I have attended six schools in my life: Hoover Elementary, Madison Middle School, Bartlesville Mid-High, Bartlesville High School, the University of Oklahoma, and Dallas Theological Seminary. Each school played a vital part of my development. I learned basic math and how to read at Hoover, Algebra and American Civics at Madison, Geometry and how to write an essay at Mid-High, History and Physics at High School, philosophy and journalism at OU, and Bible and theology at DTS. In a sense, each level of school added upon the other to prepare me for my roles in “life” … at least academically.
There was an appropriateness to this progression of schools. I needed to know my ABC’s before I could write a dissertation. I needed to know 2+2 = 4 before I could apply them in AP Physics. As I write this today, I understand and appreciate the cumulative effect of the program designed for me by educators in 6 different settings.
However, let’s just imagine for a moment, that I wanted to add a seventh school to my learning tree. Let’s say I wanted to continue learning and pursue another program. It would be silly for me to select Monroe Elementary School in Norman as my next place of study. Not only would my body not fit in the desks at the school … but the principals of that school would see my presence there as totally inappropriate. Third grade makes sense for third graders … but not for 47 year old men. Other post-graduate or graduate programs would be the better fit for my current life stage.
I say this today, because on Sunday we will be looking at Galatians 4:1-7 at Wildwood Community Church, in our fifth installment of the “New Way” sermon series. In these verses we will see Paul argue that a Christian wanting to return to life under the Old Testament Law makes about as much sense as a grown-up returning to third grade. It does not fit us anymore! The Law served its purpose in the proper progression, but now that Christ has come, we move forward in faith, not backward in time.
In making this argument, Paul points out that the ABC’s of the world and its religions (the elementary principles of the world as Paul calls them) only make us slaves to a set of rules … but in Christ, we graduate to the status of sons … empowered and authenticated by God’s Holy Spirit in our lives. Given this massive upgrade why would we ever drift back to elementary school when we can experience so much more.
Join us this Sunday (June 6) as we look at these verses together and see what they mean for our lives today. See you at 9:00, 10:15, or 11:30 or online at 10:15 (or anytime after) at wildwoodchurch.org/live