Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Thoughts To Think About "4"

God knows whether there is a hidden motivation even to ourselves, hidden by our pride nature to look good before others, to appear knowledgeable before others, to somehow elevate self in relation to others to gain the praise of others, God knows the motivations of the human heart. Any kind of works at all, even if they appear to be good works in our mind that are done for the purpose of attaining salvation or for the purpose of maintaining salvation, even for the purpose of proving one’s salvation is a slap in the face of God who had to provide the gift of salvation because people’s righteousness would be totally incapable of meriting it. Our good works must be done solely out of appreciation for what God has already accomplished. Were establishing the law. We establish it by acknowledging the fact that the law was a picture of God’s perfect righteousness where human performance is concerned, and that when it comes to attaining to the righteous standard, the law can't make a right relationship with God. Jesus purchased the human race out of the market place of sins.

God is making us conformable to the death of Jesus so that in living this experience we might become conformed to his resurrection. This doesn’t mean that when we die to self we become inactive or insensible, nor do we feel ourselves to be dead. Rather, dying to self means that the thing of the old life are put to death, most especially the sinful ways and lifestyles we once engaged in. The entire concept seems a bit strange to our natural eyes. Dying to self is something you can take very literal; you will die in every way possible in order to be someone you are not. Dying to self is not fun or easy, but what is particularly difficult about fighting this tendency is that it’s not exactly a behavior or action. It can certainly manifest itself in those forms, but underneath them is an attitude, a real change of mind and attitude towards sin itself and the cause of it, a change in our principle action from what is by nature the exact opposite.

All the different churches of our day is best described as the Corinthians epistle, equally the Galatians epistle, the same mind set that led to the judgment Isaiah warned Israel about continues to operate within society today. It never went away, the same inner mind set, that same moral choice of good and bad at work in people throughout history, the more things change, the more they stay the same. They are marked by divisions, they have divided into little factions, into little groups and little cliques, separating one from another over who is more important than the other person, minds bent on serving only self. Only when we come to see ourselves as God sees us and are able to fully appreciate and understand who God has already made us to be and who he has made us to be in the Savior can we become in our behavior what he wants us to in that aspect of our lives.

In reality, we have very little control over our emotions, but we do have control over our thoughts and our thoughts determine our feelings and our responses. If what we believe doesn't reflect truth, then what we feel doesn’t reflect reality. When we believe what we feel instead of the truth, how will our ministry of reconciliation be? As inconsistent as our feelings. The important process of renewing our mind includes managing our emotions by managing our thoughts and perceptions. Satan and his forces are always hurling their fiery darts of fear, doubt and worry in our direction, but the only time they can hit us is when we let our shield of faith down. A shield deflects; it keeps the darts of the enemy away from our mind, the shield moves with the attack. When we allow doubt to creep in, an actively raised shield of faith prevents this otherwise inhibiting fatigue, so the shield is the first line of defense, the enemy has to get past the shield first.

Our only boast is in Jesus, none of us can boast in ourselves. There will be no body in heaven wearing a merit badge based on fleshly achievement, no one there will be introduced as super saint. Since Satan and his forces primary weapon is the lie, our defense against them is the truth. Dealing with them isn’t a power encounter; it’s a truth encounter. They know just what buttons to push to tempt us. They have observed our behavior over the years and they know where we are vulnerable and that is where they will attack. Our temptations will be unique to our area of vulnerability. The moment we are tempted, we are at the threshold of a decision and if we don’t immediately choose to take that thought captive, we will begin to consider it as an option. Our emotions play a major role in the process of renewing our mind. Our emotions reveal our perceptions. Our emotions are a product of our thought life and if we are not thinking right, if our mind is not being renewed, if we are not perceiving God and his Word properly, it will show up in our emotional life.

Religion is Satan’s invention and many people involved in religion’s domain are dealing with God on the basis of probation rather than salvation. Then God must make a decision in their mind whether or not to save that individual. If they will simply dedicate themselves to no longer sin, that is the idea promoted by Satan’s ministers of righteousness, their suitability for heaven depends upon their turning away from all of their sins. God testing over and over again the validity of that dedication, then God will know if they are truly devoted to him, then God will be able to finally make a decision as to whether or not they are heaven worthy. Then there are people who believe that God’s grace as it relates to salvation is something that has to be tapped into, new sins requiring new grace and new forgiveness. Satan’s purpose in this age of grace is to confuse Paul’s gospel with a gospel so nearly to it.

Those who deny the enemy’s potential for destruction are the most vulnerable to it. Even though our eternal destiny is secure and the armor of God is readily available, we are still vulnerable to their accusations and temptations. If we give into these, we can be influenced by them and if we remain under their influence long enough we can lose control if we fail to stand against them. Ownership is never at sake, they cannot touch our new identity, but as long as we are living in this fleshly body, we can allow ourselves to be vulnerable targets to all their fiery darts. How do you think Satan carries on his worldwide ministry of evil and deception? He is a created being; he is not omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent. He cannot be everywhere in the world tempting and deceiving millions of people at the same moment. He does so through an army of emissaries “fallen angels called evil spirits” who propagate his plan of rebellion around the world.

Well, according to the apostle Paul, the indwelling of God’s power from on high is both God’s seal and his deposited pledge that all believers are forever his and are destined to inherit eternal life. The security all believers have in that the indwelling of God’s power from on high guarantees that those who have believed Paul’s good news message can never be lost, they belong to God. The word “sealed” means sealed for preservation. The seal is the safeguarding device, the securing device used to preserve the contents. God’s power from on high is the seal that God used to secure all who believe in this dispensation of grace. The word “earnest” means a pledge in the sense that an advance deposit has been made as the security guaranteeing the fulfillment of that which has been promised to those who have been sealed. We were not sealed on the basis of our behavior, but upon the basis of (and at the point of) our belief, that is a seal we can fully depend upon.

