Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The New and Living Way

19 Therefore, brothers, we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way that He has opened for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh,                           Hebrews 10:19-20 MEV

  Have you ever been working on a project or an assignment and not getting much success? Were you slightly frustrated with the lack of progression? Later on, when you found out there was a better way and you employed its use and found success, surely frustration gave way to relief and celebration as the project was completed.

 When God cut the New Covenant, all of Heaven celebrated. This Covenant is a better Covenant. It is founded on better promises. Do we really understand what that means?

 The Old Covenant promises were made by God to man predicated on man's ability. In essence, it was a promise made by both God and man. The Old was a pact between God and man. The problem wasn't God but mankind. We could never uphold our promise to do and do more and do it perfectly. Of course, understanding Grace we know that was the point of the Old, to show mankind their need for a Savior.

 The New Covenant is a Covenant and a promise between God and Jesus. Within the Godhead, this New Covenant was cut and ratified by the precious Blood of God the Son. This is the better promise. 

 This New Covenant then introduced a new and living way to live. Under the Old, we had a way to live that only brought condemnation. The yearly sacrifices could never cleanse sin but merely cover it. The consciousness of sin was ever-present. 

The New, a Better Covenant

 The New is a better Covenant. Under the Old, we had to earn our righteousness. We had to keep the Mosaic Law. Paul tells us the words written on stone are the ministry of condemnation and death. Under the New, we have the ministry of Righteousness. Grace made a way. Jesus took the sin problem and nailed it to the Cross. Now we have a New and Living way to live under this New Covenant.

Faith, the New and Living Way

  The Old Covenant was a covenant that was rooted in performance. It was a covenant that forced the people to walk by sight and not Faith. One's righteousness was seen by men. That is one knew you were righteous because they observe you going to the Temple. They saw you honor the Sabbath. They could see you abstain from forbidden food and keep the holy days. 

 Faith is the New and Living Way He established in the New. Our receiving the blessing and favor of God is no longer tied to our performance or behavior. It is received by Faith. Our Righteousness is a Righteousness of Faith and not of Law or works or our ability.

 Paul clearly shows us why Faith is the way of the New in Romans 4. He speaks such a powerful truth. It is by Faith so it may be by Grace.
16 Therefore the promise comes through faith, so that it might be by grace, that the promise would be certain to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all Romans 4:16 MEV

Faith is the New and Living Way. We walk by Faith and not by sight. When we don't feel Righteous or look Righteous and God forbid sometimes don't even act Righteous, Faith still reminds us of who we really are. We are the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus by Faith. By Faith, not works, not performance, not being perfect. 

 Faith is one of the most vital truths a Christian should know, understand, grow in, and walk-in. In fact, three times in the New Covenant God reminds us that the Righteous live by Faith. We don't live by Law and Faith. It's not our performance and then a little Faith. It's not a little doubt and a little Faith. We live by Faith.
11 Now it is evident that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, for “The just shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11 MEV

 Faith is the means by which we receive all God has for us. Grace makes and Faith takes. The beautiful part of this is the fact that God also gives us His Faith in order to live this New and Living Way. 
...but the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4b MEV
 We live by His Faith, not something we drum up or strive to achieve. His Faith not our own.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8 MEV
 This Faith is not of yourself but the gift of God. God has dealt to all the same measure of Faith. God is a Good God.

 Faith is alive. Faith speaks, it agrees with God. Faith knows, it knows God's will and ways because it comes from the Word and promises of God and the Finished Work of Christ. Faith grows, the more we feed on God's Word the stronger our Faith. 

 In summation, we have a better way in this New Covenant. Grace made a new way, cut a New Covenant. Faith is now the New and Living Way we live under the New. Our Righteousness is received by Faith not works. Our fellowship with God is based on His Love, His Grace, and our Faith agreeing with and freely receiving from Him. We can have confident Faith, that God honors our Faith, but it's not faith in our Faith but rather Faith in His Faith and Finished Work. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Monday, May 18, 2020

Still Another Mistaken Idea: The Remnant Church

  13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:12 NKJV

    In our last study, we debunked yet another mistaken idea perpetuated onto the Body of Christ, that Luke 6:38 is referencing finances. It seemed good this week to continue addressing these mistaken ideas. Mistaken ideas about God, what His Word says, and how He sees us, brings much error and wrong thinking in the minds of believers the whole world wide. 

