Posts Tagged ‘shalom’

Continue in God’s Grace

All of us at some point as Christians were impacted by Christ in a powerful way.  I would argue that at no point were any of us impacted by the law, I would argue that the impact was purely based on His love and grace.  You were blown away by His mercy, you were blown away by His love.  My friends at the point of accepting Christ you are imparted with a tremendous amount of His grace and love and everything turns into sunshine and rainbows at the hour that you call his name.  Do you realize that it does not have to change?  Better question is do you know why it changes?

When people turn to the law instead of His grace the sunshine and rainbows go away and duty, guilt and condemnation come into the picture.  Paul in Galatians warned about following a different gospel instead of the one that they were called in the grace of Christ.  Paul even goes as far to tell us that when we follow a different gospel than the one of the grace of Christ that we pervert the gospel of Christ.  Let me make this very clear; attempting to be justified by the works of the Ten Commandments is a perversion of the gospel of Christ.

Paul asked the Galatians whether they received the Spirit by their works of the law or by hearing of faith?  He goes on to ask if people are so foolish to begin hearing by faith and now trying to be perfect by the flesh (self-effort).  Do not start with grace and end with the law.  Our world is filled with worldly thinking by Christians.  My challenge to you is simple; start with grace and end with grace, don’t start with the new covenant yet turn back to the old covenant.  There are even those who believe they are not justified by the law but believe they should keep the law for sanctification.  My friends let me be crystal crystal clear; both justification and sanctification come by our faith in Jesus’ finished work alone.

My friends start to realize how God sees you.  Too many of us base our worth on our evaluation on how we perform and how they feel about themselves; this never is how God feels about us.  When you realize how loved you are by God and how he sees you, it cannot help but change you and how you look at yourself.  Beloved, we have access all the time to His full blessings simply based on Jesus finished work.  TODAY, think, talk and act knowing that it is not about you or your works — it is about Jesus and Him alone, and step out into His blessings for you!

…Having began in the Spirit, and you now being made perfect by the flesh?   —   Galatians 3:3

Don’t start with grace and end up with the law.  Don’t start with the new covenant, only to turn back to the old covenant.


Won Over By God’s Grace

We all know that living right is living clean, we know that it is good to be addiction free and sin free.  We know it is good to act good and to be good but being good and acting good will never make us holy.  We continually strive to be good and act good because we believe it is how we live, and although I obviously agree that acting good is good for us, it will never make us holy.

So the question today is how do we act good?  If acting and being good is good but not holy how do we turn from bad to good?  Does hearing the law being preached and right from wrong the motivator to change or is there greater motivation in knowing that there is zero condemnation when you are in Christ?

The law never has and never will be able to free any of us from or give us the ability to overcome weaknesses, destructive habits and addictions.  There is no liberation in being told what to do or believing that God condemns you for your failures.  If you believe that God condemns you for your wrong doing then how likely are you to run to Him?

The realization of no-condemnation is one of the most important revelations that you can have.  When you realize that God does not condemn you then you are willing and wanting to run to Him with open arms.  Jesus looked tenderly at the woman caught in adultery and said, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?  Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.”  And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

The Ten Commandments in all their holiness cannot make you holy and cannot put an end to sin.  The power to stop sin from destroying your life comes from receiving the gift of no condemnation from Jesus.  Your Savior, who has fulfilled the law on your behalf, says to you, “Where are those who condemn you?  NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU.  Now, go and sin no more.”  This is grace, my friend.  When you know that Christ has made you righteous apart from your works, and that He has perfected you by His unmerited favor, that will give you the ability to overcome ever sinful temptation, habit and addiction in your life!

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.   —   Romans 6:14

It is vital for you to receive the gift of no condemnation because that is what will give you the power to overcome your weaknesses, destructive habits and addictions.

Come As You Are To Jesus

As I have stated several times you are accepted by God because of His grace and NEVER because of your works.  Even if your life is a mess, He can take your mess and make it into something beautiful.  Come as you are to Jesus.

Many times people will think they have to get in their life in order before coming to Jesus.  They will say, “I need to get my life in order before coming to church.”  Sound ridiculous? It happens quite a bit in churches all around the world.  I heard a terrific response from someone, the response is so simple even our children can understand.

“Do you clean yourself before you take a bath?”  Of course not.  When you come to God He and not you is your bath.  When you are dirty he cleanses you and washes you.  In the natural when you are dirty you cannot clean yourself without water, the bathtub is useless without the water pouring into it.  In the same way you cannot clean yourself and you never will be able to.  God is the water and is the only solution to cleansing and cleaning a dirty person such as yourself and myself.

The truth of the matter is if you try and use your own efforts to clean yourself you become dirtier.  The ability to make you righteous, new and whole is only from God.  It NEVER and I mean NEVER is about your works, good deeds, loyalty, persistence or dedication.  It always is about Him and if you allow Him to love you then you will become whole.  You never ever will be able to ever qualify yourself for God’s blessings.  You are made holy, righteous and clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, and it is His righteous standing that qualifies you — nothing more and nothing less.

Go to Jesus with all your mess, all your addictions, all your weaknesses and all your failures.  God loves you just as you are.  However, He also loves you too much to let you stay the same.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,   —   Psalm 30:11

You are made holy, righteous and clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, and it is His righteous standing that qualifies you — nothing more and nothing less.

The Power of Jesus’ Blood

It just does not seem possible that God who is all knowing can forget sin but you have to remember one thing; God cannot lie.  If He states it in His Word then we have to take it as face value because He simply cannot lie.  So He means it when He says that He will remember your sins no more.  Our only part in the new covenant is to believe that God indeed remembers our sins no more!

The blood has all the power to forgive your sins and that is dangerous to the enemy because the enemy wants to try and convince you that you are not completely forgiven.  If the enemy can get you to think this way he will get you to be sin-conscious, defeated, condemned, fearful of God and caught in a vicious circle of failure.

Back in the old covenant the pure and innocent blood of bulls and goats temporarily had to be shed to cover sins.  Jesus blood is pure, it is innocent and it is without sin but the difference is the shedding of his blood and His sacrifice covered us forever.  No other sacrifices have to be made because the pure and perfect lamb had His blood shed once and for all for our sins and wrongdoings.

There is no compromise on the Gospel of Jesus, there is no middle ground.  Forgiveness of sins is based on His grace alone and we have access into this grace by faith.  The only thing, the only part we have in the new covenant is to simply believe that truth.  There is no more, there is no less, it is not more complicated than that.  Our only part is to remove the works from our brain and simply rest in the finished work of Christ.  That is what makes it the good news.  You remove His blood and the gospel is removed.  Simply believe my friend, that is all.  Remember right believing always leads to right living.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.   —   Ephesians 1:7

If the enemy can get you to believe the lie that you are not completely forgiven, and keep you sin-conscious, he will be able to keep you defeated, condemned, fearful of God and caught in a vicious circle of failure.

Freedom From Destructive Habits

I cannot even begin to comprehend how many organizations, groups and things that are devoted to reduce or help cope with destructive habits.  Many of these organizations and groups are wonderful things that provide a great service to many people who are hurting very badly.  However I believe there is one thing many of these groups lack when it comes to coping with destructive habits.  The belief that knowing they are completely spotless in Christ is the secret and key to overcoming addictions and destructive habits.  I can speak on this because I have been in many destructive habits and the thing that liberated me the most when I finally realized that I was completely righteous and blameless in God’s sight because of Christ.

Many times when you focus on destructive habits you focus on the habits that you were once in.  Part of your recovery is to be continually conscious of the behavior you are trying to escape, while I think many groups are successful in their treatment of addictions I believe too much focus on the bad habit itself can lead to sin consciousness.  However, if you are focused on who you are in Christ and focused that you are completely righteous and blameless before God, the focus is then on His goodness and your goodness through Him, not what you lack.

Johnny Mercer once sung, “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.”  Now I may not be a doctor or be a trained psychologist but I am proficient in God’s favor and I can tell you that from my experience that the key to overcoming bad habits it to focus on who I am because of God’s goodness and less focus on who I was when I was not walking as closely in the presence of God.  The more and more God is in your life (completely by your choice) the more sin and addictions have no place in your life.

When you realize that God loves you unconditionally despite your failures the more and more you will realize there is no condemnation for you.  And no matter what your failures are, in Christ you are still not condemned.  You are once and always washed perfectly by His blood.  This gift happens the second you accept Him and from there on forward.

..And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”   —   John 8:11

As Jesus is spotless and without blame, so are you in Christ.

We are not priests. We are royal high priests!

Believers Worship at David’s Tabernacle
Many Christians are ignorant of one fact. They are royal preists. They are not just normal preists. The difference is significant and important. We are not from the line of Aaron. We are from the line of David. Like Melchizedek, David was both king and preist. What is the big deal you say? Well it has to do with the tabernacles Aaron and David. Aaron was a preist in the tabernacle of Moses. David built his own tabernacle. I am reproducing an article from Paul White to show you why to me it is a HUGE DEAL. It is as huge as LAW AND GRACE.

Amos 9:11-12

11 “In that day  “I will restore David’s fallen shelter— I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins— and will rebuild it as it used to be,

12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name,” declares the LORD, who will do these things.

In Acts 15, the Apostle James speaks to the assembled apostles and preachers at the council in Jerusalem. The council was held so that the Jewish apostles could determine what they should say and preach to the new Gentile converts regarding the observance of Jewish law. In his speech, James quotes our text from the book of Amos, placing Amos’ prophecy in New Testament times, not far off in some future millennium.

James states that the advent of Jesus and His death on the cross has brought back the tabernacle of David. Even the least experienced Bible student knows that the tabernacle was built by Moses, many years before David came along, and that David’s son Solomon constructed the temple. So when and where was there ever a tabernacle of David?

David decided that the Ark of the Covenant had been missing from Jerusalem for too long. Moses’ tabernacle was set up in Gibeon, but David wanted to bring the presence of the Lord to the capital of Israel and Judah, so he had a cart constructed so that the Ark could be rolled in. On the way, one of David’s men touched the Ark as it was shaking on the cart and he fell over dead. David was frightened of the Ark’s power so he took it to the nearest house, the home of a Gentile named Obed-edom.

Obed-edom means, “Servant of Edom”. Edom is another name for Esau, showing us that this man was actually a descendent of Jacob’s brother Esau. For the next 3 months, blessings are poured on the house of Obed-edom, and as David hears of this, he becomes a bit envious in his spirit, desiring that God would bless him with such goodness. This prompts David to take the Ark out of Obed-edom’s house and bring it up to Jerusalem, this time with priests carrying it, as Moses had been instructed.

David places the Ark in a tabernacle that he pitches for it (2 Samuel 6:17). 1 Chronicles 15:1 tells us that this “tabernacle” is a tent. David seems unconcerned with placing the Ark in the Holy of Holies, in the tabernacle at Gibeon, for he makes no effort to do so. Instead, he leaves it in Jerusalem, basking off of the same blessings that were on it while in the house of Obed-edom. Through all of this he had learned that God’s blessings were not on the tabernacle, but on the Ark, and that God would bless all who approached it, even an unworthy Gentile.

James references this prophecy because of what Christ’s finished work has accomplished. Under the Old Covenant, God was to be feared and placed at a distance. Only the high priest ever saw the ark while it was in the tabernacle, and that only once per year. David is hearkening forward to a better covenant built upon better promises, when all of God’s people can go boldly into the presence of the Lord and have their moment at the mercy seat of heaven, covered by the blood of the precious, spotless Lamb.

Believers no longer worship a distant entity, but a living God. Because Christ lives in us, we worship at David’s tabernacle, where God’s presence is always right where we are. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and God dwells in us (1 Corinthians 6:19). Just as in David’s tabernacle, the blessings are not on the tent, but on the Ark in the tent. The blessings that we experience are not because of us but because of our Jesus in us! Therefore, His blessings are not dependent on how good we are or how consecrated we may be, but rather they are dependent on how good Jesus is. As Amos said, even the remnant of Edom and all of the heathen are called by the name of the Lord (Amos 9:12).

The Power to Sin No More

Today we are going to talk about having a victorious thought life.  The solution to temptations, sinful desires and thoughts is found in the very first verse of Romans 8;  “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  When you look at the Word through the eye glasses of no condemnation your thoughts change.  Anyone knows that if you think positive and your perspective is good then your life is good no matter what your surroundings are.  If you truly understand that God never condemns you when you are in Christ then all and I mean all of the pressure is off.  You no longer are striving to succeed you simply are resting in God and allowing His blessings to flow through your life.

The verse today is in the present tense, it does not talk about the past.  Today, no matter what your actions or surroundings are, there is no condemnation.  In the world perhaps but not in the eyes of God, isn’t what God thinks after all the important stuff?

So should we do evil and sit still in evil thoughts and desires?  Absolutely not!  Sin cannot take root in those who are full of the consciousness that he or she is righteous in Christ.  Not partially righteous in God’s sight; fully righteous in God’s sight!  You cannot stop thoughts from entering your head but based on your decision on what you believe you can prevent those thoughts from taking root in your soul.  You cannot stop the birds from flying above your head but you can stop them from making a nest on your head.

The key to stopping temptations is at that very moment of the temptation to proclaim your righteousness in Christ.  Satan will have no place in your life when you proclaim that!  The devil has no comeback to the name of Jesus.

As I have stated before; right believing always leads to right living.  When you are conscious of your righteousness in Christ and you live it out and sin will not have room in your life.  Continue to evolve your believes and your conscious and see what happens to sin in your life.  Being conscious of sin leads to more sin.  Being conscious of your righteousness leads to a life you always wanted.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.   —   Romans 8:1

You now have the power of Christ to rise above your temptation and to rest in your righteous identity in Christ apart from your works.

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