Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Good News vs. Fake News: God is the author of your afflictions

15 Now let me remind you, brothers, of what the Gospel really is, for it has not changed—it is the same Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is squarely built upon this wonderful message; 1 Corinthians 15:1 TLB

13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. Mark 7:13 NKJV

  Greetings in Christ, the One who loves you unconditionally and eternally. We've been in an extended study of the Good News of Jesus contrasted with the fake news of religious traditions of men. As we've established, this series of articles isn't about attacking people, people aren't our enemy. It isn't about stirring up division and strife. It is about separating truth from error and Good News from falsehoods masking itself as the Gospel.

 Apart from any purposeful personal attempt on my part to establish some specific theme, inadvertently I have sensed the Spirit weaving a theme throughout this series. The concept of Grace and the sin and disobedience issue. We've seen the difference in the Grace response and religion's response. Addressing sin can lead one to the subject of suffering. Look at Job's comforters. When suffering is present, often someone is quick to bring up the sin issue. 

 Today, I sense the Lord wanting to address the suffering question. This topic stirs much controversy. Even Grace people are divided on this sensitive subject. What I want to do is examine suffering in light of Grace and the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

Sadly, due to so much traditional religious views abounding about suffering, many shrink back from a relationship with Father God. Death, disaster, desolation occur throughout the planet and somehow God gets the blame. How can one grow close to someone who is creating their suffering?

 Sometimes, in order to have a deeper, more meaningful, more fruitful relationship with our Father, we have to unlearn what's been ingrained in our thinking through traditional religion. I am not speaking of denying the basic tenets of the Christian faith. I am speaking of removing religious traditional strongholds in our thinking. Precepts, concepts, philosophies birthed not from Scripture but from religious tradition and personal experiences. 

 What can we say about suffering in light of the Grace of God? I want to help renew your image of Father God. Allow Paul's reminder to help
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thessalonians 5:9 NKJV
 See it more plainly spoken in another translation;
For God has not chosen to pour out his anger upon us but to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ; 1 Thessalonians 5:9 TLB

 God hasn't appointed or set us up to receive condemnation. He didn't establish a time for us to receive punishment or be the recipient of His anger. He appointed those who trust in Him to receive His salvation. 

 If sinful, mistake making people aren't appointed to wrath but to receive His Grace or undeserved favor, why would He appoint us to suffer? In other words, if we deserved Hell, eternal damnation and separation, but instead receive salvation and new life and forgiveness not based on our goodness but His, why would this same loving Father put hardships and afflictions upon us?

God is a Good Father!

 We need to shout this from the mountaintops! Declare it from the highest hills and rooftops! God is always good! 
O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help. Psalm 86:5 NLT

You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees. Psalm 119:68 NLT

 I just cited Old Covenant passages that reveal how good our Father is. If He is this good in the Old, the Covenant based upon works and Law how much more is His goodness seen in the New Covenant? God has always been good but His goodness is seen so clearly in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 What am I saying? That in Christ we should never see any afflictions or bad days? We should never experience sickness or pain? This is the hard question. Let me share another passage, Psalm 34

I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 NKJV

This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. Psalm 34:6-7 NKJV

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19 NKJV

 This is the truth. This is our Father. These passages reveal the answer to the suffering question. Religious tradition observes the suffering and famine abounding on this Earth and assign it to God's hands, that because He is sovereign He must be the One causing the disaster or sending the destruction. 

 Another view is the Faith view that if one possessed enough faith then suffering would never occur in their life. This view is taking a truth to the extreme. Faith doesn't deny trouble exists. It doesn't mean afflictions won't arise.

 The truth is found in verse 19. Many are the afflictions of the righteous. In other words, this is a fallen World. Famine, floods and freak accidents occur. Disaster, death, and desolation are seen. Pestilence, poverty, pain abound. These are the result of a fallen fractured creation. This is paramount to understand. The tragedies and terrible times we've all seen is due to the fallen World and the resulting corruption in men who bring about evil. 

