Monday, February 22, 2021

Our inheritance in Christ

  to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Acts 26:18 MEV

 The Word of God records from the first breath of man until the time of Jesus' triumphant return, God's dealings with man. That is how God has dealt with and will ultimately deal with mankind. God gave man this Earth but Adam bowed the knee, committed high treason, if you will, and turned the Earth over to satan.

 Since the fall, God initiated covenants to allow Himself access to this Earth. To legally intervene in the affairs of men. Though we can see individual covenants, such as the one Noah made, there are really only two main Covenants. These two Covenants divide the entire Bible. 

 The Old Covenant was a covenant cut between God and man. The major issue was God always upheld His end, man on the other hand always failed. All was not lost though. God had foreseen this before He even created the Earth and breathed life into man. 

 With the Old Covenant, God gave man insight into his need for a Savior. There is nothing man can do to save Himself. There is no amount of works anyone can do to earn eternal life. This is why we see Heaven rejoicing at the first coming of Jesus Christ. Because with Jesus there was about to be a New Covenant ushered in that would change everything. 

 The Abrahamic covenant was a type and shadow of the New to come. Genesis 15 records it in detail. A furnace of smoke and a lamp of fire passed through the animal sacrifices. This was a pre-incarnate manifestation of Jesus. God literally made the covenant between Himself with Abraham being the beneficiary. So it is with the New.

 The New Covenant is a Covenant agreement made between the Father and the Son. God the Son, bore all the guilt, the shame, the sins, the sickness and disease, the poverty and lack, the sin and unrighteousness of mankind, the perfect, and Just taking the place of the guilty. The Father was pleased with and accepted and approved once for all time this once for all sacrifice forever. This is the Good News.

 The good and glad news of the Gospel is this New Covenant is not dependant upon mankind. Our works, our performance, and our behavior have nothing whatsoever to do with its blessings and benefits. We are never factored into any equation. This New Covenant is rooted in Christ's Faithfulness and the Father's acceptance and approval of Jesus, never us. 

With such Good News of this New Covenant, we can also see through Jesus Finished Work, we who believe have now obtained an inheritance. This inheritance is incorruptible. No action on our part can disqualify us from receiving and walking in this glorious inheritance.

 What then is our inheritance? This is one of the main reasons why we go to church. We go weekly to hear the reading of the will. The difference between hearing the will of a deceased man and the reading of this Heavenly will is Jesus is the only man to die and rise again to ensure all He left in the will is carried out and received by all who simply trust in Him.

 This inheritance in Christ is all-encompassing over every area of life. Spirit and soul and body nothing is neglected. Let's begin to see what we have in Him. 

  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  John 3:16 MEV

 First and foremost in this inheritance we have new life. When we first trust in Christ, we become a New Creation in Him. Our old man is dead and God literally recreates our spirit. We are completely clean and holy. 

for you have been born again, not from perishable seed, but imperishable, through the word of God which lives and abides forever. 1 Peter 1:23 MEV

 We are born again when we believe. We are brand new. The past is gone, the new has come. We are made alive in Him, partaking of eternal life.

 In summation, there is so much more to discover in who we are, and what we have in Him because of the Finished Work. This inheritance in Christ is priceless. Rejoice in this glorious New Covenant as we continue uncovering all we have inherited because of Jesus.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Salvation, Security, and Sin: Can we sin away our salvation?

12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:12 NKJV

12 And he has entered once and forever into the Holiest Sanctuary of All, not with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the sacred blood of his own sacrifice. And he alone has made our salvation secure forever! Hebrews 9:12 TPT

 In our last few articles posted we have been looking at the subject of sin and its relation to Grace, our salvation, and God's great Love. It really wasn't my intention to study about sin and Grace. Each time I made a brief point, it seems that as I wrote it, I noticed that it could generate another question. So I want to leave no stone unturned. 

 So in our last study, we examined more closely the idea of sin and the freedom in Grace and our liberty in Christ. It is clear that God is looking for sincere hearts, not rule-keeping hearts. A rule-keeping heart isn't looking for a relationship but more so focused on being dutiful, subservient, and obedient. 

 When I was serving in the Military, this attribute was desired and what one needed to excel in service. Certainly, because I was there to follow orders, not develop a relationship with the top brass. God is the commander of legions of Angels, He is the God of the whole Universe, yet He is my Father. He isn't looking for subjects but sons and daughters.

