Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Developing the Faith that takes

 23 For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them. Mark 11:23-24 WEB

 God is always for us and never against us. God has purchased and provided all things we as believers in Christ need for life and Godliness. His Grace has made all these things available for all His children to reach out and take them.

 Grace has made and Faith lays hold of it. Said it more plainly, Grace makes and Faith takes. Grace therefore isn't a passive way of living. Living the life of Grace and Faith is not a non-participative, inactive, uninvolved kind of life. 

 Christianity is not for couch potatoes. For instance, if you as a believer are seeking gainful employment, certainly spend some time in God's Word and remind yourself of who you are in Him. Of course take the time to declare His favor over you, but if you spend all your hours in a day playing video games and never actively pursuing work chances are high you will never get a job. 

 Believers, speaking to the brothers and sisters who are single, if you desire a spouse, sitting on your couch eating ice cream all day, or just hanging out with the guys all the time can be a distraction to your goal. Brothers and sisters, you are going to have invest in yourself first. Find ways to improve social skills, develop personal hygiene, and yes ladies, eventually you're going to have to say yes to a Christian man when they ask you out. 

 Simple point is we have a Father who loves us and a Savior that died for us, purchasing and providing all things we need to succeed in the life that now is and the one to come. Grace made it, but Faith reaches out and takes it. In light of this truth, we can learn how to develop this Faith that takes.

 I want to point to two occurrences in the New Testament perfectly illustrating this Faith that takes. Two perfect examples of this Faith that just absolutely will not quit. Let's examine the healing of the paralytic man and the woman with the issue of blood.

 In the Gospel of Mark chapter 2, we can see the account of the healing of the paralytic. If we flip over to Mark 5 we can see the healing of the woman with the issue of blood. These two events are powerful illustrations of the Faith that doesn't sit around just wishing and hoping, but instead reaches out and takes what belongs to them.

 Religious traditions of man have done such a disservice to the Church. They have mixed Law and Grace so much they have convinced so many that Righteousness is rooted in our performance and doing. They leave the impression that we are working for something. That we are to strive to arrive, achieve to receive, essentially our behavior is our savior.

 So when encouraging believers to not be passive but to lay hold of what Grace has freely provided, some mistakenly think what is being said is the same as the mixture preachers. There is a night and day difference between actively receiving and exerting effort in order to qualify to receive. Avoiding passivity is not an encouragement to a striving, self-efforts rooted, performance based faith.

 If you look at these two events in Scripture you can see a pattern. Looking at this pattern, you can see why these people had the Faith that takes. This is not about a formula or set of steps to follow, it's simply common characteristics of a Faith that reaches out and takes what has been promised and provided.

 The four men who carried their paralytic friend heard about Jesus, and brought him to where Jesus was. They crowd size was so overwhelming there was no room. So they tore off a part of the roof and lowered him down. 

 They heard about Jesus. What did they hear? They had heard about a man of God who healed even so called hopeless cases. They heard about a man of God who turned impossible situations around.

 Another pattern seen here is that they didn't take no for answer. They refused to be refused and denied to be denied. They were so passionate about seeing their friend made well they were willing to do the unconventional to receive an unconventional miracle.

 Lastly, they brought him to Jesus. In other words, they brought their situation to Jesus. They didn't resign this situation as life in a fallen world. They didn't accept the situation as is and try to learn to live with it. They took it to Jesus and He brought about a turn around.

 The woman with the issue of blood heard about Jesus. What did she hear? She heard about a man of God who touches the unclean and instead of becoming unclean, He actually cleanses and heals the unclean. 

 She pushed through the crowd. She wouldn't be denied. She didn't give up because of the multitude thronging Him. She didn't quit when she saw Him walking away with Jairus. She reached out and touched His garment and received her healing.

 She brought herself to Jesus instead of looking for more of man's resources. She didn't just accept her condition as God's will for her life. She didn't just concede that her best life is in heaven not earth so just accept this condition. She wouldn't be denied, and reached out and took her healing.

 How do you develop the Faith that takes? Hear Jesus. Listen to Him and not tradition, not symptoms and not experience. Jesus is the person of Grace, He is the expressed will of God in action.

 How do you develop the Faith that takes? Don't take no for an answer. Whatever God has clearly promised and provided for in Scripture and the Finished Work take hold of and don't let go until you manifest it.

 How do you develop the Faith that takes? Come to Jesus. Take your concerns, circumstances, and condition to Jesus alone. Don't accept the traditions of man. Come to Jesus and freely receive all He purchased for you. 

 Some have the faith that waits. Some have the faith that speculates. Some have the faith that just wishes and hopes but isn't fully persuaded. To walk in triumphant victory we need to walk in the Faith that takes. 

 In summation, come to Jesus. Jesus is our all and all. He is our source. He is our loving Savior. He imparts His Faith to us as we feed on Jesus. Reach out and receive all God has in, through and because of Jesus. 





Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Pre-qualified and Approved!

12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. 13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossian 1:12-14 NASB 
 

 How often have you received offers in your mailbox, or other phone informing you that you are pre-qualified for a line of credit or pre-approved for a lower rate? Usually, we throw these letters out with the other junk mail. Did you know God has an even better offer than any "savings and loan" type business can offer? 

 Man's offer of loans and better interest rates are based on achievement, personal assets, and credit ratings. In other words, based on the performance and proven ability to earn on the part of the client the preapproved offers are made. If you have a missed payment, if you have a blemish on your credit rating then no such offers will be made available. 

 When it comes to God He is not looking at man's performance before He offers them anything. If He did, none of us would personally qualify. No matter how disciplined, how self-controlled, or how much one has trained their human spirit, there is no one who can truly qualify to receive what only God can provide. 

 Even if we are seeing manifest blessings in our life, we must know and understand that is God's Love and great mercy being bestowed upon us. Am I saying we can't lay hold of God's promises by Faith? No, of course not. 

 I am saying that none of us in and of ourselves can earn or deserve what God provides. This is why an understanding of Grace is an essential aspect of the successful Christian life. Grace brings us all to an end of ourselves. 

 Grace brings an end to our efforts, our doings, our strivings, our disciplines, and our attempts to earn and achieve what God has promised and provided through Redemption. Grace reminds us that nothing we have achieved or attained is because of ourselves. It was all God's favor, His mercy, and His Love working for us, through us, and sometimes in spite of us. 

 This doesn't mean we live a passive life. This doesn't mean we lead a shiftless, lazy, lethargic, and idle life. This doesn't translate into a "do-nothing" life. What it does mean is we lead a "do-nothing-in order to-to receive-to inherit" all God has provided through Christ kind of life.

 When we accept Christ's free gift of new life and Righteousness we now have free access to all God's stuff. He has made available all things that pertain to life and godliness through Christ. What does through Christ or by Christ or in Christ even mean?

 It means whenever you need something or desire something, or ask for something it's as if Christ is asking. Therefore we are assured we have what we need or desire. We are in Him and When we pray in Jesus' name we are declaring that it is by Jesus we are coming and not in our own strength or performance.

 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ.  Romans 16:10a MEV

In Christ, we have been approved. We have free access to all God has provided for us. In fact, because of Christ we are actually pre-qualified and approved.

to the praise of the glory of His grace, in which He did make us accepted in the beloved, Ephesians 1:6 YLT 

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherewith he hath made us freely accepted in his beloved. Ephesians 1:6 GNV

 to the praise of his glorious grace with which he has highly favored us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:6 MOUNCE

 We are pre-qualified and approved to receive all God has promised and provided in this New Covenant. Because of the Finished Work of Redemption, all the qualifications to receive have already been met in Christ Jesus. All because of Jesus' work we are fully qualified to receive.

 The tradition of man declares we have to do something to earn or deserve or achieve the blessings and goodness of God. If you do enough good works, then God will bless you. If you abstain from sin and live uprightly at all times then you will qualify. 

If we could attain God's love and blessings through our works why did we need Jesus to die for us? If we can qualify for the blessings of the Lord based on our behavior and actions why do we need to ask in Jesus' name or even pray and believe? 

 When we realize we are already qualified and approved of God then we will lose all sense of the fear of punishment. We will lose all sense of fear and inferiority. We won't allow the enemy or religion to hold our faults and failures over our heads disqualifying ourselves from receiving from our Good Father.

In summation knowing we are prequalified and approved of God means we can come boldly to the throne of Grace and freely receive all God has procured and provided. It means we no longer need to feel like our misdeeds automatically disqualify us from receiving. It means we will be bolder in His presence and rejoice in His Finished work and celebrate perfect redemption. 

 



Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Are you Qualified to be Blessed?

 

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Ephesians 1:3 NLT

 In this life, whenever we are applying for a new position at work, applying for a loan, or inquiring about admissions into a trade school or university, what is one of the first things we look for? We look to see what the qualifications are. We then assess ourselves, our achievements, and our skill sets and see if we meet the qualifications.

 When it comes to life in the Kingdom, we must understand how this Kingdom functions and operates. In the world system, achievements, accomplishments, attainments, and acquirements are what matter most. Is this the way God's system operates?

 According to most ministries, and churches, it appears the answer is yes. The religious tradition of man is always looking to "score points" with God. Whenever we see a promise in the Scripture, people generally look for some condition that must be first met in order to receive said promise. 

 Many do not rightly divide the Word of God, they look to the Old Covenant, mix the Old and New, and add stipulations and conditions to all God's promises. They see what God told Israel and try to place those same demands on the Church. The truth needs to be heralded for all the saints to hear. 

 Jesus has fulfilled the Old and all the promises of God are now yes and amen because of Him. There are no conditions to be met. We don't have to earn or achieve anything before we can lay hold of the promises of God. All God asks is that we simply believe and receive. 

 Belief is not a work. Believing is a response to information presented. God presents us with the Good News of Grace and all He purchased and provided for us and we simply respond with believing and readily accepting it. 

Are you qualified to receive the blessing?

 The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is Good News, not bad news. If we look and find any stipulations or works needed to receive take note that Jesus has already met those demands. Jesus paid the price in full. He has forever qualified those who believe to receive all God has provided.

12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. 13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossian 1:12-14 NASB 

The Word is clear. The Word cannot lie. The Spirit and the Word agree. God has already qualified us in Christ Jesus to receive all the blessings and goodness of God.

 Tradition will argue and say no, only the faithful abound with blessings. So you need to be found faithful in order to be blessed. Still others would claim the Word said we must first hearken unto God, observe and do all He commands and then we will be blessed. 

 These are all Old Covenant stipulations and conditions in order to be blessed. Did the Cross not change anything? Was Jesus' perfect Redemptive work insufficient to fulfill all the obligations the Law and Old Covenant demanded? 

 Look at what God declared about Adam and Eve in Genesis 1. Really ponder and reflect on the dynamic of their relationship with God. What task did they need to complete before God blessed them? What exactly did they need to do enough of before they were qualified to be blessed? What action, spiritual disciplines, and good work did they need to be engaging in before they received God's blessing? 

 Tradition would respond, well that was in the Garden of Eden, that was when there was no sin, and they were in perfect standing with God, completely holy. Exactly right. The amazingly good news is because of Jesus, the Grace of God, we are in even better standing with God. How so? 

 Not only are we made holy once for all time, made the Righteousness of God in Christ, forgiven forever, but God Himself dwells within us. If we are in an even better relationship with God than Adam and Eve then how much more are we already qualified for all the blessings of God? What more can we do to add to Jesus' perfect work?

 Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are qualified to receive all the Goodness and Love of God because of Jesus. There is nothing else we need to do. We can't give enough, abstain from sin enough, and love others enough to qualify more for His love and blessings. Jesus' work was enough.

 In summation, we need to stop disqualifying ourselves from receiving all Jesus purchased and procured for us in His victorious work of Redemption. Jesus has paid the price in full. He paid our way totally and completely. Rejoice in that and freely receive it. 



Image by Tayeb MEZAHDIA from Pixabay 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Does God desire to bless and prosper us in this life?

And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus Philippians 4:19 MOUNCE

Dear friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and are in good health, just as your whole life is going well. 3 John 2 CSB

 God is a Good Father. God is a loving Father. God is a Father who cares about us. He loved us so much that He gave us His Son to procure our perfect once for all Redemption. 

 This perfect Love bestowed upon us reveals to us we have a heavenly Father. In light of this perfect love, the question then can be asked, does this love have an effect on the life that now is or just the one to come? Does God's love mean we can expect actual tangible blessings in this life?

 There are two extreme responses on this topic. The "prosperity gospel" extreme is one response. I wrote a whole article expounding this viewpoint. The prosperity gospel is in essence a karma-like view of life. Its end goal is extracting money from people to give to an organization or a person. Its claim is God tells us we can all be millionaires if we just give enough and live perfectly. This is not the Gospel.

 The other extreme view is that God is the cruel taskmaster and tyrannical despot in Heaven who puts sickness and suffering and poverty on people, especially His own children. Many churches and ministries teach this view. I have observed that some of the loudest proponents of this view are Calvinists.

 One thing about this view that is astounding to me is the utter hypocrisy of the loudest voices on this topic. One such minister has held a whole seminar against believers who believe in the Gifts of the Spirit for today. This minister speaks strongly against prosperity.

 Yet in all his railings against the idea that God prospers His people, he seems oblivious to his own net worth of $15 million and ownership of more than one home. I researched two other loud voices against prosperity and saw their net worth is above $500,000. It seems the rule of thumb for some is prosperity for me, but not for thee.

 We need to stick with the Word of God and stay centered on what He actually said and put our trust, hope, and Faith in that. We need to find out what God actually said and hold fast to that. We must avoid the religious traditions of man who paint the Father as harsh and uncaring. 

 So based upon the nature and character of God revealed in and through Christ Jesus, and the final authority of the Word of God the answer to the question I presented is yes. God does desire to bless and prosper and provide for His children in this life. Grace supplies, Love gives and Faith takes.

 He who did not spare · his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us · all things? Romans 8:32 MOUNCE

 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Romans 8:32 NLT

 If God has given us eternal life, forgiveness forever, Righteousness, and Eternal Security, all things that pertain to spiritual life and all things concerning eternity, why would He hold back on giving all things pertaining to life in the here and now? If He gave us the best, His Son, He will surely give us the rest. There is nothing God is withholding from His children, He is a Good and loving Father.

 You may look at the lack surrounding you and disagree. Just as when it comes to your Righteousness. you don't focus on your many failures or foul-ups. You focus on what Jesus accomplished and receive your Righteousness. So it is with provision. Look at what Grace supplies and make that your focus. 

 Focusing on Jesus brings unearned favor and wisdom and provision. He is for us and not against us. We need to really examine our thinking, our beliefs, and our understanding when it comes to blessings and provision and the Goodness of God.

 What do we as Christians truly believe our Father is like? Do we really believe He is a Good Father? It seems we can believe He can save our spirits and grant us assurance Heaven is our home but for everything else, it's either up to our performance, or we can have no assurance or confidence in Him intervening or answering prayers because He is uninterested in the needs/desires of this life.

 Think of it, God promised to Israel, under a covenant that is lesser than the New that He would prosper and heal and provide for them because He loved them and they kept His commandments. He declared He had pleasure in the prosperity of His servants. How much more would He have in His own children prospering?

 What so many are really saying is God's love will only provide salvation from sin and Hell. His Love doesn't cover, provide for, or give promise to any form of wholeness this side of Heaven. He is a God who only cares about you keeping the rules and going to Heaven. He is not interested in your bills being paid, savings, having shelter, clothing, sustenance, healthy bodies, access to transportation, protection from the elements and peace of mind.

 Just what kind of a God is our Father in Heaven? Does He withold provision and blessings to better us? Would He rather see us starving and suffering than blessed and overflowing? What kind of God did Jesus demonstrate?

 Jesus fed literal thousands. He didn't first ask the multitude if they kept all the commandments. He didn't first ask if they had any hidden resentment, bitterness, or unforgiveness. He didn't first ask them if they had sin in their lives, or if they needed to repent. He just loved them and provided for them.

 He provided for Peter's tax debt by means of a miracle. He found the money in the mouth of a fish. The first miracle of Jesus was a miracle of provision. This provision was merely a want not a neccessity or need. The wedding feast simply ran out wine. Jesus turned water to wine and satisfied the desire for more wine at a feast. No one turned to God because of this. He just met a physical want.

 Jesus supplied both needs and wants. He revealed a Good Father who cares for us. He demonstrated to a lost and hopeless world, a Father who so loves them He even takes care of the little things as well as major things in this life.

 In summation, we can boldly proclaim God our Father is a Good Father. He wants our absolute best. He desires to bless and provide for us. Not because we are good, or earned it, or achieved it, but simply because He loves us. We can trust in the Lord no matter the situations and circumstance. He is a Good Father and Loving Savior. 

 


Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay 

Monday, April 3, 2023

Does God crush His children? (How Good is God?)


Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8 NKJV 

 This website is dedicated to proclaiming the unabridged Gospel of Grace and the uncompromising truth of God's Goodness at all times. That in all times and in all situations God is Good.

  When we speak of God's Grace, the understood premise is the knowledge of the true nature and character of God. God had to first make clear His true nature and character before revealing the Gospel is the Grace of God revealed in Christ. That's why Jesus went about doing Good and healing all when He walked upon the earth, perfectly demonstrating the Father's all the time Goodness to all.

 With this understanding, it seems good to tackle yet another religious tradition of man. Now before we go further, let me answer why it is so important to dismantle and destroy these religious traditions. We live in a fallen world and people are lost without Christ. How can fallen men reach out a trusting hand to God if they are told God is in fact the one responsible for their misery? 

 If God is ordaining their destruction how then can they trust Him for salvation? If God is so angry at them, how could they even dare approach Him? The proclamation of the Gospel suffers when religion paints a portrait of God on the canvas of men's minds as that of an angry tyrant sending plagues and pestilences and punishments upon them.

Is God crushing His children?


I recently came across a video that made my heart "sink." In this video clip, a "minister",  a rather well-known "minister" made the stunning statement;

"oh by the way if God would crush and kill His perfect, spotless, sinless Son, who do you think you are?" 

 Now of all the things we can say about God, is this something Jesus would have spoken concerning His Father? With such a shocking charge lodged against my Father in Heaven, I did a little search concerning this insidious religious concept and found other ministers also making these same accusations about the Father;

 "Sometimes He crushes you because He’s going to bless you so much he doesn’t want you to get arrogant. He wants to humble you."

"God knows exactly where to crush you to bring you to the place you need to be."

 Some even teach the notion just like a rose is crushed to make perfume God will also crush us to create a sweet-smelling aroma. These are the strongholds in the mind of the religious Christian. We must topple these sacred cows with the Scriptures so we can set the captives free.

  The only time we see the Father "crushing" someone is in the substitutionary aspect of the redemptive work of Christ. Isaiah 53 speaks of this. This was God's love in action. That is God the Father put the judgment for all the sin of mankind upon the body of His Son so that you and I would never experience judgment. 

 We must boldly declare that God is a Good Father. That He is not the one "crushing" people. He isn't the author of anguish, affliction, agony, misery, and heartbreak. The Father is the author of life, wholeness, and peace. The Father takes pleasure in the prosperity of His people. God is for you and not against you. This is all because He loves you eternally and unconditionally.

 What does the Word declare about our Father?

 The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. Psalm 145:8-9 KJV

                                                                           

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, 4  who redeems your life from the pit who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5 MEV

  (for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them. Deuteronomy 4:31 MEV

13 No one who is tempted should ever be confused and say that God is testing him. The One who created us is free from evil and can’t be tempted, so He doesn’t tempt anyone James 1:13 Voice

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. James 1:17 NLT
 
 The Word is clear. God is a Good God and not the author of evil. God is not crushing you, no matter what circumstances you may be facing. You can come to God trusting Him to help you through the tough times because you know He isn't the author of it. 

 God is for you not against you. The Father isn't orchestrating evil situations, calamities, catastrophes, or cataclysmic events to crush you to better you. He gave us His Spirit within to lead us and guide us. He gave us His Word to lighten our path and to instruct us. 

 In summation, lose the religious traditions and embrace Grace. Cling fast to the truth of the Word and not man's traditions. God loves you and is for you. Hold fast to His Goodness.




Images courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Dare to take your place

 

I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and authority over all the power of the enemy; nothing may hurt you at all. Luke 10:19 Mounce 

 We've been in a brief study taking a closer look at the believer's authority. This is a deep, yet simple, study of who we are, what we have, and what we can do in and through Jesus and His triumphant Finished Work. Everything we are is all because of Jesus.

 When it comes to identity, so often believers only identify as  Christians. That is, simply one who has put their trust in Christ alone. While this is vital, there is so much more to the Christian experience.

 I am not referring to any new demands or prerequisites to being saved or staying saved or in right standing with God. I am speaking of our life once we are in Christ. Our identity is not just Christian, but also the beloved, a child of God, the Righteous, the victorious overcoming blood-bought redeemed. 

 We are also made kings and priests. It's time we dared to take our place and reign in this life. It's time we take our place identifying with the victory Christ won and walk in the position of dominion and authority that's been bestowed upon us by virtue of the new creation, and the Gift of Righteousness.

 Let's look again at how we can reign in this life because of His love;

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5 NLT

 Our hearts are filled with His love. We can rule and reign over loneliness, depression, and feelings of isolation. We can rest in this overwhelming love for us that is cascading from the Father's heart into ours. 

 The Word declared Faith works by love. For so long many taught that this passage meant your Faith only worked successfully when you loved others and weren't in strife and division with them. Is this right?

 While it is good and right to walk in love with others that's not the lesson Paul is conveying here. He is giving us a secret to reigning. Faith works when we know how much God loves us. Faith is a Law and it always works regardless if we are walking in love or not. This passage is revealing just how powerful knowing our Father's love for us is. Faith is having a good opinion of God, so Faith works by knowing His love.

 We can rule and reign because of the Love of God that has filled our hearts to overflow. Whenever challenges arise, we can face them boldly knowing because our Father loves us He will see us through them and deliver us and bring us a complete victory.

 We can rule and reign in this life because we are the children of God. We can dare to take our place as sons and daughters of God. The king's son is always welcome at his table. He doesn't need permission to sit with his father. So it is with you and me child of God. We need to take our place at our Father's table and freely receive all He has purchased and provided for us through Jesus.

 Because we are the children of God by Faith, we are also partakers of the divine nature. As new creations, we have the very life and nature of God Almighty within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. We are His kids, and this answers the mystery as to what Jesus meant in John 10

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? 35 If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken, 36 do you say of Him, whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You blaspheme,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? John 10:34-36 MEV 

 Did Jesus just endorse strange new age philosophies/messageless Mormonism here by saying you are gods? No, He was quoting Psalm 82. There is where we find the answer to this comment.

 I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. Psalm 82:6 NKJV

 The principle found in this passage is not that humans are somehow going to become God. What it reveals is that as children of God, we have been given a position of dominion and authority. This position is not a position of deity, but a position of authority.  God is telling us to take our place and exercise this dominion in a corrupted, fallen world.

 When God made man, He gave him a vertical and horizontal relationship. Man first had a trust relationship with God (vertical) and then man had a dominion relationship with the earth (horizontal). Man turned this dominion over to the enemy, but Jesus took the authority back and turned it over to His Church when He defeated death, Hell, and the grave. It's time we took our place.

 The word gods here is referring to a magistrate's position. As the children of God we are now "gods", that is we as God's children have a position of dominion and authority. We can judge righteously concerning who we are and we can take a stand against the lies of the enemy. Don't just blame God's sovereignty as to why things are the way they are, take your place as a magistrate and judge righteously.

 Take your place and judge God's Word to always be true. Judge righteously that you are forgiven and not condemned. Judge righteously that Jesus bore your sickness and disease and command your healing to manifest. Judge righteously that the enemy is defeated, God is the Almighty and Jesus is Lord in your life. 

 The Church has a position of dominion and authority on earth. We can speak against the curse and take authority over the work of the enemy, and the fallen creation. We can pray for lost minds to be opened to see the light of the Gospel. We can even pray and take authority over weather conditions, crisis situations, and afflictions and intercede for the safety and protection, and preservation of people and places, and things. 

 As for John 10, Jesus was simply telling religious ones because the children of God were called gods, why is he blaspheming for claiming His true identity as the Son of God. In this passage, Jesus affirmed our authority as sons and daughters. We have all of heaven's backing, let's dare to take our place.

  When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority—the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. 9 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Psalm 8:3-9 NLT  

   In summation, we have authority in Christ. We have restored dominion. It's time we walked in it and stop believing we are victims of circumstances, pawns in God's sovereignty (the twisted religious idea of sovereignty), helpless and defenseless in a fallen world, easy prey for the curse, or the work of the enemy. Dare to take your place!

  

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Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The Authority of the Righteous in Christ

I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and authority over all the power of the enemy; nothing may hurt you at all. Luke 10:19 Mounce 

 Our previous study showed that Grace works in three areas of our life. First, He loves us, second He completely forgives us and thirdly He makes us kings and priests. When believers know how much they are loved and just how forgiven they are, they will reign as kings in this life. 

 This truth leads us to an important study that is instrumental in gaining insight into the fullness of our identity in Christ. The subject is the Authority Christ has given to the Righteous. The believer's Authority is something most churches don't seem to teach about.

 Because many churches attribute every incident unfolding on earth as God's doing, that God's sovereignty means He chooses all the outcomes of every event on the planet, they can't see how man has any authority. The concept of hyper sovereignty and God controlling everything gives no place for the believer to possess any authority. In the mind of the religious, claiming man has any authority takes away from God's supremacy and sovereignty.

 This of course is untrue. God is God, the Most High. Nothing can change that. What is true, in His sovereignty, He chose to give mankind authority. Man rebelled, committed high treason, and bowed their knee to satan. Jesus came and defeated satan, and now Jesus has all authority and He has given it back to the Righteous.

 17 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 

 Through receiving abundant Grace and of the Gift of Righteousness we reign as kings in life. We reign through Righteousness. No longer can guilt and shame dominate the believer in Christ. We reign over guilt, shame, and condemnation knowing we are Righteous and forgiven. Condemnation has no hold on us or our thinking. We rule over it not giving it a place in our thinking or in our self-image. 

 We have perfect union with Christ Jesus. He became something He never was so we could become something we've never been. We reign in this life through our union with Christ. Jesus exchanged our sins, shame, and unrighteousness, with His Righteousness and holiness, acceptance, and approval, and gave us total forgiveness, complete redemption, and eternal life in Him. 

 We rule and reign in this life through the peace we have in Christ

Since we have been acquitted and made right through faith, we are able to experience true and lasting peace with God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. Romans 5:1-2 VOICE

 We can rule and reign over depression and down days. Depression has no power over the Righteous. His peace surpasses all understanding. We have to take our place as the Righteous. We have to lay hold of our identity fully and take dominion over anxiety, fear, and depression. 

 We don't have to put up with "the blues." We don't have to bemoan any day of the week. Every day of the week is the day the Lord has made and we rejoice in it.  

 Am I saying dark days don't come? Having Faith doesn't mean mountains aren't going to be there. What Faith does is gives us the assurance that we already have victory over every mountain that is before us. Therefore we speak to the mountain and command it to be moved. 

 Jesus has given us beauty for ashes. He has given us joy in the midst of turmoil. He has given us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. We are triumphant overcomers through the revelation of His great Love and the abundant Grace He has poured out upon us. 

What is the point of God continually reminding us of our Righteousness, total forgiveness, divine acceptance, and complete redemption, if it isn't supposed to affect our daily life practically? We rule and reign in this life through all Christ has completed on our behalf. We aren't lacking in Him, we are complete in Christ.

 We rule and reign in this life through the Love of God shed abroad in our heart. This is a powerful truth;

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5 NLT

 For so long I only saw this passage as how I can now walk in love. So in essence, I was seeing it as something else I need to do. I was demand-conscious and not supply-conscious. 

 This passage reveals to us how much our Father loves us. His love is overflowing in our hearts. Wow, such an amazing truth! As I write this I am getting overwhelmed with His great love for me. Equipped with the full understanding and knowledge of our Father's great love for us means we can face any challenge or difficulty or circumstance with bold confidence and authority to rule and reign over it. 

 We as the Righteous are authorized to rule and reign in this life. We have been given a position of dominion and authority through Christ. Have you dared to take your place? 



Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Grace Life: Made a King


John, To the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:4-6 MEV

 We have begun a new study examining the work of Grace in our life. We have noted a progression seen so clearly detailed in our text. First, our Good Father loved us. Secondly, He through the Finished Work of the Son thoroughly cleansed us and forgave us of all sins. 

 What Grace did next is what we want to spend some time examining more closely. This last work listed here will transform your life in a great way when you fully receive of this work of Grace. He has made us kings and priests to our God. 

 This is such a powerful truth. In Christ, we are kings and priests. We are priests because we have been cleansed and are always welcome in the Lord's presence. Because we are cleansed we can boldly enter the presence of the Lord.

 When He said we were made kings, God was showing us the power of our new identity. We are made kings. This speaks of the authority of the Believer in Christ. 

 When we look at the word kings in the literal Greek we gain insight into just how far-reaching this authority in Christ is. 

Thayers; βασιλεύς  basileus leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king.

 Mounce: βασιλεύς basileus a king, monarch, one possessing regal authority.

 This word in some cases refers to a physical monarch such as a literal king. However, pay close attention to Mounce's definition. One possessing regal authority. 

 In Christ, we possess regal authority. We are made a king. We have been given a new nature. We have been made Righteous. We have been forgiven and forever cleansed from all sin. Therefore condemnation, guilt, shame and fear have no place in our thinking, nor in how we see ourselves. 

 Let's look at another aspect of a king seen in Scripture;

Where the word of a king is, there is power; And who may say to him, “What are you doing?” Ecclesiastes 8:4 NKJV

 Where the word of a king is there is power. When we recognize our authority our words will also reflect this dominion and authority that has been given us in Christ. When a king speaks no one says who do you think you are? What do you think you are doing?

 When you know who you are in Christ, you can boldly speak and declare what you want to see come to pass. The enemy and religious tradition can't ask what are you doing! When you know what Jesus accomplished in the Finished Work, and what He purchased and provided in His triumphant work of Redemption you can speak out and lay hold of what is yours in Him!

 That's the problem with religious tradition. They spend all their time asking what are you doing. They don't know who they are, so they settle for a life of defeat and failure and missing out on the promises of God. 

 We are kings and we boldly decree what God has already declared over us. We don't speak how the situation appears. We speak out what we want the situation to become. We speak what we want to see not how it feels like or seems like.

 Kings don't fear or tremble, they walk in authority, they decree a thing and it is established for them. Religious tradition has exalted the theology of God controlling all aspects of life on earth that they unwittingly accept all the affects of the fall and the curse to overtake them in this life. 

 When situations, circumstances, conditions are contrary to what Christ purchased for us in the Finished Work don't lay down and merely accept it. Rise up in your kingly authority and command the darkness to flee. Command the situation to align with God's decreed will. 

 When I was a young Christian, I had found out about who I was in Christ. I heard of our new identity. At this time I was serving as a Sailor in the United States Navy. My position was that of a cook. I was stationed on a ship over seas. I used to work the night time shift by myself. 

 We had what we in a set of chillers or "reefers" as they are known on ships, (basically a type of refridgerator.) Inside the cooking area. One night these chill boxes began losing refridgeration temp. This would cause all the food items to spoil and create a problem for the work we did, and I didn't want to go on report for them going out on my shift. I knew something needed to be done, but this was in the middle of the night.

 Now remember I began hearing about who I was in Christ. I didn't fear, or allow doubt to creep in. So I right then and there decided to exercise my Godly authority in Christ. Honestly, I didn't have "sense" enough to think what if this doesn't work. I wasn't using natural reasoning. 

