Monday, September 28, 2015

Just a Thought "48"

Can a person’s righteous works be added to the righteousness belonging to Jesus Christ 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 to 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 Christ’s righteousness, that we might become righteous indeed or is Christ’s righteousness, the only righteousness from God’s perspective his saints will ever need?

Can a person’s righteous works be added to the righteousness belonging to Jesus Christ himself, in order to arrive at a greater degree of righteousness than the righteousness already belonging to our Savior? A Israelite had to be a Israelite both inwardly and outwardly for God to consider that person a true Israelite.

We are not to cleanse ourselves in order to gain something from God when it comes to our holy standing before him or to maintain something before God, because we have been freely given something, namely, a justified and sanctified position in God’s son, Jesus Christ.

We are to cleanse ourselves not to keep on God’s good side, but because God’s already cleansed us, judicially speaking, by freely crediting us with the righteousness that belongs to his perfectly righteous son.

We should conduct ourselves in a manner that goes sides by side or that goes in hand with what God’s already called us to do. It is our ambassadorship of the message of reconciliation, how am I to conduct myself given my ambassadorship?

Paul wants us to be sitting in our thinking, in the place where Job was sitting, when Job asked a question, “But how should man be just with God” because Paul understood that the heart of people will go to great lengths to establish its own righteousness, and then to show just cause why they are not worthy of the wrath of God.

Seems it’s a health, wealth, and prosperity message that is motivated by the intent of separating you from the money in your wallet, gaining wealth at the expense of another’s worship is being done on a mass scale today.

Investment giving, this is what your seed faith people are being told is all about. You plant your seed faith here and God has no idea apart from you planting your seed faith whether you have faith.

So you plant your seed in this envelope with my address on it, God can see your faith and response by giving you your miracle. Modern day Christianity would say justifying the righteous, “Come to us and we will show you how to be righteous then God can justify you. We will teach you how to shoot that arrow that hit the dead center, so you can be acceptable before God.”

What a mistake that is. Look again all of you who are resting in the hypocrisy of your own well doing, while at the same time evaluating another’s salvation according to their performance in regard to whatever they are doing or not doing.

People placing confidence in their performance, not realizing that the law was designed to teach them not to place confidence in their performance when it came to earning their righteousness before God through their performance. Otherwise, God would not have provided for a sacrificial system within the law program in the first place, he would not of needed it.

Are you not glad to find out that your righteousness before God comes totally apart from your performance in the flesh in any way what’s so ever. Our deeds do not determine our destiny, our faith determines our destiny!

The Body of Christ is not the sign nation, and the Body has not become the assumers and fulfillers of God’s program with that sign nation, many think the Body have. That program has been placed on hold while God completes his plan and purpose for the saints of this dispensation.

God worked through visual evidences in connection with the Israelites who required a sign during the time that God’s program with Israel was in progress. Yet Israel, for the most part, remained an unbelieving people, they continue to remain so today while God’s program with that nation is on the shelf.

God set his program with the sign nation aside for a time as he ushered in a new program through a new dispensation for those for whom he has prepared a heavenly habitation. The Body has not been promised that earthly kingdom, an earthly inheritance, those in the Body of Christ, their citizenship is in Heaven.

We are the saints of a brand new program, while Israel walked by sight, we walk not by sight, but by faith. The focus today is no longer on the outward, but on the inward. Today, for the most part, we are also an unbelieving people.

Instead of trusting in God’s word and resting in the glories of his grace that we are shown through the word, we are even now continually looking for signs, continually looking for visual evidences of God’s presence and his approval in the day-to-day circumstance of our lives.

We have a new apostle (Paul) through whom we have been given God’s completed instruction. Would God not have us know and understand that the proof is right before our eyes, in a very real since today concerning God’s position, his power, his presence, his purpose, his program, and his predisposition in this dispensation? It is in God’s written word! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Just a Thought "47"

But think about this: Is forgiveness the same thing as being justified or having someone else’s righteousness freely attributed to your account? They are not one and the same!

