Thursday, December 29, 2022

Living in Sin?

 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. John 5:24 NLT

 1 What, then, shall we say? shall we continue in the sin that the grace may abound? let it not be! we who died to the sin -- how shall we still live in it? Romans 6:1-2 YLT

 Much of Christian theology and doctrine are realized and lived out practically based on mere human understanding and man-made traditions rather than God's Word alone. More plainly stated, much of what Christians actually believe and practice in their day-to-day lives is rooted in what they heard someone or some minister say. Often it's not actually rooted in the Word of God.

 Some of these Ideas and suggestions and concepts includes thoughts like all who commit suicide will surely go to Hell, if you get divorced you can never remarry, or God loves you but sometimes is displeased and disappointed with you. Or perhaps one of the biggest thoughts conveyed, if you sin too much God won't forgive you. Where are these concepts specifically addressed and stated this exact way in the Bible, God's Word? 

 I will help you, they are not in the Word. Christian believers and ministers alike infer, assume, and reason certain things to be true based on a flawed, traditional, and veiled view of Father God. Often, believers assign their own attitudes and reactions, and conclusions to God. Allow me to elaborate. 

 Christians many times knowing how we might personally react or respond to a certain situation unconsciously assign that same attitude to our Father God. We then form and fashion a theology of Father God based on this and not the character of God we see clearly demonstrated in the Word. In general, we wouldn't continue fellowshipping with someone who fails us, wouldn't forgive someone if they continued in the same action repeatedly, and would judge someone swiftly if they continue wronging us, thus we conclude God is the same as us.

 Understanding this, I want to examine a concept in the Church I have heard expressed throughout my Christian life. This concept transcends all denominations and ministries I was ever involved in. This concept and idea of living in sin.

 What is living in sin? The response to this in the average believer's mind is a person who is actively committing adultery, someone living with someone they are not married to, someone who has a drinking problem, or a homosexual. Is this what living in sin means?

 I submit to you that this is not the actual meaning of living in sin. I certainly concur based upon the writings of Paul the Apostle of Grace, that adultery, fornication, alcoholism, and homosexuality are indeed sinful actions. However, that is not what it means to live in sin.

 When we consult the manual, the Basics Instructions Before Leaving Earth, the Bible, God's Word, the phrase living in sin is not found anywhere. When we need the truth revealed it's essential we check the Word. We desire God to instruct us not man or experience.

 In our text, we see Paul instruct us not to continue in sin. The word sin is the noun, not the verb. Paul is speaking of position, of identity, not actions. Of course, identity and position affect our actions. 

 Now when it comes to claiming to live in sin is defined by our actions, we see much hypocrisy in the application of this label. What I mean is, we see the man living with a woman he isn't married to and say they are living in sin. Yet we don't look at our lives and see how often we worry. We don't look in the mirror and see the bitterness we still harbor at old bosses, family, and former friends. 

 The Word tells us that which is not of Faith is sin. How often do we label those who fail to walk by Faith as living in sin? Worry is the sin of not trusting God, yet so many Christians are world-champion worriers. Where is their condemnation? 

 Let's allow the Word to be the final authority. Paul was telling us not to continue living in our old identity. We are New Creations in Christ. We are made alive in Christ anew. Dare to take your place as the very Righteousness of God in Christ.

 I believe the reason the concept of living in sin describing our behavior is so popular is that it becomes a means to control believers. The enemy uses it to control our thoughts by throwing flaming darts of condemnation at us. We won't press in to God relationally because we believe He is mad at us. We believe He hasn't forgiven us. 

 Religious tradition controls believers through guilt. Better give and participate in all our programs cause if you don't you'll be living in sin. Your prayers will go unanswered. This is why we must understand Grace and the New Covenant.

 The enemy and religious tradition try to convince believers that answered prayer is rooted in our behavior. Often Healing and wholeness are seen as rewards for good behavior. Don't be misled. Grace is unmerited and unearned favor. Healing, protection, prosperity, deliverance, favor, and abundant life are already ours because of Christ, not our own works. Therefore we can't do more good to earn them, and we can't do anything bad enough to disqualify us from receiving them. 

 As true as it is that our sinful actions are detrimental to ourselves and others, (natural consequences), it doesn't mean we should accept guilt and condemnation. Guilt and condemnation won't motivate us to make better choices. All they do is make us mask our flaws even deeper. 

 In summation, live in Grace. Live in the new identity Christ has made us. Don't walk in guilt and condemnation. Though sinful actions may have natural consequences, know God isn't punishing anyone. Finally, let the Word of God, not tradition be the final authority for truth in our lives. His Grace is greater. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Grace, Foolishness, or Legalism: Becoming Established in Grace

 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

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...2 Corinthians 8:9a MEV 

 We have been in an ongoing study examining the practical aspects of the Christian life in light of Grace and the New Covenant. This explorative study comes in the form of a question. Are we living under true Grace or are we embracing foolish pseudo-Grace? Or are we living with a mixture of Grace and Law, or some other form of legalism?     

 Our Father's desire is for us to live victoriously in Christ. To live the abundant life Jesus' triumphant resurrection and Finished Work procured and purchased for us. But this overcoming life is only realized when we fully receive abundant Grace and of the gift of Righteousness. 

 This is why we must become established in the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is also why the enemy is so set against the Church discovering who we are, what we have, and what we can do through Christ. The enemy sows seeds of foolishness and raises up religious traditions to pervert the Grace of God. This is why we must contend for the Faith and not allow the enemy any footing. 

 In concluding this study, it seems good to look at the other practical everyday aspects of the Faith. Things like giving, soul-winning, and daily Bible reading. Again we want to examine them in light of Grace so we can become more and more established in Grace. 

Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace... Hebrews 13:9a

What about a prayer life under Grace? What about a daily devotional time set apart with God? Is this somehow legalistic or a performance-driven activity that we need to be free from?

 The foolish pseudo-grace thinking may claim it is. This is of course would be erroneous thinking. What is legalistic or performance-driven to spend time in fellowship with the One who loves us with everlasting love? That may be the root of the opposition, if devotional time or prayer time hasn't been joy-filled or fulfilling one could understand why someone wouldn't be interested in continuing it. 

