Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Is the Church still under the Mosaic Law?

17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

I'm beginning a new series of study concerning the Law of Moses. I  am going to fully answer the question "Is the Church under the Mosaic Law?" Is the Church under any portion of the Law today? I believe the Word of God is quite clear on this issue. The New Testament Church of Jesus Christ is not under the Mosaic Law. We will allow the Word to settle this matter as this series progresses. 

 I also want to answer questions like does the Law show us what is sinful today? Does the Law perfect or mature us? Is grace given to us in the New Covenant to simply empower us to fulfill the duties and requirements of the Law? Are grace and Law ever to be mixed?

 First, how did we get here? How did we as New Covenant Christians get to the place where we even have to ask questions about our relationship to the Mosaic Law? I believe there are several reasons. Lets begin to look at them.

Performance based mindsets

The flesh loves to boast (Ephesians 2:9).  The Law is a covenant of works. It is you doing something and then God will respond. In simplicity it is do good, get good. Do bad, get bad. The main problem with the Law was mankind couldn't consistently do good. We were weak in our abilities. The Law is good and perfect but we aren't in ourselves.

 Today, many religious tradition minded believers look to portions of the Law that they are comfortable with. The commands and traditions and customs they can give an appearance of adherence to.   This is so they can exalt themselves in the eyes of men. They can point to their actions as being more committed than others. This also gives them the ability to point fingers at others failures and have a sense of deeper commitment because they aren't involved in those kind of activities. It gives them a place to boast at the expense of others. 

Dabbling in a diluted form of dual Covenant theology

 Many Christian groups are flirting with a modified concept of Dual Covenants. Dual Covenant theology in its most basic form is the idea that the Gentile World come to God by Jesus Christ. Whereas the Jews are able to gain eternal life by continuing in the Law of Moses. 

 There seems to be an exaltation of Jewish mannerisms and customs and Old Covenant observances of feasts and worship styles in some Christian circles. (Now to clarify this is not an anti-Jewish rant or anti-Semitic stance. We love the Nation of Israel. We bless the Jewish people. We believe that land is theirs. God gave it to them. It was a promise to Abraham and his seed. It's just that this is not a Covenant made for us but for them at that time.) This mindset has caused some to believe we should still celebrate the feasts. That we should conduct worship services with Old Covenant practice. Hence, we are still under portions of the Law. 

To balance or counter error

 The final reason I've seen why Christians feel we are still under Mosaic Law is this concept of correcting error. In this beautiful gospel of grace (which is the gospel, there is no other gospel), some have altered or abused the good news. Some have fallen in a ditch of poor choice making. Some have tried to justify their sinful living by God's forever forgiveness and righteousness.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, Titus 2:11-12
 Grace awakening isn't about living in sin. Let me give you four reasons why we shouldn't pursue a sinful lifestyle.
 1. Sin has consequences. Naturally, it can cost you finances, peace, and even your freedom. Spiritually, it corrupts our thinking and we can miss what God is trying to reveal to us by His Spirit.
 2. Sin won't send you to Hell, but your actions and poor witness may turn someone else off of the gospel of grace. We are His ambassadors. We should be good witnesses before men. 
 3. Sin weakens our confidence before God. God isn't turning from us. God isn't disappointed in us but, our memory reminds us of our error and fault. We tend to run from Him not to Him.
 4. Sin can put you in bondage to a habit or behavior. God paid to make us free. He doesn't want anything exercising dominion over us. 

 Some ministers see the errors in the lives of some grace believers and because of this seek to use the Law to balance out the message. They feel we can use the "moral" portions of the Law to correct behavior. So we are still under some of the Law in their view. 

Rightly dividing the Word of God


These are the reasons I have seen for this sudden return to the Old Covenant in the Church. If we would let the Word of God be the final authority we wouldn't have this mixture of Covenants. I have seen, especially in the Charismatic and Word of Faith circles, the error of exalting men over the Word. 

 Because preacher so and so or minister what's his name is so honorable surely he couldn't miss it. He would never say anything wrong. I have seen believers blindly following a teaching or concept just because they respected a certain minister. Could his/her teaching be substantiated by two or three New Covenant Scriptures? It didn't matter. So and so had an experience, a dream a vision or "word". 