 Today, I want to address the mistaken idea of the remnant church. In Spirit-filled, Charismatic, Pentecostal, "prophetic", spiritual warfare centered, end time focused, churches, and ministries the phrase remnant church is spoken of often. I heard it often when I was in Bible College. 

 The idea expressed is that there are a select group of Christians, who in the last days as Jesus returns, are found to be the most faithful. The truest of believers. The most sincere, the most obedient, the most spiritual. Those who've "kept all the commandments" and honor God most by their living. 

 The preacher would shout it from the stage. God has always had a people within a nation. A family within a family. A Church within the Church! These were the most committed of believers. Those proclaiming this idea generally were certain they were part of this "remnant church." As for the rest of us, they weren't so sure. 

 This begs the question, so what must one do to be more accepted and favorable to God? What must one do to find God more approving? What must one do to find God treat them differently, or look upon them more fondly? What must one do to be a part of these more special believers?

 This teaching also begs the question, is accepting and believing in Christ no longer enough? After we believed, it's still not enough? We need to do more to be found in the more accepted group?

Heaven has no VIP Lounge

 In our human experience, that is, as long as mankind has been on Earth, there have always been sects and cliques and VIPs. It's in our thinking. Night clubs, fraternities, sororities, parties all have some type of measuring line they use of who gets in or doesn't. The Good News of Jesus has a different measuring line.

 The Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ measuring line is whosoever will may come. The "cool", the popular, the rich, the affluent, the poor, the downtrodden, the hopeless, the "loser", the "dork", the "nerd", the "geek", the unpopular, the tall, the fat, the thin, the pretty, the ugly, no matter what list you create, all are welcome with open arms to the Father's house! Whosoever may come. You are a whosoever.

 Heaven has no VIP Lounge. God doesn't have any popular kids and unpopular. He will always pick you for His team. Even better, He picks you first! He saw you and chose you. He gave His own Son for you. All who believe and receive the free gift of Grace, are VIPs to God.

 This idea that there is a more special class of believers has already been debunked by Jesus Himself. The mother of James and John petitioned Jesus for the privilege of sitting on His right and left when He came to His kingdom. This was a status position in the eyes of men. Jesus said the one who serves is the most honorable. 

 They asked who is the greatest in the kingdom? Jesus answered saying, become like this child. A child cannot fend for themselves. They are dependant on their parents for sustenance, shelter and provision and protection. Interesting, that Jesus showed them that becoming dependant on God apart from their own doing is what made them great. Jesus is showing us that Grace is great, not ourselves or our performance.

 There are a couple places where the word remnant is found in the New Testament. All the word remnant means is a part of the whole. It doesn't mean special ones. In Romans 9, Paul is speaking of the physical deliverance of Israel

 In Romans 11, Paul addresses the part of the whole of Israel who has accepted their Messiah. What is amazing, is in the context of this mention of a remnant, is the Bible definition of Grace. 
 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. Romans 11:6 NKJV

 God looks upon us with Love and goodness. His Goodness. He beams with pride when He sees us, His Church. He has made us accepted into the Beloved. We need to embrace this light. The light of how God truly sees us and rejoices over us. He has made us Righteous, accepted, and approved with the Father once for all time. 

 Our belief in Christ is enough. We need not seek to attain to some special level in Christ. We need not strive to be more pleasing, more favored, more accepted, more loved, more righteous, and more saved. 

 When we received Jesus, we were completely recreated in Him. We were made perfectly Righteous in Christ. We were forgiven once for all time for all of our sins, past present, and future. We were made eternally secure, never ever to lose or forfeit our salvation no matter what.

 Having received all of God's fullness within our spirit, made holy once for all time, certainly, we encourage growth and maturity in Christ. Of course, we desire to grow up in Christ. We desire to mature, learn to discern right and wrong, learn to avoid sins, and overcome temptation. This is all right and good, but these don't make us better or more "special" to God our Father. 

 God, our Good Father, knew us from the time we drew our first breath and knows when we will draw our last. He has seen beforehand all the times we would fail, foul-up, fall down, blow it, plain sin. Yet He still chose us. He still wants us. Jesus is the full expression of God's Grace and everlasting mercy. 

 In summation, we are not trying to attain to some special level in God. We need not try to become some sort of Christian VIP group. When we received Jesus, that was enough. We're eternally His. Rest in the Grace and goodness of God. 

