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. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Just a Thought "116"

If you have not yet believed Paul’s good news message, you have not yet accepted the gift of your salvation. You are standing only in the righteousness your flesh has been able to produce for you, which means you have missed the mark of the righteousness God requires for heaven.  What Paul wants us to see in Romans chapter 4, is that God justified Abraham (declared Abraham to be righteous) solely on the basis of Abraham’s belief. Abraham learned that it would not be his own fleshly production that would accomplish God’s purpose for him. It is significant when we think about Abraham’s faith, that God wanted Abraham to place no confidence in his flesh. Paul wants to make it crystal clear that Abraham was not justified according to a ritual, a ceremonial observance, even the ritual of circumcision that Abraham was given to perform.

“That we might be made” is the subjunctive mood. It is not that everyone will be made, it is that those who believe might be made the very righteousness of God in the Savior, which is what dwelling with God through eternity is all about. There is no more powerful message than that, God was using Jesus’ death for the sins of the entire world as his criteria to no longer impute sins to the world. The issue is not our sins today, most people think sin is the issue, so they are looking for ways to keep short accounts. The issue is: In order to dwell with God in eternity future; we have to be as righteous as God, his justice will not allow nothing other, and until you believe what happened to the sins Jesus died for concerning yourself, you are not placed into the Savior.

When Paul refers to us as the called, he is referring not just to the fact that God is extending a call to us, an invitation or summons. Paul’s also referring to the fact that God’s calling us to participate in that to which we have been called, the body of the Savior. The body of the Savior is an expression denoting the point when God began to judicially join believers to his son. The body of the Savior is not about program, but about judicial identity. God forgave us, not because he had to, but because it was his desire too. God accomplished through Jesus what we could never do on our own. God did not wait for us to do the first step. God had a choice, Jesus Christ had a choice, and they chose to do it. Jesus believed that his sacrifice would settle the sin issue once and for all, and that God would raise him from among the dead. 
What an ingenious salvation plan, to take someone else that is righteous and join us to that person. Sin causes a debt to God so large that it can never be paid by ourselves, but the person who knows what Jesus really accomplished, exist in a completely new relationship with God. 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. God could only declare us to be right on the bases of who and what he is, not on the bases of who and what we would be apart from him. God had to devise a way to see us that way, and the way he devised to do that was by joining us to, hiding us in our perfectly righteous Savior, thus freely crediting to our account Jesus’ righteousness. 

Total forgiveness for total sin, accomplished by the one time death of Jesus, and because of Jesus’ payment for all sin, there is now no more reason for the believer to ever feel alienated, estranged from God. All who will accept reconciliation on the bases of Jesus’ death and resurrection are forever reconciled to God, that is grace. All people as a whole was reconciled to God where sin is concerned and that is grace. Reconciliation is the link that connects Grace and Peace. Jesus’ victory over death affects the believer’s understanding of physical and eternal death. The believer can face physical death with the confidence that Jesus has swallowed up death in victory, because Paul was eagerly awaiting God’s purpose for Paul.

The glory that Paul knew would be revealed in him at the manifestation of the sons of God, when the sons of God receive their glorified bodies when the believers meet Jesus in the air (not on the earth). For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. When the curtain drops and this present age comes to an end, it will be a glorious time when our blessed hope is realized. God has more in store for his grace age saints, not only heaven, but an authoritative position, a joint place of authority in the heavenly realm.