Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Why you can have bold Faith even when you fail.

Praise the Lord, all you nations! Exalt Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! Psalm 117 MEV    

 Have you ever had a need but were hesitant to pray for it to be met? Have you had a crisis situation arise suddenly but lacked the confidence to call out to God in the midst of it? Has someone ever asked you to pray with them or for them but felt your prayers would be hindered and ineffective?

 In these times, times that I dare say all believers have experienced, what was the cause of the lack of confidence? What was the root of the feelings of inadequacy? Why the hesitancy to pray? Why the sense that our prayers would be hindered and ineffective?

 The reason for all the uncertainty is the thinking that we weren't qualified at that moment to receive from God. We believed that God would not hear us or that our Faith would falter. Why?

 The reason is there is a teaching in many many Christian circles that has caused us to disqualify ourselves from receiving from God. This teaching is pervasive throughout the many quarters of the Body of Christ. The teaching that our sins and shortcomings and failures will cause God to break fellowship with us and not hear or answer our prayers.

 This teaching is rooted in two passages of Scripture.

Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good things from you. Jeremiah 5:25 MEV 

 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me; Psalm 66:18 MEV

 Take note these passages were written during the Old Covenant. A Covenant that was rooted in man's ability to keep the commandments and observe the Mosaic Law. These passages are in direct contrast with the entire premise of the New Covenant.

 The New Covenant is rooted in Christ's performance not our own. The New Covenant is founded upon the Finished Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Covenant is based upon the Father fully accepting the substitutionary work of His only Son. God affirmed that to all those who believed He would be God to them and they would be a people to Him. Because of Jesus we are accepted and approved by God our Father.

 He made the New Covenant superior to the Old when He also decreed as a result of the Work of His Son He would not remember our sins any longer. This aspect of the New Covenant is seemingly dismissed or neglected by so many believers. How can I say this? Because the teaching that God will not hear or answer prayer because of our sins is so pervasive throughout the Church.

 This Old Covenant teaching about sin and the corresponding unanswered prayer is why so many struggle in Faith. They look so often at their own works, their own performance, and their own behavior. They see failure, shortcomings, and sinful deeds and conclude surely God would not respond to any request to answer prayer, to bless, to heal, to deliver, or to provide. 

 This is natural reasoning based on Old Covenant thinking. Many Bible teachers use these passages to disqualify God's people from receiving from Him. It's not that they are malicious or trying to harm people. They are just repeating what they were taught. These beliefs are strongholds that can only be pulled down by a fresh understanding of the New Covenant and the Finished Work of Christ.

 David's words recorded reveal something that leads us to the correct understanding concerning this New Covenant. He stated if he regards iniquity in his heart God won't hear him. David reveals that his sin consciousness caused him to shrink back believing that God wouldn't hear him. God didn't tell David this, he just believed this. Many today, are doing the same, disqualifying themselves. 

 The answer to disqualification is to remember who we are now in Christ. Jesus gave us His Righteousness. He made us Righteous in this new creation. What does it mean to be Righteous?

 Righteousness is God's gift of no condemnation. Righteousness is that gift whereby we can stand before God without any sense of condemnation, guilt, shame, insecurity, or inferiority. Righteousness is that gift where we who believed are in perpetual right standing with God. Righteousness is that gift that grants us perfect acceptance and approval from our Heavenly Father. Righteousness is that blessing David spoke of, the person who God no longer imputes sin or uncleanness. This is the Gift of Righteousness.

 Here is the good news, we can have bold Faith even when we fail. Why? Because Jesus has made us Righteous. Because God is no longer imputing sin to us. 

 Faith is having a good opinion of God. That God loves us so much He gave us His Son. If He gave us His best, there is nothing He will withhold from us. Faith is being fully persuaded that what God said He will do, He will do. Faith is unwavering confident trust in His Word. 

  Even David describes the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness without works: “Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” Romans 4:6-8 MEV

 Why can we have bold Faith even when we fail? We have bold Faith because He remembers our sins and iniquities no more. Because we have been forgiven of all our sins, past present, and future. Because He is not imputing sin to us. We have a good opinion of God because of Jesus!

 In summation, no longer accept anything disqualifying you. No longer accept the concept that your sin is a barrier to your Faith. No longer shrink back seeing yourself as not good enough or worthy to receive. Come boldly before the throne of Grace and freely petition the Father because Jesus made a new and living way for us to come to the Father.

 This New Covenant is rooted in Jesus' work and the Father has accepted that work. You can have confident Faith that God hears and answers your prayers because you're declared Righteous. You can stand before God without any sense of guilt or inferiority or condemnation. You can ask boldly and be fully persuaded you will receive, all because of the Finished Work of Christ, and the Gift of Righteousness.   

 pastor Joseph Prince has a whole message he taught on this, highly encourage you to listen. 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Is His Grace enough?


