Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Strong in Grace: No more condemnation

  You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1 NKJV

In our last study, we began examining the great gift of no condemnation Christ and His Finished Work procured for us. The Good News Gospel of Grace reveals there is no more condemnation in Christ. Man and religious tradition still minister condemnation but Grace speaks better things.

 God knew we all owed a debt we could never pay. We all were worthy of death because of sin and rebellion. We were all spiritually separated from God because of Adam's sin and transgression. What God did is send Himself to pay the debt in full so we who receive the free gift of Grace would never face the judgment for sin. 

 Christ paid the price in full. Yet religious tradition still believes we need to continue making payments. They feel we still owe on the sin debt. That Father God merely made a down payment and expects us to complete the payment for redemption by our performance and perfect works. 

 In fact, Paul called the ministry of Law the ministry of condemnation and death. Paul shows us the ministry of Grace is more glorious. The reality is the price is paid in full. Ministry of Law, which is a ministry focused on personal performance and the ability to get it right all the time, takes the focus off of Christ and the Finished Work and places it upon us, our doing.

 Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, Romans 8:1 Voice

Now, because of this, those who belong to Christ will not suffer the punishment of sin. Romans 8:1 NLV

 In Christ Jesus, under the New Covenant, there is no more condemnation for the believer. No condemnation, no matter what! Christ Jesus in the Finished Work, paid the price in full. Jesus took all our punishment and judgment. So why would God expect us to bear any punishment for sin when Jesus already perfectly paid for it all? 

 In John 8 we see this beautiful example of the gift of no condemnation ministering life in the midst of sin and brokenness. In this event we see Jesus ministering the Word. Then the religious leaders bring Him a woman caught in transgression. Jesus masterfully exposes each and every one of them. No one has the right to cast stones at anyone. 

 10 When Jesus had stood up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” John 8:10-11 MEV

 Jesus approached her. He said where are your accusers? Note that Jesus distanced Himself from the accusers. Jesus will never accuse you before the Father. Jesus then gave her the gift of no condemnation. Then He said go and sin no more.

 What's interesting to note, though He never condemned her or accuse her He never said what she did wasn't wrong. That was never in question. She knew she had sinned. She was in shame. Yet Jesus ministered life and mercy to her. Ministering no condemnation doesn't mean we say all behavior is right and good. It's just that Jesus paid the price for the punishment for all sin and transgression and wrongdoing.

 Condemnation is defined in the Greek as an adverse sentence. It's a judgment of damnation. It basically says you've messed up too much. You're too far gone. It's hopeless for you.

 Jesus silences those accusations. He says I don't condemn you. I don't accuse you. In Christ Jesus, there is no more condemnation. This is the Good News of Grace.

 In summation, rejoice we have been fully redeemed. The price has been paid completely. The Finished Work perfectly paid the price in full. We just rest and receive all Jesus did by Faith. Peace and joy be to you, there is no more condemnation in Christ!

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Strong in Grace: The gift of no condemnation

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1 NKJV

  Not long ago we were in a study concerning becoming strong in Grace. We saw we could be strong in many things. The traditions of men, our own feelings, or we could be strong in the Grace of God. 

 It seemed good to me to return to this study. I sensed it strong in my spirit, that we need the message of God's Grace now more than ever. Today, we want to look at an important area we all need to address to become stronger and stronger in Grace. The area of condemnation.

 Condemnation is not always apparent in its working. It can be administered slowly and subtly over time. It can sometimes portray itself as something to help you better yourself. Or to bring awareness of a situation or thought process in your life.

 Don't be mislead or deceived into buying into condemnation's lies. No matter how subtle or how straightforward its message is the same. There is something wrong with you. You, yourself are the problem. You don't measure up. 

 A doctor telling a diabetic, eating those candy bars is detrimental to your health, isn't condemnation. He is separating an action from the person's identity, but someone telling you that you are your own problem, your own worst enemy, you always mess up is condemnation. Condemnation carries accusations with it.