Just because God isn’t counting our coming short against us, that doesn’t make us as right as he is. God didn’t take away the sin, he took away the debt of the sinner. Sin is still here and sin still reaps it’s consequences. Death comes in a myriad of forms, death of a relationship, conscience, there are a lot of ways that sin can bring death. The circumstances that are occurring in our world today come as a natural result of the sin-cursed world in which we live, not from special judgments from God, they come from choices people make. God is not trying to get even with people today because of their sins and he isn’t calling down some special bad thing; some adverse situation in order to teach certain individuals a lesson. God doesn’t teach through special judgments during the dispensation of grace, he teaches us through his written Word today.

We are more vulnerable to Satan and his forces deception than to any of their other schemes, because when they tempt us or accuse us we can recognize it, but when they deceive us we don’t always know it. That is their strategy, to keep us in the dark. We cannot expose their deception by human reasoning; we can only do it by the light of the truth. The belt of truth is the only valid piece of the armor against the darkness of deception. It’s critical that when we put on the armor of God, we start with the belt of truth because the only thing big about Satan and his forces are their mouth, they are habitual liars. When we put on the armor of God we are really putting on the Savior and when we put on Savior we take ourselves out of the realm of the flesh where we are vulnerable to attack, it’s not wise for us to live on their level. Since their primary weapon is the lie, our belt of truth is continually being attacked.

Chapter and versus is great to help find our way around the Bible, but I like using a Strong's Concordance. I can chose any word I like and look it up in it’s context. A Strong’s Concordance is a great tool to help look up words. These posts are written to help a person look up words in their context.

Appreciation based on the reality of salvation, not apprehension based on religions’s message of probation. If Satan can keep that glorious good news message of Paul hidden by blinding people’s eyes to the reality of reconciliation through a message that keeps sin on the table of God’s justice where that sin has already been put away. Many people are living in their minds today with probation rather than salvation. With Israel’s earthly program being set aside, during this age of grace, no nationality enjoys special favor in the eyes of God; all must come alike to God today. God didn’t lift up the Gentiles who had been without God and put them on an equal or higher plain than belonged to Israel. He concluded Israel in unbelief as he had previously concluded the Gentiles in unbelief, both of them down on the same level so that he might have mercy on all and that is where it is today according to Paul. It’s people who needs to be reconciled to God, not the other way around.

We have been set free! The Savior issued the discharge papers and Paul delivered those papers. We can look back at the law now and we can say, “You can’t touch me anymore! Your condemnation will have no effect on me whatsoever! I know the parameters. I no longer fear the repercussions of your rulership. I know the condemnation you bring because of the emotions you stir up in the weakness of my flesh.” The law was our Marine Sergeant, always working on a programmed conscience that we better be law-keepers and we have got the 10 commandments in our mind. Why, because it’s significantly tied to how God will relate to us in our minds. We are good for God because we want God to bless us and are we not taught that if we slide back into a life of sin, we have lost our fellowship with God. Certainly if you lose your fellowship, you lose your blessings. Well our blessings are not based on our performance in any way, shape, or form. Our blessings are based on Jesus’ performance because we are members of his flesh. How many blessings do we have according to the apostle Paul? All blessings in Heaven, the place of our citizenship.

1 Corinthians 9:27, is Paul talking about Christianizing the flesh and making it better flesh, capable of doing more things? Paul was motivated in that sense to bring the body into subjection, to keep those desires of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, to keep it at bay and not let that reign supreme when it came to his activities and his actions. Paul had all the motivation that Paul needed to bring his body into subjection to whatever degree possible for Paul, not allowing it to reign supreme when it came to his actions. But, had Paul arrived when it came to the sacrifice of himself for the sake of those to whom he had been sent? That was Paul’s prayer, that was his great desire. Paul wasn’t able to divorce self from his service when it came to what he did on behalf of others.

Jesus took the judgment of the world upon himself, so you are dead to that issue of sin. In fact, the world is dead to that issue of sin, it’s an issue of perfection right now. The idea of walking after the flesh is a valid Biblical concept that speaks not to a person’s behavior, but to a person’s belief - not to a person’s manners, but to their mindset. Reckoning yourselves to be dead to sin doesn’t mean to reckon that you are never going to sin again. Reckon that you are dead where the sin issue is concerned, reckon yourselves to be alive unto God through Jesus our Savior. Reckoning is simply counting something to be true in your mind. Reckon it to be so, believe it. Salvation isn’t doing, it’s counting what God believes to be true for you and about you as true for you and about you.

“Look at where I was...look at where I am now,” that is famous among many groups that are meeting today and they have to have a testimony by a person showing the other people there where they were and how far they have progressed. The capacity of the human race to earn the measure of righteousness that belongs to God is “Zilch.” “O wretched man that I am” do you suppose Paul would want us to believe that we can produce through our fleshly efforts what Israel was totally incapable of producing through their fleshly efforts or for that matter what Paul knew that he could never produce through his fleshly efforts even after his conversion. Paul never used the word fruit in connection with any believer as being the product of that believer. You can set yourselves apart all you like behaviorally. You can start any number of things and cease doing any number of things in order to gain holiness before God, but you will do no better at reaching that goal then the foolish Galatians who were themselves flirting with the idea of progressive sanctification.