 Let's finish that passage to complete the truth. Many are the afflictions, but the Lord delivers us out of them all. In other words, afflictions are part of this fallen World but God isn't ordaining, or orchestrating them.

 God isn't appointing afflictions upon His people. He isn't premeditating plans for your pain and misery. He isn't bringing bad days. God is our Father who rejoices over us with joy. His plans for us are always good. He isn't afflicting His people.

 In this life, we may feel pressure. We experience loss or pain. We may feel surrounded by our enemies. Fear, anxiety, worry try to cloud our minds and the voice of condemnation seeks to cause us to stumble. The enemy's biggest attack is to remove the hope of the believer in any situation. 

 Firefighters understand the fire triangle. If you remove just one element, the fire will be put out. Believers have a triangle too. Faith, hope, and love. The enemy longs to try and remove the hope in any situation. If we have no hope, there is nothing for faith to give substance to, and faith works by love but if there is no faith, love is on its own. This is the trick of the enemy.

 So when we feel like we are in a battle, or under pressure, remember what the scheme of the enemy is. Knowing God is always good and not the author of our trial, our hope remains steadfast. When the enemy says your surrounded rejoice. We are surrounded. We are surrounded by our Father's hands. His goodness and mercy surround us. His love and favor surround us. His Great Grace overshadows us. Mighty is our God and He has defeated the enemy. 

 In summation, is God the source of our afflictions? No! God is our good Father. He surrounds us with favor and love as a shield. He is our deliverer, not the one causing the affliction. His plans for us are good and never for evil or our harm. 
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, March 5, 2018

Good News vs fake news: God's Grace can be abused

15 Now let me remind you, brothers, of what the Gospel really is, for it has not changed—it is the same Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is squarely built upon this wonderful message; 1 Corinthians 15:1 TLB

13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. Mark 7:13 NKJV

We've been in an extended study of the Good News of Grace. We've been exposing the differences between Good News and the fake news of religious tradition. I continue to stress that when we expose the traditions of men we are not attacking anyone. People are not our enemy. Holding contempt towards religious people isn't gracious or walking in His love. Expose the error and the false but love people.

 Today, I sense the strong leading of the Spirit to expose a grand falsehood that's been perpetrated onto the Body of Christ. This idea that Grace, God's over the top too good to be true, but true, Amazing Grace, can be abused. I know this may cut cross grain to many teachings or thoughts. Just stay with me briefly.

 In the Church, we've created buzzwords and phrases concerning God's Grace and the freedom it brings. Phrases like "cheap grace", or "sloppy agape" are common when referring to Radical Grace. Concepts like "beware of "hyper-Grace" that just leads to people abusing God's Grace" abound. 

 All through the Scriptures,  I find it strange as much as its preached, that there is no passage or verse referencing "cheap grace" or "sloppy agape." I can't find Paul saying don't abuse Grace. The reality is the phrase cheap grace was made popular by a German theologian. It was not rooted in the New Covenant but rather a personal conviction this brother had. 

Grace by its very nature can't be abused

 If we truly think we can abuse Grace, then we just admitted we have not fully grasped an understanding of what Grace actually is. Grace is the unearned, undeserved, unmerited favor of God. If a gift is unearned, undeserved, unmerited then how can one's actions warrant the gift or disqualify one from receiving the gift? 

 Once the unmerited, unearned gift is received, then how could one's action cause the gift to be removed? If one's performance didn't cause the gift to be received why is it that afterward, the gift remaining is now contingent upon the conduct of the recipient? If the gift is unearned or unmerited, then no amount of good deeds caused the gift to come, therefore after it is received no amount of bad deeds can cause the gift to leave or to be removed.

 If a wealthy philanthropist took your family to an expensive restaurant and said order whatever you want, would you be abusing their kindness by ordering the most expensive menu item? Would you be abusing their goodness by not finishing everything on your plate? Some would say yes, but that's because many don't understand the concept of unmerited favor. 

