Wednesday, December 29, 2021

How Faith Works: Faith Speaks

  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. As it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17 MEV

 We've begun a new study examining how Faith works. Faith is not something that is so complex, so difficult, so hard to muster up and walk-in. No, Faith is simple. The New Covenant is a Covenant established by Grace and its currency is Faith. The New Covenant is better, so Jesus didn't bring us something that's impossible to possess, to grow in, and to walk by. 

 So far we have seen that Faith sees. Faith when fed the truth of Grace, Jesus' Finished Work of Redemption, and the promises of God through His Word creates a positive image of good inwardly. Faith sees the promises as our own before we can see them in the natural. 

 We also saw that Faith believes. Faith believes with the heart. How do we believe? We believe by listening to and feeding on the words of Christ. We believe boldly because of the character of the one promising. God is a Good Father, so we can take Him at His Word. 

 At the same time, What we feed upon determines what we believe. If we are feeding on the traditions of men, the way of this world system, and the lying words of the enemy, we won't walk victoriously. Let's continue then examining how Faith works.

 Faith sees, Faith believes, and Faith speaks. Faith is in our hearts but released with our mouths. Our words agree with the reality Grace made in order to create that reality in our own life. 

 Words are powerful. Words can be one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Our words can build up or tear down. Our words contain either life and blessing or cursing and death. 

 Words are containers. They contain Faith, life, love, and joy, or they contain doubt, unbelief, loss, and depression. Faith can create the reality Grace made available in our life by agreeing with God. Or we can take the world, the lying enemy, or religious tradition at their word and create the reality of death, defeat, disorder, disease, and disaster in our life. We can choose either life or death, blessing, or cursing by the words we speak.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 NKJV

 Let's once again look at Paul's words;

 for with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:10 MEV

We have the same spirit of faith. As it is written, “I believed, and therefore I have spoken.”So we also believe and therefore speak,                                       2 Corinthians 4:13 MEV 

 Take note that these passages also align with and agree with the words of our Lord Jesus in Mark's Gospel. Faith is in our hearts but must be spoken out to be released. As essential as it is to believe by Faith we must also see the vitalness of speaking out what we believe by Faith.

 So what are you saying? Do your words agree with God's? They can. If anyone feeds upon the words of Christ, trusting in His great Love and goodness they will build an image within that the enemy, religion, the world, or contradictory circumstances cannot shake or withstand. You'll see how quickly your words agree with God then.

 Now don't misled to only speak words of hope and not Faith. For you won't walk in the manifest promise. Hope is the divine blueprint. Faith gives substance to hope. Hope is like the contractor with the plans. The plans may be good and right but there is no building to walk in yet. Again Faith gives substance to hope. So Faith is like said contractor getting workers to construct that building. 

 How can you distinguish words of hope and words of Faith? Hope is positive expectation of what God has said and done through Christ. Faith is the title deed, the confirmation that what God said is in fact ours. Hope says I will be healed, I will be forgiven, I will have what He promised. Faith on the other hand says I am healed, I am forgiven, I have what God said now! Faith says it's mine, I have it now, not someday, now!

 Once again look at Abraham. See Paul's words of him in Romans 4. God literally changed Abram's name in order for him to speak forth the promise. Abram who had no promised son yet had his name changed to literally father of multitudes. 

 When Abraham introduced himself from then on he was speaking and agreeing with God. If anyone called his name they too were inadvertanly agreeing with God. Did you know you can agree with God in the same manner? 

 We can call those things that be not as though they were. When we miss it, blow it, or just plain sin we can call ourselves Righteous and forgiven. If sickness and disease rear up with symptoms we can call ourselves healed because Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law. Part of that curse was sickness and disease. If lack appears we can agree with God and call ourselves blessed because Jesus bore our poverty so we could have His riches. When we agree with God and His Finished Work of Redemption, speaking it forth we will see things changed in our lives for the better.

 We can agree with Grace. If we feel unworthy or unloved we can speak forth what His Grace says about us. He made us worthy, we aren't unloved we are accepted. We aren't lonely we are not only accepted we are accepted in the beloved. We are in the Family of God. We can agree with Grace, we are loved, cherished, forgiven, and a beloved member of God's Family.

 In summation, we understand how Faith works more and more. Faith sees, Faith believes, and Faith speaks. We can speak and agree with all God has said about us and done for us in the Finished Work of Redemption. Beloved, agree with God with your heart and your words. 

Image by mcmurryjulie from Pixabay 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

How Faith Works: Faith Believes

  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. As it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17 MEV

We've begun a new series examining Faith, what Faith is and how Faith works. In our last post, we saw that Faith sees. That Faith has sight. Faith when fed God's Word and an understanding of God's extravagant Goodness and Love creates an image within our hearts of all God's promises to us.

 Today, we are examining another aspect of Faith. Faith not only sees it also believes. To walk in Faith we must fully believe that what God has revealed to us is ours through Christ, truly is ours, in order for us to experience it.  