 Time spent in prayer, reading and studying the Bible, God's Word, and meditating on His promise and provision, and goodness is not legalistic. It is connecting with our Savior intimately. It's not a work or a chore or a duty to fulfill. It's actually a receiving time. It's a time where God pours even more of His Love and mercy and Grace out upon all areas of lives. It's a time that heals our wounded hearts and brings stability to our emotions and calms our fears and anxiety. It's Facetime with our Father and He's always glad we came.

 Legalism tries to make daily devotionals a duty to perform. They say God is upset if we miss our time with God. That if we don't have time for Him, He won't make time for us nor hear us when we call upon Him. This is wrong thinking because it turns intimacy into an obligation and forced fellowship. 

 Spending time with our Father is part of life under Grace. Don't allow the foolish to abolish this out of your life. Don't allow the legalist to pervert it and turn it into some chore. 

 What about giving? Should those under Grace continue giving to the local church and missions? Of course. God so loved the world He gives. We are loved unconditionally by God. That Love received, compels us to be a blessing so others can also hear the Good News. This isn't legalism or trying to earn anything from God. This is a gracious and loving response to a loving God who wants to win the lost and use us as a channel of blessings.  

 Speaking of the lost, under Grace should we still try to win the lost to Christ? Of course. Knowing how Good our Father is, is a great motivator in witnessing to the lost. Contrary to the foolish, not all humanity is saved and made Righteous. The lost are still lost and need to receive this wonderful gift of Grace. 

 Winning the lost to Christ doesn't mean God loves you more. It's just taking part in Christ's ministry to a lost world. It's sharing His Grace with all. What about our manner of life under Grace? 

 Though legalism has taken this out of balance and turned holy living into a harsh message doesn't mean there isn't a true Grace-filled life that honors Christ. Foolishness says our behavior doesn't matter. Legalism says our behavior is our savior. Both are equally wrong. Our thinking, our speaking, and our actions will bring honor to Christ when we become more and more established in our true identity as the Righteousness of God in Christ.

 Grace received produces an empowerment. Grace gives us new desires. Paul gives us some insight in his Epistles. Watching what we "feed" upon is a key to cultivating the Godly desires Grace has deposited within. 

 It's just like junk food. Under Grace and the following the Spirit, we can limit how much of this world we allow in our thinking. Think of it, if we stuffed ourselves on stuff crust pizza all the time we wouldn't be as healthy as we could be. It's the power of right believing that produces a life that honors God.

 In summation, renewing the mind, daily devotionals, prayer time, witnessing to the lost, giving, and belonging to a local church or fellowship, (though I didn't touch on it here I have in previous articles), are not legalistic. It is foolishness to omit these from our life simply because we have now seen the truth of Grace. Grace found us, saved us, made us Righteous, and approved of God. 

 Let's live our lives in triumphant victory. Victory over all the schemes of the enemy. Victory over fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. Victory over condemnation and a sense of unworthiness. Let's boldly reach out and receive all God has procured for us in Christ. Salvation, soundness, wholeness, preservation, and prosperity are ours because of His Grace. Embrace true Grace and walk in victory. 



Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Grace, Foolishness, or Legalism: Too much Goodness?

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

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...2 Corinthians 8:9a MEV 

 We've been in an ongoing series looking at the life lived abiding under the Grace of our Lord Jesus. We are examining practical aspects of the Christian life. This examination comes in the form of a question. Are we abiding under Jesus' Grace, or foolishness (pseudo grace), or legalism (man's traditions and attempts to earn favor and love)?

 Recently, many churches and ministries have been sounding the alarm concerning ear-tickling, positive, feel-good messaging. The concern is that the Gospel is being too diluted and made too appealing to the lost. This begs the question, does the Gospel of the Grace we proclaim have too much goodness?

 The Gospel is the Good News of the Grace of God pledged in the life, substitutionary death, and triumphant resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The old gospel hymn perfectly sums up the message of Grace. Living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried all my sins far away, (forgiven forever). Rising He justified ( made those who believe Righteous), freed me forever, one day He is coming back, what a glorious day! 

 Some warn that the message some proclaim is ear-tickling. It makes light of sin and has no conviction. It doesn't proclaim to sinners how wicked and evil their sin is. It doesn't tell them about eternity in Hell. It doesn't command that they repent, turn around and cease their wickedness. 

 I recently read about one of those ear-tickling, "fluff", feel-good, happy preachers. This minister was speaking with a woman whose theology first and foremost was clearly unbiblical. She also had been divorced five times. She was currently living with a man she wasn't even married to. They were living in open sin and rebellion against God's clear command of purity before marriage. 

So did this "preacher" correct her? Did he show her sinful she was, and had broken and violated God's commandments? Did he open the Scripture and line by line reveal to her how sex outside of marriage was clearly sinful and rebellious?

This divorcee and open fornicator, shacking up with a man never even got one word of "conviction" and telling her about Hell, and the need to repent of her sins. All this "preacher" did offer her was eternal life. This feel-good, ear-tickling, happy, preacher is named Jesus Christ. Be sure to watch out for Him and His happy message. Too much Grace is obviously dangerous. We need to make the sinner uncomfortable and show them how wicked and dirty and unacceptable they are before God. 

 This is the account of Jesus and the woman at the well from John 4.  This is a powerful illustration of the Gospel proclamation. Yes her theology was clearly incorrect, Jesus affirmed that. Yes, she was living in sin, Jesus revealed that. Yet in all this, she never felt condemned, she never felt worthless, she never felt unworthy and unwelcome. 

 Grace reveals the truth in love without compromise, but it's not a harsh, condemning proclamation. Grace magnifies what Christ has done, not what our sin has done. The Gospel is the proclamation of the answer to the problem, the antidote for the ailment, the light that reveals the way out of the darkness. It's the heralding of the Good News that God has reconciled lost sinful man. It's the glad news that God isn't mad at you, He is mad about you!

 I trust you're tracking with me that it's the legalist that is sounding alarm bells about a feel-good gospel. The legalist feels that if the lost aren't made to feel unworthy and wretched they won't really be saved even if they do respond to an invitation to trust in Christ. They magnify sin and guilt and minor on God's Love in their messaging.

