Showing posts with label Condemnation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Condemnation. Show all posts

Monday, May 20, 2024

Will the Real Radical Grace Gospel please stand up!

  For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 AMP 

 Who doesn't like to hear good news? The Word even declares a good report refreshes and strengthens our bones. What is the Good News? It is the glad tidings of salvation through Christ. The proclamation of the Grace of God manifest and pledged in Christ. This is the good news Gospel. It's glad tidings of total salvation in and through Christ.

 Grace is the Good News. We don't need the enemy's deception or errors distorting Grace. We don't need the traditions and misunderstandings from men to detract from it. Grace is amazing enough just as Paul first proclaimed it. 

 In the previous study, we addressed the enemy's counterfeit to Grace. We detailed the depths of the enemy's hijacking of the Grace message and exposed its full error. Dr. Brown sadly lumped Grace preachers in the same category as those proclaiming the error of inclusion/universalism in his book that attacks the Grace message. 

It is imperative to hear the Good News of the Grace of God. Grace is not just a new message or some fading fad. It is the Gospel of Jesus. Grace and the Gospel are simple. Mankind seems to always make the simple complex and hard to understand. 

We should know and fully understand the message of Grace. When we hear it we grow and have a more fruitful relationship with our Father and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Understanding the importance of hearing, we must also understand what the real Grace message is.

 Too often through our traditions, our various backgrounds, and our denominational experience we add to the message of Grace. Understand that the message of Grace is amazing just as it is. We don't need to help it out.

 What is the real message of Grace? It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the Good News that Jesus has fully completed the Work. It is the happy Gospel that Jesus paid the price in full and the Father has accepted the completed payment and is fully satisfied with Jesus' sacrifice. It is the wonderful realization that if Jesus' sacrifice is enough we can't add to it.

 This is the foundation of the Radical Grace Gospel. How do we know we are hearing the message of Grace unashamedly preached? It is simple, look at the sermon Paul preached. Look at the New Covenant described in Hebrews

For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. Ephesians 2:8-9 AMP

  To be more specific, the Grace messages preaches the main clause of the New Covenant. What is the main clause? The complete forgiveness of all sin, past and present and future. This forgiveness is not dependent on our apology or acknowledgment of our sins. It is because of Jesus' sacrifice we are forgiven.

 The Grace messages preaches that the Blood of Jesus alone is what forgives. No other sacrifice is acceptable. We can't apologize enough, or promise God we won't mess up for sin to be forgiven. No amount of abstinence from sin or good works brings forgiveness. Only the Blood of Jesus forgives, cleanses, and removes all sin, all guilt, and all shame.

 The Grace message is not a condemning message to those who fail or those who are continually failing. Condemnation kills and is not what motivates the believer to overcome sin. God our Father is merciful and long-suffering. Jesus has already paid the price in full and our Father will not impute our sins to our account nor does He remember them. 

 The message of Grace magnifies the wonderful work of Jesus. Grace honors God's New Covenant. Grace understands the New Covenant begins with Christ's once for all sacrifice. Jesus' death, not His birth ushered in the New Covenant. The majority of the four Gospels take place under the Old Covenant. 

 The Grace message is not a mixture of Law and Grace. It is not a blend of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The prerequisites to receive from God under the Old are not the same as the New Covenant. Under the Old, the faithful, obedient ones to the Law were blessed. Under the New, Jesus has already procured the blessing. 

 The Grace message understands our standing before God is Christ's standing. We don't come to God based on anything we do or don't do. We come to God based on Jesus' faithfulness and perfect obedience and receive the blessings and Goodness of God.

  The Grace message teaches that the believer is fully secure in Christ. The one who has trusted in Christ is completely forgiven and forever secure in their Father's hands. The Grace of God affirms the unconditional eternal security of the believer. 

 Grace reveals a Good Father who loves us. The Grace message proclaims a loving and merciful Father. God isn't sending judgment or tragedy today. Jesus paid the price and the Father has accepted the payment, He is not punishing us, nations, or cities because of sin.

 This is the beautiful message of Grace. This is what we who have experienced Grace should fellowship around. This is the common ground of Grace. 

 We shouldn't be divided on other doctrines that have nothing to do with Grace. Our fellowship is about Grace, not our views on tithing,  or the type of church services we have.

 We who have received Grace don't have to argue about end-time views. There is not a set "hyper-Grace" view of the end times. Some churches and ministries are Grace-based but don't agree with the charismatic gifts for today. It doesn't matter because we are fellowshipping around the Grace of God not our views about the Holy Spirit moving today.

 I have presented the clear message of Grace. This is something Charismatic, Word of Faith, mainline denominational, cessationist Christians who have had their heart ambushed by Grace can fully celebrate and fellowship with. We have this much in common let's celebrate Grace. Let's come together and advance this Gospel truth.

 In summation, we have already exposed the false, the counterfeit. We have revealed what Grace is not, works or performance. We have also seen what the Grace Gospel is. I would like to share a powerful resource a brother in Christ has put together. This is an excellent minister of the New Covenant and Grace and yes I am practicing my message, we disagree on the end times, but that's not important, and not what we fellowship around. 

 Here is this resource here, locate Grace Ministries. Looking for a Grace church? Looking for Grace teaching online? Looking for Grace resources? This is the place. Let's come together under the banner of Grace, the real Gospel of Grace.

