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 evaluation 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 them 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!
When most think of submitting, it sends a chill down the spine of more than a few because those words conjure up the notion of someone barking out orders, as the one on the submitting end becomes the doormat to be stepped on. This is not at all what Paul had in mind, submission has nothing to do with controlling someone or being controlled by someone when it comes to the husband being the head of the wife. It has to do with the husband aligning himself to serve his wife in the manner that God intended him to serve her and the same is true when it comes to the wife and her role in the marriage relationship. It is an amazing thing that for believers and that is the Judgment Seat of the Savior that husbands will not be judged by how well their wives responded, it will be how well they led and wives will not be judged as to whether their husbands were leading correctly, but in their role in serving the husband.
As we understand what God accomplished for us through his son and build upon that foundation the truths of who he has made us to be by placing us into his son, we begin to view ourselves as God views us and there is great security to be found in doing so. Attitude always precedes action. Worry never robs tomorrow of it’s sorrow, it only saps today of it’s joy. We all have worries and care, the only impact worry will ever have is on our health. When a believer’s behavior is consistently inconsistent with what that believer professes to believe, the answer lies in a failure to fully appreciate one or more aspects of the foundational truths. It’s difficult for the human mind apart from letting divine viewpoint replace human viewpoint to lay hold of the magnitude of what the grace of God is all about and what that grace has accomplished on behalf of every signal person who has trust in what Jesus accomplished. Grace is that which the human race can not earn, does not deserve and will never merit.
The presentation of truth can be ego orientated. Lots of conceit given correction going around today. Ego orientated people are functionally of no use as far as God’s plan and purpose for the body of the Savior here on earth is concerned...believers who are not functioning when it comes to that which edifies and unifies other believers. Is growth your goal? When you put on agape, you’ve simply taken all the 7 states of mind listed in Colossians 3:12-13 and you’ve put movement to the attitude. Paul is saying I’ve given you the attitude, now let’s put feet to the attitude. Agape is the functional life of underlying attitude. Grace attitude in action. Paul did not consider that he had arrived, not to the degree at least which he desired for himself. He was continually pressing on for the mark. It’s in that pursuit of the high calling of God in the Savior Jesus that Paul would have us be followers of him. The sin nature of people would put self on the throne. The mature person would step off the throne for the sake of others. Maturity is achieved when serving the needs of the body steps in front of that which elevates self.
If one considers the mind as the engine of understanding, then the engine of understanding must be fueled with the Word of God because if it’s fueled with emotions, what happens when the fuel runs out? The last days of the age of grace, the ever increasing tendency of people to focus their thoughts on self, to be self centered. Satisfy me, satisfy my interest, if people don’t satisfy my interest, I will go else where; selfish is as good as term as any. A major satanic goal is to hide the justification aspect of the good news message of the grace of God. The lost include many of the most moral and religious people in history. The natural inclination of religious people is to conceive of salvation as resulting from merit, based on something they can do for God, have done or commit to do for the future. The pride nature in people have a difficult time understanding how righteousness from God’s viewpoint can be granted apart from their conduct or commitment.
These are important words; God’s reconciliation to the human race took place when the human race was actively his enemy, not after the human race repented. Reconciliation simply means a change in status and it’s a major issue recognizing reconciliation. Reconciliation from God’s advantage point is a done deal and God is reconciled where the totality of the sin debt of all the human race is concerned. The issue of sin was settled. It’s a son issue today, not a sin issue. 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. There are those who mistakenly suppose that reconciliation is the same thing as justification. Reconciliation has to do with God’s justice being satisfied for sins. Reconciliation is a sin issue.
Paul didn’t set himself apart in order to gain a greater righteousness before God through his performance, but that he made his life-style (to the best he could) conform to who God had already made him to be in his sanctified or set-apart identity being joined to the Savior that he might more affectively reach others. Motivation is the key component when it comes to self-sanctification. Do we have a self-sanctification in the positive sense of separating ourselves from those things we know that are not good for us or not good for others, not in order to merit any more righteousness before God through that performance, but in light of all that God has already made us to be IN the Savior (our new identity in the last Adam). That was Paul’s key motivation; there is a vast difference in those two motivations. Setting oneself apart for holiness is one thing, setting oneself apart because of the holy standing God has already given that individual in the Savior is something altogether different. People have a difficult time separating their performance in the flesh from their identity in Savior and it was the question from the religiously minded people of Paul’s day that remains the question from the religiously minded people in our day.
Many people believe they are God and therefore, they don’t need salvation, they need enlightenment. They need to be able to find some way to get in touch with that God that is in them, that God-Spark! And of course, the God-Spark is not stationary. The God-Spark is moving all the time called “Ying-Yang” in some belief systems. That God-Spark can sometimes just get jammed up and they need to free it so it can operate which is what yoga was based on. Currently the fastest growing trend within belief systems that humankind has ever seen. Reincarnation is all wrapped up in the Pantheist mind-set, coming back again and again until they get it right, then when a person gets it right, “Nirvana!” Satan and his clan loves to propagate in the minds of people, they love it when people question God. When people begin to question God, that frees them up to develop their own concept of God and establish their own basis for a relationship with the god that they have invented in their minds.
It’s imperative to our growth and maturity that we believe God’s truth about who we are in the Savior. God is looking at our identification with his son and at what his energizing power from on high is producing in us, because that is where our life is as far as God is concerned. We cannot use experience to prove the validity of our doctrinal position, we must always use doctrine to prove the validity of our experience. The most dangerous and harmful detriments to our growth is passivity, putting our mind in neutral and coasting, sitting back and waiting for God to do everything is not God’s way to maturity. Paul doesn’t tell us that we are filled with God’s energizing power from on high, but instead, Paul is telling us that we should be filled with God’s energizing power from on high. In other words, we should allow God’s energizing power from on high to be in control of our lives. God’s energizing power from on high works in us, but only to the degree that we are willing to yield ourselves to God’s use in our ministry of reconciliation.