 Know God is seeking relationship above all else. In a sense, He sowed His Son to reap a family. God has always longed for a family. God is a Good Father, not a harsh taskmaster driving subjects to complete all the tasks He commands. 

 Looking again at sin, we must ask in all sincerity can we sin away our salvation? Is it possible to sin too much, once too often? Can we out sin His Grace? Can our behavior and actions exhaust His supply of Grace and forgiveness? 

  For in the Son all our sins are canceled and we have the release of redemption through his very blood. Colossians 1:14 TPT

13 And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 Having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross. Colossians 2:13-14 AMPC

 Can we sin away our salvation? Can we exhaust His supply of Grace? We could if redemption wasn't perfectly purchased by the Precious Blood of Jesus. We could if our redemption wasn't eternal. We could if our forgiveness wasn't once for all time. We could if we could again come under condemnation. But we know our redemption is paid for by the Blood, our redemption is eternal, we are forever forgiven and Jesus said we would never again be condemned for our sins, therefore we know we cannot exhaust Grace.

 Once we have received Jesus we are eternally His. That which He began in us He will perfect and complete it until the end. He gave us the downpayment of our eternal life by giving us His Holy Spirit. We are sealed for eternity as His very own.

Account versus accountability 

I want to bring even more clarity to His Grace and goodness and Love in relation to our sins. In our last post, I said God isn't holding anyone accountable for the sins Jesus already paid for. Does that mean God will never correct us when we sin?

 Let's gather some understanding together. When we sin, what can we do to "fix it" if you will? What can we do to warrant forgiveness? What can we do to pay for that sin? 

 When I made that statement, I was referencing the truth that no man can pay for their sins. No matter how big or small there is nothing any man can do to recompense for their sinful deeds or thoughts. What payment could any man offer anyway? The price for sin is the shedding of blood. Our blood is imperfect, that's why we have a perfect Savior who shed His perfect Blood that perfectly procured our forgiveness and eternal salvation.

 With that understanding, I want to make it understood that we can make amends for those we have hurt by our actions. That is not paying for our sins, that is genuine repentance. If you wish to apologize or replace something that was broken, that is not wrong. Just let Love motivate you, not some religious attempt to curry favor with God. 

 As for accountability, I am saying God isn't charging our sins to our accounts if you will. Remember, we can't pay for them anyway. However, there is an accountability factor under Grace. For instance, if I was committing adultery, that is a behavior that needs to be addressed. Another brother or sister should come to me in confidence and plainly say brother this behavior is wrong, it's hurtful and unloving to all involved. Someone would need to tell me, brother you're Righteous in Him but this behavior is highly unrighteous. 

 That isn't God holding my sins against me. That's God bringing correction to the situation because He loves all people involved and wouldn't want anyone to suffer such harm. I trust you're tracking what I am saying. Correcting harmful behavior and actions isn't the same as asking someone to pay for their sins. 

 In summation, let's herald the Good News for all to hear. We cannot exhaust or out sin His Grace. His Love and Grace are eternal. His Love unconditional, His Grace greater than all sin, and His forgiveness is once for all time. The Cross worked, it is finished!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Monday, February 8, 2021

Sin, Grace, and our Liberty in Christ Jesus


For freedom Christ freed us. Stand fast therefore and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 MEV

 We've concluded a series answering the question, what are the laws God has written on our hearts. In the last post of that series, I touched on a controversial topic. Freedom and sin. 

 Today, I sense the impression to continue examining this subject more closely. With a topic so sensitive and controversial it is important to give it the proper attention so as not to lead anyone astray. So is it ok to sin, knowing we are forever forgiven? are we free to sin? Is it even possible to sin under this New Covenant? We will fully answer these questions in depth. 

 First, is it possible to sin under this New Covenant? Some reason that since sin can be defined as transgression of the Law, and the Law having been fulfilled in Christ, therefore there can be no sin. That is a foolish and ignorant assumption. This is the result of a lack of understanding and study of all the New Covenant Scripture. 