  

Image by Azeddine Behlouli from Pixabay

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Holy Communion: Even more truth vs traditions

 24 When He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take and eat. This is My body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He took the cup after He had supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 1 Corinthians 11:24-26 MEV

 The Church was given two "ordinances" that we as believers observe. Now we understand these have nothing to do with our salvation or earning something from God our Father. Man on the other hand has tried their hardest to turn these into traditions that they can war over.

 These two ordinances are water baptism and Holy Communion. People have engaged in small wars over how one is baptized and how they receive Communion. Brothers and Sisters this should never be. 

 Water baptism is simply an outward demonstration of what has already occurred inwardly. We were dead in our sins, but when we first trusted in Christ alone, we were made alive forever. Going under simply demonstrates that the old is gone, "Buried" and the New has arisen. Take note this is only done once, why? Because eternal life is eternal, once and for all. Baptism is a one-time act and has nothing to do with our standing with God or our salvation.

 Holy Communion is observed as Jesus instructed. As often as you do this, do this in remembrance of Me. He didn't say how often to do it. He didn't say this has anything to do with receiving salvation or losing it. He simply gave us a meal that brings Christ's Finished Work to our remembrance. 

  Jesus' work of Redemption is illustrated in the Communion elements. The wine and bread illustrate His blood shed for us and His body broken on our behalf. He said to partake in remembrance of Him. Yet religious tradition has told us not to put Him in remembrance but rather our flaws and failures and many sinful shortcomings in remembrance. Jesus said to reflect on Him, and what He accomplished, but man says no, reflect, consider, remember your sins, and search for any you may have missed.

 Paul gives instructions concerning Holy Communion in the Epistle to the Corinthians. Again understand the context of the first Epistle to the Corinthians. The one-word summation for the Church at Corinth is excess. 

To them, Holy Communion was just an opportunity to have a feast. They would have a full spread of food and drink. They would indulge themselves in the food and wine. Some would eat and not leave some for the poorer saints among them. Still others would get drunk on Communion wine. This is the reason for Paul's instructions.

 We have already seen that examining ourselves and partaking unworthily has nothing to do with searching our hearts and lives for some areas in which we are failing. We are examining if we are partaking worthily and not unworthily. Partaking unworthily doesn't mean partaking with some unconfessed sin in our life.  

We partake unworthily when we receive communion as just some common meal or take it for granted and dishonor and disregard the Finished Work. This is what the Corinthians were doing. They simply served a regular meal and called it having the Lord's supper, 

 This is where Paul used the word judgment in connection to partaking of Communion. These two phrases "examine yourself" and "judge yourself" are the phrases that are lifted from their context and used to condemn and scare God's people concerning Holy Communion. To allay the traditions of men we must remember the words of Jesus. 

I tell you the solemn truth, the one who hears · my message and believes the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come into judgment, but has passed from · death to · life. John 5:24 MOUNCE

26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread. He offered a blessing over the bread, and then He broke it and gave it to His disciples. Jesus: Take this and eat; it is My body. 27 And then He took the cup of wine, He made a blessing over it, and He passed it around the table. Jesus: Take this and drink, all of you: 28 this is My blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:26-28 VOICE

 Jesus has already told us that the Holy Communion represents the forgiveness of our sins. He already said we will never be judged again when we believe in Him. So this begs the question what is Paul speaking of then? Judge yourself and you won't be judged?

 We see in context what Paul is saying. If you simply have a church "potluck" or "cookout" or a "dinner" and because there is wine or juice, and bread present you can't claim you have partaken of the Lord's Supper. Having a meal only fills your belly and makes you reflect on how tasty those breadsticks were and how flavorful that juice was.

 Having a meal at their gatherings wasn't causing them to think of Jesus. The bread served didn't make them trust in Christ's body broken for their healing and wholeness and provision. The wine didn't cause them to be thankful for Christ's blood shed for their eternal forgiveness and for making them Righteous.

 What does it mean to judge yourself then? The word judge means to make a separation, a distinction. We are making a distinction that this meal is a divine illustration of the Finished Work and not simply bread and wine. If we see it as a simple meal like any other, we are not discerning or seeing Jesus' redemptive work. The taking judgment on oneself then is receiving the "judgment" of the fallen creation. It's not seeing Jesus as the way of escape from this fallen creation and simply accepting the fall as part of normal life. 

 This is what Paul was speaking of. We live in a fallen and fractured creation. Disasters, disease, and premature death abound in a fallen world. This is the judgment of sin seen in creation. When Jesus returns total redemption will fully manifest. This is what Paul was speaking about when he said if we partake unworthily we are taking judgment upon ourselves. 

 Holy Communion is the meal that heals. It is the perfect illustration of Jesus' Redemptive work. When we partake of Communion we are reminding ourselves of Jesus' body that was broken on our behalf procuring healing, wholeness, provision, and deliverance. We are putting into remembrance His shed blood cleansed us once and for all time and we are now forgiven forever. Condemnation, guilt, and shame will not oppress our thinking and self-image because we know we are forgiven and accepted and approved and Righteous because of the Blood. 

 Judging ourselves then has nothing to do with self-introspection to see how far we have fallen. We judge ourselves to be partaken of Holy Communion worthily. We judge ourselves to not be enjoying a natural meal. We are partaking of Holy Communion.