Why, if you are guilty of any of these things in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, you are flat out of luck as far as Heaven is concerned. You can't do those things and make Heaven, which leads more than some of the religiously minded to say, “I’m not guilty of any of those vile behaviors.” Listen, if you think you are above these particular sins because you don’t commit them regularly or because these types of behaviors are not a regular pattern in your life or because you are certain to gain new forgiveness when you do find yourself somewhere on that list to some degree, perhaps you had better give it a little more careful consideration.

1 Corinthians 6:11, and such were some of you. But, after you were saved, you became progressively more holy such that you never sinned again? Does that verse say that? But, after you were saved, you sinned less and less until sin finally disappeared altogether from your life. That verse doesn’t say that either. But, after you were saved your moral choice of good and bad was removed, root and branch and never have you had the propensity to sin again! Does that verse say that? No, it doesn’t say any of those things. At least you will not sin higher than the 6’s, 7’s, and 8’s on the sin richter scale that you hold for yourself. These Corinthians were called saints because their sanctification like their justification was God’s transaction, not their own. It was God who performed the sanctifying.

What Paul is telling us is that sin shall not conquer us because we can conquer sin? Not at all! Sin cannot prevail over us because we can prevail over that in our behavior? Not at all! Sin shall not have dominion over believers because we are not living under the law program, we are living under grace. The victory has already been won and who won it? Jesus won it. All believers, we are all alike, we all continue to struggle with that issue of sins in our lives. Not only do we continue to have the propensity to sin, we do in fact do those things that come short of the glory of God far more often than any of us would like. We know that even though we have trusted in what Jesus accomplished on our behalf to have resolved that issue of our sin debt when it comes to the table of God’s justice and Jesus has resolved that issue for everyone; God’s justice is resolved. But, people want a formula to give them some guidelines and they can do A,B,C and they will be doing the Christian life successfully, but Christian living it’s not about doing. It’s about believing something and when we believe something and we continue to take in God’s Word and study God’s Word it should change who we are, not change what we are trying to do and trying to become.

When we choose to walk according to the old identity in which we were trained before becoming born anew, such behavior violates our ambassadorship. When this happens, we feel convicted because our behavior is not in keeping with who we really are. We commit sin when we willfully allow ourselves to act independent of our ambassadorship as our old identity did as a matter of course. So why do we still react as if our old identity is still in control of our behavior? Because, while we served under it, our old identity trained and conditioned our actions, reactions, emotional responses, thought patterns, memories and habits in our brain. Our worldly experiences thoroughly programmed our brain with thought patterns, memory traces, responses and habits. Our brain still generates humanistic thoughts and ideas and our old identity is that part of which was trained and determined to succeed and survive by our own abilities. When we became born anew, God didn’t press the clear button in our brain, our old identity persists in suggesting ways to live independent of our ambassadorship of God’s reconciliation.

Redemption and forgiveness, this is a major focal point of the secret God was keeping before the foundation of the world. When it’s come to what God is now revealed, sin no longer being the issue with God, we already have redemption and forgiveness. It’s not things we need to seek from God, but things God’s already accomplished for us. We need simply believe they are ours in order to appropriate in our own thinking what has already been accomplished on our behalf. Our redemption is complete, our forgiveness is all complete, all upfront, both are past tense accomplishments that Paul would have us acknowledge and proclaim. Who accomplished them for us, Jesus our Savior. The truth Paul has proclaimed in all of his epistles is we couldn’t get right with God in a million life times of trial and error. We could never make ourselves right with God, God had to do what we could not do for ourselves.

Satan’s ministers of righteousness use the word reform instead of the word transform. They would appeal to people to reform, God doesn’t make that appeal. As we take in the rightly divided word of truth...take God at his word of course...he transforms our thinking by it. It’s only when we come to properly understand God from his perspective concerning ourselves both before we came to understand Paul’s good news message and then what we are and who we are after we’ve believed Paul’s good news message and have been joined to his son...then we can be capable if viewing others and relating to others accordingly who are also members of the Savior’s body of his flesh and of his bones. So transformed thinking relates to transform relating as the Savior’s thinking becomes our thinking. That’s where we see the love of God...Romans 5:5. According to our apostle, the battle is taking place between the ears...between fleshy thinking and divine thinking. God’s work in us not our work for God, major difference. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Thoughts To Think About "3"

Where do people go to see how far they have removed themselves through their behavior from God’s favor? More often then not, they go right back to the Law of Moses taught in the halls of religianity by ministers of righteousness. That can only lead in one direction, instability. The religiously minded begin to believe they are indeed measuring up as righteousness becomes relative to those people. But, there are people walking away from a God they perceive as being unfair in having created them to fall in the first place. Some take it to the extent of a total denunciation of God altogether. If God does exist, how can he demand perfection? If God does exist, the fact of his fairness or unfairness does not really matter, does it? Misunderstanding of the need for and the manner of justification and sanctification reside at the core of that unstable thinking.

We are saved unto good works. We are saved for the purpose of good works, but we are not saved by our good works or kept saved by our good works or not upon any promise we might make along those lines, but up Jesus’ righteousness and our faith in Jesus’ faithful sacrifice on our behalf. If the religiously minded don’t see themselves as being holy in conduct, they don’t believe that God sees them as being holy either. We need to understand that forgiveness was all upfront and all-inclusive, but when we accept this idea of conditional forgiveness/forgiveness on the installment plan; a little forgiveness here, a little forgiveness there, the need for new forgiveness for new sin, that is the atonement program of Israel not the reconciliation program of the body of the Savior.