 The Word of God is priceless. It's the solid rock and foundation where we get the truth from. I have seen bandwagons and faddish trends in Christians circles all my life. Spiritual warfare marches, Bible prophecy ideas like Bible Codes. Following astronomical events like "Blood Moons" and this idea of going backwards into Mosaic Law. All of these have mass followers because they follow some minister and not the Word of God as the final source of truth and authority. 

 This is just the beginning of this series of study. I wanted a good understanding of why some even believe we are under the Law. I trust the study blessed you. Thanks for taking the time to read the Blog. Remember, follow the Word of God. Search the Word of God. Don't believe a concept or teaching just because I said it or somebody else did. Let me give you a brief example.

 I used to believe and proclaim this "hundredfold" return on your financial giving. I only believed this because several ministers I knew and loved taught it to me on their TV shows and books and tapes. I even met some of these ministers. Surely, they couldn't be wrong. Years later after carefully studying and rightly dividing the Word of God I recognized what they were teaching was mistaken. They hadn't used Scriptures in their context and had very poor exegesis in their use of the Word to convey their idea. In the same way don't allow some minister to lead you astray by telling you that you're still under the Law or any portion of it. 





Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Some Mistaken Ideas

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

 I want to begin a series of study from God's Word addressing some mistaken ideas. This series of posts will be periodic. I want to address some of the mistaken ideas that religion and tradition (no matter how well meaning) have overtaken the thinking of some Christians. Things like God is putting disease on you to better you. Lets begin with today's study.

Be on fire for the Lord?

 Brother, how could you dare claim this is a mistaken idea perpetuated on the Body of Christ? The first sign of a mistaken idea or concept is there is no Biblical passage to establish a teaching or idea. First and foremost there is not one single time this phrase is uttered or commanded in the entire Bible. The word fire is found  506 times in the King James Bible. Not one place is this phrase found.

 Now, I understand how controversial this sounds. I know this cuts cross grain to our tradition or what we've been taught. Just stay with me and it will turn out Ok. First let me concede there is a couple of places in Scripture where some may try to assign this concept.
11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; Romans 12:11NKJV
The word fervent in the literal Greek means to boil over. So some translate this passage this way:
11 Do not slack in your faithfulness and hard work. Let your spirit be on fire, bubbling up and boiling over, as you serve the Lord. Romans 12:11 Voice
 So the Voice translates this passage as be on fire for God. 
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot Revelation 3:5
 See, it's right there brother. Be on fire for God. Acquire the fire, be burning hot for the Lord! It is a command of God. I disagree. Here is the two reasons why it is a mistaken idea or concept. 

It is rooted in the senses or emotional realm 

Just what does "be on fire" for God look like? Is it because one runs around a church building during a fast song? Is it because one person is more comfortable and confident in expressing their faith? Is it because one can sing louder or longer? 

 In the ministries with the Pentecostal backgrounds I was involved with, the more excited you were publicly "revealed" how on fire for the Lord one was. You see how this concept can produce the emotional displays in a group meeting or gathering? Just because you shouted or danced doesn't prove that you are so committed to God. For the non pentecostal/charismatic Christians just because you sing in the choir or sing aloud with the music doesn't prove you're "on fire". 

 Trying to work up a frenzy to prove you're on fire for the Lord is nothing more than emotions on displays. Can you run in a church meeting or sing loudly or dance in the aisle because of God's goodness? Certainly, but this doesn't prove some deep level of commitment. God, in the Old Covenant, even stated that He looks at the heart or motive. He looks not at how high you jump or how fast you run to a fast or upbeat song. 

 It eventually morphs into performance based, efforts driven, works based attempts to relate to God our Father.

What does being on fire for God look like? Is it you praying for an hour and ten minutes whereas someone else only prays for ten minutes? Is it you giving more than another? Is it you "doing" more? See how this quest for fire can produce an efforts driven mentality? 

 We may send our kids off to acquire His fire, to be stirred up, to be more fire filled, "hungry" youth. Listen I am not knocking youth camps or conference. I applaud those who want to reach kids and youth. I'm just pointing out that if success is only what it looks like outwardly we are missing it. 