The Gift of no condemnation

  God has bestowed upon us the greatest gift after the New Birth, the Baptism with the Spirit, the gift of no condemnation.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus Romans 8:1 NLT

 In Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation. No shame. No accusation. No guilt. No looking down from Heaven in disappointment. No arms folded in disgust. No distancing by our Father when we fail. No turning away by our Father, no matter what we've done. Only open arms and outstretched hands and rushing toward us with restoration and reception. 

 God is for us never against us. God is on our side. He believes the best of us. He isn't angry with us. In Christ Jesus, there is now no condemnation.

 Throughout this week, I encourage you to pause, ponder, and meditate on this passage. To think often, that God has indeed given you the gift of no condemnation. It will free your mind of fear and worry and anger and resentment towards others.

 In summation, trust in God. Rest in His Finished Work. Rejoice in this grand truth, that God has given us the gift of no condemnation. Be strong in His Grace. There is no more condemnation in Christ! 

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Prevailing Word: What are you hearing?

 20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed Acts 19:20 KJV

....For I will hasten My word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:12b MEV

   In our last study, we revisited the prevailing Word study. We asked the simple question what are you looking at? Are we looking at the circumstances, the trial, the storm, or how long it's been? Or are we looking at the Finished Work? 

 Today, it seemed good to ask another simple question. What are you hearing? What are you listening to? 

 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17 MEV

 It's important to ask what are we hearing. Why? Because what we are hearing is what we are feeding on. What the Word shows us is an eternal truth. Faith comes by hearing God's Word. Faith is being divinely persuaded. It's trusting in who God is and what He said. 

 If we gain trust, become divinely persuaded by hearing God, what happens when we hear other voices? When we give attention, by our hearing, to what the enemy says then we will become persuaded by what he says. 

 For instance, many studies have been conducted concerning the words we speak. That is when children in one group were told they were failures and unsuccessful they began to fail at the tasks assigned. The other group of children was told they were successful and they became successful in their assignments. What I am saying is what we feed on causes us to be persuaded, be it positively or negatively. 

 So what are we feeding on? What are we hearing? Are we listening to God, and thus growing in our trust and persuadableness of His Word and Finished Work? Or are we listening too much to the other voices which cause us to have negative expectations?

 What are you hearing?

 Are you listening to the lies of the enemy? God says we are victorious and triumphant in Him. The enemy likes to put a question mark where God puts a period. The enemy's words try to convince you that you are a failure. That you are unloved. That you are a mistake. Even that you love sin and wrongdoing. 

 The Word of God says differently. The Word says greater is He that's in you than he that's in the world.  That you are loved and the apple of God's eye. 

 Are you listening to the world system? The world has divisions, opinions, and produces much anger, strife, fear, and anxiety. They try to meet their own needs apart from God. The world has it's own standards of right and wrong. 

 The Word says otherwise. The Word says we love one another. We do good to each other. We bless and expect nothing in return. We live by the leading of the Spirit and the new desires of the New Creation. We don't satisfy the flesh, that is living contrary to God's will and ways, no we do things God's way and are joyful because of it.

 Are you listening to religious tradition? Tradition says God is the source of our suffering. That God wants us broke and poverty-stricken. That God is not interested in our life here on Earth. That He only ordains suffering and a powerless life. 

 The Word says otherwise. He declared He desires we prosper in all things and be in health. The Word reveals God is the source of life not death. He is the One bringing life in abundance and it's the enemy that steals and kills and destroys. 

 Are you listening to Law and legalism? Legalism says you are unworthy. That you're just a sinner. That you must earn and achieve God's love and blessing and favor. 

 God's Word says otherwise. The Word says we are under Grace, not Law. God's Word reveals He made us worthy by the Blood. His Word shows us we are already blessed in Him. That we are favored and made righteous by Faith. We are accepted and approved of God by Faith not our performance. 

 What are you hearing? What are you feeding on? The words of the enemy that produces fear? The words of the world system that produces division, lust, and a trust in man's ways and not God? The words of religious tradition and Law that produce a mistrust of God's Grace and trust in your own works? Or are you hearing God and what He says about you? That He is for you not against you. That He loves you eternally. That you are accepted and approved because of Jesus. 