Relative righteousness comes into play as we try to sanctify ourselves according to what we perceive in our judicial minds, relative righteousness based as to be righteous. Therefore, we stop doing some things and we start doing some other things and we begin to believe that we are a prize package, especially if we can relate and be connected to a large group doing the same thing. That’s self-sanctification. As the believer stands before God in his courtroom, the evidence is overwhelmingly against them. Yet, as God drops the gavel, he pronounces no penalty. Justification is not a process, but is a one-time act, complete and definitive. What an amazing salvation the believer truly has, the issue remaining on the table of God’s justice today is whether a person will accept that gift.

By removing the sin issue from the table of God’s justice, God effectively canceled Satan’s ownership of all the human race. God is not dealing with a nation today and he is not recognizing any nation above any other nation. God  in his infinite wisdom devised a plan whereby he could take the very faith belonging to his son along with its resultant faithfulness and credit that faith and faithfulness to the account of those who believe. Those who believe in a belief system know as Universal Reconciliation are not understanding the difference in reconciliation and justification. God gives all the choice to accept what Jesus accomplished on their behalf today or to reject it. God purchased the human race out of sins dominion, never to be returned to the market place of sin again. 

Three obstacles stand in the way of our growth and maturity of Paul’s good news message. These obstacles hound each and every one of us each and every day of our lives. None of us can say that the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life have not hammered our walk wherewith we are called. The moral choice of good and bad is alive and well in an ever present force that must be understood and reckoned with on a daily bases. We can never escape these three obstacles, but we can indeed deny their outward expression. If you have come to a point of sobering, you have come to a point of total agreement with the apostle Paul, as he examined his own life from a fleshy perspective.

Those of us who are bent on satisfying the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life fall into a snare, in that we become addicted to the manner in which we satisfy those lust. Paul does not talk about God pushing a bad button and having something bad happen to us or God taking our life. Paul does talk about when we pursue the satisfaction of the sinful lusts of the flesh, it’s not ruination God is bringing on sinful believers, but ruination sinning believers are bringing upon themselves. Unbelievers and believers alike can make choices, but Paul is calling on the saved saints, saved and sealed saints to make a decision to make righteousness the choice of their service. We certainly can make some choices in our lives due to who God’s made us to be by joining us to his son. 

The general principle works across the board, one drink leads to another drink, one drug leads to another drug, one pleasurable indulgence leads to another pleasurable indulgence, one serving of self leads to another serving of self. We serve the sin nature rather than our Savior as we serve self rather than the body of saints to whom we are as equally and intimately joined as we are joined to our Savior. The unbelieving world is not under the reign of righteousness. Unbelievers are under no obligation to serve righteousness. It shouldn’t surprise us to see what we see now and what we will be seeing in an increasing manner as time goes on in the world today. The unsaved world is simply serving the master they are under.

A ransom of all was not testified until Paul proclaimed it, the revelation of the secret which was kept secret since the world began. God didn’t predetermine to cause some individuals to belief unto eternal life, he predestined to conform everyone who believes to his son. If Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, to keep those sins on the table of God’s justice is to do great injustice to what Jesus accomplished, it turns salvation into probation. The pride-nature screams, God not imputing sins to those sinners would mean those rotten people have gotten away with committing things that I can’t even imagine committing, the pride-nature recoils at that very idea. From God’s perspective, all believers have Jesus’ righteousness freely attributed to their account, what belongs to the Savior belongs to you.

You have to know something to count up the facts before you can come to an appropriate conclusion based upon what you know to be true. If you have drawn an improper conclusion, Paul would say it’s because you have failed to properly consider all of the facts. Grace - God is now dealing with the believer totally apart from human merit or demerit. God deals with a believer now according to Jesus’ merit and God calls that complete. That is a very huge, vital, a fundamental aspect of the Grace of God, we are complete being in the Savior. Before the foundation of the world, God chose everyone who would believe in what his son accomplished on their behalf; to be in the Savior, that is an accomplishment of God’s Grace, the glory of God’s Grace.

As important as it is that we make correct choices, reining in life over sin means much, much, more than making proper choices. Paul was reigning in life from a practical perspective because those who receive the gift of God do in fact reign in life. But, that doesn’t mean that improper choices have no earthly consequences, they certainly do. While they will not affect your salvation, they can indeed wreak havoc in your life. We all too often plant one crop and then before we know it, the crop we have planted is growing up all around us to the extent that what we have planted can begin to get a strangle-hold on us. It happens to those who are believers and it happens to those who are unbelievers, if something comes up, it’s because we have planted an improper choice somewhere in many cases. 

Our brains are an engine of understanding. Our transformation process that is taking place in our lives as we take in the Word of God and apply it to the details of our lives, it’s only when we come to properly understand God from his perspective concerning ourselves. The battle is taking place between the ears, between fleshy thinking and divine thinking. Trust that God knows precisely what he is doing and he is going to do it whether we pray or not. Achieving God’s goals is learning to distinguish his goal from his desire. It’s a critical distinction because it can spell the difference between success and failure. His goal is any specified result reflecting his purposes for our ambassadorship that does not depend on people or circumstances beyond our ability. The only person who can block his goal or render it uncertain or impossible is us, and if we adopt the attitude of cooperation with his goals, his goal can be reached. His desire is any specific result that depends on the cooperation of other people or the success of events or favorable circumstances we cannot control.

When we begin to align our goals with God’s goals for our ambassadorship and our desires with his desires, we will rid our life of a lot anger, anxiety, and depression. We can know on a moment-by-moment basis if our ambassadorship is properly aligned with his truth. God has established a feedback system which is designed to grab our attention, so we can examine the validity of our goal. That system is our emotions. When an experience leaves us feeling angry, anxious, or depressed, those emotional signposts are there to alert us that we may be cherishing a faulty goal. Any goal which can be blocked by forces we cannot control (other then God’s goal) isn’t a healthy goal because our success in that arena is our of our hands.

When we feel anxious in a task, our anxiety may be signaling the uncertainty of a goal we have chosen. We are wishing something will happen, but we have no guarantee that it will. We can control some of the factors, but not all of them. When we base our future success on something that can never happen, we have an impossible goal. Our depression is a signal that our goal, no matter how noble may never be reached. Depression often signals that we are desperately clinging to a goal we have little or no chance of achieving and that isn’t a healthy goal. Feelings of anger should prompt us to reexamine our ambassadorship and the mental goals we have formulated to accomplish God’s message of reconciliation.

Will you accept that God’s son paid for your sins and that Jesus’ payment has completely satisfied God’s justice where all of those sins are concerned or will you continue to hold on to the notion that you have insufficient sins to warrant Jesus’ death in the first place. Or equally as dangerous, the religious notion that Jesus’ shed blood was insufficient to have fully satisfied God where your sins are concerned, thus the continual need for something further required of you to keep God’s justice up to date. The only reason God could say through Paul, “Grace and Peace be unto you” is because his son fully paid the price. Faith doesn’t come in gallons and tons. Faith isn’t something “do I have enough faith, have I believed firmly enough?” Faith is simply taking your stand where God takes his stand. Do you awake every morning of your life with the security you have in the Savior, having your identity in him having believed Paul’s good news?

You see, the Law of Moses had a relationship claim on every member of the human race. If the law has a rightful claim on you, God cannot have a rightful claim on you. If the Savior has a rightful claim on you, the law has no rightful claim on you whatsoever. The human race is dead to law keeping for righteousness. They are dead to a law keeping for righteousness relationship and that relationship is gone forever. Jesus took it out of the way. When Israel’s New Covenant comes into play, they will be caused to know Jesus, they will all know him to the least to the greatest. Paul was striving to know the Savior and know him intimately, not as Israel’s messiah, but to know him in the power of his resurrection and in the fellowship of his suffering. Paul wanted Jesus’ life to be manifest in his own life.

If you read the words “ye men of Israel,” “ye men of Judaea” don’t take from the table of that nation and put that instruction on your plate. We’re not to study the Word of God as though it were a hodge-podge assortment of instructions that are all the same for all the people of all the ages. Some people study it that way and then wonder why they can’t make sense of it. Cafeteria Christianity today, each group placing on their plate the portion, or portions of Scripture that appeal most to them. “We want this, but we’ll ignore that.” But you see we can’t pick and choose whatever doctrine suits our appetites as though it’s left up to us to serve ourselves.

We sometimes plant, sow an improper crop, than we expect God to give us a harvest that we can reap entirely different than what we’ve sown. There are people who sow nastiness, then they expect kindness to just sprout up all around them. A lot of people trust in God to alter the circumstances of the moment. They think he’ll somehow mystically magically rekindle the fire of a lost love after they’ve chose a life incorrectly. Or he’ll bring them the right job after they’ve sown an attitude at their previous place of employment that caused everyone around them to want to avoid them. There are those who sow to bad health only to pray that God will guide and lead the hands and provide the wisdom to the doctors they hope will heal them. Sowing one thing and praying for another is foreign to the mind of the Apostle Paul.

The simply message of the gospel is total payment for sin accomplished by Jesus’ total sacrifice, the finished work of Jesus. Satan distracts from the truth though the miraculous. The meaning of deception is to distract from the truth, to believe a lie. You have therefore how much forgiveness? Total forgiveness! If the message isn’t total forgiveness all upfront and all inclusive you can bet it’s not a miracle being preformed of God. Satan’s miracles will never stand on this message because they want to distract from this message. He’s sitting on our shoulder and trying to convince you that you don’t have to sin. He’s saying “You know you can do better than you’ve been doing.” It’s impossible to get our own life right with God. Jesus had to make us right with God. 

If a person believes Jesus died for their sins but does not believe that God’s justice was satisfied when Jesus died for those sins, that person has not believed Jesus died for their sins according to the scriptures. Was Jesus issuing a heavenly entrance exam there in Matthew 19:17? The words by Jesus in this passage were words spoken in connection with God’s program with Israel under the law contract. So, the entrance into life mentioned there is an entrance into the earthly kingdom promised to the nation Israel. This isn’t talking about heaven to begin with. This rich young ruler had approached Jesus under the delusional-thinking that he had already merited an entrance into the earthly kingdom on the basis of his doing. Jesus was simply responding to that man according to his pharisaical mindset. “You want to enter the kingdom on the basis of your works? Keep the commandments!” And then, Jesus proceeded to prove to him that he had not and would not! You can see how mixing the two programs can lead to misguided thinking when it comes to the issue of eternal security.

One purpose of worship as some people define it, is to get a touch from God, to get the emotions at a peak, they feel close to God when they are in a situation that stimulates their emotions. The connection is solid, because the emotional high has been established as they find themselves on an endless quest for emotional satisfaction, because they relate their closeness to God upon feeling, they are either on fire or the fire’s gone out. Paul told us that as time progresses forward in this age of grace, people will become more and more abut satisfying their emotional desires, they will be seeking after and devoting themselves to a God they can feel. So, why do people have such a difficult time believing the apostle Paul when our apostle tells us that Satan’s ministers of righteousness during this age of grace will in fact be working within a religious framework.

We cannot do destruction to one truth from Paul in an effort to validate our belief about another truth from Paul, because if we base our theology on one truth given by Paul, while at the same time destroying another truth given us by Paul, we had better rethink our theological position. Rethinking a theological position is much better than committing doctoral destruction to a passage that is put there so very clearly by our apostle Paul. Dead to sin, we now have a brand new identity. Those who would die in their sins were those who would continue to have their identity in Adam, Adam in rebellion, to die with that identification intact. Paul introduces us in Romans how it is that God can delate sinners to be to be heaven-worthy. God decided to give a judicial decree of rightness apart from our behavior, apart from our practice based solely on our belief, that belief would be concerning all who would take him at his word relative to what his son accomplished for us. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thoughts To Think About "2"

Will people accept or reject the payment Jesus made for their redemption? God offers the gift of redemption, it’s up to those of the world to either accept or reject their redeemer, but that does no less make Jesus their redeemer. The sin issue needs to be resolved in our minds, not in God’s. God wants people to view Jesus’ sacrifice and say, “If God is satisfied, then I’m going to be satisfied with what Jesus accomplished for me.”

If we cannot find doctrine in Paul’s epistles directly related to our situation and there are no scriptural principles we can find to apply, then God has given us the freedom to personal preference and then take responsibility for the choice we made. Paul also warned as this age of grace whines to a close, that those who allow emotion to trump doctrine, that this would be the character of the religiously minded.

What are Satan’s ministers of righteousness trying to hide? The truth that we are righteousness is not tied to our works. They tie the word works to the word righteousness for our standing before God, which goes directly contrary to everything Paul has told us concerning his good news. Righteousness cannot be found in the individual through performance and righteousness cannot be found in the law and Paul proved that righteousness cannot found in religion. We were saved by believing what Paul had preached, we are sealed!

There is a vast difference in believing in God and believing on God for something. To believe in God is simply a matter of fact. To believe on God is to believe we must come to God in the precise manner which God prescribes, believing on God means taking God at his word. There will be a requirement to escape the judgment of God and it will not be by anything that we do. We must be justified on the basis of believing in what Jesus has already done on our behalf, but unless we qualify what believing in God means, our belief in God will do us absolutely no good!

For anyone to think they are just before God through their performance, to think that they have perfected themselves with God through their behavior proves that they are a liar and the truth is not in them. All people are wrath-worthy. There is none good, no not even one. We have all gone out of the way. We all are continually coming short of the righteousness of God himself. Religion continues to make sin the issue and then gives people a way to take care of that problem. God has been long-suffering in holding back his wrath because he hopes that we will consider his goodness through what his son accomplished for us and flee to his grace.

It’s not Hell, Fire and Damnation preaching that changes people’s minds, that may scare people into making a temporary, at best, decision to so something with their lives. We are told that people need more law preaching in order to become better people because if we preach God’s goodness, they are going to go out and sin all the more. Paul is telling us the precise opposite, it’s the goodness of God that leads a person to a change of thinking; that draws that person to adopt what God has said is true in his Word. The truth is our deeds do not determine our destiny, our faith determines our destiny. 

We haven’t been promised that earthly kingdom, an earthly inheritance. God has prepared a heavenly habitation for the saints of this dispensation, our citizenship is in heaven. We are not the sign nation (Israel) and we have not become the assumers and fulfillers of God’s program with that sign-nation. Many think we have, that program has been placed on hold while God completes his plan and purpose for the saints of this dispensation. God decided in advance that we the believer are to be the praise of the glory of his grace.

We cannot give it back, because it is dependent upon Jesus’ faithfulness and we are sealed at the point we take God at his word concerning what his son accomplished. God’s integrity is at stake in doing what he promised he would do. It’s up to those of the world to either accept or reject their redeemer, but that does no less make him their redeemer. Those who reject the gift are thumbing their noses at the one who paid the price for their redemption. Those who reject their redeemer will face the ultimate consequences of that rejection, the second death.

Religious circles of our society believe that they reign in life over the circumstances in their life, in that God has empowered them with a tool called prayer in order that they might have God alter the negative circumstances that come their way. There is a tremendous difference in one who believes they can influence God and therefore alter their circumstances because they are a believer with prayer in hand and a believer who acknowledges that God is in absolute control and is already doing what is best on behalf of ever believer no matter how unfortunate the circumstance that is at hand. Reigning in life doesn’t mean the absence of problems!

Judgment based on a righteousness a person can produce for themselves can only lead to one verdict-GUILTY! God is going so see them as having no need of the saving work of his son. When we put our human hearts under the microscope of God’s truthful judgment, we are going to find out that we need much more than human righteousness to have a perfectly just standing before God. Put another way, do people think for one moment that God is going to give them a non-wrath-worthy pass; that Jesus need not have died for their sins; that their sins are of such a non-serous nature that they have no need of a Savior in the first place?

Paul wants us to know at one point in time something was true, but now something else is true. What God was doing through his son; God know about what he intended to do before the world was ever formed. Yet, God had kept this secret from ages and generations until it was time for the ascended Jesus to reveal it to the apostle Paul, so that Paul could reveal it to the world. Beware, a clever counterfeit being conducted by good people who have your best interest in mind. They want the best for you, but they will be deceiving because they themselves have been deceived. Ministers of righteousness have been taught to teach what they are teaching and in so doing, they are dis-serving what was accomplished by Jesus.