 Now Paul does say if we judge ourselves or are discerning the Lord's body we won't be judged. This statement is not a warning concerning a loss of salvation or God punishing us. The New Covenant is clear about that. Paul said the judgment comes to correct us. Instruction and correction are not punishment and not a loss of salvation.

 In summation, we need to celebrate the Lord's Supper. Holy Communion is a time to reflect on Jesus. It's a time to ponder Grace. It's a time to honor the Finished Work. It's not a time to be sad but to be thankful and joyous. We must relinquish the traditions of man and embrace the truth of the Word. We must embrace the truth about Communion and allay tradition and give it no place in our lives. Reflect on Grace. Remember Jesus.


Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Holy Communion:truth vs. tradition

 24 When He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take and eat. This is My body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He took the cup after He had supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 1 Corinthians 11:24-26 MEV

 Holy Communion, this is the one sacrament or ordinance all Christians observe and regularly practice. With any common practice, some traditions and differences may arise. Some differ on whether actual wine is used or if it's just grape juice. Some like wafers others prefer actual bread. 

 These are more preferences and minor differences if we stay with Scripture alone as our source. What we must address however is not preferences surrounding the Lord's Supper, but the traditions of men that arise concerning it. We need to discern truth from tradition.

 Paul the Apostle of Grace addresses the issue of Holy Communion in the Epistle to the Corinthians. The first issue we must focus on is discussing the Holy Communion in the full context of Paul's words. Within these passages, we see words and concepts like self-examination, and judgment and even see some who got sick and some who died prematurely. 

 Traditions arise when we isolate statements and words and then take these words and concepts out of their complete setting and context. This gives place for new concepts and attitudes about God and His character how He sees us and how He corrects us. This gives birth to new ideas about how the Christian life must be lived.

 What helps in understanding passages in the New Covenant is to remember the three basic facts of the New Covenant. God alone saves. Salvation is found in God alone. He saves us we don't save ourselves. We didn't earn it therefore it is a gift we receive by Grace through Faith. Secondly, eternal life is just that eternal. Eternal life cannot be lost if so it wouldn't be eternal. Lastly, when we receive salvation, eternal life, we receive the free Gift of Righteousness and the complete forgiveness of our sins.

 Let's look at the passages that taken out of their full and complete context tend to form this idea that God is judging believers for their sins and other troublesome ideas;

 27 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. 31 But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. 32 Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world. 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 NLT

 These are some heavy-handed and harsh-sounding passages. It seems to convey the idea that if we partake of communion wrong God is going to kill us. It seems to teach believers that they need to examine their lives before they receive communion. That if there are sins in their life they will be judged for their sins if they partake of the bread and wine. It creates a sin consciousness rather than a Christ and Righteousness consciousness.

 Some translations even render this passage that if your heart isn't right with God, if you are in sin, that you are taking judgment on yourself. The phrase examine yourself tends to make people think God is saying to examine your life and see how you measure up. Tradition therefore says to examine yourself and see how wicked and sinful you are. Acknowledge how much you have failed, who you have offended, who you need to forgive, and how far you've fallen from God's standards.

 Is this what God was really speaking through Paul? Recall the three basic facts of the New Covenant? They still apply here. Using our Bible facts we can see this interpretation of Paul's words doesn't agree with those facts. Therefore, we can know confidently that Paul was not teaching what tradition claims. 

  Stay within the context. Look at what was going on. The one word that can summarize the Corinthian church at this time is excess. They were excessive in finding division among themselves. They sinned excessively. They utilized the gifts in excess, that is, they would disrupt the meeting, and they would shout in other tongues to each other to show off. They also observed communion in the excess.

 They were actually having a full feast meal with the elements. Some would eat so much and leave nothing for others. Some would even get intoxicated on the wine. Paul addressed this because they weren't observing the Lord's Supper properly by this behavior. The gluttony and drunkenness are what prompted Paul to give us New Covenant instruction on Holy Communion.

 Whenever the words correction and instruction are brought up people immediately conjure up images of God's anger, wrath, and fiery indignation and punishment. Brethren this isn't what the New Covenant is about. Jesus paid the price in full, therefore God is not punishing His children. 

 Let's address this first misunderstood verse and the subsequent tradition of man. This idea of examining ourselves has created much confusion and brought about much condemnation surrounding the Lord's Supper. What then did Paul mean when he said to let a man examine himself?

 Looking again at the full context we can clearly see what Paul is saying. The Corinthians were receiving the Holy Communion as a mere meal. They were not looking at the price Jesus paid. They were not honoring the Finished Work. In fact, they were taking it for granted and only focusing on filling their bellies. 

 This is why Paul said don't partake of Communion in an unworthy manner. He was instructing us to honor Grace, the work of the Cross, and redemption. He was telling us to put Christ and His Grace in remembrance. 

 Yet people take Paul's words to mean we need to examine ourselves and our flaws and sins. If we partake of communion with sin in our lives, we are partaking of the cup and the bread in an unworthy state and manner. So before we receive the elements we must examine our life and see if we qualify to partake.

 Concerning Holy Communion, Jesus said as often as you partake of communion do this in remembrance of Me. Jesus said do this in remembrance of Me, not thee! We are not to put into remembrance our sins or shortcomings. We are to remember Jesus and all He did for us in His perfect redemptive work of Grace. Communion is a time to reflect on Grace, not on our failures or flaws.