 Paul defines sin this way in Romans. James defines sin this way in James 4. John defines it this way in 1 John. So we see, wrongdoing, knowing to do good but refusing to, and doing something apart from Faith are all defined as sin. The Greek word for sin is hamartia. It simply means to miss the mark. What is the mark? God's perfect standard. Since He is Love it may be defined as missing that mark of perfect love, love toward ourselves or others. 

 So can we sin under the New? What does Paul say in Romans 6? How can Paul admonish us not to let sin reign in our bodies if it is impossible to sin under the New? Don't follow foolishness, we can sin under the New.

 Having then established the truth that we can in fact sin under the New, let's dig deeper and answer these hard questions, is it ok to sin, and are we free to sin? Is it ok to sin? To answer this, we must really ask what do you mean by ok? 

 Having it be ok to sin would mean that there would be zero consequences or repercussions for sinning. We only have to read a newspaper or watch television news to know that is not true. People robbing a bank go to jail. 

 Yet when you answer the question are we free to sin it seems there is a contradiction. If I answer we are free to sin, then it appears as if I am saying it is ok to sin. Nothing can be further from the truth. Why?

 Having the freedom to do something doesn't necessarily mean it is an encouragement to do so. In America, we have the freedom of speech. Does that mean the founders were encouraging me years and years ago to go curse my neighbor with my words? That's absurd, of course not. 

 So it is with the liberty and freedom we have in Christ. 

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23 MEV

 Are we free to sin? Does Grace give us the freedom to sin? The hard answer is yes. Don't stop there though. Though you are free to sin, you are also free to reap the full consequences of that sin. 

 I liken this freedom to a flame. It's like a lighter, a match, or a torch in our hands. With this flame, we can provide warmth to someone by lighting a fire. We can cook someone's food to bring nourishment to them. We can use this flame to light the path so that others won't stumble. It's up to us.

 We can also use this same flame, to burn their house down, of course injuring ourselves in the process. We could take this flame and lead someone down the wrong path, getting lost ourselves. We could take this flame and start a forest fire thus hurting many others including ourselves. The freedom of choice is ours, in essence, we are dangerously free. 

 Why does Grace give us this dangerous freedom? Because God looks upon our hearts and our thinking. He desires above all else sincerity. Look at Paul's prayer here.

 God looks for sincere hearts. Not mere rule-keeping hearts. A heart motivated only to keep the rules, observe the regulations, and obey the laws, is not a heart moved by love. It is a heart moved only by the rules. If the rules change, then one's actions will surely change. A heart motivated by love is only moved by love. No matter the rules or laws, love will always be the guide, and that is the heart of Grace and Righteousness.

 So can we sin under Grace? Yes. Is it ok to sin? It is if you are ok with negative consequences, harming yourself and hurting others. Obviously then it isn't ok to sin. Are we free to sin? Yes, God looks for sincerity. 

 Why do we sin? Because we want to. We have allowed an unrighteous desire to reside in our thoughts and we look for ways to act on this desire. The enemy can't make us sin.

 Now if we do sin, is that it? Are we out? Are we done for? Are we going to experience eternal damnation? 

 I've heard preachers declare if they were sinning the moment Christ returns they'd be going to hell for all eternity. They truly make light of Grace and magnify sin's power over God's Love.

 When speaking of sin we must always be reminded of the eternal security of the Believer in Christ. Why? Because we have all sinned and missed the mark. Secondly, as soon as we sin or are reminded of our faults, flaws, and failures, the enemy is quick to move in with accusation and condemnation. Why? So you will draw back from God's Love and Grace and stay in the place of shame.

 Let the Words of Jesus be a refreshing stream to your soul.

“Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24 MEV

No matter your sin, no matter how often you've sinned, no matter when you sinned, you will never come into condemnation. Jesus bore all the pain, the shame, and punishment for all our sins once for all time. Jesus' Blood was enough, God isn't going to hold you accountable for the same sins Jesus paid for. We are eternally secure in Him.

 Again, this freedom isn't an encouragement to sin. Sin will cost more than you want to pay. Sin will take you further than you want to go. Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay. Thank God under Grace we aren't under the dominion of sin.

 In summation, rejoice in the freedom we have in Christ. Rest in the eternal security His Finished Work procured for all those who believe. Enjoy the power and dominion we have in Christ over sin and the works of the enemy. We are free in Him, forever free. 

Image by Briam Cute from Pixabay