Too much Sin

 Let's just get right down to the root issue. We see believers sin and are quick to say, that's abusing Grace. We see a believer hear Grace and then proceed to live loose and in rebellion. See that right there? That is clearly one who is abusing the Grace of God? Are they?

 Sin and what we do with it in our own lives and the witness we see others displaying leads us to address the issue as either walking in Grace or abusing Grace. This is where the controversy is. This is why some resist the Radical Grace of God. 

 The reality is the Grace of God isn't like insurance. Insurance is a paid plan to protect against loss. We pay premiums and when we use it, often we are penalized for it with higher premium rates. File multiple claims and you're considered high risk. Use it too much and you become a liability and are dropped. 

 Unfortunately, this is exactly how religious tradition sees Grace. Jesus paid a high premium by His death and shed blood. When we sin we are "using" this "insurance." Sin too often, the premium is raised. Now it's not just His shed blood, it's also your confession and repentance that brings the forgiveness. Continue in sin, and tradition says you're disconnected from God, the fellowship is severed. Persist in the same sin, and tradition teaches you're a liability to the Body of Christ and God "drops" you. That is you lose your salvation.

 Grace isn't like insurance. God didn't see us in our goodness and say we merit salvation. God saw us in our darkness and stooped down in spite of our sinfulness. He became one of us and took upon Himself all the sin of mankind washing away sin and death and uncleanness with His Blood. While we were enemies Jesus did this for us. Now that we are sons and daughters why would He now stipulate His goodness on our conduct?

 With this foundation established let's answer the main objection to Radical Grace. What about persistent sin and rebellion we some engaging in? Let's go back to the insurance illustration. If you saw someone repeatedly filing insurance claims on their vehicle would you say they are abusing their insurance? No, they paid the premiums. However, their premium is going to go up. We wouldn't label that as abuse, but rather a waste of money. 

Wasting Grace not abusing Grace

 This is the revelation the Lord showed me. By its very nature, Grace cannot be abused. However, we can waste the Grace that's there for us by living in sin and rebellion. Grace is an unmerited gift to be received. If we receive the gift and decided to live in sin, it doesn't alter the truth that we received the free gift. What we are doing though is not opening the gift and utilizing it in our life. 

 A believer has received the gift, but if they got entangled in adultery, they aren't abusing Grace but rather wasting the gift. Grace leads us down the victorious path of goodness and blessing. Sin always leads us down dank, dark paths that lead to misery. 

 Think of it this way. If we get married but then never spend time with our spouse, never fellowship with them, never take time to cultivate the relationship, it doesn't mean we aren't married no matter how much time has passed. What it means is that we wasted quality time and fellowship and the benefits of that relationship. 

 Grace is the undeserved, unearned, unmerited favor of God, this Grace produces an empowerment once received. When we fail to take advantage of this empowerment we are wasting the gift. It doesn't alter our standing before God or the fact that we are saved. It just means we freely received a gift and decided not to do anything with it.

12 It’s true that our freedom allows us to do anything, but that doesn’t mean that everything we do is good for us. I’m free to do as I choose, but I choose to never be enslaved to anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12 TPT

 In summation, Grace is unearned. Grace is a gift. By the very nature of a gift, it can't be abused. We mustn't embrace a religious concept of scarcity when it comes to God's love, mercy, and goodness. His love and kindness know no bounds or limitations. In light of this everlasting, unconditional, no strings attached goodness and mercy, let us take full advantage of His Grace. Don't squander it and waste it by pursuing lusts and sinful desires that will never satisfy. Embrace Grace and the new identity in Christ and see old ways of thinking and living lose their appeal and desire and walk in true freedom. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Good News vs fake news: God is an Angry God

15 Now let me remind you, brothers, of what the Gospel really is, for it has not changed—it is the same Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is squarely built upon this wonderful message; 1 Corinthians 15:1 TLB

13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. Mark 7:13 NKJV

We've been in an extended study contrasting the Good News of Jesus Christ and the fake news of religious tradition. As always, we must keep in mind that we are not fighting people. When we expose the error of tradition by shining the light of the New Covenant, we aren't attacking anyone. People aren't our enemy. Even religious traditional leaders who count us as their enemy, labeling us a preaching a false doctrine.