 What did Paul mean when he said examine ourselves? He was saying to examine yourself and ensure you are receiving the elements and partaking worthily. Again how do we partake worthily? We do it by remembering all Jesus did for us and adding our agreement to His perfect work of redemption in our lives. 

 Examining ourselves isn't the act of introspection and acknowledging how flawed and fallen we are. I heard a mixture preacher once say examining ourselves would reveal to ourselves how flawed we were and where we were actively disobeying God. This concept completely disagrees and dishonors the Gift of Righteousness and total forgiveness that Christ's shed blood and great exchange procured for us. 

There are several of these traditions surrounding communion. We will examine them in light of the New Covenant and full context. In summation, we need to come in agreement with Grace. We need to put Jesus and His Finished Work in remembrance whenever we are taking communion. The focus is on the Finished Work, not our sins. 


Image by Vesa Leppänen from Pixabay

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Answering Objections to the Gospel of Grace: We still need the Moral Law, the Ten Commandments?

 For the Law was given through Moses, but grace (God's unearned, undeserved favor) and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 AMP

 Scripture shows that when the Gospel was presented, religious-minded ones objected. They would demand that the Old Covenant and the Law still be observed. Even Peter the Apostle got carried away with this insomuch Paul publicly rebuked him.

 Recently I came across a concise list of objections to the Gospel of Grace, the "Grace message." With such a detailed list of objections, it seemed good to give a detailed rebuttal. So I have been taking the time to respond to these objections thoroughly.

 So far, I have addressed the issue of 1 John 1 and who it was addressed to. I have responded to the claim that Christians must confess to God every time they sin so they will receive forgiveness for that sin. I have addressed the concern that Grace only focuses on Paul's Epistles as if the rest of the Bible contradicts Paul. 

 In our last studies, I dealt with this issue concerning God either punishing us for our sins or judging nations or cities because of their collective sin. Today, I want to address an objection to Grace that is not new. This idea is that we need both Grace and the Law to live victorious in Christ today. 

 In Acts 15, the Church dealt with and settled this issue, we are under Grace, not Law. The enemy wants to keep the Church in mixture so the believers in Christ will be confused about their identity. They will become hesitant to take their place at the King's table and freely receive all their Father has prepared and provided for them and all Jesus has procured and purchased for them. 

 For sin will not have mastery over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14 MOUNCE 

 Yes, that's true we aren't under Law but Grace, but this must be only referencing the ceremonial laws, the dietary laws, and the sacrificial system. By following the Ten Commandments sin won't have mastery over us. Yes, we must keep the moral Law today. So says the religious-minded ones. Does the Bible teach it's the observance of the "Moral Law" and keeping the Ten Commandments that makes us free from sin's dominion?

 The · sting of death is · sin, and the power of sin is the law. 1 Corinthians 15:56 MOUNCE

 Clearly, it's the Law that gives sin its strength. The Law stirs up sinful desires and passions. The Law reveals mankind's true heart. Its motives desires and cravings. Grace is the answer to sin not Law. 

 The Law also is not divided into 3 or more parts allowing mankind to prop up what is ended and fulfilled. The Law isn't separated into 3 parts so man can therefore "keep the Law" now. Man likes to dilute God's standards into something man with enough "discipline" "willpower" and sustained abstinence from everything physical and natural can actually keep. 

 Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount put this concept away. Religious Grace claims the Sermon on the Mount proves that Grace has a higher standard than Law. No, religion has blinded minds so they can't discern Grace. Jesus was giving man the full weight of the Law. He was showing the Law is impossible to keep no matter how much you "discipline" yourself. This message wasn't about Grace, but God revealed to mankind their only hope is found in a Savior apart from their works and performance. 

 For Christ is the end of the law, so now there is righteousness for everyone who believes. Romans 10:4 MOUNCE

They don’t understand that Christ gives to those who trust in him everything they are trying to get by keeping his laws. He ends all of that. Romans 10:4 TLB

Christ is the fulfillment of Moses’ Teachings so that everyone who has faith may receive God’s approval. Romans 10:4 NOG

Christ has made an end to the law as a way of getting right with God. Everyone who believes in him is put right with God. Romans 10:4 WE

 One passage, this one passage has so much depth. Sharing this one passage in various translations brings out the richness of God's Grace. Christ is the end of the Law. Paul doesn't divide the Law like man tries to. Christ is the end of the Law for acceptance, approval, and right standing with God forever. 

 The Word is clear the Law is fulfilled in Christ. The Law is no longer how God relates to us. We have a new and living way to God and to enter into relationship with Him. This new way is the way of Grace. This new way is Jesus, the Person of Grace.

 The Law is the Ministry of Condemnation. The Law is the ministry of death. The Law is fading away and is now obsolete. Paul declared this in his Epistle to the Corinthians

 The ministry of Righteousness is the ministry that should be the focus of the Church today. Yet, it seems some want to keep mixing Moses' way of righteousness with Jesus' gift of Righteousness. Jesus' Righteousness is received freely by Faith. 

 When Jesus was on the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared beside Him. Peter declared let's build a tabernacle for all three. Peter in essence was saying let's keep all three as permanent fixtures. Peter said we should always have Moses and Elijah, the Law and the Prophets mixed with Jesus!