 When I was a young boy, I remember being raised in church. I heard the gospel regularly, that is the basic message that Jesus came, died and rose again, and is coming back. I simply believed that. I never believed we came from monkeys or evolved by accident. Yes, as I got older I rebelled and sinned. I still believed though, and as I got old enough to fully understand, God revealed to me all are guilty before God that's why Jesus' work was so needed, and why it was so powerful in its working and accomplishment. 

 In all this, I never once felt condemned, unworthy or unwelcome. Legalists can't seem to grasp that we as individuals grow in our understanding of the Gospel and all that Jesus did for us. This includes progressive changing in actions and thinking. We don't need pointed fingers and wagging tongues of condemnation to guide us.

 The Gospel is Good News. It is not a message of shame and guilt. It is not a message of hellfire and wrath and an angry God who wants to punish all. Grace simply reveals the Good News of the Father's Love expressed by the Lord Jesus Christ. Trust in Him alone and receive New Life. Receive His free gift and pass from eternal death to eternal life. 

 The error of the foolish is they, once having been freed from religion, set their eyes again upon the stones they had relinquished. They again clutch these stones in their hands that used to be hurled at the sinful, and now turn them towards the legalists. They foolishly embrace bitterness at the legalist and began throwing stones at them.

 This isn't the Gospel way. The same Grace we now give the vilest sinner is the same Grace available to the most legalistic among us. Grace is gracious and loving to sinners and saints alike. Remember, the legalist may call us their enemy but that doesn't mean we have to count them as our enemy. 

 In summation, the Gospel is a happy, feel-good, positive, and pleasing to the ear proclamation of glad tidings and hope. Grace proclaims the truth in love. Grace isn't denying the existence of future judgment or an eternal hell for those who callously reject the love of God, it's just that this isn't the message of the Gospel. It isn't what we proclaim to the lost. There is no bad news in the Good News, and the Gospel is Good News. 

Image by nneem from Pixabay

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Grace, Foolishness, or Legalism: Is Grace and Faith enough?

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

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...2 Corinthians 8:9a MEV 

 A life lived under Grace brings celebration, joy, and peace that supersedes natural expectations. Under Grace, we have confidence in our approach to God and a permanent sense of acceptance and approval from Him. The victorious Christian life is only realized by Grace alone through Faith alone.

 This is why it's important to have a working knowledge of Grace and Faith in our personal lives. The enemy likes to sow the seeds of legalism and foolish pseudo-grace in our thinking in an attempt to derail us off the Righteous path of the triumphant victorious life in Christ. This is why we've been examining Grace and foolishness and legalism in recent weeks.

 In our last study, we answered the question of what it means to be saved. Today, it seems good to continue along the same line and ask what must we do to be saved? This is an age-old question. Legalistic religion and tradition and pseudo-grace offer their answer but how does Grace respond?

 Again citing our last study, we can see that this question is moot for the foolish because they believe all are already saved regardless of personal Faith. Again, Paul and the other Apostles dismantle this foolish thinking. Jesus, Himself proves pseudo-grace foolishness is in error as well

 Legalism on the other hand, through mixture, brings much confusion to the Church on this subject. The simple question, what must I do to be saved has a simple answer. Yet legalism makes the simple complex, convoluted and complicated. 

 Legalism teaches that one must make a commitment to God in order to be saved. In other words, it's not about trusting God's promise, it's about us making a promise to Him. Legalism says we must promise or commit to God to live a life of complete obedience and submission. If you didn't commit to Him, are you really saved?

 Legalism claims we must repent in order to be saved. Repentance according to legalists is a change of direction, a cease and desist of any and all actions contrary to God, a sorrowful realization of one's faults, failures, and flaws. If you haven't repented are you really saved? 

 Legalism appeals to people regardless if they consciously agree with all they claim or not. The reason it appeals is because it always makes room for something for us to do. Natural human nature seeks to boast in what has done. Look how I did this noble act or performed this kind deed is something many of us have boasted about at some point in our life.

 Salvation is by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone. There is no boasting in human effort. There are no requirements to meet. There are no checklists to complete. It's simply trusting in Jesus alone and nothing else.

 It's not trusting Jesus plus our commitments or change of behavior. It's not trusting in Jesus plus our pledge to live pure. Jesus plus something always equals nothing, but Jesus plus nothing equals everything!

 Allow Grace to give the simple answer to the question what must one do to be saved? Paul the Apostle of Grace was asked this very question. What was his response? The Holy Spirit through Paul answered this way;

  30 He then led them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you and your household will be saved.” Acts 16:30-31 MEV

 Grace answers the simple question with a simple answer. Simply believe. The Spirit through Paul didn't respond with believe, plus stop all your sinning and ungodly habits and pledge to never do them again. The Spirit through Paul didn't respond with, nothing, you don't have to do anything you're already saved or will be after you die, didn't you know? 

 Grace has the best response. Believe in Jesus and receive salvation. It's that simple. No matter how far in sin you feel simply believe/trust in Christ alone and you will be saved. It is that simple.

 In summation, let's ask again. What must we do to be saved? Simply believe in Jesus. Trust in Christ alone and you will be saved. Grace is the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ! 


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Grace, Foolishness, or Legalism: What does it mean to be Saved?

  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

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...2 Corinthians 8:9a MEV 

 We've been a new series, examining the practical aspects of the Christian life lived with a Grace and Finished Work perspective. We are locating ourselves in our walk with God in the form of a question. Are we actually abiding under Grace, or foolishness, or legalism? 

 We've already looked at many aspects of the Christian life under Grace, such as what about the Law or differing personal convictions. Today, it seems good to look at salvation in Christ. What does it mean to be saved, what are we actually saved from?

  Grace has been revealed to all mankind in the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul informs us in Titus that Grace has appeared to all mankind offering salvation to whosoever will receive it. Grace finds us where we are offering the free gift of New Life in Christ. Upon acceptance, no cleanup on our part is required. Grace sees us where we are in all our sins, depravity, brokenness, and spiritual death and stoops down and brings us out and lifts us up, translating us from death to life.