Satan’s ministers of righteousness use the word reform, but reformation would be a work of the believer for God. They would appeal to people to reform, yet some people think it’s their responsibility to remove their sins. These people commit, they recommit, they recommit their re-commitment. Most often these people give up at some point. They fool themselves into thinking they have achieved it or they give up because every time they are sinning again. So they just shove the whole reformation thing aside. They want no part of this religious game. The most dangerous appeal to people to reform are people accepting Jesus’ work, but on the installment plan. 

How many in Fundamental Christianity set themselves apart because in their minds eye, they believe they are more holy by doing so in the eyes of God? Many of them think they are more holy in the eyes of God because they have achieved that set-apartness. It’s a judicial transaction that takes place in God’s mind the moment you believe. God is the Sanctifier, not the person in this case. Our justification, our righteous standing before God is accomplished through our being set-apart. Justification is accomplished through sanctification. God’s act of sanctification is a part of that gift transaction connected with justification. 

Can a person’s righteous works be added to the righteousness belonging to Jesus himself in order to arrive at a greater degree of righteousness than the righteousness already belonging to our Savior? The lunacy of saints desiring to be under the law. Do they actually think they can perform the law in a manner that would make them more righteous before God. Saints trying perfect their righteousness, to cap off the righteousness they have in God’s sight. That is idiotic reasoning, fleshly performance according to rules and regulations given in the law contract. Is God requiring that we add our righteous works to Jesus’ righteousness, that we might become righteous indeed or is Jesus’ righteousness the only righteousness from God’s perspective his saints will ever need?

No amount of rules and regulations, no observance of rites and rituals, no matter what they are would suffice when it comes to meriting a righteous standing before God. This will be the issue at the Great White Throne Judgment, people will be standing there not clothed in Jesus’ righteousness because they have rejected what Jesus accomplished where their sin debt is concerned. People will be standing there in their own righteousness and that righteousness is the righteousness Paul said, “I do not want to be found in.” Nobody’s righteousness will measure up. God didn’t make Heaven for good people, he made Heaven for sinners who are justified freely by his grace.

People say, “Well, there are a lot of good people out there.” Yes, from an earthly perspective, certainly they are good, but not when their earthly goodness is measured beside God’s perfect righteousness, it doesn’t cut it. We might think of them as good and they would be good relatively speaking, good citizens, good neighbors, but the dilemma of the human race, just as religion didn’t save the Israelite during the time of the law contract, religion couldn’t save the Gentiles during that time either, just as it cannot save the Israelite or Gentile today. Religion is an equally inadequate self-defense plea today for people to make, as it was in Paul’s day.

Here is the wrong motivation, your love for the Lord to serve others above self. If you are using your “love for the Lord” over and above your “love for sin” as the motivation to obey, you have not appropriately crucified the flesh in your mind. It wasn’t Paul’s love for the Lord that motivated him to conduct himself in certain manner, avoid certain behavior, adopt other practices. It wasn’t Paul’s desire to perfect his flesh that gave Paul cause to sin less and to love people more. It was the Savior’s love for Paul demonstrated through his accomplishment on Paul’s behalf that constrained our apostle. When we tie our performance to our righteousness in Heaven rather than attributing our righteousness in Heaven to our new identity in the Savior, we are missing what Paul wants us to see in Romans Chapter 6.

If you remove the motivation to live Godly, people are just going to go out and live any old way they please. People have such a hard time when their motivation is based on the false assumption that God gave to Israel a law contract in order to provide for them the motivation necessary for them to live righteously. God designed the law to make sin show its hand. To make sin abound, so that they could look at that picture of the law and look at themselves and say, “These pictures do not match up,” so that they could see that their sin was exceedingly sinful. Take away the law Paul and you have taken away the motivation people need to do good and to avoid evil, that is the way the natural mind works. 

Don’t be too discouraged as you watch the times unfold and the worries come, they just bring us ever closer to what we would call “our blessed hope.” Satan, in his attempt to be like God, also wants a world wide governmental system but without Jesus as the messiah. The one world government architects of our day are steering us ever closer and at an ever more rapid pace toward that time when the entire world will need an answer man. Rest assured an answer man will arrive on the scene once God has called his ambassadors of the age of grace home. But, as the world will learn, when the answer man comes along, he will not really have the answers at all, he will be the false fixer. The only fix planet earth will ever have, will only come from the return of the rightful Monarch of this planet, Jesus.

They will continually want us to do this and stop doing that in order to keep God happy with us, when the reality is: God couldn’t be any happier with us than he is; Jesus having taken our sin debt upon himself and we having trusted what happened where our sins are concerned. People will suffer the second death not because of the sins God’s son pain for. They will suffer the second death because they have never been clothed with the righteousness of Jesus. They have kept sin on the table of God’s justice their entire lifetimes and sat under ministers of righteousness who have led the way. God has kept the fingerprints of the guilt-worthy off the righteousness he designed for the guilt-worthy.