 When we hear ministers proclaim be on fire. Be "filled" with the fire. We without realizing it are working up some emotional response to "feel" our way through a relationship with God. We tend to go overboard mustering up feelings to "maintain" a level of zeal. Is this abundant living? This is why so many youth and even adults get "burned" out. There is fire on the Altar all right it is the fire of spiritual burn out. Folk burning out trying to maintain some feeling of spirituality. 

Be fervent in spirit.

Allow me to elaborate briefly what the Lord revealed to me about this fire. There is a valid fire from God. I want to show you what the truth is. It isn't performance driven or emotional led.

 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29
See how grace is ever present even in this truth? Who is this fire? God Himself is this fire. The Word of God revealed we are His temple. That He dwells within. This is the first portion of the truth.

Here is the other part of the truth of the fire of God

29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Jeremiah 23:29

Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. Jeremiah 20:9

32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, Luke 24:32

This is the revelation God showed me about this concept. He challenged my theology and my tradition. I was one to preach be steadfast and on fire. Stay on fire. The burden to remain on fire was upon our shoulders. This troubled me for a time. 

 The issue I saw to often people who genuinely loved God but would get frustrated and disappointed because a feeling of being on fire wasn't there. So many folk just draw back feeling they don't measure up. They flock to conferences or worship nights eager to get a feeling of flames for God again so they will feel accepted or in favor with God.

 Tired of the performance trap? This is the truth. God and His Word are one. Jesus is the Word made flesh. The Bible reveals the Word of God is what is on fire. This flame never fades or is extinguished. 

 To be fervent or boiling over is to let the Word of God dwell in you richly. When the Word of God abides in your heart you will always be boiling over. Look again at Paul's words. 

 He said be fervent in spirit. He didn't say be fervent in performance.  This passage as well as the one in Revelation is joyous to the secure believer. The insecure believer sees these passages as do these or else, you're out! Context is key. What in context preceded this admonition? Renew your mind to be transformed. We know to renew the mind we must deposit the Word in us. 

 To conclude. We are in a relationship. Certainly, we can grow and mature in a relationship. Of course we should be committed and enthusiastic in our relationship. Grace revelation isn't about not growing in our walk with God or being inactive. Relationship grows and matures when we receive His overwhelming goodness and love. Our actions and growth and enthusiasm are Spirit driven responses to Him. They are never emotions based or performance based.

 Having the Word richly within us ensures that we are always on fire for God. It is not about a feeling it's about the reality of the abiding Word of God within us. Be who you already are. Be on fire for God! 
 Blessings and mercy and love overtake you this week. Thanks for taking the time to read. 

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What is true repentance?