  In summation, hear God and Him alone. Don't listen to the lies of the enemy. Feed on God's Word for victory and success.

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

The Prevailing Word: What are you looking at?

 20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed Acts 19:20 KJV

....For I will hasten My word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:12b MEV

 We've studied in the recent past, the prevailing Word. How God's Word prevails over any and all circumstances and is eternal. Today it seemed good in my heart to share another post on this important topic.

 In previous studies, we saw how our words have power. How our Faith is the victory that overcomes. Today, I'd like to highlight an area where the Word prevails for us. This is the area of our attention, our concentration, our focus. 

What are you looking at?

 When we were younger, I'm certain we can all recall at one time or another teasing our friends and family by asking them what are you looking at. Sometimes it was spoken in a derogatory manner. Sometimes it was in simple jest. So today I feel strongly to ask you this same question again. Not as a joke or as to belittle you.

 What are we looking at? Are we looking at the circumstances that seem unchanging? Are we looking at those symptoms that don't seem to dissipate? Are we looking at the paths our loved ones are going down that's leading them away from Christ and His ways?

 God wants to know what has your concentration? What has your attention? What are you focusing on? If what we are looking at is negative or contrary to what God says, the Word can and will prevail for you regardless of your situation. 

 Some may be saying you don't know my situation. You don't know how long it's been this way. I may not know your situation but I do know Paul's words of encouragement to us. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4 to look at the unseen not the seen

 Paul also shared this reminder;
For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

here is this same verse in another translation;
The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes. 2 Corinthians 5:7 Voice

 What we focus on, what has our attention, what we concentrate on determines how we think. It determines how we speak. It determines even how we act. That's why it's imperative to focus on His Finished Work. It's vital to give our attention to His Word. We must concentrate on His promises, His power, His Love, His Grace and Goodness, not on contradictory circumstances and the fears that accompany them.

 The Finished Work is complete. We don't add to it. Yet tradition seems to think our actions and our deeds are what seals the deal, so to speak. So when one says they are the Righteousness of God in Christ they find it difficult to accept.

 Why? Because they want to see something in people's life or words that proves this. They are walking by sight. This seeking signals or signs that one is Righteous also determines how they judge if someone is saved or not.

 Yet traditional religion has adopted a reactionary theology. They see one who proclaimed Christ carried off in a terrible sin. They conclude how could that one still be saved? They are walking by sight. What they can see. 

Changing the seen, shaping the unseen. 

 We want to walk by Faith and not sight. We want the Word to prevail in all areas of our life. We do that by believing what God has said and receiving what Jesus accomplished in the Finished Work. 

  We can change the seen by shaping what is unseen. By believing and trusting in what Christ said and did for us we can walk in victory. Agreeing with what God said and accomplished through Christ changes things.

 When the believer says they are the Righteousness of God in Christ, they are shaping the unseen. They are agreeing with the Finished Work and God's Word. This eventually changes the seen, as the believer begins to manifest righteous words and thoughts and deeds. 

 When a believer becomes deceived or gives in to temptation, and seemingly falls away, instead of looking at the seen, we can shape the unseen. We don't deny their eternally secure salvation. We shape the unseen by speaking the truth over them in prayer and if we have the opportunity, speak the truth in love to them when we see them, we can cause the unseen realm to affect the change in the seen realm. When we agree with God we will see the outward manifestation of what He already accomplished in their heart.

 When stubborn symptoms don't seem to be removed we don't cease believing in God's healing power. We don't throw Faith aside. We also don't throw wisdom aside. We accept all means God has provided to receive wholeness. Be it through a combination of Faith, nutrition, medicine, and even rest, we receive all God has.  We must agree with God, and not let the seen change our minds about God. 

 In summation, let's ask again what are you looking at? Are you looking at that wayward child? Are you looking at that angry spouse? Are you looking at the symptoms? Are you looking at the sins in others? Let the Word prevail in these situations. Agree with God. Change the seen by shaping the unseen.

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