It is presented along these lines, grace is a license to sin. Paul was reasoning, don’t think that way, stop thinking in that manner. May grace never be the cause, although grace is true, may grace never be the cause for a person to think they should now go out and sin all the more. Some have come to the erroneous notion that God will forbid a person who thinks like that to believe the good news message in the first place. Others have committed just as great an error by supposing that God removes salvation from a person who continues to sin after salvation. Both are faulty conclusions based upon a foundation of works for a righteous standing before God belief-system based again upon a self-sanctification for righteousness concept. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thoughts To Think About

If God is no longer imputing people’s sins unto them because God imputed those sins to his son, would that mean that the entire world would then instantaneously become dead to sin? NO! Reconciliation and Sanctification are not one and the same, they are two different truths.

But now, it’s a gift decree of perfect righteousness put on your account immediately at the point of your belief. It’s a judicial transaction that is all of God’s doing, none of your doing. It’s not something you become through practice, it’s a gift decree of righteousness given to you by God.

It was not Paul’s practical walk that made him free from the law of sin and death. It was the law of the new identity of life in Jesus that liberated the apostle Paul. The law of the new identity of life in Jesus is the true liberator. When we come to fully understand and appreciate that new identity, the striving can end.

The issue is not that of sinners making God’s son become their Savior through the avenue of a present day forgiveness of sins, but in believing that the son of God became their Savior the day he took their sins, the entirety of that sin debt upon himself and that is what makes a person Heaven worthy.

The insidious reality of Satan and his forces relentless assault of deception on our mind can keep us from experiencing maturity and freedom, because our past has shaped our present belief system and will determine our future unless it is dealt with. We have been tricked into believing that what we do makes us what we are.

Salvation is not doing; it is believing! To believe that what you are doing and what you are restraining yourselves from doing is the way you are earning your righteous standing with God, you have got to put a lot of confidence in your flesh to do that; religion is doing that! Those who are in Jesus their Savior, are those who are not walking after the faulty assumption that their righteousness is related to their performance, that was Israel’s problem. 

There are many who refuse to believe in what Jesus actually accomplished. They fail to understand what the ‘for my sins’ part of Paul’s message of the grace of God is all about. They refuse to acknowledge that Jesus’ death actually resolved God’s justice where the sins Jesus died for are concerned and they continue to hang on the notion that God is hanging on to their sins.

Justification is a legal act, wherein God deems the sinner righteous on the basis of Jesus’ righteousness. Justification is not a process, but is a one-time act, complete and definitive. Justification is a legal term which changes the believing sinner’s standing before God, declaring them acquitted and accepted by God, with the guilt and penalty of their sins put away forever.

Our labor of love is all about transformation, it’s not about reformation. Paul’s message of the grace of God is able to transform our thinking, such that transformed thinking begins to manifest itself through transformed relation. It becomes more about who we have become, rather than about who we are trying to be.

It doesn’t seem quite right that God could consider someone righteous, especially if that person is not expending the same amount of effort or attention that they are to become righteous by way of his or her practice. One can see why some have called this justification of God; cheap justification. One can see where the pride of life comes up with that notion.

We are saints whom God has declared righteous, believing the enemies lie will lock us into a defeated, fruitless life, but believing God’s truth about who we are will set us free. It’s imperative to our growth and maturity that we believe God’s truth about who we are in the Savior.

The vast majority of the people of this earth don’t understand what reconciliation is all about, they think that new sin needs a new measure of reconciliation. Is that not the golden thread woven through every denomination out there, it’s called religion. The truth is the human race couldn’t obtain an ounce of forgiveness if they tried, because God has already forgiven all the human race.

The reconciliation that Jesus accomplished for the human race was total, complete, everlasting and unalterable, it will always stand. Jesus didn’t die to give people a reprieve, he didn’t die to give people temporary relief. This is not difficult, God said what his son did for the human race was sufficient to absolve every one of their sin debt; past, present and future, it is gone.

Therefore the assumption is, God is not reconciled when people sin. In their mind they are separating themselves from God by their sin and Paul is saying, God has already reconciled the human race where their sins are concerned. Rather than asking for forgiveness when we sin, we should thank God every moment of our lives for the forgiveness that was achieved for us when Jesus died for us.

If the flesh is incapable of producing righteousness, why is it then that Paul exhorts us to do certain things and to avoid other things? The flesh always points us to do that which satisfies the sin nature and brings credit to self. This is true of all of us. Dying to self is not fun or easy, but what is particularly difficult about fighting this tendency is that it’s not exactly a behavior or action.

Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? There are two reasons given in response in the hallways of religion, judgment and chastisement. Those are the traditional answers as to why Christians should not think they should continue to sin. Yet, Paul gives two entirely different reasons to that very same question, identity and slavery. We are going to become enslaved to that which we choose to put ourselves in servitude.

We all miss the mark! We all come short, some of us may come closer to it than others, but none of us completely and consistently eliminate sin in our lives. Most people think that victory over the law’s demands can only be achieved by obedience to the law’s demands. We that believed Paul’s good news, our being set apart is not contingent upon the degree to which we set ourselves apart.

Grace on the other hand, bestows freely that which we could never earn and could never deserve. We need to cease attributing our righteous standing before God to our performance and keep our mind focused solely on how God views us in the Savior. That’s what grace-life is all about and we will be victorious in that God’s power deposited within us can now produce it’s fruit in our life. There is a glory that belongs to God’s grace and it’s to be praised on the bases on what God’s grace has accomplished.

God has kept the fingerprints of the guilt-worthy off the righteousness he designed for the guilt-worthy. What an amazing salvation the believer truly has. The issue remaining on the table of God’s justice today is whether a person will accept that gift. If one has yet to believe this powerful message, they are standing only in the righteousness their flesh has been able to produce for them, which means they have missed the mark of the righteousness God requires for heaven.