Our sins have all been forgiven, but forgiveness alone does not mean the person having forgiveness is as perfectly and totally righteous as the one who is doing the forgiving!

Justification is far more than the negative imputation of the sins fo the world to the world, it is the positive imputation of Christ’s righteousness to those who believe what was accomplished on their behalf. Justified by Blood.

We find that our magnificent redemption demanded a monumental price. So justification, believing in what Christ’s sacrifice accomplished, is a requirement in order to be justified.

I may forgive another a debt that he owes me, but does that mean that the one that I have forgiven is now the primary on my bank account? Being justified (declared to be righteous) freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.

Satan wants to blind people’s eyes to the truth of Paul’s good news, he is very clever in using ministers of righteousness in accomplishing that blinding. Satan is offering people a way to become righteous, to achieve a righteous standing before God and he always attaches people’s performance, people’s fingerprints are found on Satan’s method of becoming righteous.

God justifies freely, not by way of people’s performance or promise, but as a gift. God justifies those who take him at his word, concerning what his son accomplished for them. Something for nothing!

Satan would say, “Why, that cannot be right! God can not be just and call a person righteous, when it is obvious that person falls short of the standard God himself set, when he gave Israel the law contract.”

Do you know the really sad thing about that, is that Satan is not the only one who would raise such an objection! Those steeped in religianity, and it is not confined to those in religianity, but those steeped in religianity raise the same objection every Sunday, if not every day!

We have to admit, that’s difficult for people imbued with the pride of life to imagine. It is difficult to accept, because it does not seem fair to the human mind, especially to the religiously minded. 
It does not seem quite right that God could consider someone righteous, especially if that person is not expending the same amount of effort or attention that we are to become righteous by way of our practice!

The fact is Jesus Christ became the redeemer of the entire world when he satisfied the justice of God for the sins of the entire world. So the redemption price worked, the sin issue was resolved, for how many, for everyone!

But understand, that having a redeemer and accepting the redeemer that you have, and what that redeemer accomplished, are two different things. Jesus Christ is the Savior of all people, but all are not willing to believe Paul’s good news, and therefore, not all will be joined to the redeemer, and therefore, they will not be righteousified.

Why, if your 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 not do those things and make Heaven, which leads more than some of the religiously minded to say, “I am not guilty of any of those vile behaviors.”

Listen, if you think you are above these particular sins because you do not 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 does not say that either.

But, after you were saved, your sin nature was removed, root and branch, and never have you had the propensity to sin again! Does that verse say that? No, it does not 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, they would remain set apart, even though they were carnal, meaning fleshly minded, fleshly oriented in their behavior, because their sanctification like their justification was God’s transaction, not their own. It was God who performed the sanctifying.

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 is 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.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Just a Thought "46"

The religious notion that Jesus Christ’s shed blood was insufficient to have fully satisfied God where people’s sins are concerned, thus the continual need for something further required of people to keep God’s justice up to date.

This is “the new sin requires new forgiveness” idea set forth by those who fail to appreciate the accomplishment of Jesus Christ. Well, they will one day stand at the Great White Throne Judgment where the merited righteousness they think they have will be put on display.

People who think they have to keep God’s justice up to date, they will be standing at the Great White Throne Judgment having only their own righteousness to show for themselves, it will be open for inspection.

What a marvelous plan God had for us! God has kept the fingerprints of the guilt-worthy off of the righteousness he designed for the guilt-worthy.

This is a chilling and sobering thought,when self-righteous moralizers harden their hearts and remain impenitent concerning their goodness, they are storing up to themselves wrath to be visited upon them in the day of wrath. 

If God thinks what his son did on our behalf, where all of our sin debt is concerned, then we can take God at his word. If God believes it, why can’t we stand with God on what God believes, that is faith. 

Those 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 they become addicted to the manner in which they satisfy those lusts. People fall into many foolish and hurtful lusts, not only harmful to themselves, but hurtful to others around them.

