Monday, May 26, 2014

Answering objections to the Finished Work of Healing

He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; 
he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. But he lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain; even though we thought he was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. Isaiah 53:3-5

In this New Covenant we as believers in Christ are the beneficiaries of a covenant made between God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. This is why we don't base our receiving anything from God on our abilities, merits or performance. You see we spend so much time spinning our wheels, so to speak, trying to "earn" or "deserve" our healing or any promise from God. The beauty of understanding the finished work is that Christ has already performed perfectly. We just rest and rely on His performance. That is the key to receiving.

Still unconvinced? Listen to our fellow Christians when the subject of healing is brought up. Sister so and so is such a good Christian. Surely, she will receive her healing. So what is the basis of this type of receiving? Performance! Not Christ's finished work and His perfect performance. Don't try and deserve anything from God. This is where the Church unfortunately misses it more times than not. Father God is not our Employer. We need not strive for a "outstanding  evaluation" in order to "get" Him to heal us or meet our need.

In the last post we saw that through the redemptive work on the cross, Christ completely paid for our healing. The basis for receiving this healing is leaning on Christ perfect performance, and His faith, (the God kind of faith) that He has given us. Now already some are raising objections to healing. Why? One reason is because we see so many around us not healed. So because many aren't healed, some reason then that healing isn't for all and not included in the Finished Work. Is this a valid reason to object to healing?

My heart is extended in love and grace to those who are hurting, and suffering greatly because of sickness and disease. The condition of so many does not however, make me question or alter what I see clearly stated in Scripture. God's Word is truth. That is an unchangeable fact. The Word is truth regardless of contrary evidence. The Word of God is true because God spoke it not because we see people experiencing it. Many have not yet received healing because of how they interpret God's Word. The most effective prayer is rooted in the Word and our righteousness in Him, not on our outward circumstances or contrary evidence. 

When we accept God's Word as the final authority and absolute truth, hope springs forth. When hope is awakened, faith is able to give substance to it. Faith takes hold of the promise resulting in the receiving of God's accomplished work. Faith takes, it receives. Taking God at His Word answers this objection to healing. We have a good Father. He is love. Love's desire is not to see you languish in pain and misery. We will continue answering these objections in love and with understanding in upcoming posts. I truly believe the Word has all the answers for life. 

I again thank you for taking the time to read these blog posts. I appreciate you and pray God's best for you. If you need prayer message me and I will be more than happy to stand with you in faith. As always please consider sharing this with others and signing up via email so you won't miss anything. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Healing in the finished work of Christ

He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; 
he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. But he lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain; even though we thought he was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. Isaiah 53:3-5

In recent times a dynamic shift has occurred. Many of God's people are bringing the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ back into the central focus of Christianity. We are rejoicing with the truth that His love and grace demonstrated at the cross has purchased for us perfect right standing with the Father. We no longer need fear being apart or abandoned. We rest in His perfect work.

While it is wonderful to rest in His absolute acceptance of us, should we not also rest in all the finished work? By Christ perfect work on the cross He also purchased for us perfect healing and health. By His stripes we were healed. Hallelujah! 

This New Covenant is based upon the finished work of Christ. You see in the Old, God made Covenant with Israel. In other words, God made covenant with Himself and man. Of course man could never uphold his end by perfectly keeping all the Law. His performance always fell short. That is why God instituted the sacrificial system. The point of the Old Covenant was to bring man to and end of himself. To show the need for a Savior.

When Jesus showed up His basic message to Israel was, "Here is the end of the rope". You can never make it on your own. So Father God and the Lord Jesus Christ made covenant between themselves where we are the beneficiaries. This is why our performance has no relevance in this New Covenant. Instead it is based on Christ's perfect performance. So when it comes to our healing and health it is never based upon how good or upright we are.

There are three witnesses in the Word that prove beyond doubt that Jesus provided healing in the redemptive work on the cross. We see the first is Isaiah 53:3-5. This is the foundation Scripture for this study. The other two are found in Matthew and 1 Peter.

This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.” 
Matthew 8:17

who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.                1 Peter 2:24

Jesus in the finished work provided for us complete and perfect wholeness. Sickness has no right to stay in the bodies of God's beloved children. Look to the cross and receive total healing. Grace provided this wonderful healing. All it takes is for faith to say, thank you I receive it!

We will continue studying God's perfect plan of redemption and healing in the coming weeks. God is always good. If you have questions about healing please feel free to comment or message me. I trust this post has blessed you. For the readers of my blog I pray God's richest best and favor be yours always. In Him.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Grace provides a full supply! (2 of 2)

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.  John 1:16-17 NLT

We are in a two part series on the supply of God's grace. We saw in the last post that God has made for us a new and living way to enter in. We saw that we don't come to the Father to receive based on Old Covenant methods. Meaning, we don't come before our Father attempting to receive from Him based upon our merits, or our performance. 

We saw that by Christ once for all time sacrifice we can now come to God freely. We also saw that we can never by our actions place God in a place of obligation to "do" for us. His finished work provided for all we will ever need. So we rest in this finished work. Because of this finished work we also are free from the demands of the law.

One great truth in grace is this simple phrase. Law demands but grace supplies. You see the Law just gave commands but supplied no ability to fulfill them. For instance, the Law demands that we not commit infidelity. That is the standard, this is a perfect standard, meaning don't even look upon another as God counts this as adultery. As perfect a standard as this is notice it is missing one element. It never stated thou shalt love thy husband/wife. The Law can't supply that love. Only grace can.

Grace supplies us. Let's look at some examples of supply and demand.