 So far we've seen God isn't cursing us for not tithing. We saw His answer to sin. He isn't holding it against us. We've seen just how forgiven we actually are. Today, I want to address the issue of God being an angry God. 

11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. Psalm 7:11 KJV
17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Psalm 9:17 KJV

 You see it is clear Scripture. God is angry every day. God is filled with wrath and indignation at the World. He is a vengeful God. 

 Is this really the image of God? Is this really the Scriptural image we have of our Father? Now I won't shy away from these passages. I won't try and tell you the mean something else when we see them clearly making a statement. What I will show you is the proper context and understanding of these passages. To rightly divide passages like this its best, to begin with this simple premise; God has anger, but He is love!

 These passages occur under the Old. There was no mediator between God and man. There was no once for all time sacrifice for sins offered. There was no final payment made for sins and unrighteousness. What though specifically is God angered at?

 If you look at the Old Covenant as a whole, we can find times when God poured out wrath and judgment. What specifically is the anger direct at? God isn't angry at people. God is angry at injustice. God was mad at the desolation and destruction sin and the fall brought. 

 Think of this. What is really is the wrath of God? It's righteous indignation at evil and injustice. When we hear of the evils mankind has wrought upon others isn't there a sense of indignation within you?  This righteous indignation is the simplest definition of God's wrath. 

 When Jesus went to that Cross, He took the punishment all the sins ever committed deserved. He took the punishment the Nazi's deserved for the brutal torture and murder of six million Jewish men, women, and children. He took the punishment violent racists deserved for their heinous acts of terror of lynching African American men, and bombing predominately black churches, in the southern United States. He took the punishment for all sins in His Body on that tree.

 When we understand fully the New Covenant, we will get a better understanding and hold to a better view of our Father in Heaven. God isn't angry any longer. He is forever satisfied with His Son's perfect sacrifice. 

Appeasing the Angry God

Because we don't rightly divide the Word we have embraced a view that our Father is angry and vengeful. In the mind of the religious, God is perpetually angry, indignant and exceedingly disappointed with the World, the Church, and the individual believer. This, in turn, becomes their focus.

 No longer is the motive for ministry, fellowship, and spiritual growth, love and intimacy with the Father. Appeasing the angry god becomes the driving force in all areas of the Christian life. We begin referring to time spent reading God's Word, prayer, and devotion as spiritual disciplines. What spouse or parent wants to hear their loved one say spending quality time with them is a "discipline?"

 We begin to boast about our love for God. We do all we can to make God pleased with us. We are certain if we slip we will disappoint God and He will be mad at us. Whenever we do miss it we sense that God is now dissatisfied with us and can't trust us.

 That isn't a relationship. It's servitude. This isn't relating to our Father, but a servant doing to the bidding of a ruler. God isn't a Father but an austere taskmaster to be feared. Look at how we prepare worship gatherings. We desire to "host Him", so we go to great lengths to sing the "right" songs and such. Here is the real question, in light of His Grace, Jesus Finished Work, and His great love what makes you think He wouldn't want to come visit with you? 

 Reject these notions. God is our Father. God is in a good mood. He isn't angry with you or anyone for that matter. God is love. His love is long-suffering and eternal. He is not wroth or indignant at anyone. Jesus final sacrifice was enough. He bore all the punishment and wrath for all sin and God the Father has accepted this payment. 

 When we perpetuate the angry god image, we are in fact making light of Christ's Finished Work. 
“For this is like the days of Noah to Me, When I swore that the waters of Noah Would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you Nor will I rebuke you. Isaiah 54:9 NASB

God is no longer angry? Hyper-Grace preacher, Paul himself said the wrath of God abideth on people, what about that? Paul did say that. Once again we need to rightly divide what Paul is saying. He calls these the children of disobedience. What is their disobedience? They have rejected the free gift of Grace. By rejecting Grace they aligned themselves with the enemy and become partakers of the wrath that's on him already.