 To believe is to be fully persuaded beyond doubt. What then are we persuaded by? What circumstances, conditions, surroundings, or situations appear like? Or are we fully persuaded by the Goodness of a Good Father? Are we persuaded by the Love of the Father who freely gave His only Son? If God gave us His best, surely He will give us the "rest!" 

 Faith believes. We are to be persuaded by what God has said and not what the problem says. Because God is Faithful and so Good, our response should be to believe what He has accomplished in His perfect work of Redemption. 

 We walk by Faith, not by sight. We don't judge another believer's Righteousness and salvation based upon what we see. Sometimes we just encountered someone at their worst. They could be having a "bad day." They could be processing a challenge in their life and have not yet responded in Faith. In those instances, we just walk by Faith and agree with the Cross and what God's Word declared over the believer.

 When it comes to Faith, much has been revealed concerning the power of words. Faith is released by speaking. As powerfully true as this is we must not forget believing is first and foremost. 

 for with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:10 MEV

We have the same spirit of faith. As it is written, “I believed, and therefore I have spoken.”So we also believe and therefore speak,                                       2 Corinthians 4:13 MEV 

 I wanted to highlight these passages reminding us of the place believing has when it comes to Faith. Believing is essential when it comes to speaking forth Faith. Jesus thought so too.

 For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says. Mark 11:23 WEB 

 Jesus confirmed it here. It's not just saying it but also believing what you're saying that causes it to happen. If you don't truly believe, your words will fall flat failing to create the reality you desire. 

 Our belief is rooted in having a good opinion of God. We believe because we know He is a Good Father and that He is always Faithful to His Word. We believe because we know and understand God has accepted and affirmed the Finished Work of Christ. Studying, meditating, and continually reminding ourselves of all Jesus has accomplished on the Cross, ushering in the New Covenant, creates a fully persuaded heart.

 The enemy of Faith is unbelief. The enemy works overtime attempting to get us to become dissuaded in God's Goodness and Love and more persuaded by negative circumstances and situations. The enemy wants to convince us that our problem is too big for God. Through lying symptoms he works his hardest to get us to believe God won't answer, won't come through, won't be there, and will allow us to be overcome. 

 When we agree with God and not our present condition or situation it silences the voices of the enemy, traditional religion, and the world system. This agreement and belief are completely rooted in the Goodness and Love of God. The vitalness of being persuaded by His Goodness and Love cannot be stated enough. 

 Look again at Abraham. Abraham learned Faith and how it works before the New Covenant. Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for Righteousness. Abraham was fully persuaded that God was Good and Faithful. He received the promise because of it.

 Faith believes. Faith is fully persuaded of what God has declared and all Jesus' procured in His perfect work of Redemption. Faith accepts and agrees with all God has said and done through Christ. 

 Faith is resting in a good opinion of God. Faith isn't striving and begging and pleading to get God to do something. The Faith we have is a Faith in His Faith and Faithfulness. Faith is resting in the Goodness, Faithfulness, and Lovingkindness of a Good Father.

We aren't paupers begging for more meager portions. We aren't servants afraid to come forward hesitant to ask for sustenance. We are the children of the Most High. We are the King's kids. He has more than enough for us. He invites us to the banquet table to freely feast upon all He has provided. 

 In summation, Faith works. Faith sees and Faith believes. Faith is being persuaded by the Goodness of a Good Father. Focus on this Love. Meditate on this truth until it overflows your heart and mind. No matter your current situation or circumstance fear not only believe. Believe His Love and Goodness for you now!

Image by Lee Bespoke from Pixabay 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

How Faith Works: Faith Sees


and that in law no one is declared righteous with God, is evident, because `The righteous by faith shall live;' Galatians 3:11 YLT

 In our last study, we discovered what Faith is. We saw that Faith is resting in a good opinion of God. We saw that Faith is an important and vital aspect of life in Christ. 

 Understanding this it seems good to see how Faith works. To see and understand how we can walk by Faith in our everyday life. To purposefully and actively lay hold of and possess all God has procured and purchased for us in His perfect work of Redemption.

 In order to walk by Faith, we have to examine what we are looking at. I am not just speaking of natural sight but by spiritual and even mental sight. How do you see yourself? 

 Have you ever been given a questionaire from a medical profession? Ever been asked questions such as how would you describe your health? These questions are asking how do you see yourself? My point is that sight is about more than just our eyesight. 

  For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthian 5:7 MEV

 Here Paul is informing us by the inspiration of the Spirit that Faith sees different than what our natural senses tell us. It doesn't matter what it feels like or seems like. It only matters what God says about it.

 In seeing how Faith works we can see the life of Abraham as a great example for us. If we look at Abraham we see Faith demonstrated even before Christ and the New Covenant. Let's look at Genesis. 

 In Genesis 12, we see the initial call and promises God made to Abraham. Understand then that God had spoken. What He said is truth. Now let's look at Abraham's, then called Abram, response to God's Word some time later in Genesis 15. 

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”                            Genesis 15:1-2 NKJV

What is Abram's response? He tells God only what he can see and feel and what his experience is. Yet, He already had God's Word, the guarantee of what he was seeking. Remember, God's Word is true, not because we experience it or feel it or see it naturally. It's true because God said it, and because He said we should experience it.

