Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Resisting the enemy's counterfeit of faith.

12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12 NLT

 Paul the Apostle of Grace pinned these words by the inspiration of the Spirit. Apparently, there is a fight of faith. If there is a fight of faith we must, therefore, conclude there are enemies to our faith in God. 

What are the enemies to our faith?

  There are many hindrances or obstacles the enemy sets before us. Lack of patience for example. If we are trusting God for our loved ones to come to Christ we can't give up just because time has lapsed and we haven't seen any changes. Other hindrances can be fear, or anxieties or doubting what God says about us. Another subtle hindrance is the enemy attempting to get us to place our focus on circumstances and not the Finished Work. 

How do we fight the good fight of faith?

 This is important. We aren't struggling or striving against the enemy. Jesus completely defeated the devil with all his devices and schemes. We fight or resist the enemy from a place of victory, not from a place of trying to attain victory. 

 How then do we fight the good fight? The Epistle of Hebrews gives us the answer:
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. Hebrews 4:11 KJV
 We fight or resist the enemy by resting in the Finished Work. We resist doubt, worry, fear and anxiety by trusting and resting in what God says about us. Resting in the Finished Work is how we enforce the enemy's defeat.

What is the opposite of faith?

Did you know faith has an opposite? Many are quick to teach that fear is the opposite of faith. I used to believe and teach that. After careful study and a clear understanding of the New Covenant and Radical Grace, I saw how wrong I was. Fear is the opposite or counterfeit of love. Love brings wholeness and comfort and peace. Fear brings torment and discomfort. God's love cast out fear.

 So what then is the opposite or counterfeit of faith? The counterfeit of faith is work and performance. The performance trap is the enemy's attempt to keep us from knowing our identity in Christ. All throughout Paul's Epistles we see him correcting the error that our righteousness is attainable by works and performance.

 Righteousness is a gift we receive not a reward we achieve. The performance trap is what the enemy and religious minded continually seek to ensnare the Church with. The provisions of the Finished Work are regulated to a reward system that only "good" little Christians are allowed to experience. Haven't received an answer to prayer? The religious minded will teach you, you need to get busy earning your Father's favor and blessing. We must resist these lies of the enemy and the spirit of religion and rest in the Finished Work.

 Those who oppose Radical Grace always revert back to proclaiming there is a need for work and performance in the life of the Christian. Sure simple trust in Christ is important they say, but performance and efforts are much more important to prove you're a true Christian and worthy of Heaven. They warn against Grace teaching. What they offer in exchange is the performance wheel. Keep doing, keep up the efforts and works. 

 Is Grace opposed to Christian growth and fruitful living? Absolutely not. In fact living out of who you are in Him is a most rewarding and profitable way to live. The performance-minded though see commitment and obedience as roots not fruits of the new life in Christ. 

 Want to see growth in your life?  
I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective and powerful because of your accurate knowledge of every good thing which is ours in Christ. Philemon 6 AMP
 When we acknowledge everything we have in Christ because of the Finished Work true fruit will be the result. It isn't by working or striving, it is by receiving and resting in all Christ did for us. The New Covenant is about all what Christ has done for us. The Old Covenant of works and performance was about all we did for God. 

 Salvation is simply Jesus plus nothing. It is simply putting our trust in Him and receiving a free gift. Relationship or growth is fruit from acknowledging and resting in all Christ has done for us. Any activity we are involved in, (giving, helping the poor, walking free from sin, etc), is an extension of the love and grace that is cascading within and upon us by virtue of the Finished Work and our New Creation in Him. 
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2 comments:

Unknown said...

Great! Very encouraging for me to just rest. Thank you for posting

Evangelist John Reed said...

Amen. Yes rest in His love and Finished Work