What angered Jesus

 We see an account in Mark that angered the Lord Jesus Christ. When religious leaders hindered God's people from receiving His goodness it angered Jesus. God's love was extended to all. Yet the religious rejected His goodness. They also went so far as to try and hinder others from receiving. This doesn't make our Father happy. The beautiful picture of Grace was manifest as Jesus in spite of religious tradition moved in their midst and made His goodness known bringing wholeness. Let's always side with His goodness. Let's never hinder what He wants to do in anyone's life. 

  In summation, know and understand your Father. He is not an angry Father. He is love. God is love! God so loved the World He gave His Son. If He so loved His enemies how much more is His great love extended and seen toward His own family? Our Father isn't a bitter God. He isn't a perpetually angry God. He is good and only does good. don't perpetuate these negative images of Father God. Remind the World and the Church, we have a Father in Heaven who is faithful and just and loves unconditionally.
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Good News vs Fake News: You're Only Forgiven of Your Past Sins.

15 Now let me remind you, brothers, of what the Gospel really is, for it has not changed—it is the same Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is squarely built upon this wonderful message; 1 Corinthians 15:1 TLB

13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. Mark 7:13 NKJV

We've been in an ongoing study of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ contrasted against the fake news of tradition. I keep saying it and will continue to do so, people are not our enemies. When we expose tradition in light of the Word of God, we aren't attacking people. The same Grace that ambushed our heart with the revelation of His everlasting love and Finished Work, wishes to do the same for all people, even the religious people who continually oppose and attack the Grace Gospel.

 As of late, we've been exploring the subject of sin and how tradition addresses the issue. We've seen that God isn't punishing us when we sin, here. We've seen that God isn't holding our sins against us, here. In our last study, we saw that the Spirit isn't convicting us when we sin, here. Today, I'd like to address the major controversy of the Gospel of Grace, total and complete forgiveness. 

 Religious traditional fake news declares that we are only forgiven of our past sins. They say, Grace, covers our past. For our future failures, we must appropriate forgiveness for that sin at that moment or we are unclean and remain unforgiven of that sin in God's sight. 

 Religious traditional Grace is a half measure. They see our redemption, forgiveness, and sanctification as progressing in installments and separate transactions. Grace says it all happened once for all time because of the Finished Work. On that Cross, Jesus made the once for all payment that is available for all mankind. Once we received by faith, it was a one-time, once for all time transaction. All we are and ever will be was received at that moment. 

 Pause and reflect. When a healthy baby is born, they have all they will ever need at that moment. Think with me, do babies exchange limbs at some point in time for adult limbs? Come on, that's silly nonsensical talk, right? Of course, a healthy baby over time will mature into an adult. An adult's physical capabilities and mental faculties are obviously much more developed than a baby. Yet, all those capabilities and mental faculties are already there at birth. Arms, hands, feet and a functioning brain. 

 Once in Christ, we have all we ever will need at that moment. We then go on to maturity. We grow in Grace and the knowledge of Jesus. What is growing in the knowledge of Jesus? It's growing in the understanding of who He is and all He already accomplished in the Finished Work and what He made us. 

 When we received Jesus at that moment we received the forgiveness He already appropriated in the redemptive work on the Cross. The Finished Work purchased our redemption and complete forgiveness. 
18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Acts 26:18 NKJV

 You see it's right there. That is Jesus, the person of Grace speaking of that moment when we receive His Grace gift. We turn, we change our mind, we receive a gift, we don't work for it or try to merit or earn it or attempt to achieve it. We receive forgiveness of our sins. He didn't stipulate an installment plan for receiving forgiveness. He just said we are forgiven. Then He said we receive an inheritance. We receive all of Heaven's blessing and the gift of eternal life. Finally, He reveals the truth about sanctification.

 Jesus declared we are sanctified by faith in Him. We are not set apart by not owning a television. Not by abstaining from makeup or wearing jewelry. Not by refraining from consumption of any alcoholic beverage or listening to secular music. We are set apart by faith in Christ. 

 Repentance, change of mind, forgiveness of our sins and sanctification happened at that moment. In Christ, we mature daily into who He already made us by faith. We must establish this in order to walk in a fulfilling relationship with God. This also helps us establish more deeply this truth of our once for all time forgiveness.

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. Colossians 2:13

We are forgiven of all our sins. Not some but all. We received it at the point of salvation.
14 who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins. Colossians 1:14 TLB

 Allow me to illustrate this perfect forgiveness. When I was a youth I went to a local Veteran's Parade. To get a better view, we went to the top floor of a parking garage. From this view, I could see the beginning to the end of the parade. When I received Christ, He saw my life from start to finish. He washed me in that precious blood and declared my life forgiven. 

 We stand inside of time, God isn't constricted by time. He has already seen our whole life, and when we receive His free gift He declares us forgiven once for all time. Apologies, confessions and turning away will not make us receive more forgiveness. I will concede that acknowledging our errors or poor choices and plain sins to our Father is healthy and helps us mature. However, it should never be done to receive forgiveness or because we think God is mad and holding something against us.

  Grace isn't a half measure. Salvation and redemption don't come with stipulations. Forgiveness isn't borrowed on an installment plan. Our relationship with God has no strings attached. 

 Salvation and our walk with God aren't like a game show prize. Winning a new car sounds great. It's free. However, once you partake of the prize, you're now responsible for the insurance, which can be pricey depending on the vehicle. You also are put under a tax burden for the price of the car. God's goodness comes with no strings attached and adds no sorrow.

 Religious grace offers a free gift with many strings attached. Forgiveness is for your past sins only and must be received again and again or you will be under bondage of sin and unforgiveness. Your salvation once freely received now has maintenance requirements that if you don't meet means you forfeit it. This isn't the Good News!

 In summation, in Christ, we are forgiven and made righteous and set apart by faith once for all time when we receive His free gift. We are forever forgiven. In Him, we are forgiven of all our sins. Our past is cleansed and done away with in Christ. 

 Our present mess ups are already dealt with and He holds our future in His hands. We have hope because He has already cleansed us, made us righteous and forgiven us and set us apart once for all time. This is the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Reject and relinquish the fake news of tradition concerning your once for all total forgiveness in Christ. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Good News vs Fake News: The Spirit Convicts You of Your Sins.

15 Now let me remind you, brothers, of what the Gospel really is, for it has not changed—it is the same Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is squarely built upon this wonderful message; 1 Corinthians 15:1 TLB

13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. Mark 7:13 NKJV

 We've been in a study contrasting the Good news of Jesus Christ with the fake news of religious tradition. When we expose the errors of religious tradition, keep in mind we are not attacking people. We are not looking to purposefully agitate fellow Christians. We are simply looking at the Good News and finding freedom from tradition.

 One major area of tradition we've been closely looking at over the last few posts was the subject of sin. As believers in Christ, we know sin is unprofitable and that pursuing sinful ways of living and thinking don't honor His Grace. God is displeased with these choices because when we miss it, we are not acting out of who and what He made us. 

 In our last few studies, we saw that God isn't punishing us when we sin. We were reminded that He isn't holding our sins against us. Today, I want to tackle another area of tradition concerning sin. The concept that the Spirit is convicting you when you sin.

Does the Spirit Convict Us When We Sin?

 This is a major stronghold in the minds of so many Christians. They see believers fail or foul up and believe that the Spirit is going to get onto them for committing sin. They really believe that part of the operation of the Spirit in the life of the Christian is to convict them when they sin. Why do they believe this?

 Tradition. Tradition creeps into our thinking and takes root. We hear a part of a message or read a portion of Scripture out of context, and we find ourselves formulating a concept, a teaching, a pattern of believing. How do we know we don't need to juggle or stand on our head before we can pray? 