 What does it mean to be saved? What is a Christian?

16 “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

 24 “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

 A Christian is simply one who believes and trusts in Christ alone, believing He is arisen and is seated at God's right hand. What does it mean to be saved? It is simply this, one who trusts in Christ alone and therefore has been delivered from spiritual death and now possesses eternal life. 

 Now the foolish cannot answer this question. For they believe that all humanity is already "saved" or righteous apart from any belief, any trust, or any conscious decision to willfully trust Christ alone. Love to them is a divine invasion of the will of all humanity. God knows what's best for all and therefore He forces all to abide with Him regardless if they choose to or not.

 They also can't answer the question of what it means to be saved because they deny that anyone was ever actually lost. Spiritual death or separation is a made-up concept that legalists push on humanity they claim. If no one was ever lost, no human was ever born with the lost Adamic sinful nature, what is there to be saved from? In essence, Jesus didn't even need to die. 

 The foolish's view of mankind's spiritual condition is clearly contradictory to Jesus' words and the words of Paul. So what about the legalist's view of what it means to be saved? How would they outline what it means to be saved?

 Legalists will claim Grace is great. Grace is amazing for it finds lost sinners and offers them salvation. Yet in the grand scheme of things Grace is insufficient in and of itself to save you. 

 Legalism tells the lost to come just as they are, Christ will receive them. Yet, with the passage of a little time, their salvation is unassured. The legalists will claim what it means to be saved is that you have begun living a life that is completely opposite to your old one. In other words, being saved means your performance, your behavior, and your actions are completely morally perfect and flawless. 

 Legalism points to our lives and how we lead them to prove one is saved. They don't to point Jesus' perfect obedience, they point to ours. If we fail to measure up, they will claim it is highly unlikely we were saved to begin with. For if we truly repented when we came to Christ we would be living like Jesus in the here and now. 

 Repentance isn't a change of mind to the legalist. Repentance is a change of lifestyle. A complete change. If we aren't living 100% morally upright it proves we were never made right with God. 

 Grace is so much better than foolishness and legalism. We received new life in Christ by freely trusting in Christ alone. We have been delivered from spiritual death and now possess eternal life. Once we possess this gift of eternal life it is ours forever and cannot be lost. This is what it means to be saved.

 In summation, follow Grace in its fullness and relinquish foolish pseudo-grace and legalism. Don't allow these false ideas of man to take root in your thinking. Instead, stay with the Word, with the Gospel of Grace and the Finished Work of Christ. Grace is amazing and needs no mixture or additives. 

Image by Shaarc from Pixabay 

Monday, November 21, 2022

Grace, Foolishness, or Legalism: Grace and Law?

 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

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...2 Corinthians 8:9a MEV 

 We've begun a series examining the practical aspects of living the Christian life under Grace. The premise of this study is in the form of a question. We are asking if we are walking in true Grace or foolishness or legalism in the practical areas of the Christian life. 

 We have looked at the areas of our understanding of the Christian Faith. We have looked at not throwing stones at others for their convictions. We have looked at what makes Grace so amazing and what diminishes it. 

 Today, it seems good to examine the Law and its place in the life of the Christian. Because the Gospel of Grace is misunderstood sometimes, the Church, the Body of Christ, sadly likes to incorporate aspects of the Law in their lives and ministries. Legalism, therefore, becomes a stronghold rooted in the minds of many.

 What's truly sad is how so many are oblivious to the amount of legalism in their thinking and approach to God. You may ask what about the foolish-minded and Law? The foolish understanding of Law and Grace can quickly be remedied by allowing the Scripture to have the final say.

 What I mean is, the foolish understand the stronghold of Law mixture, so basically they just dismiss any and all commands or any discipleship, or spiritual growth principles. If they ignore it all they won't have any stronghold of legalism. We have the commandment of Love in the New Covenant. We have principles of growth Paul laid out for us. These are not legalistic or burdensome. 

 Loving God and others is a blessing because we first know and understand God loves us and has poured out His Love upon us and within us. This answers the foolish-minded response to Law. Again the legalistic approach being such a stronghold needs much teaching so believers would gain a clear and unobstructed and uncorrupted understanding of the Gospel.  

 One mistaken concept the legalists embrace is that they see every single teaching of Jesus as a New Covenant principle. Not rightly dividing Jesus' words, they mistake the messages for the Nation of Israel, the messages to the lost, this world system, and His expounding and explaining the Law as commands addressed to us, the Church. Christ did speak New Covenant truths. Christ did speak to the Children of Israel. Christ did give warnings to the lost. Christ did preach the fullness of the Law. Which is why we must rightly divide His teachings.

 So when Jesus gives us the total weight of the Law, proving to all mankind our lost condition and need for a Savior, legalism draws the wrong conclusion. They claim Grace has a higher standard of conduct than Law. More clearly stated, they are saying under Grace there are stricter moral commandments than even the 613 commands of the Mosaic Law. 

 When Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, expounded on the Ten Commandments, He was showing Israelites and future peoples, both Jew and Gentile alike that God's standard is absolute perfection. He was revealing to whosoever has ears to hear, that here is the end of your proverbial rope. This is the end of your performance. Jesus was saying, Guess what! Your goodness, your conduct, your behavior, and your performance will never be enough!

 Grace brings us to a place where we truly see our broken and faulty condition before a thrice Holy God. No, not to judge, not to condemn, not to castigate, but to bring us to a place where we can fully receive Grace. As experts tell us, you can't save a drowning man who is still fighting. God gives Grace to the humble, those who have come to an end of themselves, that is, their efforts attempting to appease and please God in their own strength.

Throughout the Scripture we see God rejecting the proud but giving Grace to the humble. God accepted Abel's offering but rejected Cain's. Abel offered it in Faith, which means he was humble before God whereas Cain was not.  

 Another mistaken concept legalism embraces, which in turn strengthens the rooted stronghold in their thinking, is their misunderstanding of the place the Law has today. Countless times I have encountered the legalists who respond to the proclamation of the Gospel of Grace claiming we as the Church are still under the Law because Jesus said He came not to abolish the Law. Therefore, they conclude the Gospel of Grace is a false gospel. Failing to rightly divide Jesus' words and actually ignoring the full passage, they cling to one phrase and ignore the complete text.