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at

Monday, May 11, 2020

Another Mistaken Idea: Luke 6:38 is speaking of money

 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:12 NKJV

  In times of crisis, one constant we always see is the helpers arising. We see those who respond with actions of love, kindness, and ministering life to those who've been negatively affected. First responders bring physical aid and then we see charitable groups bringing material aid. Many sincere people will give something, no matter how small, to help.

 In the face of such charitable giving, it seemed good to share again on some more mistaken ideas. When it comes to giving there is a mistaken idea that abounds through much of the Body of Christ. The idea that Luke 6:38 is referencing financial giving and receiving. 

 I can't number the times I've seen or heard this passage referenced before an offering at a church gathering or special meeting. The idea is that if you give your money, then it will come back to you good measure, pressed down, and running over. God will give all this money plus more into your life by using men to give financially to you. 

upon hearing news like this many many people will open their wallets, grab their checkbook, or empty their pockets. What a fantastic promise! God is going to make us richer and richer because we gave in a particular offering. 

 This kind of hype and gimmickry will fatten the offering plate or donation basket, but what about when people don't see their $50 offering returning unto them by the hundreds of dollars? What then? What happens to the offering plate then? 

 Now one must convince the giver that there must be some reason they aren't seeing this kind of promised return in their life. Maybe it's because they've sinned too much. Or maybe it's because they didn't give in Faith. They didn't believe just right when they gave. Or maybe the group the giver gave to wasn't "good ground." The giver needs to give to the "right" group. The "right" group, or "good ground" is usually the ministry or church that's currently asking for the financial offering.

 I want you to see just how much confusion and discontentment arises from mistaken ideas. The first and foremost method to see if something is true or not is to look at the passage in its context and setting. I challenge you to look at Luke 6:38 in its full context.  

 Note the setting and context of this passage. Jesus is speaking about how we treat our enemies. How we treat others who've wronged us. How we look upon others without judgment and condemnation. He is speaking to us to be merciful as our Father is merciful. Not one place does Jesus mention a financial exchange between God and man. 

 So if Jesus isn't discussing a financial exchange what gives us the right to lift one verse out of its setting and try to assign some financial exchange teaching to it? God's Word is God speaking to you. It is God speaking to me. It is not, nor ever been man speaking to God how things ought to be. We don't get to pick and choose what we like or don't like based on our emotions or intellectual reasonings. We don't get to assign meanings and interpretations to passages just willy nilly. 

 It's been said before, and it's worth repeating. When we lift a text out of its context, all we have left is a con. Men have been using Luke 6 as some offering or financial exchange teaching and all they have done is bring about disappointment and heartache and setback and shipwreck to the faith of so many.  

Why are you giving?

This brings the most obvious question. Why are you giving at all? Are you giving to further advance the Kingdom of God? Are you giving so that avenues such as radio, TV, and books are paid for and made available to proclaim the Gospel to a lost and hurting world? Are you giving to fund the operation and upkeep of the local church so they can feed the flock, seek and find the lost, and impact the local community? 

 Or are you giving financially so you can be made richer? I mean really ponder that. Luke 6:38, as it has been traditionally taught, turns giving into a selfish act and not a loving one. If we are giving to get back or receive something then we are focused on ourselves and NOT the Gospel or the Kingdom of God. 

 I strongly encourage all of us as believers in Christ, to relinquish man-made ideas, mistaken ideas. Understand the Word, rightly divide the Word. Keep the Word of God in context and don't let mistaken ideas con you. 

 So let's ask again with a confident heart and mind in Christ, why do we give? We give because we are loved eternally and unconditionally by God our Good Father. Because we are loved, we can now demonstrate that love. His Love is our supply that never runs dry. 

 So we give because we love God and want to see His Kingdom advance on Earth. We give because we want to see this Gospel of Grace, the Goodness and Love of God proclaimed through every means available. We give because we belong to a family. The Family of God. We, therefore, give to the local church where the local family gathers throughout the week. And finally, we give to aid and help meet the physical needs of the truly poor and needy.

 Well, what about our own needs one may ask? What about our own financial position? No matter our financial status we should give something, even if it's just a dime. Give something. Also, we can freely give of our time and prayers. 

We aren't giving to get something. We are giving to bless others. We are blessing God's work on Earth. We are already blessed in Christ. We also have the promise He supplies our needs. So we can give generously and joyfully. 

Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm has already been lavished upon us as a love gift from our wonderful heavenly Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus—all because he sees us wrapped into Christ. This is why we celebrate him with all our hearts! Ephesians 1:3 TPT

19 But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 MEV

 However, one may be inquiring if there is any passage speaking of giving and receiving. Paul speaks of this in 2 Corinthians. Again the purpose of giving is to be a blessing not seek after a blessing. Paul simply encourages us that when we give we won't go without or be in want, when our heart, our motive is to be a blessing when we give.

 In summation, Luke 6:38 is about giving love and mercy and forgiveness and not giving condemnation and judgment. It is telling us when we give mercy we will get mercy in abundance from those around us. Don't allow mistaken ideas to rob you from the wonderfully amazing truths of God's good Word. We give to be a blessing not to selfishly desire some personal gain. We are blessed so we are a blessing. 

Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Reigning in Life

What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, Psalm 8:4-6 NASB

17 For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Romans 5:17 AMPC

 Who do you think you are? That seems to be the theme and question we are exploring as of late. Too often the world system likes to tell us who we are. That we are people of hate and narrow mindedness because we don't indulge in sinful lifestyles. 

 The enemy likes to tell us who we are. The enemy says we are either too far gone for God to help or save us. Or that we are powerless. Through fear, the enemy cunningly tries to convince us he is more powerful than the Cross and what Jesus accomplished. 

 Religious tradition also tries to tell us who we are. Tradition will tell us we are mere worms in the dust. That we are so unworthy. That God sometimes likes us but at other times He doesn't. That we disappoint Him. That He is in control of all things, whatever happens in this life is because He has ordained it or caused it. We are just pawns in His hands.

 This is who the world and the devil and religion tells us who we are. Who does God tell us we are? What does God say about us? 

 God declared to us in Genesis that He made us to have dominion and authority. He said in Psalms that He crowned us with glory and honor and gave us dominion over the works of His hands. Paul reveals to us, that in Christ, we have been made the very Righteousness of God in Christ. 

 We are overcomers in this life because of what Christ did for us in the Finished Work. We don't have to be victims of circumstance. We don't have to just sit idle as the enemy comes to steal and kill and destroy in our life. We can stand victorious in the complete triumphant work of Christ Jesus. We have authority over all the work of the enemy. We've been redeemed from darkness and defeat and are now seated with the risen Christ. 

 As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied when I awake with Your likeness. Psalm 17:15 MEV

 Who do we think we are? We are the Righteousness of God in Christ. We are recreated in Christ, brand new, accepted, and approved. As He is so are we in this world. 

 We are Righteous, approved, and accepted. We stand before God just as Jesus does. Perfect and whole. We are just as Righteous as Jesus. We have the same standing as Christ. We've been given this dominion and authority to walk victoriously. How is this authority seen or released?


 Authority and dominion are expressed through our words. Think of it, how did Adam have dominion over the animal kingdom? He couldn't fly with the birds. He couldn't swim with the fishes of the sea. How was his dominion exercised? Words. He spoke the will of God over them.

 You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways. Job 22:28 NKJV

“I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” Says the Lord“And I will heal him.” Isaiah 57:19 NKJV

Our authority and dominion are released through our words. Our words are powerful. They create life or death in all areas of our life. Words are containers. They can contain hope and life and peace and love and goodness and healing. Or they can contain anger, strife, doubt, unbelief, death, or agreement with the world system, or the enemy and his schemes. 

 Traditional religion says God controls all things, so no matter if one is speaking death, disaster, doom, and gloom. No matter if one is a "Debbie downer". Surely unbelief and negative thinking and speaking have no bearing on what happens in your life. Your words surely have nothing to do with what you experience in life. It's all God's doing and controlling.

 I trust you are seeing how powerful words are. How your authority and dominion are released through your words. So learn to tame your tongue. Speak life, not death. Speak in line with what God has said about your situation or circumstance.

 In summation, again we ask who do we think we are? We who've believed are the very Righteousness of God in Christ. We are just as Righteous as Jesus. We are just as accepted and approved and loved as Jesus is. As He is so are we in this world. Our words, therefore, have power.  As we grow in this New Creation reality, of who He made us, we will grow stronger and stronger in this new identity and take dominion over all areas of our life. We have peace and we reign with Christ as kings in this life. 

Image by 272447 from Pixabay