 That's an odd question, isn't it? Follow me. Why don't spin around, or jump in down before we pray? Why don't we do all these things? Because there is no Scripture exhorting or commanding us to do so, it's that simple. This is the standard we should be applying when it comes to establishing the truth. Staying with clear Scripture and not man-made philosophies. 

 Many have come to believe this concept of the Spirit convicting us because we were taught it and saw one Scripture allude to it when taken out of context. Tradition-bound believers would say, Jesus Himself said the Spirit convicts us of sin. Is this the truth?

“And when he has come he will convince the world of its sin, and of the availability of God’s goodness, and of deliverance from judgment. The world’s sin is unbelief in me; 10 there is righteousness available because I go to the Father and you shall see me no more; 11 there is deliverance from judgment because the prince of this world has already been judged. John 16:8-11 TLB

 When we see the Scripture in full context and in its setting we clearly see what Jesus was saying. Jesus is sharing the Good News of salvation by Faith. That He is the only source of salvation and receiving right standing with the Father. Not one place does the New Covenant say or express that the Spirit is the one convicting you of sin. 

Why the Spirit Can't Convict You of Your Sins.

 The Spirit is not the "convicter". There are three major reasons for the Spirit not convicting you. The number one reason is the role of the Spirit is to glorify Jesus Christ. To glorify Jesus would be to lift high His name and His Finished Work. For the Spirit to diminish the Finished Work would be to diminish Jesus not glorify Him. The Finished Work dealt with the sin problem.

Secondly, Jesus in His Finished Work purchased our complete forgiveness. Jesus has forgiven us of all our sins. Past, present and even future sins were forgiven once for all time on that Cross. For the Spirit to convict you for something that's already been forgiven is to make light of the Finished Work. The Spirit would be denying the finality of the work of the Cross, and He will never do that.

Finally, God our Father said our sins and Lawless deeds He'd remember no more. To convict you and to remind you of your sins would be dishonoring the Words and promise of our Good Father. God isn't dishonoring Himself. He said He wouldn't remember our sins. Our Father is faithful and true, He never lies. He said He wouldn't ever remember our sin and He hasn't. 

What is Convicting You?

Though the Spirit is not convicting you when you sin, something else surely is.
but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors James 2:9 NKJV
The Law is what convicts, not the Spirit. Now understand, we as Gentiles were never given the Law. However, Paul stated in 1 Timothy that the Law is still valid to show the lost their need for a Savior. This doesn't mean we walk up to people quoting the Big Ten. What it means is that God's standard is 100% perfection, 100% of the time. Whenever we fall short there is a spiritual awareness. This is why we need Grace and the Finished Work.

 No one has it all together at all times. As born-again believers with God dwelling inside us, we will be aware when we miss it. This isn't God convicting us. This is simply spiritual awareness of right and wrong. Our new nature knows right from wrong. Living out of that new nature matures us over time to more often than not to choose the right and shun the wrong. 

 Is it because if we choose the wrong God will be mad at us? Will God expose our sin? Will God break fellowship from us? Will He not answer our prayers? No! We shun the wrong because we know it's not profitable living outside of our New Creation. 

Correction not Conviction

 God's Spirit will never convict you of your sins. This doesn't mean He won't ever bring correction. Correction is simply God guiding us to be who we already are. The Spirit corrects by reminding us of whose we are and what He already made us. 

 When you know you are already acceptable to God, you will not strive or struggle. When you know you're perfectly righteous and made holy you don't have to embrace religious activity to try and manufacture some form of holiness or piety. When you know who you are you will begin to mature into that.

 In summation, know God isn't mad at you or keeping score. He isn't looking to punish you for your sins. He isn't holding your sin against you. His Spirit isn't convicting you of your sin. Conviction means to expose, with the idea of bringing shame. Father finds you acceptable and is pleased with you as a child of God. Cling to the Scripture and its truth and relinquish the traditions of men, especially with this subject of sin. In the Scriptures, we find peace and comfort, in the tradition of men, we only find uncertainty and discomfort.  
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