 Abram's words reveal something. He couldn't see himself as a father, let alone as the father of multitude. In order to get him over into Faith, God had to change his image. God gave him a picture, He showed him the sands of the seashore and the stars in the sky. 

 God gave Abram something to see, something to help build a Faith image on the inside of him. This is an aspect of Christianity that the false new age, witchcraft, and the mysticism crowd have perverted. God's Word builds a good image on the inside of a Godly man. 

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.              Proverbs 25:11 KJV

 This passage speaks of good words giving us a positive image. Abraham had to have the inner image he had of being a childless man changed to the image God had spoken over him. At first, Abraham couldn't see himself the way God did. 

 Faith sees. Faith rooted in the good Words of God builds a right image on the inside of us. God's Word of promise produces a Faith image in the inner man of the Righteous. We can by Faith see ourselves the way God does. Instead of a broken, worthless, sinful image we can possess a image of a Righteous man in whom God loves unconditionally and is always well pleased with.

 Think of it. When you fail or fall or foul up and sin, how do you see yourself? Lost? Broken? Out of fellowship and connection with God? Unforgiven, unrighteous, or unworthy? Or because of the Word deposited within your heart, do you still see yourself as Righteous? Do you still see yourself as accepted, approved, and forgiven? Feeding on the Word will build the right Faith image within.

 If sickness or disease strikes how do you see yourself? Do you say to God, "what will you do seeing I go without health?" Or do you reject the grow worse image and accept and receive the image of the one healed and made whole because of the Finished Work? Hold fast to that Faith image, focus on who God declares you are.

 If poverty and lack strikes how do you see yourself? Again, reject that image of being the broke, penniless beggar. It has been said many times that poverty is a mindset. That is a negative self image that expects lack and want. We are children of the Most High God. We are children of the King. We need not lack in any good thing. Feed on the Word and the promise of provision God has purchased for us in Redemption.

 Feed on God's Word. Build an image on the inside of who God declares us to be. Faith sees what God sees. God is Good, let's feed on that Goodness and receive of it and change the way we see ourselves.

 In summation, let's gain a God's eye view and relinquish a worldly, defeated, downcast image sin and a fallen world produce. Faith sees. Faith sees all the promise and provision of Christ and accepts it regardless of current circumstance or situation. It's not denying the circumstance's existence but rather choosing to focus on the higher truth of redemption. 

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Faith: Having a Good opinion of God

 By faith Sarah herself also received the ability to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Hebrews 11:11 MEV

 What is Faith? Why is it important to study and understand Faith? What role does Faith play in our everyday life practically speaking?

 To answer these questions let's revisit the Word and gain insight and wisdom and truth for our life. The Word of God tells us without Faith we can't please God. This alone shows us the vitalness of Faith.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

 If we desire the fullness of all that God has for us, it appears Faith plays a major role in receiving it. Because of this, we need to know and understand what Faith is and how it works in our life. What is Faith then?

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. Hebrews 11:1 AMPC

 What a powerful definition of Faith. Many of us have owned a car or even a home. We know when we had the title deed of that property, we didn't need to use our physical senses to confirm ownership. That title deed proved we owned that car or home. Faith is the title deed that what God said to us is in fact ours.

 Now as powerful, truthful, and thorough as this passage is let's go deeper in understanding what Faith is. How so? By asking why is Faith the assurance? Why is it the proof of what we hoped for? 

 A title deed is only good as the company or person giving it. To be clearer, I could give you the title deed to the Brooklyn Bridge. Does that mean you own it? Of course not. I have no right, no authority, and no ability to give it to you or even sell it. It's not mine to give. 

 So it is with Faith. The nature and character of God are why we have the assurance, the confirmation, and the title deed. So what is Faith?

 Faith is resting in a Good opinion of God. To rest is to put all your trust in something knowing that it is fully accomplished. We rest by trusting in Him and His Goodness and Love alone. Faith is not a struggle, Faith rests in His Goodness. We are trusting in Him and His Love and Goodness not our own.

 Understanding this, we now can see how there exist Faith failures and why some fail to receive all God has for them. Faith's greatest enemy is unbelief. What then is that unbelief rooted in? Or where does it derive its power from? Not the enemy alone, but in us having a negative opinion of God. 

 Where there exists a negative opinion or belief about God Faith cannot operate fully. Faith is trusting in God. If we have a negative opinion of God in some area we aren't fully trusting in God in that area. If we aren't fully trusting God, then we are not fully in Faith and therefore we won't receive all He has purchased for us in redemption. 

 Concerning provision and prosperity, if we have a negative opinion of God concerning finances and our needs being supplied how can we say we are trusting in Him to provide? If we look at the experiences of others saying, they gave, they prayed and they are still struggling, provision must not be God's will, how can we say we trust God to provide for us? We are holding on to a negative opinion of God concerning provision. 

 Let's look at the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5. She had a Good opinion of Jesus. She didn't even ask Him to heal her. She just trusted and believed in His Goodness and Love. Faith, having a Good opinion of God, gave her the assurance and confirmation that what she desired was in fact hers. She reached out and took it and received all God had for her. Jesus commended her Faith.