Choose to serve sin and we can soon become addicted to the manner in which we have chosen to serve sin. We all have that bent towards satisfying the lust of our flesh toward serving ourselves, but God’s sentence on the flesh was not reformation, it was total eradication.

That sentence was carried out when we died with Christ, God had no intention of repairing our old man, no plan to clean it up and make it more presentable, his intention was to kill it. Every believer is standing in the gift degree of righteousness, because believers are placed into God’s son, so that when God views us, he no longer views us in do’s or don’ts.

When we stop focusing on the do’s and cease focusing on the don’ts, the do’s and don’ts become a lot easier. If our life is hid with God in Christ, then how does God view us? God views us in his son, Jesus Christ. So, while we continue to have and will continue to have to contend with the flesh this side of the new body, God no longer sees us in our identity with the flesh. 

Our decree of judicial perfection in the eyes of God comes not through Christ’s death for our sins, but through our union with Christ’s resurrection life. If a person believes Christ died for their sins, but does not believe that God’s justice was satisfied, when Christ died for those sins, that person has not believed Christ died for their sins.

There are people out there who believe they can lose their salvation, because they have totally confused their standing in Christ, with their state. Standing - how God views you ‘in Christ’ perfect righteousness! Saints! State - your experience through time on earth.

Standing is what God’s made you to be and what you can never cease to be in his eyes. State has to do with how you are taking advantage or not taking advantage of that God given position that is everlastingly yours by God’s decree.

God has given us a perfect standing in our union with his perfectly righteous son. God has also made provision for us now to have an ever improving state or experience, it is called growth, maturing.

Give up serving self, and that will be the best service to self you could ever give yourself. Why, because you will find true freedom and joy to be the ultimate result, give up serving self and serve others. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Just a Thought "45"

A person’s law keeping will never be sufficient to provide them salvation, just as a person’s law keeping will never be sufficient to maintain their salvation for them. The truth is our deeds do not determine our destiny, our faith determines our destiny.

Those who preach grace are absolutely not preaching a license to sin, they are acknowledging sin for what it is, and they are saying that the only solution for sin is to trust in the Savior and what he has accomplished for us.

To avoid the truth of grace from fear that it may give a person the right to sin, is the same thing as saying that teaching the opposite of grace (or law) will keep a person from sinning, that is a very prevalent attitude today in religianity. Desiring to teach law, thinking that the law restrains sin, what an absurd idea!

The Gentiles had a law of their own design, they had an inner sense of right and wrong, and through that inner sense called “the conscience,” they developed for themselves their own code of ethics, their own lists of do’s and don’ts.

Unbelievers and believers alike struggle with that innate sense of right and wrong, and they are drawn toward that desire to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

That is the sin nature working in opposition to the conscience to have a person go in a direction contrary to that inner sense of right and wrong, that is common to all humankind. The notion that an unbeliever does not really have a struggle with sin, everyone with a conscience struggles with an inner sense of right and wrong or a seared conscience when a person defies that conscience.

Today people think they have to ask God to forgive them for the sins that God is no longer charging to their account in the first place. Ministers of righteousness would have people believe God is not totally reconciled in his mind.

Is God waiting for people to seek after him in order for reconciliation to become reality in his mind? Is God waiting for people to ask Jesus into their heart? Is God waiting for people to walk down the isle? Is God waiting for people to pray the sinners prayer? Is God waiting for people to repent of their sins?

Satan wants to keep sin on the table of God’s justice today, as much in the Age of Grace as he has in the other ages. If Satan had known what Jesus Christ would actually accomplish where the sins of the world are concerned, Satan would not have had Christ crucified.

The natural tendency of the flesh is to set our affection on the things of the earth and the things of the flesh, and allow those things to rule our mind. Is the primary focus of our mind on the circumstances at hand in our life, depression is a rush of negative attitude that results from a vacuum of joy.

When it comes to a mind set of joy, it is our responsibility to focus our own minds appropriately, a redirection of thought based upon the accomplishments of Jesus Christ, we are not to hold the things on the earth so near and dear so as to rule our minds.

