Monday, August 25, 2014

Our Eternal Redemption

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.             Hebrews 9:12
In my last article I wrote about the high price Christ Jesus paid for our right standing. His blood is the only currency accepted. It's the only acceptable payment. As I began to write this week's blog post I sensed the Spirit leading me to continue writing in a series of posts about our eternal redemption.
In this series of posts we will finally tackle the controversies concerning our eternal security in Him. So to begin a series about our eternal redemption we must first look at the nature of our salvation. 
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-10 ESV
Take note of what the Holy Ghost through the Apostle Paul said. Twice He states "By grace you have been saved". So what is the nature of our salvation? It is a work of Christ by grace alone. So what saved us? Grace saved us. It was Christ's finished work on that cross taking our place. The great exchange. He took our sin and gave us His righteousness. He became something He never was (sin) so we could become something we've never been (righteous). 
What about faith? Now this is where the foolish miss it. They see this truth and stop here. They say faith is unimportant and not part of the nature of salvation. Look at what the Spirit said through Paul in Titus.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men            Titus 2:11 
Grace is the nature of our salvation, yet so is faith.  Grace combined with faith makes salvation active in one's life. Grace that brings the salvation is offered to all mankind. It takes faith to activate it, to partake of it. So what is the full nature of our salvation? It is His grace that purchased and made available salvation and faith is what activates it when we believe and receive it.
Our eternal redemption then is by Christ alone. Its by grace alone and by faith alone. This is the full nature of our salvation. Anything else is a mixture of works and grace. Teaching we must earn or maintain our salvation by works is not the good news. That is not the gospel of the grace of Christ. That is not the gospel Paul preached.
But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. Titus 3:4-7
Our eternal redemption is not anything we earn or achieve. It is not perfected by our actions. This is not an employee/employer contractual agreement. We are in the Family of God. He is your Father, if you have received Him as your Savior.
True Christians all agree being justified is a work of grace alone. To many though surmise that after Justification we are now charged with maintaining, sustaining, and preserving our salvation by our good deeds, our ability to resist sin, and our strength in overcoming discouragement and doubt. 
These mindsets need to be removed from us. This what I am endeavoring to accomplish through the guidance of the Spirit of God and the ministry of His Word in these upcoming posts. Remember the Words of the Spirit through Paul. Our eternal redemption is ours through His mercy and grace not our good works. 
Does this mean we can live anyway we want? Does this mean we need no longer pray or feed on the Word? Do we never share our faith or win the lost? Of course not. We will address more and more in the next posts. If you have questions or concerns feel free to comment. I know eternal security is a hot button issue. 
I pray this post has blessed you and sparked your interest in our eternal redemption. May the Lord bless you this week. 

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Only accepted payment...

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  2 Corinthians 5:21

Ever hear the song, Nothing but the Blood? In the song the writer sings about the only thing that can cleanse from sin and wrongdoing. Nothing but the blood of Christ cleanses and removes sin and shame. Here is my question then. If we sing songs about the blood, hear sermons about the blood, why then do we still continue to believe our goodness or faithfulness is what sanctifies us or makes us more righteous?

Brother, Are you suggesting that we need not be faithful in our relationship with our Father God? Of, course not. In actuality relying on His goodness and faithfulness and not our own produces a more fruitful life and relationship with The Lord. I allow Him to complete the work He began in me. 

What then, sanctifies us and cleanses us? It is nothing but the blood of Jesus. 
 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. Romans 5:9
What makes us right with God? It is only the blood of Jesus. Regardless the amount of good deeds performed, it's only the blood of Christ that makes us righteous before Him. If it's only His blood that cleanses and sanctifies no amount of bad deeds removes this right standing either. Again, I am not suggesting we live a life of sin and excess. Sin destroys. It corrupts and leaves destruction in its wake. This blood, which is the only payment which can be received to make us right, creates a new nature within us. We identify with this new nature not the old man. That's why we can walk in victory over sin and addictions.