 So how do we get a Good opinion of God? We go to His Word. We study, we meditate, we feed on the Word concerning His Goodness and Lovingkindness. 

 We see in the Word how He delivered the children of Israel time after time. We see how the Cross has forgiven us of all our sins forever. How we are made irrevocably Righteous by the Blood. We see how He bore all our sickness and disease and pain on the Cross purchasing and providing our healing. We see how He redeemed us from the curse of the Law, procuring new life, provision, and prosperity for us. We look at Jesus and see the heart and will of the Father.

 In summation, Faith is having a Good opinion of God. We trust in His Faithfulness and Love for us. We can rest knowing our needs are met and supplied in full because Christ loves us and provides for His own. We can rest knowing He is our healer because He took all our sickness. We can rest knowing we are loved, accepted, and approved of God because of Jesus. This is walking by Faith. Faith in His all the time Goodness and Love. 


Image by Thanks for your 👍 • Feel free to leave a comment. from Pixabay

Monday, November 29, 2021

Don't take the Amazing out of Grace: Everybody is already saved?

So you, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:1 MEV 

 In our last study, we detailed how even though God's Word and His Grace are powerful and amazing we can cause them to be diminished and ineffective in our own personal life. Grace is made effective when we fully receive it and aren't mixing it with Law. We want to experience all God has for us in its fullness.

 Again mixing Law and Grace takes the amazing out of Grace. The religious tradition that says we are only forgiven of our past sins removes the full impact of Grace in our life. It diminishes the full revelation that Grace forgave us of all our sins. It creates a sin conscienceness instead of a Righteousness conscienceness.

 Just as detrimental as religious tradition is to Grace, so also are additives to Grace. That is Grace alone is amazing and too good to be true but true. Grace doesn't need help from man to make it seem more palatable to the rebellious and bitter. Grace is great all by itself, it's the too good to be true but true Good News of Jesus Christ.

 Yet some insist on adding their own philosophies and reasonings and surmisings to "help" the Gospel or to simply "deconstruct" and tear down parts of the Gospel they don't like. Many conclude the Biblical concept of receiving by Faith is a work and therefore must be rejected. In doing so they are taking the amazing out of Grace.

How so? If no one needs to believe, if it's automatic, no response required on anyone's part then it's not love it's force. Grace isn't an overriding or invasion of the will of any individual. 

 Think of it, if one paid your way fully to a college, that is tuition, books, housing, food, and even recreational money for weekend trips home or to any destination of your choice, that would be gracious. All of this blessing apart from you doing anything to earn it or pay it back is Grace in action. It isn't a wage earned or some reward it's simply a gift.

 That's good news. However, what if the one who was willing to pay for all this, demanded you only go to a specific college? What if they made you major in business and economics instead of the major of your choice? How Gracious is it now?

 Imagine a 30-day vacation package with all expenses paid offered to you. The person offering says they will pay for all your personal expenses as well. They will pay all your debt and even give you a "better" job than you have now. Sounds great, but you can only go when they say and can only go where they say. What if you say you're not interested in this vacation for your own personal reasons, but then the one offering uses force to get you in their limo and on the plane there? Is it still good? Is it still Gracious?

 Yet some claim this is what Grace is. That God who paid the price at Calvary, placed all humanity in Christ, apart from their own knowledge and permission. That God placed His Spirit within them without their knowledge or consent. That all are saved whether they believed or not, whether they received His Grace or not, whether they trusted in Christ or never trusted in Him. This is Grace? Nonconsensual relationship with all? 

 That's not Grace. Universalism and inclusion use the enticing words of man's wisdom to sell a cheap copy of Grace. They hijack the love language of redemption to sell a false and fake philosophy that has zero power to produce hope or healing in the lives of mankind. Grace is inclusive and universal in its procuring redemption and making it available to whosoever will, but universalism and inclusionism are not Grace.

 Some have misapplied a passage in Colossians 1 declaring no one was ever really lost. They misunderstand and misapply the passage because they lift it out of its setting in Colossians as well as the overall message of the Scripture. let's see the passage in another translation that makes it clearer.

This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Colossians 1:21 NLT

If no one was really lost why did Christ even come? Think of it, if no one was really lost, no one was really spiritually separated, if no one was apart from God, then what's so amazing about Christ? What is so great about Jesus dying? 

 Teaching people that no one was really lost or separated takes the amazing out of Grace. For Christ to die on a tree for people that were just fine the way they were would be a colossal waste of time. If no one was lost, Christ never needed to come as a man. No need to die on a tree bearing a curse that apparently never even existed. Jesus could have just wandered the earth telling people you are all fine, don't worry about how you live or treat others, everyone is ok.

 The truth is so much greater. Grace is amazing. All humanity was lost, apart from God, spiritually dead or separated from a loving Father because of sin. God in His Goodness and Love stooped down to rescue us from ourselves. God became a man. Jesus took all our just deserved punishment and wrath for our many sins and paid the full price. Grace has now appeared offering Salvation, Righteousness, acceptance, forgiveness, healing, and wholeness once for all time to whosoever will freely receive.