God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace. 1 peter 1:2
 We have been in a short study I've entitled "C.C.R. Looking at the truth of condemnation, conviction and repentance." We have seen how condemnation comes to drive us away from God. Even if we in fact missed it in some manner condemnation will never bring change or work restoration. 
 We saw in the last post that the Holy Spirit only convicts the World of sin and believers of their right standing before God. This conviction reminds us of who are already in Him.  This recognizing and identifying with who we already are is what brings change. 
 Today I would like to conclude with looking at Biblical repentance. What actually is repentance? In order to come to an understanding of the truth I will give the dictionary definition of repent and the Biblical definition of repent. 
In the dictionary (here) we see the definition of repent is defined in this manner: to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you did and that you want to do what is right
Another interesting definition is the adjective form of this word. It means creeping or prostrate.  It is derived partially from the word reptile, (hence, crawling, creeping and being prostrate). Coupling these two definitions together is what has shaped much of what the idea of repentance has been proclaimed to the Church. 
 This definition gives further explanation as to my earlier points that the goal of religion is simply to ensure you feel guilty or bad or sorrowful. If you don't feel sorrow then you haven't repented. This is the concept attached to the word repentance. 
 Thus when the preacher is crying out repent! Repent! To the masses it seems many are compelled to feel sorrow and guilt and shame. The idea presented is you must turn from your sin and feel sorrow or guilt and then God will forgive you, you rotten sinner! 
 Am I for folk feeling happy or content in behavior that hurts others? Of course not. Actions rooted in prejudice, greed, lust, or addictions aren't something to be celebrated. We all can agree we want to end these type of activities, especially when they are committed by Christians. The disagreement is how do we get there. 
 As I have stated before, guilt and sorrow and remorse alone will never produce change. Even this idea of telling folk to turn away from sin is actually putting the proverbial cart before the horse. Many in religious tradition place undue condemnation and fear on believers because they define repentance as turning from sin and never doing it again. If you repeat that sin then you haven't truly repented and God hasn't forgiven you. Religious tradition keeps God's people insecure and unconfident before God. Lets now look at the Bible definition of repentance.
19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. 20 Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. Acts 3:19-20
The Word here is commanding the masses to repent. Notice the order. It says repent of sin and then turn to God. So the act of turning is not the Biblical definition of repent. The word used for repent in the Scripture is the Greek word metano─ôsate. It is from the root word metanoe├│You can see a full Greek definition here. 
 This word simply means to change one's mind. There you have it. This is the Biblical definition of repent or repentance. Why is changing the mind so important in the life of man? Everything begins with our thinking. Look at James 1. The Holy Spirit through James reveals that all our sins begins in the mind. 
14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:14-15 
 James reveals sin begins with a desire inwardly. These desires are born in our thoughts. When we change our thinking these desires are not given power to conceive. For example, the temptation to commit sexual sin begins with a thought. Yet, if you change your thinking about the desire or temptation presented then that thought will not overpower you. In other words the thought comes get involved in this. The thought may sound enticing. If you change your mind and think differently, no this is not profitable. This is wrong, this isn't who I am. Then the negative thought has no more power. This isn't mind over matter. This is the Word of God ruled mind over wrong thinking.  This is victorious thinking.
 Did you know the enemy knows this truth? Look at a powerfully revealing passage.
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
 Look at the work of the enemy. Take note he isn't blinding the actions of the lost. The enemy is blinding the minds of the lost. The enemy is after our thoughts and thinking. When the light of the good news of Jesus removes that blindness through the power of prayer and the Spirit, true repentance occurs. 
 This is the progression of true Biblical repentance. An unbeliever has the light shined to realize their need of a Savior. They change their minds about God and who He is. They open their hearts because they have changed their thinking about Him. After this inward change occurs then we outwardly see the turn from the things of the World system and darkness. 
 For the believer what does repentance look like? When I am engaging in behavior that isn't loving and self centered based the Lord corrects me with love and the truth from the Word. Then my thinking changes concerning this behavior. Oh, this is wrong, this is unprofitable. This behavior is unloving and out of character to who I have been made in Him. You see the inward change? This is what produces the change in behavior. I don't have to experience sorrow upon sorrow for every action. 
 This is what a repentant lifestyle is. When you realize you're in worry and anxiety, you quickly change your thinking. Oh, I am not trusting you God. I change my mind about this situation. I trust you to take care of it. See how simple it is? No guilt and shame weighing me down. If my deeds are hurting someone I will experience Godly sorrow that I didn't represent the Loving Father best in a particular situation. In those times it's ok to say to someone I apologize. I was wrong. In this life of grace and faith there is no shame or condemnation. 
 I trust this series has blessed you. We can live victorious in our life and thoughts. God is so in love with us. You aren't a disappointment to Him. Blessing and mercy follow you this week. 

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Monday, March 9, 2015

What does the Holy Spirit convict me of?


But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7
  
 We began a study a few weeks ago on condemnation and conviction and repentance. We've looked at condemnation and how it being the ministry of death, has no place in the life of the Christian. Today I want to deal with this idea of the Holy Spirit convicting believers of their sin.

 To begin I'd like to use the Biblical method of establishing truth and doctrine.
This is the third time I am coming to visit you (and as the Scriptures say, “The facts of every case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses” 2 Corinthians 13:1
 The Word of God is clear in this matter. If we can't find two or three New Covenant passages from the Word then we discard something as a true teaching or doctrine. For example, we know it's God's will to heal because we see overwhelmingly in the New Covenant His healing hand extended to all who come to Him. 