 Visualize this: His blood freely flowing down the cross,setting us free! We are forgiven for our sinful ways by the richness of His grace, Ephesians 1:7 Voice
What is the only payment received for our forever forgiveness in Him? It's the blood. No more trying to earn our forgiveness. The blood is the only acceptable payment for forgiveness. Our works and efforts and achievements are not acceptable payment if you will. 

With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.             Hebrews 9:12 
This passage couldn't make it any clearer. The only payment for our righteousness in Him, our sanctification, our eternal salvation is only His precious blood. His blood alone is what saved and set us apart forever in Him. 

It is settled. The only acceptable payment for our sins is the blood of Christ. Rest in this truth. When we blow it or miss don't try to earn forgiveness or "work" your way back to Him. Our efforts aren't acceptable payments in the New Covenant. Confess your righteousness in Him by His perfect and precious blood. When we continually speak this we will begin to identify with our righteous new nature and walk out who we really are. Sin and addictions will no longer have dominion over us. 

I trust this has encouraged you today. I pray the Lord bless and keep you in His strength. Please consider sharing if this has blessed you. Someone may need to hear this freeing message. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rejoice! Again I say Rejoice in The Lord!

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice          Philippians 4:4 

While preaching this beautiful gospel of grace, the gospel of Jesus Christ last weekend I had a learning opportunity. I encountered an attack from the enemy I was unfamiliar with. Now we give no "glory" or "honor" to the work of enemy but we are not ignorant of his tricks or schemes either. 

The Lord gave me a word of knowledge to minister healing to those with chronic pain during my preparation time before the service. So after ministering the Word of God I proceeded to lay hands on the sick and minister His healing power. Suddenly, the enemy bombarded my thoughts with negativity and doubt and taunts of this won't work. Thoughts were screaming no one will receive. 

So I pressed on in faith. I gave no words to those thoughts. I exalted Jesus in the midst of those lies. I realize now after hearing a minister speak this was the enemy attempting to get me over into a place of mistrust. I also saw from the Word a great way to counterattack this attack from the enemy.

Go back to the old testament, even before the Law. Go to the book of Job. Of course Job is a source of great contention amongst believers. How could a loving God allow the devil to destroy someone's life and kill their family members and bring absolute desolation to their possessions? The answer is simple but traditional religion always rejects it. God had nothing to do with Job losing it all. God is good all the time. Always has and always will be. In a nutshell Job was simply the recipient of an all out attack from satan. In truth this level of attack is not possible today for the people of God. Why? Because Jesus has come. He is interceding for us. The enemy is defeated through the victory of Jesus. 

One thing to take note of is at the final chapters of this book God reveals Himself and speaks to Job. He reveals an important truth to Job that he and his other friends had no knowledge of. God pointed out to Job there is an enemy out there. He comes to steal and kill and destroy. 

Having said all this we now have the back drop to the passage I want to bring to your attention.

In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him.        Job 41:22
I truly believe the 41st chapter of Job is referencing the adversary, satan. Let me show you why
34 He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride. Job 41:34

The enemy is the king of pride. What is pride? It is human effort, it is man exalting self over trusting in God. Doesn't that sound like a chief character trait of the enemy? Deceiving us to trust in our own effort and not God? 

Take note at verse 22. He rejoices at our sorrow. When we get over into worry or fear or anxiety the enemy is actually rejoicing. So lets not let this already defeated, broken, enemy out rejoice us! When we hear his lies and thoughts of unbelief that we can't receive or whatever lie he states, pause, and rejoice in the Lord. We know Jesus is exalted and the devil is defeated. Rejoicing proves to the enemy we trust God and it also gets our minds to focus back on Jesus and His finished work! So rejoice more and more in His love, grace and goodness extended toward us. 

I pray this post has blessed and encouraged you. Remember to rejoice this week and every week. We have the victory already in Him!

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