 I simply laid hands on these chillers and commanded them to work. As God as my witness, over the course of the rest of the shift, the temp began to drop and stayed in the proper range. A Christian brother of mine who worked the day shift commented to me a few days later after he heard my story, tell me that the produce in these chillers all had frost on them. That's how low the temp dropped in them.

 That is what happens when we walk in our authority in Christ. We have been made a king and it's time we walk in who He made us. Don't allow the naysayers, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, or the couldn't-sees or the wouldn't-sees to move you away from walking in all God has provided and embracing your identity in Christ. 



Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Grace Life: Loved and Forgiven

John, To the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:4-6 MEV

 As Christians, those who've trusted in Christ alone, who've believed in Jesus and received His free gift of salvation, how do we live our lives? Are we to live our lives in the same manner as we did before Christ? Are there any differences or distinctions in how we live now that we are in Christ?

 I am not speaking so much about no longer cussing or engaging in other sins without remorse or care as I am about how we think and believe. I am speaking about our outlook on life. How do we now see God? How do we see ourselves?

 When we heard the Good News Gospel of Jesus and His Grace and freely received Him, something happened inwardly. Yes we received the New Birth, yes we partook of His Redemptive work, and yes we became children of God and joint heirs with Christ. What also happened is we received a new way of thinking and seeing. 

 This is the Grace of God working in our lives. The text I chose reveals this progression of Grace working in our life. First, He loved us;

 ...To Him who loved us...Revelation 1:5b MEV

 Secondly, He forgave us of all our sins;

and washed us from our sins in His own blood Revelation 1:5b MEV

 Lastly, He made us Kings and Priests;

 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father Revelation 1:6a MEV

 This is how God's Grace worked in our lives. He first loved us and then He forgave us and made us Kings and Priests. This is such a powerful truth. In light of this truth, we are beginning a new study focusing on these works of Grace in our life.

 In Christ, we have a new way of living. Our thinking and speaking change because of the Grace of God we have received. We now walk by Faith, not by sight. Life's circumstances and lies of the enemy are not what moves us but only what God has promised provided and purchased for us in the Finished Work. 

 We now walk in Love. We walk in the Love God has poured out upon us. We walk in His Love living life loved by the Shepherd and Savior. This supply of love cascading from Heaven unto us overflows so we can now love others.

 We now abide in and live under Grace. We aren't under man's tradition or religious rules and regulations. We are no longer under the Old Covenant Law. We live under Grace and not works. We rest in Jesus' work and not our own.

 We have confident hope and Faith because we know God loves us eternally and unconditionally. His Love is eternal and unchanging. He is for us and never against us.

 We also have peace with God knowing that all our sins have been cleansed and washed away. Our sins weren't merely covered but actually cleansed. When something is cleansed and washed away there exists no trace or evidence of it ever again. 

 The believer's sins are completely cleansed and washed away. we are forgiven of all our sins. All means all. All our past and present and future sins are forever forgiven. 

 For those who've been hearing the Grace Gospel for some time, this seems elementary. However, this is such a vital truth and some believers reject the notion all sins are forgiven. They feel they must do something to gain forgiveness for the sins they commit after they received Jesus as their Savior.

 The forgiveness of sins is the Gospel that the Apostles proclaimed in the Book of Acts. When Peter preached to the Gentiles, he spoke of the forgiveness of sins. What was the immediate result? The Holy Spirit fell in His fullness and Cornielus' house was saved and Baptized in the Spirit evidenced by praying in the Holy Ghost. 

 Grace works a mighty work in our lives. He loves us and forgives us of all our sins. What happens to believers who become fully aware of this work? Their thinking changes, and their perception changes. 

 Believers who know they are Loved by the Savior unconditionally and know they are forgiven are infused with a confident boldness. They see God as always for them and never working against them. They quickly recognize God as their Father and not the harsh taskmaster. They experience victory in life no matter the circumstances.

 This leads us to the third work of Grace in our lives. These recipients of His Love and forever forgiveness are then made Kings and priests. This is an important work of Grace concerning our position in Christ, who we are in Christ, and what He made us.

 When we know we are loved and forgiven we can walk in the fullness of Grace in our everyday life. We can then own our identity in Christ. We can walk in the power and authority He procured for us. He made us kings and priests. 

 We are going to study further our authority in Christ. In order to do this we first had to establish how loved we are and how forgiven we are. We must not allow the tradition and religious ideas of men to hinder our understanding of what we have in Christ. 

 In summation, Grace works a mighty work in our life. Grace first loved us eternally. Grace then forgave us of all our sins. There isn't any sin consciousness because we are forever forgiven and cleansed from them for all time. In Christ we can rejoice in this work of Grace in our lives, we are Loved and forgiven! 

 


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