 Another way man tries to add to Grace, thus taking the amazing out of Grace is by denying the reality of a literal hell. If there is no hell, what exactly did Christ save us from? If hell is "restorative", "temporal" or nonexistent then why did Christ die for us?

 Some would argue that sin needs no punishment. How foolish. Look at what Paul the Apostle of Grace declared via the inspiration of the Spirit.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 MEV

 Clearly, the just recompense for sin is death. This is clearly punishment for our sins. Here we clearly see Grace defined and illustrated. God's gift was Jesus dying for us and purchasing eternal life offering new life as a gift. 

 Now, understand, a gift no matter how free must be received. The concept of receiving a gift is not works or self-effort. All are offered a free gift. It's not forced upon anyone. Jesus made a way for all to simply receive. That's the Gospel. That's the amazing Grace of God.

 I sense some are still fuming and agitated because I mentioned hell. Hell was never made for any man. It was made for the devil and his angels. God never sends anyone there. Men choose hell over a loving God.

 Listen, for one to go to hell, they must bypass the Cross, dismiss His great Grace, reject His everlasting and unconditional eternal Love, and refuse the gift of eternal life. They jump feet first into eternity without God fully understanding the consequences. It's not His will that any perish but He will not override anyone's will or choice.

 People claim hell is a construct of men to scare people into giving money. Hell is real. Hell is the dark place of eternal separation for all those who want to gain acceptance and approval by their own sense of goodness and works. The Cross shows us we can't earn anything. 

 There is no bad news in the Good News. We share His Love and Amazing Grace to a lost and dying world. We let the world know it's only in Christ will you find true rest and peace and fullness of life and joy. We proclaim God isn't angry at anyone. God is a Good Father who Loves all unconditionally. 

 In summation, let's keep the amazing in Grace. Jesus came to die for the unworthy. He came to find the lost and offer them new life. Though hell is real and there awaits final judgment for all who reject the free gift, our message is the same, God is Good, He isn't mad at you, and He longs for a personal relationship with whosoever will. Grace is Amazing. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Taking the Amazing out of Grace: Religious traditions of man

So you, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:1 MEV 

 Grace, the Grace of Almighty God by nature is amazing. It is over the top, too good to be true but true Good News. Grace did for us what no personal achievement, action, or accomplishment could ever do. If it's Grace plus our work, then it ceases to be Grace, but a wage earned. 

 Grace is undeserved, unearned, and unmerited favor. It's God Himself stooping down to lost humanity and becoming one of us and taking our place on the Cross of judgment. Jesus is Grace. Grace is amazing.

 As wonderful as Grace is, did you know it's possible to take the amazing out of Grace? You may be thinking I am out of my mind to dare suggest something like this. Let me show you how it's possible.

 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

Here we see Jesus speaking clearly of God's Word. How can mere man make the Word of God of no effect? When we understand what Jesus is saying in context it becomes clearer. God's Word is established forever. However, it can become ineffectual in the personal lives of men when we exalt tradition over truth when we accept man's ways and reject God's ways.

 The same way man can make of no effect His Word, we can make His Grace of no effect in our life by adopting and embracing the traditions of men, and false teachings of deceived and misguided "ministers". We are in essence taking the amazing out of Grace. How do we know we are taking the amazing out of Grace?

 We are taking the amazing out of Grace when we exalt the Law over Grace. Jesus preached the sermon on the mount to bring clarity back to the Law. Matthew's Gospel records it beginning in Matthew 5

 The Pharisees and Sadducees had preached the Mosaic Law only as an outward display of righteousness. Jesus masterfully brought the Law back to its intended glory and purpose. He brought it back as an inward matter of the heart, not merely an outward display.

 Tradition declares that Grace brought a higher standard. That Jesus was ministering Grace as He taught the Sermon on the Mount. No, Jesus was revealing the full force and weight of the Law. Why? To reveal to all that we all need a Savior. 

 When we dilute Grace into something we do or something we need to achieve we've just cheapened Grace. When we create a view that Grace is a list of rules, regulations, and rituals to follow to the letter, we have taken the amazing out of Grace and reverted back to works.

 We take the amazing out of Grace when we mix Law and Grace. When we preach that we are made Righteous by Faith the moment we are saved but if we sin afterward we have lost that Righteousness and must do something to achieve that Righteousness again we have made Grace ineffective. Never forget, we are made Righteous once for all time apart from performance or our behavior the moment we believed, that's Grace!

 We take the amazing out of Grace when we preach insecurity and partial forgiveness. Messages saying we are only forgiven up to the point of salvation but for any sins committed afterward we must apologize and confess in order to be forgiven means we are taking the amazing out of Grace. Remember we are forgiven once for all time the moment we believed, that's Grace!

 Any message that suggests we can undo the Finished Work of Christ by our actions, our sins or unfaithfulness, or unbelief is taking the amazing out of Grace. There were no achievements or amount of good works that would merit our salvation, therefore there is no amount of bad works or unfaithfulness that could undo what only Christ could do. Once we believed, we were made forever secure in the Father's hands, that's Grace!

