Gather • Devotion 1

Basin Theology
Keaton Washburn

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

If you read these devotions in order, you are most likely reading this before you head to Sunday gatherings or the day after gatherings, Monday. For me, being a social introvert, gatherings are one of my favorite days because I get to see and be with some of my favorite people. However, they are also the most exhausting day of the week for me. Whether you can relate to me or not, I hope you understand the importance of meeting together as a church body. As we study Galatians, specifically regarding Reach - Gather - Grow, I want to introduce you to a concept called basin theology. Before doing that though, it would be helpful to read Galatians 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

The freedom Paul is referring to is the freedom that believers have because of Christ. Anyone who has confessed Jesus as Lord and believed in their heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, is no longer a slave to sin. Additionally, because of the coming of Christ, believers are no longer judged by God under the Old Testament Law. So, this freedom enables believers to be assured of their standing before God and no longer live under the strict regulations of the Old Testament Law.

Paul’s call then in Galatians 5:13 is both a negative and a positive. The negative side says, “Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh.” He is saying that Christian freedom is not an excuse to dabble in or near sin. This is not a call to get as close to sinning as possible.

The positive side says, “Through love serve one another.”  Use your freedom to serve one another! When we use our freedom as an opportunity for the flesh we choose to serve ourselves, doing what makes us feel good. However, when the Christian uses their freedom to serve, they stay far from that temptation to sin.

So basin theology, what is it and how does it fit in? A pastor named Bruce Thielemann tells of a conversation he had with a congregant: The congregant said, “You preachers talk a lot about ‘do unto others,’ but when you get right down to it, it comes down to basin theology.” Thielemann asked, “Basin theology? What is that?” The layman said, “Remember what Pilate did when he had the chance to acquit Jesus? He called for a basin and washed his hands of the whole thing. But Jesus, the night before his death, called for a basin and proceeded to wash the feet of the disciples.”

It all comes down to basin theology. Which one will you use?

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