 This is exactly what religious tradition is doing now. They are saying we need Jesus, we need the Law and the Prophets too. The Father spoke out from Heaven, revealing it's not Grace (Jesus) and Law (Moses), it's all Jesus (Grace). The Father declared this is my Beloved Son hear Him, not hear them! 

 In summation, we have the person of Grace, Jesus Christ revealed to us and He is who we should listen to and follow now. The Law brought us to Christ. The Prophets foretold of Christ coming. Now that He is here we can hear from Him ourselves and don't need stone tablets to tell us how to live, we have the living Savior indwelling us. Jesus is enough.



Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Answering Objections to the Gospel of Grace: God is angry with and will punish believers who sins.

For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 AMP

 Throughout the last one hundred years God has been restoring truth to the Body of Christ. These truths are verifiable by examining the Word of God. Even though truth is restored certain traditional religious-minded ones will reject the truth if it contradicts their tradition.

 Recently I came across a concise list of objections to the Gospel of Grace. With such a detailed list, a detailed response seemed the best way to address these objections. I have already responded to the objections concerning 1 John 1 and confessions of sins to receive forgiveness. 

 In the last study, I responded to the objection that all Grace teaching does is focus on Paul. That Radical Grace teaching simply ignores the rest of the Bible, as if the rest of the Bible contradicts and disagrees with Paul. Today I want to respond to the objection of the Grace message that we miss it because we teach that God isn't angry with believers when they mess up. That God won't punish believers who sin too much.

 This concept of the angry God who punishes His own is a deeply rooted stronghold in the minds of tradition-ruled believers. Why? Guilt over their own transgressions and sins. Guilt means they are guilty and recompense must be made in some way or fashion for their wrongs. It's either their own guilt or condemnation they project on others whom they deem guilty of too much sinning. 

 Does God get angry with believers? Does God punish us when we sin? These are valid questions that beg an answer. Many believers have lived with guilt and shame over their sins and transgressions. Many look at the circumstances of their life and conclude God must be punishing them for some sin they have committed.

 Let's address this objection to the Gospel of Grace. Does God get angry with us and even punish us when we sin? In addressing this objection, let's examine facts about our Father in Heaven. 

 Let's look at the character of our Father in Heaven. Let's look at what was accomplished on the Cross. Let's respond using the light of the New Covenant.

 The first fact we must consider is that God our Father has accepted the final sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Father has fully accepted Christ's sacrifice and no other is needed. Jesus was enough.

 whereas Christ, having offered the one sacrifice [the all-sufficient sacrifice of Himself] for sins for all time, sat down [signifying the completion of atonement for sin] at the right hand of God [the position of honor], Hebrews 10:12 AMP

 God the Father has fully accepted the perfect once-for-all sacrifice of Christ Jesus for sins. He isn't unsatisfied with Jesus' sacrifice. He isn't looking for our sacrifices for our sins. Where there is a once for all sacrifice for sins offered there will be no other sacrifice accepted. The Father is satisfied with Jesus!  

 The next fact about our Father is that He isn't counting our sins against us. In other words, the Father isn't charging our sins to our accounts. Thanks to the shed blood we are free!

Even David describes the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness without works: 7 “Blessed are those  whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8  blessed is the man  to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” Romans 4:6-8 MEV

 The next fact about the Father is that in the New Covenant, the Father isn't remembering our sins. He declared under the New, our sins and iniquities He remembers no more. He said He doesn't remember them and neither should we.

 then he says, · “Their sins and · their lawless acts I will never again remember.” Hebrews 10:17 MOUNCE

 God declared He would never again remember our sins. If He doesn't remember them who are we to bring them up? If He said He will never remember them who then can bring a charge to God's Righteous and forgiven children?

 The last fact about our Father is that He said He would never be angry with us again. Grace teachers didn't say it He did. He cannot lie.

“For this is like the days of Noah to Me, When I swore that the waters of Noah Would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you Nor rebuke you. Isaiah 54:9 NASB

 We have looked at several truths concerning redemption and the facts about our Father concerning sins. God is a Good Father. He is not an angry harsh taskmaster. 

 For God to be angry with us because of our sins, would mean He has not fully accepted the once-for-all all sacrifice for sins. He is still counting believer's sins against them. He still remembers our sins. In essence, He would be nullifying the New Covenant. The Good News of Grace is that He is fully pleased with Jesus and will never do that.

  Jesus took the full punishment of all our sins in His body when He suffered on the cross. The wages of sin is death, and Jesus died for our sins. He bore all our sins. He didn't bear just the sins we committed before we got saved, He bore them all. Therefore God isn't holding them against us ever again.

 God is angry with and punishes believers who sin? What about Jesus? Why is God punishing us when Jesus took all the punishment for us? This concept is so absurd and reveals a clear misunderstanding and ignorance concerning the New Covenant. 

 To some religious-minded ones, the New Covenant simply means we don't sacrifice sheep or goats any longer. God still judges, condemns, and is angry with His people for their failures. The cross didn't change anything, especially how God addresses our sins and shortcomings. 

 Thanks be to God Jesus paid the highest price. God is satisfied with Jesus' once for all sacrifice and is not remembering our sins. He is not counting them against us any longer. In fact, because of Jesus, we can always have boldness concerning the day of judgment. 