 In summation, let's allow His Grace to have the final say. We could never earn or achieve His Goodness or favor. Let's exalt His Grace and not our works. Let's look to Jesus and not ourselves. In Heaven, the worship song will not be worthy is the Lamb...and me. It's Grace alone from beginning to end. 

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

More Good News: All your sins have been forgiven

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings good news of happiness, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 MEV

In our last study, we began sharing some Good News truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In a fallen, fractured creation we all need to feed on Good News not bad news or sad news. We need to shift our focus on the good things God has done through Jesus and is doing each and every day of our lives, and not on the schemes of the enemy or the lies of tradition, or the fallen world system.

 Last week, we shared the Good News that our salvation is fully secure in Christ. That Jesus is more than enough. Today, I want to continue sharing how secure we are in Him by proclaiming the Good News that in Christ all our sins are forever forgiven.

 Admittedly, I once struggled some with this notion. It wasn't that I didn't believe it in my heart. I had heard this truth when God captured my heart with the truth of the Gospel of Grace. My spirit immediately received this. My head was a little hesitant. I wanted to see more Scripture on this.

 In one sense, that is commendable. We must establish and confirm the truth with the Word of God. God is so Good and is THE Truth so He quickly took me on a journey through the New Covenant. Upon searching the Scriptures, my heart and mind were even more refreshed. The Word established over and over that all our sins were forgiven once for all time by Jesus.

14 who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins Colossians 1:14 TLB

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 NLT

12 I am writing to you, little children (believers, dear ones), because your sins have been forgiven for His name’s sake [you have been pardoned and released from spiritual debt through His name because you have confessed His name, believing in Him as Savior]. 1 John 2:12 AMP

He is the one who took God’s wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins, and not only ours but all the world’s. 1 John 2:2 TLB 

32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NLT

13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive. Colossians 3:13 AMP 

 Through Christ, God has forgiven us of all our sins. God is not keeping scores or tabs on how often we screw up or fail. Our Father has accepted the Work of Jesus. His precious blood was enough.

 These powerful passages reveal the heart of God and the Love of our Savior. It displays plainly the clear truth that God in Christ has in fact forgiven us of all our sins. These passages exhibit the fullness of the work of Jesus on becoming a curse for us. He has forgiven us of all our sins.

 One may say yea but for how long are we forgiven? How much are we forgiven of? Don't these passages simply state we are forgiven only of our past sins? Are we forgiven of our sin if we continue committing the same sin?

14 For by one offering He has forever perfected those who are sanctified... 17 then He adds, “Their sins and lawless deed will I remember no more.” 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Hebrews 10:14,17-18 MEV

This passage answers these questions. Couple this with the ones we just shared and it eliminates all doubt and settles any disputes. God has through Christ and His precious perfect blood forgiven us of all our sins once for all time.

 We are forgiven of all our sins for all time and eternity. God has accepted the work of His Son. We are forgiven of all our sins, past present, and future. The Word clearly declared we are forgiven of all our sins. All means all. All of our past has been wiped clean and all our future sins have already been paid for and forgiven. There is no more judgment and condemnation and punishment for our sins the moment we believed. 

 This is the Good News. We are forgiven forever. What about those sins we commit and sometimes keep committing? The Finished Work of Christ, the once for all sacrifice and payment for sin is not some vessel that runs out eventually. This work of Grace is an endless well of love and mercy and forgiveness that never runs dry. Rejoice that your failings and foul-ups will never exhaust His supply of mercy and Grace and forgiveness.

 In summation, we can rejoice in the Good News. It is good news that we are forgiven of all our sins. We are forgiven and have perfect acceptance before the Father. We can approach God with boldness. We can have a bold, and loving expectation of mercy and relinquish a fearful expectation of judgment and condemnation. Focus on the Good News of Grace. Turn away from the bad news and lies of the enemy, the world system, and the religious tradition of men. The Blood has cleansed you of all your sins and shortcomings. You are accepted and loved and forever forgiven in Christ Jesus. 

Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Good News: Once you're Saved, you're Saved eternally


How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings good news of happiness, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 MEV

In a fallen and fractured creation it's refreshing to hear some good news. What better news than the Gospel of Jesus Christ? The Gospel, free from man made religious tradition brings peace, comfort and joy to the hurting and downcast and the outcast. 

 Many suffer from depression, discontentment, and feel so downtrodden because of the insecurity religion and a lost world produce. The world offers hope with no substance. Religion offers conditional hope. The Gospel is the hope for all mankind.

 Many churches and ministries believe they are in fact in the service of God when they strip the security of the believer away each Sunday morning. I have listened to messages from a church that had literal thousands in attendance and after the minster preached a message that salvation is not eternally secure, sincerely believed 3/4ths of those in attendance should be at the altar in "repentance" ensuring they are still saved. 

 The world system offers no real hope or goodness. Surely the church is where we should find hope and peace and Good News. Yet through religious tradition we have only offered partial hope. Let's bring the full Gospel of Christ to a lost world and bring the real hope and change they long for.

