Sunday, August 26, 2012

What More Do You Need?

Let's recap. God made the world and everything in it. The He made Adam and Eve in their (the Trinities) image. They had no knowledge of sin therefore could not commit it. Then Satan came along and sweet talked Eve who sweet talked her husband into eating from the forbidden tree (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil). God told them if they ate of that tree they would surely die. But after they ate they were still ticking. We now know that God did not mean a physical drop dead death, but a spiritual death. Now, because of their act of disobedience, we are now separated from God, our creator. From then on every man ever born is born into sin and in need of salvation. God commanded them to atone for sin with animal sacrifices. Life is in the blood so life was needed in exchange for life.(Leviticus 17:11) But God had a better redemptive plan. A sacrifice that would give us permanent redemption. He would send His son, His one and only son, to earth to become sin for us and to be sacrificed for us. After He was sacrificed He overcame death/sin and the grave. Now Jesus has died for our sins and resurrected, but what has that done for us? What did that do for us Christians who have accepted His salvation? We go on believing that we are still sinners and that we need to now live a good life to get into Heaven. Why is it that we as Christians can have faith in what the word says about us with some things but when it comes to who we really are we abandon the word. We'll quickly speak our healing as the word says, "by his wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). Or we'll speak over our financial situation something like, "I'm not broke. I'm in between my blessings because my God owns the cattle on a thousand hills." But when it comes to who we are as a person we just suck. We are the meanest, most jealous, liars still in need of Jesus to come and fix us. I'm sorry, but didn't he already come and redeem us?(Romans 3:22-24) It is this way because we look at what we do instead of believing by faith all of what God says about us. We see that we slip up and swear, lie, have sex outside marriage, have ill feelings toward someone...or some other sinful act. We fail to do what we as Christians are called to do which is live by faith (in everything)(2 Corinthians 5:7). Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We know we need to live by faith, faith in what God says because His word is truth(John 17:17). So what does He say about Christians? Let's see, the Bible says that we are dead to sin in Romans 6:2-7 & 11-14, "By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace." Ultimately though, you learn through reading the scripture that God has made us righteous through our faith in Jesus Christ.(Romans 1:17) Romans is a great book to read to see who you are as a Christian. Here's what Paul said, "But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood —to be received by faith."(Romans 3:21-25) He said a lot there, but some key things one is, "all are justified freely by his grace." Justified means to show to be just or right. To declare innocent or guiltless; absolve; acquit. He also says that Jesus was a "sacrifice of atonement." Atonement means satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends. So all (who believe in Jesus) are declared innocent or guiltless, have been absolved, acquitted and Jesus has become our sacrifice that has satisfied/amended our wrong. Then Paul goes on to let us know that we are not only righteous, but ruled by righteousness, slaves to it. You should read Romans 6:16-23, but here's a little from there, "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness."(Romans 6:17) Now we live according to the spirit, "And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:3-4). We must walk in faith by the spirit, "For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God." (Romans 8:14) I'd like to leave you with a verse that God told me to break down and get in me. Romans 8:29-30, "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." He had me look up the meaning to some of the words and implant the meanings into the verse. Here are the words: Image means likeness or copy. Likeness means quality or fact of being like; resemblance; something that is like; copy; picture. Justified means to show to be just or right. Clear of blame or guilt; exonerate. Just means in accordance with what is right and honest. Exonerate means to prove or declare innocent. Glorify means to make more beautiful or splendid than it usually appears. Here is the translation: For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the [quality; copy] of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also [showed to be in accordance with what is right and honest; cleared of blame or guilt; exonerated]; those he [showed to be in accordance with what is right and honest; cleared of blame or guilt; exonerated], he also [makes more beautiful or splendid than it usually appears]. In the time that king Ahab ruled he "did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him."(1 Kings 16:30) Elijah gathered 850 false prophets on Mount Carmel. "Elijah went before the people and said, 'How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.'" 1 Kings 18:21...Who will you believe/follow? Will it be man and their views of who you are or God and His truths of who His Son has made you?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Walk It Out!

Christ is not an add on or a hobby--He is our life. Once we accept Him we die and He comes to life (Colossians 3:3). He has now transformed us into His likeness. He has now restored us back to our original design. As Adam and Eve were before the fall-perfect. We now live by faith. Faith in Christ that He makes us everything we can not (Colossians 2:10). Faith in the fact that He's healed, delivered, restored and set us free. When He died He said, "It is finished." How can something be "finished" if someone is needed to keep coming back to do more work. We mess up and say "Lord, forgive me," (over and over and over again) but He did that over 2,000 years ago...scratch that, He did that before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:19-20). If it was done before we ever sinned, before we were ever created how can we lay hold to it or claim it for ourselves? The Bible says we have to simply accept it. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13) Once we've accepted our gift of salvation it is ours and has covered ALL. We simply have to now live it by faith in the knowledge that Christ has already done it. We just need to walk it out. "For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes." Romans 10:2-4

Living Christ

I was lying in bed wondering why it is that Christians, those who claim to love and follow Christ (which is what a Christian means - to believe in and exemplify Jesus Christ), can't "stay saved" as we like to say? Why is it that they can be the most Holy Ghost sanctified person on Sunday, but come Monday they're life screams Holy who?! Filled with what?! And it came to me. It's because in today's culture (really church culture) Jesus can really only be found at church. They tell you to come to "The house of God" (which is funny because the Bible says, "This is what the Lord says:'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things,and so they came into being?'" Isaiah 66:1) and that's where you can meet Jesus. That's where you'll get your deliverance, freedom, healing...etc. The devil is a liar! If I now have Jesus living inside of me and The Bible says, "...the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:4) then why do I need to go anywhere or do anything to get deliverance... outside of being obedient to the one on the inside, the one in whom I now have life? This is why Christians can't "stay saved." Few are telling us that our deliverance doesn't lie in what we do, but in what He already did over 2,000 years ago. We need to now be teaching each other to live in the faith of what Jesus did for us and that is where true victory lies.