17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one dot or one mark will pass from the law until all be fulfilled.  Matthew 5:17-18 MEV

 Jesus truly stated He hadn't come to abolish the Law. However, let's actually read what He said. He said He didn't come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill. Jesus was foreshadowing His coming work of Grace on the Cross. 

 Grace doesn't say the Law has been abolished. Grace doesn't say because we aren't under Law we can now freely steal from our neighbors, lie, covet their possessions, and commit adultery. Jesus fulfilled the Law on our behalf, pouring out His Love upon us and within us. We don't need a list of do's and don'ts to walk in love with others. 

 By fulfilling the Law and the Prophets, Jesus met every requirement justice demanded. Jesus completed the work on our behalf. We can freely receive His Righteousness because Jesus' performance was perfect and provides us all the benefits of right standing, acceptance, and approval with a Loving Father. 

 Legalism produces the confusing and corrupted cocktail of Law and Grace mixture. Legalism says yes receive what Jesus did, but it's still insufficient to find perfect acceptance and approval with the Father. You are still required to meet the standards of the Law, of course, picking and choosing which of the 613 are relevant to keep and observe. 

  Grace says Jesus' work was enough. Grace says When He said it was Finished, He didn't say to be continued, to be perfected, to be completed by our works, our actions, our behavior, or our observance of aspects of the Mosaic Law. Grace says Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Law on our behalf, therefore we are perpetual right standing and acceptance and approval before God our Father.

 In summation, let's stay with Grace. Let's fully embrace the Gospel and allow the truth of Grace to uproot any strongholds of legalistic thinking. It is done, Jesus is enough!

Image by succo from Pixabay 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Grace, Foolishness, or Legalism: What's so Amazing about Grace?

 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

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...2 Corinthians 8:9a MEV

 We've begun a new series examining the practical Christian life lived under Grace. The practical Christian life is expressed in our thinking, our believing, our words, and our daily actions. We've established there are three basic ways of living in light of Grace; abiding under true Grace, abiding under Grace mixed with legalism, or abiding with a foolish understanding of Grace. 

 Let's look at what's so amazing about Grace. Words cannot always contain and express the wonder of His Grace when received in our hearts. We who once served our Lord Jesus in rigorous toil, hoping we'd be good enough to be accepted and approved on a daily basis, can now rest in His completed work on our behalf. 

 When we receive the free gift of eternal life in Christ, that is a time of rejoicing. Yet afterward, some believers struggle with the shame and pain of their past. Still, others, find themselves struggling with bad habits and attitudes that aren't of Love, and often find themselves laboring under condemnation.  

 Grace is so amazing because He stoops down right where we are and lifts us up to Himself. He doesn't wag His finger at us. His arms aren't crossed in displeasing disappointment. Instead, His arms are open wide receiving and accepting us and approving us to the Father. Not because of any good we've done but because of His Goodness and great Grace.

 Legalism sees Grace as momentarily amazing. This lost sinner with no hope of pardon for his many sins finds help and hope in a loving Holy God. He saves them gloriously. What a time of rejoicing. Then the party concludes and now it is time to get busy earning your place in the Father's house.

 Legalism diminishes Grace in favor of our performance, our achievements, and our disciplines exercised perfectly. Grace got us in but it's our actions and behavior that keep us in. Legalism seeks acceptance and approval on what we do and not on what He did alone.

 Legalism is like getting an invitation to a billionaire king's festive at-home reception. Once you have your invitation and enter the palace, you make merry momentarily that you are there but then you quickly begin straightening up the furniture, go help clean the dishes, prepare hor d'oeuvres, and sweep and mop the floors. After all, you're not a celebrity, you were a nobody before the invite, you best earn your place. Before Christ, we were lost and separated by sin, but His Grace remade us new and now we are accepted and approved all because of Jesus.

 Foolishness states no one was ever lost. No human was ever separated or apart from God because of their sinful condition. Some go so far as to say there never was any sinful condition. We were only separated in our thinking. The enemy lied to us telling us we were lost but in reality, we never were. If this is so why the need for the Cross? If this is true, Jesus' suffering, the stripes He took, and the death He died were a colossal waste of time. 

 The fallacy of the foolish-minded is that they believe they are proclaiming Grace but in reality, they are diminishing the impact of His Love, mercy, and Grace. If no one was an enemy of God, no one was lost, no one was born with a fallen nature, and no one was dead in their trespass and sins, then what is so amazing about Grace? 

 It is of no real consequence to show kindness, mercy, grace, and compassion to a good and decent person. How hard is it to forgive your spouse, your children, and your good friend if they make a minimal mistake? Even a stranger in public who mistakenly bumps into us, we are quick to pardon them and assure them it's ok, we know it was a mistake. 

 If God looks at men the same way, then the foolish's theory and theology unwittingly reveal God's Grace is not that amazing. I can hold no grudge against a friend or loved one. I myself can be merciful to someone who hasn't really wronged me. I myself can show Grace to someone who is a good person. It's clear if you ponder and consider that if one isn't really bad then it's not so amazing, so worthy of awe, so deserving of accolades to simply be kind to them. 

 The foolish relies heavily on human rationale, reasoning, and ratiocination. It draws conclusions, not from the Word of God, not from the Gospel proclaimed by Paul, but from emotional and intellectual reasoning. Allow me to illustrate.

 The Gospel says God is always Good. He is Love and merciful and His Grace is amazing. The foolish then rationalize and reason, God is Good, so He was always Good. Therefore no human was ever born lost or with a sinful nature. God is Love so therefore God could never have any anger or judgment whatsoever. God's Grace is amazing, so everyone must be saved, no one was ever lost either because Grace would never allow that to happen. The enemy must have lied to people to convince them they were. 

 None of these ideas or notions has any confirmation in Scripture. Because of this, the foolish rationalize the passages that proclaim the contrary aren't really true. Those words recorded were by men who didn't have an understanding of God and therefore we can reject them. 