 Wait brother, you're inferring that salvation is eternally secure. That once one is saved, they are always saved. That can't be true, look at what Jesus said in Revelation. 

 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments. I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. Revelation 3:5 MEV

The beauty of the Gospel is that we can see God's Goodness and Love and Grace in the Word. Traditional religion, on the other hand can only see doom, gloom and condemning judgment throughout the Word. Even passages that are meant to comfort are twisted into a condemning statement by the religious minded.

 Before Christ, we were alone and apart from God. We had no method, no principle, no formula, and no performance that would ever warrant us receiving eternal life. We could never earn it, could never do enough, could never achieve or attain any form of spirituality that would make us worthy of eternal life. 

 It was only trusting in Christ alone that caused us to receive eternal life. How could we ever think after receiving Him, there is something we could do that could undo what only He could do? How could we ever think that we could reverse what Jesus did in us? Grace is greater!

 In addressing this passage that seems to contradict eternal security, look at what Jesus actually said in context. Jesus begins to speak of those who haven't soiled their proverbial garments with the lies of the enemy and religious tradition. Then He makes this statement that tradition has misunderstood and misapplied. 

 Jesus said He who overcomes will be clothed in white and their names will not be blotted out of the book of life. In reality, this passage isn't some dire warning of an unsettled and unsteady foundation of an eternally insecure salvation. This passage is a promise not a warning. He is reminding those who follow Him that their salvation is secure and eternal.

 What about the overcoming part? He wouldn't say that if there aren't things to overcome. Salvation then is based upon us overcoming something? What is it we specifically need to overcome in order to be saved? Or in order to stay saved? Jesus didn't create some list of obstacles we need to overcome in order to be saved and to remain saved. Here is a passage that explains what Jesus meant. 

 for whoever is born of God overcomes the world, and the victory that overcomes the world is our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world, but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-3 MEV

 When you believed, you are the overcomer and have overcome the lies of the enemy and the traditions of men. This passage then doesn't reveal we can lose our salvation. The passage is a promise not a warning.

 When some say Revelation 3 shows Jesus rejecting eternal security they are forgetting Jesus' own words. How could Jesus the author and originator of eternal security contradict and counter His own words and His own Finished Work at the Cross? In John's Gospel Jesus declared three times our salvation is secure. He said we would never again be condemned for our sins. He said those who come to Him will never be lost. He stated that when we received Him we are forever in His Father's hands and will never perish. Jesus wouldn't contradict His own words! 

 In summation, the full Gospel is the Good News we all need. We may not see much hope in this fallen world. We can however find hope and healing and happiness in the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus and His Grace is for us and never against us. In Christ, we are eternally secure and saved.

Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Still another mistaken idea: You will reap what you sow

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV

In our last study, we examined our view of God. Asking the question if we have a positive expectation of mercy and goodness or a fearful expectation of God's anger and wrath and judgment. If we have a fearful expectation then we have to ask why that is?

 The negative traditions of man corrupt our view of God. Religion skews our image of our Good Father, into that of the harsh taskmaster. The despot on the throne poised to strike the moment, the exact instant we foul up or miss it. At the precise moment of sin, judgment falls and we suffer the due punishment for our actions. 

 Of course, this image conjured up by traditional religious-minded men is false. Does this even come close to describing Jesus? Of course not. These traditions of men rooted in our thinking are why we have a fearful expectation of judgment and wrath.

 We have already begun allaying these wrong thoughts in our previous study. Today, we need to see the last two religious concepts that bring fear and torment. The first is this idea of generational curses. 

 There is an entire study disproving this myth here. This mistaken idea uprooted brings us peace and a positive expectation of good. Recall, Jesus took the sour wine on the cross. He took the sour grapes if you will so there are no more generational curses.

 Finally, let's uproot this idea of reaping what we sow. You may be thinking, how is this a mistaken idea when it clearly states in the Word that we will reap what we sow? It is a mistaken idea because, as with many truths, man has distorted it and added to it and created a burdensome belief that brings bondage and not freedom.

 This passage must be seen and understood in its full context. What Paul is teaching is the support of ministry that has fed someone the Word of truth. The seed Paul refers to here is financial. 

Those who are taught the Word of God should help their teachers by paying them. Galatians 6:6 TLB

 Though the truth of giving money to support the work of God has been widely misused and abused and taken to extremes doesn't negate the foundational truth. The work of ministering the Gospel does require funding. In essence, that is all Paul is speaking of.

 That may be so, but why does Paul say he who sows to the flesh will reap corruption? That's not speaking of money or supporting ministry. Glad you asked, I also used to think this. The problem is we are taking the thought out of its context and setting.

 Paul was speaking of supporting ministry. He didn't stop and preach a whole new thought. He was saying if you don't support the ministry you are sowing your own works and performance and will reap corruption, the corrupting influence of man-made religion. 

 Think of it, if there are no ministers teaching the truth, then all you rely on is your own views, and that is how tradition is created. If we support the ministry we are sowing into the kingdom. We are reaping growth. To be clear, Paul isn't teaching if you give money you will get even more money. The harvest reaped is more lives transformed, and God's blessing on you to grant you the favor to be able to keep supporting God's work. 