For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 MOUNCE 

For you have been delivered by grace through trusting, and even this is not your accomplishment but God’s gift. You were not delivered by your own actions; therefore no one should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 CJB

I would like to ask an honest question concerning the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and salvation. Is Grace truly enough? Is Trust in Christ alone sufficient? Is there something else we must do?

 There is within the Body of Christ, various believers who adamantly oppose the idea that salvation is received simply by trusting in Christ alone. That Salvation is not just by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone. Rather than this, salvation is really about change. Changing one's ways, their actions, continually acknowledging they are a sinner, and persevering in a life free of sin, enduring till the end. This doctrine has been called reformed theology.

 Not to be disparaging or derogatory, but I would agree it is reforming. It has reformed the Gospel from the Gospel of Grace to a gospel of works and performance. After hearing some comments and commentaries of the proponents of this message I was truly astonished by their theological views. They put much emphasis on the sovereignty of God and very little on God's Love, mercy, compassion, and His great Grace.

 Religion does its best to find ways to disqualify and declare ineligible God's people, and the lost looking for help and hope in a fallen world. Whereas Grace has approved all to receive by simply believing, religion disapproves all until they meet certain requirements, stipulations, and requisites. Religion gives you a thumbs down, but God's Grace and love give you a thumbs up.

 This reformed ideology is where Lordship salvation was birthed. The idea is that what one must do to be saved is to not only believe but also repent for all their sins, not merely apologizing for them, but turning away from all sin completely. If one still has desires for sin then this proves they were never "converted" or saved. Even if one were to live a moral life for several years but later fall into sin, this proves they were never saved, never making Jesus Lord of their life. 

 Where is mercy in this theology? Where is God's Love in this kind of thinking? Where is God's Grace to be found in any of this teaching? When Peter denied Christ, did that mean he never believed in Jesus as the Messiah? Of course not.

 This works and performance gospel, believes there are millions of professing Christians who will die and end up in hell, lost and separated forever. Not only are they dismissing Grace, but they are also promoting doom and gloom messaging. They are presenting The Father as a wrathful angry God to all. God was angry at injustice and the pain and suffering sin caused, so He did something about it, He sent His Son to suffer all the pain, punishment, and judgment of sin. 

 Religion is rooted in the sensory realm. It is mankind attempting to relate to, and understand God based on intellect, reason, and the senses. Just as traditional religion rejects the supernatural, signs and wonders, divine healing and provision, and the Gifts of the Spirit in operation today because of intellectual reasoning, they also reject the Grace and mercy towards the fallen by reasoning Grace doesn't allow for long term mistakes, misdeeds, or immorality.

 Is His Grace enough? Is His Grace enough to be saved when we simply believe? Is His Grace enough even when we fail, falter, foul-up, or just plain sin? What else must we do to be saved? What can we do if we have failed or fallen? 

 When we are serving the austere taskmaster instead of the Father,  there isn't much hope. We will continually beat ourselves up, walk-in condemnation, and try to earn the attention and affection of God. When we through reason, intellect, and what we sense, try to understand and relate to God we will always feel distant, and displeasing to God.

 The root of this false gospel is self-righteousness and pride. Reformed theology is basically Calvinistic. Calvinism teaches that God sovereignly chooses who will be saved and who will be lost, that He ordains some to salvation and some to eternal separation. The proponents of this false gospel believe they were the chosen, therefore pride and arrogance swell within their minds, intellect, and emotions.    

 All the while they are passing judgment on the salvation of others, none of the accusations and condemnation they hurl at others ever comes their way. This is how this false gospel spreads among the proponents of reformed theology. If they believe they are the chosen, they then can pass condemnation and judgment on others freely.

 Again, I ask, is His Grace enough? The answer is a resounding yes! Grace wrecks this false gospel. Grace reveals we are all unworthy apart from Christ. Grace reveals that it is His Grace from start to finish. We trust in this Grace, we boast in His Love for us, never our works or performance or even our behavior. We trust in His Goodness and Love alone.

 Salvation is simply trusting in Christ alone. This New Covenant reveals what we must do to be saved. Jesus and Paul the Apostle layout how simple salvation really is

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

 Paul let us know just how simple salvation is. Paul didn't say believe, and change your behavior, your thinking, promise to do better, commit every single aspect of your life and you just might be saved. He simply said believe. 

 The Gospel is Good News! The Gospel is the Grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ. The Gospel reveals God isn't mad at anyone. The Gospel reveals how much God loves you. The Gospel reveals how much He loves me. The Gospel heralds the acceptance and approval God has made available to whosoever will receive it. 

 Grace is enough. God doesn't ask that we get our act together. God doesn't give us a timetable to meet His standards. He doesn't put us on a probationary status. His Grace is sufficient. 

 God is a loving Father who sought a family. He sowed His Son and reaped a family. He gave us His best because of His great love toward us. We can't earn our place in His family, or kingdom. We can't do enough to qualify. We can't perform well enough to earn our keep. All He asks is that we believe. 

 In summation, man is looking to earn their keep. To prove they were worth saving. God is simply wanting us to enjoy this eternal life He paid such a high price for. God wants everyone to know and experience His Love. For all those who responded God wants you to know God isn't mad at you. God is pleased with you. God wants your highest and best. Your His beloved, the one in whom Jesus loves. Receive the true Gospel, the Gospel of Grace, accept no substitute. In Him, you're greatly blessed, highly favored, and deeply loved. 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Redeemed from the curse of sickness and disease.


Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Galatians 3:13 BSB

 We've been in a study examining our redemption from the curse of the Law. We've seen that the curse is threefold. That though the curse covers various areas of life it can be summed up as a threefold affliction. The curse is poverty and lack, spiritual death, and sickness and disease.

 So far we've seen how poverty and lack isn't something the Lord delights in. Looking at the earthly ministry of Jesus one could never conclude God takes pleasure in poverty or scarcity. This message of abundance and prosperity must stay centered of course. Prosperity isn't "balanced" by accepting a little lack and insufficiency, nor is it "balanced" by concluding all will be millionaires, and that all God cares about is our material gain. 

 We've seen how Jesus' Finished Work of Redemption forever redeemed us from spiritual death. We are never again to be separated from our Father. We are forgiven and made eternally secure forever.

 Sickness and disease are part of the curse, see Deuteronomy 28. The good news is in His Redemptive work, Christ also redeemed us from the curse of sickness and disease. Isaiah and Matthew and Peter speaking of Jesus' work on the cross, declared He bore our sickness and pains and by His stripes, we were healed.

In fact, it was our diseases he bore, our pains from which he suffered; yet we regarded him as punished, stricken and afflicted by God. Isaiah 53:4 CJB

Surely he has borne our sickness and carried our suffering;
yet we considered him plagued, struck by God, and afflictedBut he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5 WEB 

 Jesus has procured for us our healing and wholeness in His perfect Redemptive work. He bore sickness and disease so we never need to bear it. Sickness and disease aren't the handiwork of God. He is the author of Goodness, not evil. 

 Some seriously ignorant and misguided religious tradition-minded believers and ministers teach and believe healing was not in the work of the cross. They write books, preach sermons, host seminars, create videos, and flood social media doing all they can to convince the masses of this. They believe and teach that this healing only speaks of the healing of sin.

 This sounds real spiritual but we were not sick or disease-ridden with sin. The Word is quite clear. We were not sick with sins and therefore needed to be healed from sin. We were dead in sins. Because of sin, we were all spiritually dead. We didn't need healing we needed new life. Paul revealed our condition, we were dead and needed to be made new. In Christ, we are a New Creation, not a "healed" old creation.

 Healing is ours through the Redemptive Work of Jesus. When we see all the types and shadows of the Passover lamb, the sacrifices offered by the priests, none of the animals were ever scourged and tortured. Yet Jesus, the Lamb of God was shamed, humiliated, scourged, and tortured. Why? 

 Jesus took the chastisement of our peace, our wholeness, and by His wounds, we were healed. Jesus bore the pain and shame for the joy set before Him. He gladly took our place, for the joy of seeing us healed and being made whole. Our healing, our deliverance, and our protection were a joy set before Him. He willingly gave His body for us.

 Now some have said in light of what we can see around us, and the experience of others, that we don't need messages about how God wants us to avoid suffering, but how to endure suffering better. This sounds noble and I am certain those espousing this mean well, but what exactly are we to suffer? What do we need to endure?

 Are we to suffer poverty and lack? Are we to suffer sickness and disease? If we are to endure suffering better, and we are meant to suffer what Christ bore on the cross, then why are so many gainfully employed? Why are so many using medicine and seeking help from the medical field to get better? 

 These phrases are poetic in nature but we must use the Word of God as our source for truth. In a fallen and fractured world, challenges and afflictions may arise. The key to enduring better is to first and foremost understand God isn't the author of suffering, loss, or affliction. 

 The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 34 that in this world there are troubles, fears, and afflictions. Thanks be to God he doesn't stop there. Through it all, God is there with us. God is bringing us through them. God is also delivering us from these afflictions. 

 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of sickness and disease. Healing is God's highest and best for His children. Sickness and disease are the work of the enemy. God procured our healing and wholeness in the Finished Work. Freely receive it.

 Because healing is a work of Redemption, we, therefore, can't earn or merit it. Healing is a work of Grace, not our effort. We can't ever arrive at a place whereby we are good enough to receive. We can't do enough, give enough, serve enough to merit or earn healing. It is freely received by Grace through Faith alone.

 In summation, rejoice in the Good News of our Redemption. We are redeemed from poverty. We are redeemed from sickness. We are redeemed from spiritual death. For poverty, He has given us wealth, for sickness, health, for spiritual death, eternal life. Jesus has perfectly purchased and procured our redemption. We are healed and whole because of Jesus. Claim what Christ has purchased and provided freely, and walk in it. Let the Redeemed say so, we are healed because of Jesus!

Image by chiplanay from Pixabay

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Redeemed from the Curse: Redeemed from Spiritual Death


Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Galatians 3:13 BSB 

 We've begun a series studying our Redemption from the Curse of the Law. We have seen just what this curse entails. The curse is threefold; poverty, sickness, and spiritual death. 

 We've seen that we have been redeemed from poverty and lack. God's great Love for us includes increase, provision, supply, and sufficiency. Tradition has forgotten that God is the Almighty, the All-Sufficient One. They have fought for so long to exclude any provision for this life from the Gospel presentation and benefits of salvation. 

 I acknowledge that there have been excesses surrounding prosperity. Sadly, it's our default setting as people to gravitate towards extremes on either side of truth. Brother Kenneth E. Hagin did a masterful job in his book The Midas Touch of addressing these excesses while still upholding Biblical truth concerning prosperity. 

 Balancing truth doesn't mean we look to opposite extremes. We don't balance Faith with unbelief, we don't balance healing with sickness, and we don't balance Grace with Law. In addressing prosperity and provision, we also don't create a new gospel, the "suffering gospel", where agony, anguish, and affliction bring better acceptance with God. A Gospel where trauma and tragedy are what prove our true devotion, our worth, our value, and our sincere commitment to God. That is a works gospel, our worth and value and acceptance come from Jesus' suffering not our own. 

 Redemption is the Good News. It's the glad tidings of all Jesus died for and arose to ensure we'd receive. Sure, there are excesses but don't throw the truth away because of error. Look at how David saw our Good God. Look at how Moses saw God. Look at Jesus in His earthly ministry. He fed the multitudes, He paid off debts through miraculous means, He brought financial increase to Peter through a boat sinking catch. God is a God of abundance, don't allow unbelieving believers to rob this aspect of redemption from you. 

 Let's look at the next aspect of Redemption. Jesus has redeemed us from spiritual death. What is spiritual death? Death in our minds means to cease to exist. That is man's definition of death, that is not God's. 

 Death in the Bible simply means separation. What about physical death then? When we don't understand man is a tri-part being we don't understand spiritual truths. When a person dies their spirit separates from the natural body. They don't cease to exist. They are still in existence in one of two places. If they rejected Grace they are in Hell. If they received Christ they are in Heaven.

 Let's see this curse in Scripture;

but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:17 MEV

 We know from Scripture that when Adam and Eve ate of the tree they continued living for many many years. Did God miss it? Was He mistaken? No, when they ate they tasted and partook of spiritual death. Mankind from that point on are born spiritually separated from God. 

 What people misunderstand about redemption is that they only see God forgiving our sins because of the Cross. Yet if all God did was forgive sins we'd still be lost and on our way to eternity in Hell. We needed to be regenerated. To be made a new creation. 

 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 MEV

 Through God's great work of Redemption Christ paid the price whereby all can receive new life spiritually. Christ bought us back from death, separation, and the kingdom of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of light. The moment one simply believes, they are instantly given new life, a recreated spirit, forgiven forever, and placed in the Family of God, the kingdom of light never to be lost again.

 Because of the redemption from spiritual death, the believer in Christ shall never be separated from God. Religion teaches that when we sin or blow it we are out of fellowship with God. That somehow our sin has made us distant from our Heavenly Father. Thanks be to God that is an untruth, and this precious work of redemption ensures we will never be apart from God, no matter what. 

 If we are redeemed from something we never need to fear that something again. We are redeemed from spiritual death. Therefore we who have believed are secure forever. How can the redeemed partake of spiritual death again? To say we can be lost again after believing is to say this redemptive work was insufficient and faulty and didn't fully pay the price for all eternity. In Christ, we are forever secure because of this powerful and precious gift of redemption.

 In summation, rejoice we have a Good God who is bigger than our situation and circumstance. He is greater than anything we are facing and will always be there for us, He will never let us down. God has perfectly purchased our redemption because of His great Love and Grace. We are redeemed. We shall never be lost or separated from God again. He is with us always. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net