 We need to see from the Word two or three passages specifically stating the Holy Ghost convicts you when you as a believer, sins. So here are the three passages detailing the work of the Spirit in convicting you of your sin;


 Notice, the blank space above. There exist no passage that states the Holy Spirit convicts believers when they sin. So why then is this such a predominant teaching? Allow me to reveal one passage where the Spirit is convicting someone of sin;

And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. John 16:8

 So who is the Holy Ghost convicting of sin? Is it the Church? Is it the believer? It is clear, He convicts the World of sin. Of which sin? Their hate and prejudices? Is it their rampant immorality? Is it their wars and violence to each other? As wicked and wrong as all these are what actually is the Spirit convicting the World of? 
 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged. John 16:8-11
 The Holy Ghost convicts the World of the sin of unbelief. The sin of rejecting Jesus as Savior and Lord is what produces all these other wicked acts. The only sin The Holy Ghost is convicting any one of is rejecting Jesus as Lord. The Holy Ghost is never convicting a believer in Christ of their sins.

 Based upon this passage, what is the Spirit's work in the World? It's convicting the World of their unbelief and corresponding rejection of Jesus. Perhaps the Church should stop protesting and fighting the actual sins of the World. These are only fruits of the root of rejecting Jesus. We should get in the flow of the Spirit in convincing the World that Jesus is Lord and He is the only way to new life. Following the work and flow of the Spirit I'm convinced we would see a major decline in the abortions and other immoral acts we see daily.


What I am not saying...

 The word translated convict in this passage is the word elegcho. It conveys the idea to convict, to refute, to expose to light and it also suggests a shaming to the person convicted. God is not in the business of shaming His children. So while I am strongly stating He will never convict you when you sin, I am not suggesting He won't correct you when you miss it. 
 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13a

7Fully embrace God’s correction as part of your training,  for he is doing what any loving father does for his children. For who has ever heard of a child who never had to be corrected?  8We all should welcome God’s discipline as the validation of authentic sonship. For if we have never once endured his correction it only proves we are strangers and not sons.      Hebrews 12:7-8 Passion Translation
 When we miss it or our actions are harming others or ourselves the Lord will gently capture our thoughts and remind us of who we are in Him. He will say this behavior is destructive and not beneficial or profitable. He knows how to capture our attention. He also will never correct with tragic circumstances. He is always good.

What I am saying...

 The Holy Spirit never convicts a believer of their sins. Yet He does convict a believer of something. Look again at John 16. He convicts the World of the sin of rejecting Jesus. He convicts the believers of righteousness. Why? When we knowingly miss it our own conscience may overwhelm us with guilt. The enemy pours out condemnation. The spirit of religion working through men will hurl shame upon us. So the Spirit work is to convict us of our righteous new nature. 

 This conviction reminds us of our right standing before God. It convinces us that we are forever accepted in His presence. This conviction leads us to God not away from Him. What would it accomplish if all we do is feel guilty? Religion relishes in the idea of our guilt. Conviction of righteousness allows us to come to God and continue in fruitful relationship with Him. 

 Secondly this conviction helps us overcome. When we are convinced of our righteousness we begin to manifest who we already are in Him. Look again at the words of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians. 

 When Paul spoke of their actions that were not Christ like what did he say? Did he just condemn them and say God is finished with you? No, Paul by the Spirit reminded them of who they already were. They were washed clean by the blood. They were already sanctified by the Cross. By reminding them of who they already were he knew they would eventually manifest outwardly who they were inwardly. 

 In closing this is the true conviction of the Spirit. The Spirit convicts the World of rejecting Jesus. He convicts the Church of their right standing before God. He convicts the enemy satan of his judgement. Note, the Spirit is not sending judgment to Africa or Japan or to the homosexual community for their "sins". The judgment is on the forehead of the devil who was defeated at Calvary. Jesus came to save the World not condemn it and judge it. 

 I trust this lesson has blessed you and strengthened your relationship with Jesus. God isn't mad at you, or disappointed in you. He loves you madly! Peace be to you, in Him.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Condemnation: the Ministry of death





 All of this happened so that through His grace we would be accepted into God’s covenant family and appointed to be His heirs, full of the hope that comes from knowing you have eternal life. This is a faithful statement of what we believe. Titus 3:7-8 

 We've been in a new study looking at condemnation, conviction and repentance. We are currently studying condemnation. There is so much truth to what condemnation is and why it is so detrimental to growth in Christ. 

 Today, I want to go further into our study of condemnation. I want to reveal the difference between the ministry of the Spirit and righteousness and the ministry of condemnation and death.
But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. Corinthians 3:7-9
 The ministry of death was written on stones. The ministry of death brings condemnation because it is the ministry of the "thou shalt nots". This ministry standards are absolute perfection. This standard being impossible to achieve only produces condemnation in its hearers. Why? Because we can never measure up. It is an unattainable state of being.

 This ministry can only produce shame and guilt and behavior modification. It's the shame and guilt of knowing we can never measure up. This ministry only reminds us of our failures, missteps and weaknesses. It drives us to try and please God by our performance. One Law minded minister asked what is so bad about behavior modification? Isn't that the goal? How foolish. 

 Behavior modification isn't true heart change. Modification is outward performance change. It is an empty outward showing of "good". It is all about keeping up a good image. This isn't the inside out change the Spirit produces, but an appearance of outward performance improvement . This is only achieved though sheer will power and fear of the opinions of others. Eventually the facade will show signs of weakening. These are they who appear to "fall away". 

 The ministry of the Spirit and righteousness is what produces genuine sons and daughters of God. I want you to see how Peter preached the gospel. So many attack grace saying Paul was the only one preaching grace and righteousness. The ministry of the Spirit and righteousness is the gospel message we are to proclaim. Paul and Peter and even James in fact did preach the same message. We are going to look at Acts 10:24-43. 

 I urge you to read this in context but I want to highlight what Peter proclaimed to these lost men. Did he minister do's and don'ts? Did he reveal their wickedness or their mistakes and failures? Not one time. 
25 As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you! Acts 10:25-26
 Firstly, Peter didn't approach these men as someone "better" than them or one to be looked upon as higher than them. He came to them in humility. The ministry of the Spirit isn't exalting ourselves but God alone.

28 Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. Acts 10:28 
 The ministry of the Spirit and righteousness reveals we don't follow traditions. We follow the Spirit, we don't look down at others either. 

34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35 In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right  Acts 10:34-35 
 The ministry of the Spirit is an open door for anyone to receive The Lord Jesus. God isn't closing the door on anyone or Nation to receive His love and grace.

36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. Acts 10:36
 The ministry of the Spirit proclaims good news not sad news or bad news or mad news! God isn't disappointed with you, He isn't going to afflict you with evil, and God isn't so angry with you He can't stand the thought of you. Another amazing truth the ministry of the Spirit proclaims is peace with God.
 We have peace with God because of Jesus Christ. God isn't mad at anyone. He isn't holding their sin against them. He isn't sending storms or disaster to overtake them. Ministry proclaims peace. God isn't mad but madly in love with you. 

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him Acts 10:38
 The ministry of the Spirit proclaims God's too good to be true but true over the top, all the time goodness! The ministry proclaims His healing power and defeat of the power of darkness. 

39 “And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross Acts 10:39
The ministry of the Spirit and righteousness preaches the cross. It proclaims the finished work of the Cross of Christ. We need more preaching on the cross and not less. There was a shift many years ago in faith circles pushed by some ministries that we need not spend to much time preaching on the cross. We need more preaching on money. We need to go further. We need to grow up they said. Do we not realize the cross and its finished work applied to our lives is where true growth occurs? 

42 And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. Acts 10:42
 Jesus is the judge and not the Law and not religious traditions. The ministry of righteousness reveals if we receive Jesus we are judged not guilty and proclaimed the righteousness of God. 

43 He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.” Acts 10:43
 Finally the ministry of the Spirit and righteousness proclaims the forgiveness of our sins. The ministry of condemnation continually reminds us of our sins. The ministry of the Spirit proclaims we are forgiven. When condemnation knocks upon our hearts and minds we can boldly respond I am forgiven. I am cleansed by the blood. 

 This is the ministry of righteousness. What Peter proclaimed is not a ministry of condemnation. The result of Peter's New Covenant preaching?
 44 Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message Acts 10:44
 The Spirit fell while this message was proclaimed. This is the confirmation that this is what we need to be preaching. 

 To summarize, Peter proclaimed a simple message of humility, truth not tradition, an open invitation, peace with God, His goodness and healing power, the cross and finished work and His judgment of righteousness upon all who believe and the complete forgiveness of our sins when we receive Him. 

This is what we need to be preaching to all. This is true ministry. This is the glorious ministry we are called to minister. I trust this message empowered your walk with the Lord and freed you from the lying voice of condemnation. 


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