 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 1 John 4:17-18 NLT

 In summation, is God angry with Christians? Is God punishing them? Based upon the precepts of the New Covenant, Jesus' once-for sacrifice, the perfect Blood of Jesus shed, and the Word of promise from God Himself the answer is clearly no! God is not remembering your sins or mine. We can run to our Father whenever we miss it because His love is always there for us. 



Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Answering Objections to the Gospel of Grace: Confession of sins, is it for the Church?

 For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 AMP

 On this site, I have addressed many concerns and objections concerning the message of Grace. I have even allayed some myths about grace teaching. Recently I came across a concise list of objections to the message of Grace. 

 With such a concise list of objections, I felt compelled to give a detailed response. So far I began addressing the issue of who 1 John was addressed to and answered if it was to Christians or not. Today, I would like to address this issue of confessions of sins so we may be forgiven of our sins. 

 On this site, we have addressed this issue several times. Each time, addressing different perspectives on the issue of confession. I will proceed with fresh insight on this matter of confession but want to allow you to study the issue further. You can find further study here, here, and here

 Are confessions of sins so we may be forgiven of our sins the system God designed in the New Covenant? Think of how this reflects on Jesus' once for all sacrifice for all of our sins. If we no longer have to offer lambs as a sacrifice for our sins to be covered but still must offer the "sacrifice" of apologizing, acknowledging, and admitting that we sinned to receive forgiveness for that sin, what does that say of Jesus' sacrifice? It says His sacrifice, His shed Blood,  is insufficient and we must add our apologies and admission in order to be forgiven.

 Let's use the Word as the final authority on this subject. If we wish to believe in a "doctrine" that says after conversion, acceptance of Jesus' and being born again, each and every time we sin thereafter we must confess it or acknowledge it so we can be cleansed from unrighteousness and receive forgiveness for it, we must consider some important truths. What truths? Let's look closer at the Word as a whole.

 For one to believe the premise of confessing to be forgiven, one has to overlook, disregard, and ignore some important Bible facts. First fact, we are only forgiven of sins by the shedding of blood not our apologies or admissions of guilt. Look at the Word;

In fact we can say that under the old agreement almost everything was cleansed by sprinkling it with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22 TLB 

 Let's look at the second Bible fact. We as believers are forgiven of all our sins once and for all time. This is Jesus' sacrifice alone not His plus ours equaling forgiveness. 

12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of GodHebrews 10:12 NASB

 Let's look at the third Bible fact. We are forgiven of all our sins. Not just forgiven of our past sins. Not forgiven only up towards the time of conversion. No, we are forgiven of all our sins past and present and future. 

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


13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. Colossians 2:13 NLT

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

 Let's look at yet another Bible fact. Truth is established in the mouth of two or three witnesses. 1 John 1:9 is the only place that tells us to confess our sins so we can receive forgiveness. If we must admit it before we are forgiven, this concept should be repeated throughout the entire New Covenant. 

This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” 2 Corinthians 13:1 NKJV

When we allow the Word to be the complete truth and final authority we can see how some ideas can't hold up to scrutiny. Another truth we must look at is the context of the Epistle. John is not contradictory as an Apostle.

 Look at his words in the second chapter of 1 John. John specifically addresses Christians who have sinned. Why didn't he tell them to admit it? Why didn't he tell them to acknowledge it? Why didn't he tell them to apologize? 

 Doesn't John know if they don't apologize they won't be forgiven? Doesn't John know if they don't admit it their sin will go on being unforgiven? What is John thinking?

 The Apostle John is not contradicting himself. In 1 John 1:9, he points sinners to their admission of sins, so they will see the need for a savior. He points to the acknowledgment of sins so they will receive the Grace of once for all forgiveness. In 1 John 2, John points believers to Jesus and not themselves. He points those who have sinned to Jesus and reminds them of His sacrifice, not theirs. 

 In summation, the facts are clear. 1 John is not teaching believers we must confess in order to receive forgiveness. The second chapter of John proves this. John reminds us of Jesus' sacrifice. He reminds us of our forgiveness in Jesus. We don't confess to be forgiven under the New. 

 When we sin, we confess what Jesus did about our sins. We confess who we are because of Jesus despite our sins. We confess our Righteousness and redemption in Christ when we sin. Because we are forgiven we can freely admit when we have failed and know we are not condemned.  This is the Good News of Grace. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

The Spirit of life in Christ has made you free!

 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:2 MOUNCE

 

 Did you know that you have freedom in Christ? This is not a mere Christian cliche or hyperbolic rhetoric designed to garner an emotional response. The spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed those who simply believed. 

 The question then is what exactly are we freed from? Many only scratch the surface of this freedom we have in Christ. Many only see this freedom as no longer a requirement to observe the ceremonial and sacrificial aspects of the Mosaic Law. 

 Yet, some still believe we must observe the Saturday sabbath and that much of the Old Covenant is still applicable to the Church. Then others will agree we aren't under the Old Covenant any longer and this is the freedom Paul speaks of. So what is this freedom Paul speaks of?

 In answering this, let me elaborate briefly. This portion of Scripture had been coming up in my spirit and I found myself periodically meditating on what Paul said in verse 2. The more this passage rose up within me, I finally decided to really examine this passage using the original Greek text, as well as various translations and lexicons I was quite astonished at this amazing freedom we have in Christ.

 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:2 MOUNCE

 This powerful passage unlocks for us who believe, the staggering, and extraordinarily phenomenal freedom the life in Christ has procured for us. The depth of this triumphant freedom has been scarcely understood and fathomed in the Body of Christ. The implications of this freedom will rock the religious boat of man's traditions and shake the foundation of faulty theology. 