 I trust you can see how the foolish misunderstand Grace and prop up mistaken ideas that are not confirmed with the authority of Scripture. Let's not diminish and dilute Grace by thinking we are preaching Grace by saying no one was lost or born in sin, or an enemy of God in our thinking and actions. 

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

 We don't make Grace great by diminishing its impact on humanity. By proclaiming no one was ever separated in sin, or in need of a Savior we dilute and decrease the amazing Grace of our Savior. Grace is a free gift offered to all. It reveals our impossibly lost condition and offers a hopeful, freeing, and joyful way out. Grace says your sins may be many, your condition may be spiritual death, but I have a new life, the God kind of Life, that is freely yours if you simply accept and receive it. 

 Allow me to illustrate even further how Grace and legalism and foolishness can be seen using a real-life figure in history. Adolf Hitler, the German Chancellor, systematically brought about genocide, great suffering, and war across Europe during his reign until his death. Now imagine if Hitler had been captured alive and placed before a tribunal judge who had the power to imprison and execute Hitler or simply pardon him. 

 Imagine if you will while Hitler stood before this judge, suddenly a Jewish man entered the court and ask to appear on Hitler's behalf. Imagine if this Jewish man said though this man's sin is heinous, horrendous, and has brought about unspeakable horror, I'd like to take his place. I will take his punishment of death upon myself, he need simply to accept it. The innocent would freely take the place of the guilty. This is true Grace.

 Legalism would look like this, I will take his place either in a prison cell, or an execution chamber, but first I want him to earn this favor. If he promises to not make any more mistakes, not hate anymore, not try to conquer neighboring lands then and only then will I take his place. If he fails more than once, then impose the sentence of death upon him again. 

 Foolishness would look like this, Hitler guilty? What's wrong with you judge? No one can really be that bad. Hitler wasn't really that terrible a person. Surely, we've all made mistakes in life, there is no difference, and all mistakes are the same. I don't think any good judge would hold anyone accountable for their deeds. Any good judge would pardon everyone no matter what. In fact, if you find him guilty, he will be pardoned soon after, for all are pardoned...

 In summation, let's abide under true Grace and relinquish the bonds of legalism and the error of the foolish. Let's continue under Grace. Let's live life loved by our Great Shepherd Jesus Christ.  


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Monday, November 7, 2022

Grace, Foolishness, or legalism: Reformation, Reconstruction or Deconstruction?

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

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...2 Corinthians 8:9a MEV

 We've begun a series studying the practical aspects of the Christian life lived under Grace. We are examining various areas of our lives and asking ourselves a question. Are we under Grace or are we walking in foolishness or legalism? 

 Let's again define our terms so there is no miscommunication.  Legalism is excessive adherence to Law or some formula, with the goal of achieving greater acceptance, approval, favor, love, and earned blessings from God. Foolishness means to proceed with folly, being void of understanding and sound judgment, foolishness produces the perversion and/or corruption of the genuine. 

 Grace is the Good News Gospel of Jesus and His Finished Work. When God opened the eyes of a megachurch pastor in Singapore the Grace Reformation swept the lands. God restored the Gospel of Jesus. It was pure Jesus from beginning to end. The Grace reformation took the attention away from man's performance and ability and simply placed Jesus back into the central focus of the Gospel.

 The Grace reformation simply reminded us that God isn't mad at us. God Loves us eternally. That God in Christ has reconciled us and Jesus gave us His Righteousness as a free gift. It brought greater clarity to the Finished Work. God in Christ has forgiven us of all our sins past present and future. God has accepted and approved us because of Jesus' redemptive work and the free gift of Righteousness. His blood purchased eternal redemption for all who believe therefore we are eternally secure. This is the Grace reformation.

 Legalism, birthed from the traditions of men, has instead attempted to reconstruct the Gospel. They add other steps we must take in order to find divine acceptance. Paul simply said believe in Jesus and you will be saved.  Legalism says that's not enough. We must first commit to God that we will cease all our wrongdoing and feel guilt and sorrow for our life choices and then turn away from our sin, then and only then will God save you. 

 Some other groups even insist we go back to observing Mosaic Laws and customs and the feast days. As if observing Passover, Pentecost, or Tabernacles will cause us to become more spiritual or create a greater power within us and greater intimacy with God. The Gospel stands alone from man's works and tradition. The Gospel doesn't need reconstructing.

 For the foolish, many have adopted the deconstruction concept concerning the Gospel. While it is true that we can gain greater insight and greater understanding by asking hard questions, deconstruction never stops there. Deconstruction ultimately wrecks and tears down the fundamentals of the Gospel in exchange for that which is more palatable to modern progressive mindsets.

 I have observed multiple supposed believers who have ascribed to this notion of deconstruction over several years. I have also witnessed whole churches and ministries embrace deconstruction. What is the end result? Without fail, the vast majority so far deconstruct the Gospel so that they end up sunk in the mire of agnosticism, atheism, and postmodernism. 

 I have seen believers fall away, churches close their doors, and ministries fold as they embrace this foolish idea of deconstruction. Of those churches and ministries that yet remain, I chuckle at the hypocrisy as they backtrack on deconstructing one aspect of the Christian Faith. They were quick to deconstruct the inerrancy of Scripture, the need to read the Word, the concept of personal faith, eternal judgment, and fellowshipping of the saints (involvement in a local church.)

 Many were also quick to deconstruct the principle of giving. Suddenly the church leaders and ministries promoting this foolish message found themselves unable to get a salary from their church or ministry as people quit giving. They quickly retracted much of what they proclaimed about giving. 

 Deconstruction seeks to form and fashion a god of man's own design. This god almost always confirms to modern progressive man's views and beliefs without objection. This god alters and updates its beliefs as the modern age changes theirs. 

 Deconstruction is not about simply seeking understanding for hard questions. It seeks to dismantle and demolish the basics of the Christian Faith. It denies the Bible as being God's Word. It pushes the concepts of universalism/inclusionism. It denies the existence of an eternal Hell and any form of future judgment from God. It also promotes the concept that going to church or being involved in church is somehow a burden and a work. 