 I said all that because what tradition has taught is that this passage is sharing with us what happens whenever we mess up or sin. That we will reap the negative consequences of our negative actions. In essence, do good get good, do bad and get bad.

 That mindset produces a fearful expectation of judgment and not a loving expectation of His mercy and goodness. We are under the New Covenant, not the Law. We who believed are now Righteous and redeemed. 

 The New Covenant doesn't teach a "Christian" form of karma. We aren't doing good simply so good things will come our way. We aren't avoiding wrongdoing just so we won't receive bad things coming our way. Because of Christ within us, we do good because we desire to be a blessing because Christ has loved us and blessed us already. We shun the bad simply because Christ is within us and leads us into all truth. We avoid the bad because He shows us its wrong. 

 This idea of reaping what we sow brings us to a place of expectancy of judgment and condemnation. This concept negates God's Love. It ignores His great mercy. It diminishes His Grace. In the Finished Work Christ reaped everything we've ever sowed negatively. He became a curse for us to redeem us from the curse.

 In summation, we who believe should have a positive expecation of goodness and mercy. Certainly, there are consequences in this life for choices. However, that is not reaping what you sow. That is not God punishing us for our sins, Jesus already paid for all our sins.

 Kicking over sacred cows, bringing religious thoughts captive to Christ, casting down the strongholds of man mad tradition in our thinking will cause us to have a positive expectation of mercy. Understanding God's blessings aren't a reward for good works, knowing we are forgiven of all our sins and isn't counting them against us, rejecting the concepts of generational curses, and the contrary view of Christian "karma" reaping what we sowed, will shatter the wrong images of God and bring with it the expectation of goodness from God not cursing or calamity. God is Good and loving and merciful.  

Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A fearful expectation of judgment or a Loving expectation of mercy?

 1And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 
1 John 4:17-18 NLT

 When you think of God what comes to mind? When you reflect on who He is and what He does, what is your impression of Him? Do images of a loving Father with open arms prevail in your thinking? Or does the concept of a harsh taskmaster eagerly awaiting to punish you for your failures dominate your view of God?

 If your perception of God is that of a loving Father, then you have received the Love of God in its fullness. You have tasted and seen that the Lord is Good. You have partaken of His great Grace and know He is for you and never against you. 

 If your impression of God is that of the harsh taskmaster then you have not received the Love of God in its fullness. You have not fully understood His Grace. You haven't fully received of the Gift of Righteousness. You still see Him charging you and accounting your sins against you. 

 What happens when we haven't received this Love in its fullness? The Word is clear. We will have a fearful expectation of judgment. We still fear punishment for our sins and missteps. 

 There are many reasons why some have not received His Love in its fullness, producing this fearful expectation of bad, and payback and punishment. All of them are rooted in religious tradition. Traditions of men apart from the Word and the Gospel of Grace, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

 Let's uncover and expose and answer these traditions so people can come to the truth and receive His Love in its fullness. The first reason people aren't receiving His Love is that tradition teaches all the blessings and Goodness of God are rewards. Rewards are granted because of achievements and good works. They are earned, they are not gifts. 

 God is a rewarder, Hebrews 11 tells us this. This passage though doesn't teach that His Love, His Goodness, His blessings, and healing power are rewards. When we see the hand of God in blessings as only rewarding good work, then we move into a performance-based faith. We won't trust God to help us or heal us, but work to achieve His help and healing. 

 God is a Good Father. He blesses us because He is Good not because we are Good. He blesses us because He is a Loving Father who wants our best. He doesn't bless us because we have achieved enough, or performed well enough. The blessing was bestowed because Christ purchased it for us in the Finished Work, not because of our works. 

Another reason for not receiving His Love in its fullness is the tradition of men that God has not forgiven you of all your sins, past present, and future. That He is remembering your sins. Religious tradition concerning sin sounds something like this:

 "Your sins hinder your prayers!"
 "Your sins are a wedge between you and God!"

 God has forgiven you once for all time at the Cross. These statements and sentiments simply are untrue. Jesus has forgiven all our sins past and present and future. Because of Jesus, God has said He would not remember our sins. The Blood washed us and cleanses us from our sins once for all time. Let's honor Jesus' work and not our work or performance.

14 who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins Colossians 1:14 TLB

Clearly, we are forgiven of all our sins. This includes future sins. This is Good News.

then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:17 NKJV

 If God is not remembering our sins then why are we? We are forgiven and our sins are forgotten.

 God has forgiven us eternally, once for all time. God isn't holding our sins against us. God has said He will remember our sins no more. If we are forgiven and made Righteous we then never need fear judgment or punishment. We can walk in and fully receive His great Love for us. His Love received casts out all fear, fear of punishment, payback, and retaliation. 

 In summation, we can walk in confidence with God when we receive His great Love. We can walk free of torment when we know how much He Loves us. We can trample on fear and cast down wrong images of God the more we know and understand His Love for us. We will continue uprooting these wrong concepts as we discover more and more just how much He Loves us and is for us and not against us. 

Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay