so we try and avoid them as much as possible.  

These past experiences play a huge role in how we relate with others and with God. What we believe to be true is a direct result of our past experiences, what we learned, was told or shown to us through the example of others. These specific others we will refer to as people of influence in our lives.

It really doesn’t matter in the long run if the overall intentions of others are good or bad, because, their words and actions take precedence over their intentions. We may want to do what is right, but what I say and do along with my actions and behaviors make that choice for me and will ultimately affect others either in a positive or a negative way.

 For example, when we say words such as; “I love you”, but don’t show “love” the person will not feel loved. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

I John 3:18 also speaks to this: Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. Then in 1 John 4:9-10 it says, This is how God showed his love among us; He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

When positive words are followed up with positive action the result will be emotional and spiritual maturity. But, it is essential for our words and actions to be genuine and consistent if we want a positive result. If we are not being genuine with others, they will know it and mistrust will take root. Walls of protection will begin to form in a person’s life, (internal walls that protect us emotionally) and (external walls that protect from physical connection). Negative words also work in a similar fashion, negative words that are followed up with negative actions breed discord, mistrust, fear, uncertainty and a sense of not being loved.

 We will close here for today and begin next week with part 2...How do we let go of the past? Thank you for reading and pass on to your friends. If you have someone who you believe would like to receive these blogs and teachings, please let me know. Have a great week, see you next week.