 When we simply define the terms of this freedom the light of His Radical Grace will enlighten the darkened caverns and crevices of our thinking left unexplored because of man-made tradition. We are made free from the Law of sin and death. What is sin?

 The word sin here means to miss the mark. To miss or wander from the path. Going deeper, it also means the propensity to sin, guilt, and the imputation of sin. Think of it the spirit of life in Christ Jesus frees us from sin! It gets better.

 The word death here is the Greek word Thanatos. Comic book fans don't lose focus because you recognize that name. Now in defining this word death, the depths of God's Grace became even more clearer and also reveal the immeasurable depths of His Love, Grace, and all the time Goodness!   

 The word death is not merely defined as the cessation of life. This word is defined as the separation of the spirit from the body with the implication of future misery in hell. Now this is only the tip of the full definition of this word.

 This word also includes all the miseries associated with sin, that is the fall, the lost state of the sinner apart from Christ, this would include all the effects of the fall. Shame, guilt, unrighteousness, as well as the curse. This has to include death, disaster, depression, desolation, disease, and despair. All the attributes associated with the full effects of spiritual death, that is separation from God. 

 Lastly and most powerfully, the word death means the forfeiture of salvation. Can you now see and understand just how triumphant this freedom we have in Christ actually is? It is truly astounding and astonishing when we grasp the full magnitude of this perfect Redemption we have through Jesus.

 The Law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the Law of sin and death! This truth is so powerful and so comforting. Through the life we have in Christ Jesus, there is no longer any guilt or shame. Not even if we sin! Through Jesus, our sins are no longer imputed to us! Instead, we have the life of Christ and we are made perfectly Righteous and therefore we are free! 

 Through the life we have in Christ, we are freed from sin and death. This life in Christ frees us from the effects of sin and death. The despair and misery associated with sin and separation cannot exist in our lives. The fall, the curse, and the fractured creation are around us but we can have victory and peace in their midst. In other words, they are on the outside but not on the inside. 

 The spirit of life in Christ Jesus frees us from eternal insecurity! We have hope and full assurance through Christ. He is our anchor in this fallen world. Fear, anxiety, and insecurity need not burden our thinking and emotions. We have full freedom from them in Christ. We are fully accepted and approved in Christ. We have hope, we are loved, we are cherished by our Father because of Jesus.

 This life in Christ Jesus means we are unconditionally and eternally secure! We are free from death, that is freedom from forfeiture of salvation. We are prisoners of hope and Righteousness. Nothing can cause us to fall away, be found wanting and unaccepted, and be lost again. This life in Christ makes us His forever and nothing can change that.

 In summation, this powerful passage reveals a redemption that only Grace could procure and provide for all. Apart from Christ, the way of life is if we sin just once we die. Hence what we are freed from, is the law of sin and death. That is if you sin, you die. In Christ, even if you sin you will not die or be separated. This is Radical Grace, this is the life we have in Christ Jesus! 


Image by Nadine DoerlĂ© from Pixabay

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Unfailing Love?

The grace that comes through our Lord Jesus Christ, the love that is of God the Father, and the fellowship that is ours in the Holy Spirit be with you all! 2 Corinthians 13:14 PHILLIPS

But God, with the unfathomable richness of His love and mercy focused on us, united us with the Anointed One and infused our lifeless souls with life—even though we were buried under mountains of sin—and saved us by His grace. Ephesians 2:4-5 VOICE 

How great is the Love of God? How wonderful is His great Love? If you've been a Christian for any length of time it's more than likely you've heard that God loves you. 
 
Hearing how much God loves us is wonderful and good. Singing worship songs proclaiming His great Love is amazing. All this emphasis on His Love leads me to ask some questions in light of what most churches teach and proclaim after they tell us God loves us.
 
Most ministries will readily affirm God's Love. They even declare His Love is unfailing. Yet shortly after proclaiming His great Love, the message begins to shift, and the focus becomes about our faithfulness, our obedience, and our performance, and less and less about the unfailing love of God.
  
The questions I have concern the apparent disconnect between a Love that never fails and a teaching that says mercy runs out. That God's forgiveness has limits. That we can sin away Grace. That in spite of unfailing Love, we as Christians can lose our salvation. 

Let's ask some questions in light of this disconnect, this contrast, this possible contradiction;

 Will God ever come to a place where He is done with us?

 Will God ever say to us enough I am through with you?

 Will God ever say to us concerning our salvation, His relationship with us, it's over, we're done? 

 Is this Love really unfailing and unceasing? Can a Christian deplete God's Love and mercy and Grace? Will God's Love diminish the more a Christian fails and falters? 

 Traditional religion will declare His Love is unfailing. Yet they also say a believer can fail God so much that they can forfeit or suffer the loss of their salvation. In essence, a believer's failure can cause unfailing love to actually fail and result in forever losing the object of the unfailing love. 

 The Love that never fails means that it will never fail no matter what someone else does or doesn't do. There is nothing we can do to cause God to Love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God cease loving us. 