                      Forgive or you won't be forgiven?                                   

But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”Mark 11:26
These are the words of Jesus. Is this true for us today? If we don't forgive we aren't forgiven? Let's look at some New Covenant Scripture to gain more understanding.

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses Colossians 2:13  
I thought if we didn't forgive others our trespasses wouldn't be forgiven? It states here clearly that all our trespasses are already forgiven because of the finished work. Is this a contradiction? Yes, it is! The Old Covenant demands and New Covenant supply do contradict each other to some degree because it's a completely different system. So does this mean we no longer need to forgive others? What else does this New Covenant say about this?

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
See how grace supplies versus the demands of the Law? It is because we have been forgiven, we can now forgive others.

Love the Lord and your neighbor

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

We must love the Lord and love our neighbor. You see the demand? Yet where is the supply? The Law puts the burden of the supply on our human strength and effort. Let's see the supply of this demand in the New Covenant.

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 
1 John 4:10-11 
See the supply of grace? It's no longer love God and others. Under grace God first loved us, pouring this love on us and in us and because of this supply we now can love others. 

Without holiness?

For I, the Lord, am the one who brought you up from the land of Egypt, that I might be your God. Therefore, you must be holy because I am holy. Leviticus 11:45

This is the demand. Be holy. It is again placing the demand upon our actions. Where is the supply for this? Again, it is found in grace.

He then says, See, I have come to do Your will. He takes away the first to establish the second. By this will of God, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all. Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins.  But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool.  For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified. Hebrews 10:9-14                                                                                This is the supply of grace. He has made us holy by the finished work. Because we are already made holy we now walk in holiness. See how beautiful this grace is? It fully supplies all the demands of the Law.

I pray this word encouraged your walk with the Lord. Rest in His finished work. He has completed the work. All actions on our part on now rooted in His gracious supply. As always thanks for taking the time to read. Pray blessings on you. Consider sharing with others if this has blessed you. 

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image couresy of Salvatore Vuono'/ courtesy of

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Grace supplies! (1 of 2)

Through this man we all receive gifts of grace beyond our imagination.  You see, Moses gave us rules to live by, but Jesus the Anointed offered us gifts of grace and truth John 1:16-17 Voice

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.  John 1:16-17 NLT

One of the greatest truths we can ever receive in this New Covenant is that of the supply of God's grace. Living in this New Covenant age of grace is meant to be a place of peace and rest. Yet so many still wish to strive, and strain and "work" to "earn" God's benefits.

 God is so good. The place He longed for His Church to abide in is His rest. Yet, so many wish to continue to remain under the Old Covenant principles of receiving from God. Which are do this or that, and God then must respond this way or that way. Or the Old 
Covenant concept of "do bad get bad" or "do good get good" 

This system was never God's highest and best. He even addressed this in the Old Covenant.
We have fasted before you!’ they say Why aren’t you impressed?We have been very hard on ourselves and you don’t even notice it!’“I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Isaiah 58:3a

In this passage, God Himself reveals His view concerning our self efforts and strenuous works and striving in order to get blessing from Him. God responds strongly that no one by any type of works, self efforts, or the exercise of "spiritual laws" will be able to place Him in some position of obligation. 

Unfortunately, this mind set is still active in many today.  This is why for some, the Law seems to be a "better" system. If we do this then God is now required to "bless"! Do good get good. Yet the 
fallacy in this reasoning is the forgotten truth that we can never be 
"good" enough to earn any blessings. Striving or working to gain God's favor and blessing will always conclude with the same response as those in this passage received, the exposure of imperfections. God thoroughly revealed their flaws and misdeeds. Why? Because they were attempting to "buy" or be "worthy" of His favor by flaunting their works before Him. So it will be the same for anyone today trying to earn anything from God.

In the New Covenant we come to God based upon not our performance but on Christ's perfect performance. If we want to gain favor through self efforts our imperfections will always outshine our "good works". Why is this so?

Because the Law demands absolute perfection. God's standards have never changed. Even after the cross, His standards are eternal, absolute perfection. So does this mean we have no hope? Of course not! It just means that through the cross God made a new and living way for us to approach God. It is only through the grace of God, 
and the finished work of Christ that we are able to receive anything 
from Him. Trying to earn favor by our efforts means we are not trying access our Father's heart by the living way He established. We are stepping backwards and trying to be good enough to receive from Him. We are in reality attempting to establish our own righteousness! 

This is why our giving or our praying or our fasting is not designed to be a works program to obligate God to do for us. These are all good works in and of themselves. These activities are blessed only when they are the genuine response from a loving relationship with our loving Father. 

When we realize what the Law was given for we won't try and go back under it. The Law was given to demonstrate how imperfect we actually were. The Law is always about demanding from us. The Law demands us to never falter or fail in any area of life. I am not just referring to sin either. The Law dictated absolute perfection even in the way we come to God and how we worship Him. If not 
done properly He would not even receive offering or sacrifices from the people. 

We must realize God's grace and the finished work provided a living and better way for us. This grace supplies all the demands of Law. Now we are in a loving relationship with God that is sustained by His ability to remain faithful not ours. This is the good news! This is the glad news! 

What about the "demands" of forgiveness? What about the "demands" of love? What about the "demands" of holiness? Aren't these also found in the New Covenant? Come back again for the  exciting conclusion of this message. I promise to address all of these concerns with wisdom and clarity.

Thanks for reading and I pray this message will encourage your relationship with the Lord. Consider sharing this with your circle of friends. As always comments are much appreciated.

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