God purchased the human race out of sins dominion, never to be returned to the market place of sin again. By removing the sin issue from the table of God’s justice, God effectively canceled Satan’s ownership of all the human race. Satan can lay claim to no person based on that persons sinfulness.

Being critical of others is an intricate part of maintaining that fantasy that we are perfect, and others are somewhere a bit beneath us. The pride nature of people is such that people will always have that tenancy to think more highly of themselves then they ought.

Rather than recognizing the unworthiness of the flesh, people spend their lives trying to convince themselves and others of their value. Elevating self through the denigration of someone else, the unseen put down, a wiliness to aggressively find fault with others.

Satan knows the power that emotions play when these emotions become the cement that seals the door of the mind, such that a mind remains closed and the door locked. To be open to that which  moves a person from the mental comfort zone to which that person has become accustomed, becomes not only an unsettling inconvenience, it becomes a mind-shaking threat to many people.

There are multitudes who are putting faith in their feelings, emotional cravings, the minds of the vast majority of so-called Christendom today, emotion trumps doctrine. Could it be that God is NOT giving people all these emotion tweaking experiences, because he knows that Satan will come with all manner of lying signs and wonders.

People may be going by a religious belief system that is a totally false belief system, why would God refuse to give people neat little things to look at today to determine his presence, his power, his predisposition, his purpose, and his plan? Could it be that God is having people walk by faith and not by sight, because God knew that Satan will be performing the miraculous in the last days of the age of grace. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Just a Thought "44"

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 is 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. Since they think salvation is tied to their behavior, they never come to the point of placing their total trust in the fact that Christ remove their sin, it is gone.

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 Christ’s work, but on the installment plan. These people want to go back to the atonement program, the covering for sin.

They 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. Religion is the main tool of Satan, get right with God, come back and get right with God next week once again. Keep coming back to keep right with God. 

Satan’s ministers of righteousness would appeal to people to reform, God does not make that appeal! God is not patiently waiting for people to change their mind about what they do, many have done that thinking it gains salvation.

Many of Satan’s ministers of righteousness are holding over the heads of their congregations a little law mixed with the possibility of losing their salvation. That is how they keep their congregations in line, frighten them a bit with the possibility of hell fire and brimstone.

Salvation by works rather than by grace, conduct becoming a believer does not come through a fear of losing one’s salvation. Conduct becoming a believer comes from a proper understanding of the magnitude of God’s grace, and what that grace accomplished, grace is a much greater motivator.

Satan and his clan have an obsessive compulsive urge with pilfering Paul’s good news, they are playing a cover up game with Paul’s good news. Ministers of righteousness will ever more keep that issue of sins on the table of God’s justice, continually wanting people to do this and stop that, in order to keep God happy with them.

People will suffer the second death, not because of the sins God’s son paid for, but they will suffer the second death because they have never been clothed with the righteousness of Christ. They have kept sin on the table of God’s justice their entire lifetimes, and sat under minister of righteousness who have led the way.

Human wisdom, human reasoning would say, “Give us something that we can do. Give us some way to perform. Give us a few balls of our own to hit, so that we might earn back what we lost through Adam.” God’s reasoning said, “Impossible!” The Law that God gave to Israel was a measure of what people would have to perform to be accepted by God.

Jesus Christ’s faithfulness was the only faithfulness sufficient to merit God’s favor. God used our faith in Christ’s faithfulness as the means whereby he would credit Christ’s righteousness to our account.

The pathway of rules and regulations for righteousness, otherwise called religion, seems right to a lot of people today. Not one member of the entire human race has ever lived up to any system of rule-keeping for righteousness. Yet, how many are attempting today, to do what humankind before us was totally unable to do?

People oftentimes base their salvation and their relationship to God on their emotions, 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!

As faith gives way to feeling, people begin to base their faith on feeling, they want a God they can “move to,” and they want teachers who can make them feel good in the process. Doctrine giving way to emotion will be the order of the day, that is what the emergent church is all about, satisfying the emotional desires of people.

Emotion can lead us down the path and will oftentimes, most likely lead us down the wrong path when emotion becomes the governor of our intellect, rather than the doctrinally governed intellect becoming the ruler of our emotions. Emotion should never be the fuel, we should never be emotionally driven, but doctrinally driven.

If Christ paid the penalty for our sins, to keep those sins on the table of God’s justice is to do great injustice to what Christ accomplished. That turns Paul’s good news into a not so good news, it turns salvation into probation. There is no shortage off ministers of righteousness who are doing Satan’s bidding, deceiving as they are being deceived. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Just a Thought "43"

The truth is, those with a sin nature have never needed a license to sin, we do it naturally. Yet, the Christian’s army is the only army that shots it’s wounded. Anytime we condemn the coming shortnesses in others, we need to understand the reality of the fact that we are all in the same boat, we all come short in the righteousness department due to the indwelling sin nature.

A person who is in the gutter, oftentimes realizes the situation they have gotten themselves into, but a person who believes they are in a position to judge someone else: a person who has rationalized away his own short-comings, is one who is falling to recognize the sins of self.

A person who is looking down their nose at someone else, yet they are doing the very same things in another form, no excuse will suffice to pardon them, it is such a shame that so many people today are trusting in their goodness to get them to heaven. Paul wants us to understand that there is no refuge in human goodness.

Judgment based on a righteousness a person can produce for themselves, can only lead to one verdict- GUILTY! God is going to 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 Christ 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?

The good news from God to us today, is that God is not counting anyone’s sins against them, but Satan, Paul tells us, is working through ministers of righteousness to keep this news hidden from people.

It is a simple message, but very difficult for the pride nature to get past, because people’s pride nature says that if I broke it, I can play a part in fixing it, and we all attempt to do that and religion is there to give us a hand along the way.

We are not to listen to ministers of righteousness telling us sins are still the issue, and they will give people a way to keep that sin issue satisfied on a weekly, daily, monthly, yearly basis.

The good news is what will a person do, when it comes to their taking God at his Word, concerning what Jesus Christ accomplished where their sins are concerned? Ministers of righteousness have been taught to teach what they are teaching, and in so doing, they are dis-serving what was accomplished by Christ.

Just understand, there is no additional sin question in the mind of God when it comes to his forgiveness or his righteous justice, the sin issue has been taken care of. 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.

We should be very grateful that we are saved by the faith of Jesus Christ, his faith accomplished our salvation. When it came to the earthly program, God’s glory was magnified through seeing, and the prayer of faith was the catalyst.

Is God utilizing the prayer of faith during this present dispensation of grace that we might see our deliverance? That was God’s earthly kingdom plan, miraculous events, visual events!

However, when we come to understand that that earthly kingdom program is no longer in progress, but on hold, we come to realize that God through his power from on high wants to stabilize every believer today in a completely different way.

We certainly know that God wants us to pray, but when we pray in the Age of Grace, we are to pray with thanksgiving, but are we to pray with thanksgiving that God would do it? Are we to pray with thanksgiving that we are going to get what we are praying for? Not at all.

What is our thanksgiving about then? Trust that God knows what he is doing, and he is going to do it whether we pray or not. God knows precisely what he is going to do. There is a difference in the Age of Grace, it is strength made perfect in weakness, it is not strength made perfect in the elimination of the suffering situation.

Prayer was never given to change God’s perspective of our greater preference, prayer was given to change our perspective of God’s greater purpose. God’s greater purpose was not to strengthen our faith by altering our circumstances.

God’s greater purpose is to allow us to demonstrated our faith as we remain strong in spite of our circumstances. Prayer was never given to bring God into alignment with our wants, prayer was given to bring us into alignment with God’s will.

Our patient endurance through suffering is a way of demonstrating our hope, and when our hope is put on display in the midst of our suffering, that brings glory to God.