 In summation, reconstruction and deconstruction are not the Gospel. They are man's attempt at creating a god fashioned from their own design. The Gospel is Good news. The Gospel is so good it needs no help from man to "finish" it or make it more palatable. Let's abide under Pure Grace, not foolishness or legalism.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Grace, Foolishness or Legalism?

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

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...2 Corinthians 8:9a MEV

 We're going to start a new study. This study will be introduced in the form of a question. We are asking ourselves how we are living our Christian life in the practical, everyday issues of life. The question we are asking is are we operating in Grace, foolishness, or legalism? 

 Let's begin by defining our terms so there is no confusion. Let's start with legalism. In general, most Christians believe they know what legalism is. Even the religious traditional minded claim to know what it is, but sometimes they can't see it in their own actions or thinking. 

  Legalism is excessive adherence to Law or some formula, with the end goal to achieve greater acceptance, approval, favor, and love from God. Those captured by legalism, are strongly persuaded that strict adherence to the formula, the Law, and the principle alone will earn them blessings and benefits from the Father. Legalism is the default setting in man, which is why we should be aware of our motives in living the Christian life.

 As for foolishness, it may seem foolish, pardon the pun, to be aware of this way of thinking and believing, but it's something we must guard against. Foolishness means to proceed with folly, being void of understanding and sound judgment, being unwise, impudent, and thoughtless. Foolishness concerning Grace and the New Covenant is rooted in all these things which then produce the perversion and/or corruption of the genuine. We must guard against this in our thinking and believing.

 What is Grace? Grace is the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ. Grace is the unearned, undeserved, unmerited favor of God. When Grace is received freely and fully it brings a divine influence on the heart. 

 Grace is a gift, it's not a wage earned. If something begins with do this, cease that, give this much, then it's not a gift but a wage being earned. Anything that points to one's achievements or to one's many failures is not Grace, but an evaluation of work performed or underperformed. When the focus rests solely on Jesus Christ and His performance, His becoming a curse to redeem us from the curse, His perfect obedience, and Finished Work then you're receiving a gift, then you're abiding under Grace.

 Too often in the Christian life, the portrait is painted that we as children of God are always falling short of His glory. We are missing the mark more than we should. We must find and detect and correct our disobedient ways. Then Father God will finally be pleased with us. Then our Father will hear and answer our prayers. Then He will turn His face toward us. Then He will provide for us, heal us, and bring protection and deliverance to us. Brothers and sisters this isn't the Gospel of Grace, this is the bad news of wage-earning religious tradition.

 With the understanding of our terms let's begin seeing how this is applied in our walk with God in light of hearing the Gospel of Grace. We will begin examining practical areas of our lives and see if we can locate where we are in our understanding of the Gospel. Since this is the introductory lesson we can begin with something simple.

 Being this is the end of October 2022 as of this writing, we have an issue that can easily help locate us in Grace. In a few days, it will be Halloween. This can be a contentious issue among some believers. Personally, I don't "celebrate" Halloween. Not for any spiritual issues, it's simply that I am an adult and I've always felt Halloween is very childish. 

 For some though Halloween is a serious issue. Due to the occultic practices associated with the history of this day, some say it shouldn't be celebrated by Christians. What does Grace say?

 God through Paul tells us all things are lawful but not all things are profitable. As for actual pagan practices like seances or other powerless counterfeits, surely we as Christians know we have free access to our Father we need no silly ceremony. That said what about the holiday in general?

 Legalism looks like this if I decorate my yard with pumpkins, or give candy to trick or treaters then God will be mad at me. Legalism says to the parent praying for a blessing of some kind, I better not take little Johnny trick or treating or I won't receive. Legalism brings fear of punishment.

 Foolishness looks at the holiday and says I am going to celebrate all the darkness I want I am free to do whatever I want. Foolishness will look down upon other Christians who for their own reasons don't celebrate the holiday. They will chide and even mock them for not being "free." Foolishness takes the cloak of freedom and uses it to indulge the flesh and disregards any leading from the Spirit.

 Grace says God loves us whether we "celebrate" this holiday or not. Grace says follow your conscience on this issue. Grace says follow Christ's Word for you. Grace says be a good witness of Grace to others.

 One thing to note. October 31st is also Reformation Day. This is the day Martin Luther pinned the 95 theses on the door of castle church in Germany. The enemy may want to magnify occultism, witchcraft, and scary things on Oct 31, but God magnifies the message of Grace, that we are justified by Faith alone not by works. 

 In summation, let's celebrate Grace. Let's be aware of our motives in our daily life. Let's give place to Grace. Grace is the Gospel and Good News!


Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Another Mistaken Idea: Tongues were merely for evangelizing in foreign languages

For the one speaking in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; indeed, no one understands him, yet he is speaking mysteries by the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:2 Mounce

 Nothing can bring more misunderstanding, misdirection, and misconception in the life of the believer than mistaken ideas concerning God. Nothing can trip up the believer more than mistaken ideas concerning His Word. Therefore, periodically, we address these mistaken ideas and shed the light of the Gospel truth on them.

 When it comes to praying in the Spirit or speaking with tongues, a major mistaken idea has formed in light of the tradition of men. Traditional religion, in a vain effort to conceal their unbelief, has perpetrated an absurd idea concerning evangelism and tongues. This mistaken idea allows and gives credence to a powerless, faithless Christian expression. 

 When the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, He ushered in a new way of living, a new expression of power and praise, and a more personal intimacy between the Father and His Family. With His coming, Jesus began baptizing believers in the Spirit. The timid become bold. The weak triumphant in Christ.

 The Church was also given Grace gifts to confirm the Word. With all these amazing gifts and benefits, tradition found a way to make the Word of no effect in the lives of believers. Tradition says tongues and the fullness of the Spirit are not for today because they have served their purpose.

 Tradition's mistaken idea is that speaking with tongues was merely for evangelizing in foreign lands. They cite a mere portion of the events of the day of Pentecost when the Spirit was poured out. They've lifted the verses out of full context in Acts 2 to prove this absurdity.

 Looking at the full events of Acts 2 we can see how mistaken this idea is. The idea is that since the Jews gathered from all nations in Jerusalem at this time heard the believers speaking tongues in their own languages, thus eventually getting saved. This means tongues were merely about the Apostles being gifted to preach to foreigners. Actually reading the second chapter of Acts clearly refutes this.