 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never turn away. For I have come down from · heaven, not to do · my own will · but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me: that of all that he has given me I should lose none but raise them up on the last day. John 6:37-39 MOUNCE

 God's Love is everlasting and eternal. God's Love is unceasing and unfailing. God's opinion of you has never changed and it will never will change. God's Love will never falter or fade from day to day based on our actions or words. In fact, His unconditional Love received within is the power of God that renews our thoughts and thinking which produces the change in attitude and behavior effortlessly. 

 So let's answer those questions. Will God ever say it's over? Will God ever tell you I'm through with you? Will God ever inform you that you're done? In light of the unfailing Love of God, a thousand times no! A trillion times never, no way, not ever. 

 God's Love is unfailing and unending. When the voice of the condemnation preaching of legalism speaks, God's Love speaks louder. When the voice of the accusation of the enemy speaks, God's Love speaks louder and silences these lies! God's Love is for us! 

 God's unfailing Love proves our relationship with our Father is unshakeable and completely secure. In Christ, we have the hope and reassurance that we are eternally secure and rest firmly, safely, in His hands forever. His Love surrounds us and shields us from the lies of condemnation, accusation, and a performance-driven relationship. 

 In summation, we are forever His. His unfailing cascades over us bringing hope, healing, and wholeness in every area of our life and relationship with God. Is His Love unfailing? Yes, we can boldly declare in light of Redemption, the Cross, the Resurrection, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and Grace, that God's Love never fails! 

 


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Discover Grace: No More Sacrifices Needed

God saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace. He gave us this grace in King Jesus before all time and ages, 10 but has now made it visible through the appearing of our saviour King Jesus, who abolished death and, through the gospel, shone a bright light on life and immortality. 2 Timothy 1:9-10 NTE 

 God is such a Good Father. The more we see the Father and look at the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ,  we discover Grace more and more. Grace isn't just a message of hope and healing and happiness. Grace is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 Grace reveals a Savior greater than our sins. Grace reveals forgiveness that is eternal and isn't obtained through apologies or our words, but rather only through the shed Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace reveals how forgiven we are.

 Grace is what our focus should be. Our focus shouldn't be on our flaws and faults and failures. The only way to overcome failure and walk in victory over sins and habits is to realize and understand and comprehend the depth of His Love, His Grace, and how cleansed and forgiven we are through the Blood of Jesus, His death on the Cross and Him bearing all the judgment for our sins forever.

 When we mention sin, apparently in the thinking of believers and ministers it appears to be some majestic mountain that not even God can climb or remove. To many, sins can halt, hinder and hold back our Father's Love for us. That the moment we sin we are dead to God and alive to satan and destined to eternity in hell. 

 Why is this? We can see how the New Covenant speaks of sin. Look at Romans 6 and Ephesians 4 and 5. Sin is not something we celebrate. We don't make light of its effects on our lives and on those around us. We can see where there is a loss of heavenly rewards for perpetuating sinful lifestyles. We can see that sin can put us in bondage to bad habits and such. 

 Yet nowhere did it state a loss of God's Love, mercy, favor, or Grace in and on our lives. One quick point. Much of what people focus on when it comes to "sinning" is the "R-rated" stuff. Sex outside marriage, pornography, adultery, cussing, R-rated movies, and TV shows, and secular music. 

 What I see little of is the way we treat others. The bitterness we hold inwardly toward others. The way we behave in traffic, the way we work at our jobs. Such as coming in late and leaving early, which can be stealing time from the company. My point is, if sins hinder all of God's Goodness in our life, what about the "little things?"

 Grace, the Gospel isn't saying sin all you like it's cool. Grace isn't winking, saying boys will be boys it's not that serious. Grace isn't saying let's pursue sin because there are no lasting consequences. 

 That said, we must not also go to the other side of the road and believe and teach that sin is greater than His Grace and Love. That sin is some great barrier between the believer and Christ. That sin makes God turn away from us. 

 Often we as believers as soon as we sin feel a need or urge to make up for our sins. Why is this? Because we are not fully persuaded and deeply convinced that all our sins are completely forgiven and the price totally paid in full. 

   And after everything is forgiven, there is no more need for a sacrifice to pay for sins. Hebrews 10:18 ERV

 This is a powerful clause of the New Covenant. Everything is already paid for. Therefore since it is paid in full what else is there to pay? What is it you can offer as payment?

 This powerful, awe-inspiring, majestic merciful loving sacrifice of Jesus' shed Blood is enough. Jesus is enough. His Blood is enough. God has accepted this final once for all payment.

 There is nothing we can do to make up for our sins. There is no price we can pay to cover our failures or mistakes. There is no sacrifice we can make that will pay for our sinful habits or deeds. We must fully accept and receive this absolutely free gift of God's Grace.

 As the Body of Christ, we need to fully honor and embrace the perfect sacrifice of Jesus as being enough. We as believers need to cease from our own works trying to make up for our failures and freely accept Jesus' payment for our faults and failures. Jesus is more than enough.

  Honor the Finished Work. Exalt the mighty name of Jesus. Give thanks for His final sacrifice. Be thankful His shed Blood is enough. Uplift the once for all payment for all the sins we have committed or will commit. Stand in awe of this lavish gift of forever forgiveness and complete cleansing from all sins. It's all because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ.

 In summation, discover His Grace more and more. Discover this Loving Father and amazing Savior. See the work of Jesus as final and finished. See all the sins of all of us cleansed and forgiven forever. Discover Grace, the Lord Jesus Christ.


Image by bohed from Pixabay