 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:4 NKJV

 If tongues were merely about evangelism, who were the 120 preaching to in the upper room? Each other? Was Peter preaching to John to get saved? Was Andrew preaching to Mary to trust in Christ? Also, why would they be speaking in a foreign language when they all spoke the same language? 

 When Peter preached to the multitudes he didn't speak in tongues to share the Gospel. Clearly, he didn't speak some thirty dialects all at once, that's impossible. He spoke in his native Hebrew, remember all those gathered were also Jews, the diaspora Jews so they would know Hebrew, and there would be no need to "speak in tongues to preach the Gospel."

 Let's go further in debunking this absurd claim. Look at Acts 10 and the account of the Baptism in the Spirit and tongues there.

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Acts 10:44-46 NKJV

 Again the mistaken idea is that speaking with tongues was merely for the purpose of evangelizing to foreigners. You can't get more foreign than Cornelius. He was Italian and Peter was Hebrew. 
 So what happened here? Peter was preaching to Cornelius' household in his known tongue. Suddenly, the Spirit falls upon Cornelius' household and they get filled with the Spirit and speak with tongues. 

 So who was Cornelius preaching to? Peter? Peter needed to get saved? I trust you're tracking with me and seeing how absurd this mistaken idea truly is. 

 You can see further proof in Acts 19 when Paul laid hands on the Ephesian disciples. This mistaken idea is clearly debunked when we stay with God's Word and simply read it. Tradition and the Word don't mix.

 Tradition forms and formulates ideas based on man's experience and a mere scanning over the Bible instead of actually reading it. Tradition shields itself within these mistaken ideas. It provides blinders so as not to see its weakness, its lack of power, and its Faithless condition. 

 Tongues are supernatural gifting of Grace to build up the believer. To provide greater intimacy in prayer. Are the number one source for receiving wisdom and clarity in our daily life. Tongues provide the believer with rest and refreshing in a weary world. 

 In summation, stay with God and His Word. His Word debunks the traditions of men. His Word is Truth and the final authority. His Grace supplies all we need to live in victory in this life. Don't neglect so great a gift as the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the powerful prayer language the Spirit gives. It's because of Grace, and it's for you!
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Monday, October 10, 2022

Beyond the Upper Room

  For he who speaks in an unknown tongue does not speak to men, but to God. For no one understands him, although in the spirit, he speaks mysteries... I desire that you all speak in tongues... 1 Corinthians 14:2, 5a MEV

 This blog site is designed to be a resource for Christians to grow in Faith and Grace. The entirety of the articles/studies are all rooted and grounded upon the foundation of the Finished Work, The Gospel of Grace. On this site, one will find studies, or lessons on a variety of topics pertaining to the victorious Christian life. Healing, prosperity, Faith, eternal security, our Righteousness in Christ, and tackling religious traditions of men. There is another topic of study that is of vital importance in living successfully.

 This is the understanding of the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives. This is not without much controversy in the Body of Christ. As I have stated previously, it seems the three most controversial topics in Christian circles are the three Ts. Tongues, tithes and end-times. 

 Since I am unafraid of controversy I will follow the leading of the Spirit and begin discussing the wonderful Grace gift of Tongues. When addressing Tongues, it's best sometimes to allow the ignorant and unbelieving to stay ignorant and unbelieving. It's good to present the Good News of this Grace gift and those who desire will respond and receive all God has for them.

 We must first understand Tongues are for more than just the initial evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. This heavenly language is so much more than that. There are many benefits for praying in the Spirit. Great power and great understanding and insight are released within our spirits when we pray in the Spirit.

 The Apostle Paul taught us the most on this beautiful prayer language we have been given through God's Grace. A powerful truth was revealed to us in Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians. He rightly divides a passage from Isaiah. Isaiah prophesied of the power of praying in the Spirit

  For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, To whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; Yet they would not hear. Isaiah 28:11-12 NKJV

 Praying in other tongues on a continual and consistent basis brings a refreshing that nothing in this world can produce or duplicate. This spiritual refreshing begins in our inward man and works its way completely toward our outward man. There exists no pill, no drug, no experience this world offers than can compare to the replenishing rest and refreshing realized through praying in the Spirit.

 Praying in other tongues brings to us insight and wisdom. We live in a fractured and fragmented creation. Confusion, chaos, disorder and disaray surround us daily. Therefore it can become a challenge to make right decisions, good decisions, beneficial decisions in an upside down world. This is why it is vital to successful living to incorporate Tongues in our daily prayer life.

 When we pray in tongues we are taking a step back from the world's way of doing and thinking. We are in a sense separating ourselves unto God. We are in divine communication with our Father and awaiting His wisdom, His insight, His truth. 

 Now some under tradition, which is in reality a cover for unbelief, will argue that simply praying in their native tongue will produce the same result. While it is true, we can pray for wisdom, God went out of His way to prove to us that there is a greater way to pray and receive wisdom and insight. And that greater way is to pray in the Spirit. 

 This world system is contrary to God and all His ways. Their idea of truth often runs contrary to what God has declared to be true. As people living in the world, we are continually bombarded with the world's propaganda if you will. They determine what is right and wrong. They determine what is truth and what is false. Again, so often their idea of truth and what is right contradicts what God has declared in His Word.

 With all their voices in media, print, and entertainment we have to proverbially unplug from the noise around us and center our hearts and mind on what our Father has spoken about us and declared over us. Praying in tongues is the most effective way to accomplish this. Because praying in the Spirit is praying not from our head, that is our intellect, or the natural, but praying from our spirit, the inward man of the heart. 

 In summation, receive all God's Grace has brought us. Never mind tradition, the unbelief of man. Take all God has for you to live the victorious overcoming life. Step into the supernatural power of a loving Father who wants your best. Don't let the lies of the enemy and religion impede you saying tongues have ceased or are not for all believers. God is Good Father and no respecter of persons. His Grace gifts are for all His children. Receive the fullness of His Spirit and the beautiful accompanying divine prayer language. He's made you worthy to receive. Take it it's yours.

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