Romans 2:1 - Paul knew that the defense mechanism resident within the pride nature of the human heart would be instant in it’s response to protest the accusation of wrath worthiness. Paul knew the human heart would not only be quick, but that it would be ingenious in the pleas that it would offer as to why we are not wrath-worthy. Paul anticipated the reaction of the human heart given the the moral choice of good and bad disease. Paul anticipated that we would jump to defend ourselves. Paul anticipated that some people would be quick to defend other people. Paul has done what any wise prosecuting attorney would do, he has been elimination our excuses before we have opportunity to present them. No one has a self-defense plea that will successfully excuse them from being counted worthy of God’s wrath. No one therefore, will be able to escape the judgment of God by anything that they do. This is what Paul has been setting out to prove; the necessity of justification, the gift declaration of righteousness by faith.
Here’s good news! God has held back the wrath you so justly deserve and he’s been good to you in holding back that wrath. God hasn’t held back his wrath because he is happy with who you think you are, or because he is satisfied with who you are trying to become. God has been longsuffering in holding back his wrath because he hopes that you will consider his goodness through what his son accomplished on your behalf. God wants you to change your mind about who you are from fleshly perspective apart from the Savior. God isn’t patiently waiting for you to change your mind about what you do, many have done that thinking it gains salvation. Is the “Give your life, or commit your life to God if you want to be saved” message we hear so often today. And many have done that and many have become very good humanly speaking; even to the point of the self-righteous moralizer Paul is referring to in Romans 2:4. You see, the self-righteous moralizer looks in his self-righteous mirror and he thinks God must be satisfied. I’m a prized package.
You see, vile affections is nothing more than idolatry at its logical conclusion: the end point of people replacing God with people. Things have not changed from the very beginning of time, we are at the same point today, or rapidly approaching it, that resulted in God giving up on the Gentiles way back in the book of Genesis. They knew about God, they chose not to keep him in their thought. The conscience has been present in people since the garden, and knowledge of the reality of God has been present as well. That is Paul’s point, it’s not just that people do these things, the problem is all people are wrath worthy because all people have minds that are capable of doing these things given enough time or the right circumstances. Anyone of us here are capable of doing what anyone else in this world has ever done. Do you know what these vile affections that Paul is making reference to are called today? An alternate lifestyle. Obviously, unclean hearts, darkened minds attempt to take the shame out of it. The idea is, let’s just get on with life and accept it for what it is.
We see in Colossians 3:2 that 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. We are not to hold the things on the earth so near and dear so as to rule our minds. Paul’s desire is that we refocus our minds, renewing of our minds day by day. Paul would not have us be defeated believers, depression is Satan’s weapon to defeat us. When it comes to a mind set of joy, Paul takes us to a re-direction of thought and its up to each of us individually. It’s our responsibility to focus our own minds appropriately and according to Paul its a redirection of thought based upon the accomplishments of Jesus. The cause of depression is almost always related to fleshly circumstance, people, things, and worry over those three.
God’s basic goal for our life is character development. The tribulations we face are actually a means of achieving our supreme goal of maturity, because persevering tribulations is the doorway to proven character which is his goal for us. Perhaps the greatest service performed by trails and tribulations in our lives is to reveal wrong goals. It’s during these times of pressure that our emotions raise their warning flags signaling blocked goals, uncertain goals and impossible goals which are based on our desires instead of God’s goal for our ambassadorship. His plan is for us to hang in there and grow up and tribulation just happens to be one the primary stepping stones on the pathway. By preparing our minds for action, we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind by filling it with God’s truth. If our behavior is off, we need to correct what we believe because our misbehavior is the result of our disbelief. We need to practice threshold, first-frame thinking, evaluate every thought by the truth.
Many believers spend their entire existence unsuccessfully trying to be someone other than who they really are, paying lip service to the idea that we are accepted because of God’s grace. The struggle for acceptance on the basis of works is epidemic, but the greatest travesty of all is the lack of understanding about our new identity in the Savior. It would be disastrous enough if the reason people didn’t understand who they are was simply for a lack of information and the truth is that there is an absence of teaching concerning our new identity and what it means to be new creations in the Savior. For all the performance-based people around us, we are simply bad for public relations. 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.
Adam and Eve founded the first religion called “The First Church of the Fig Leaf”. Reconciliation with God on their terms. It doesn’t work that way! God will have none of that. Reconciliation on God’s part is of God and reconciliation from God’s advantage point is a done deal. Amazing salvation we have. The issue remaining on the table of God’s justice is today is whether people will accept that gift. To accept the gift is to receive the gift according to scripture and to receive it simply means to take it to ones self or acknowledge something as being true. In other wards, to believe it. Can a 9 year old child take their stand where God takes his stand? Yes! They see their mom’s or their dad’s faith and they accept the truth for themselves (Learned behavior). Believe and receive are one in the same thing when it comes to this gift of salvation. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 the “if” in this passage has nothing at all to do with the idea that your children could lose their salvation. Nor does it teach that your children would only remain save if they kept on believing something.
We not only have peace with God, we can enjoy the peace of God who shall keep our hearts and minds through the Savior in every circumstance that we face. We shouldn't take any course of action that we don’t have peace about, but is an inner sense of peace about something a sure fire fall safe system when it comes to choosing a direction to take in our lives? There are multitudes who are putting faith in their feelings, but we often connect our emotions to our prayer life and thus we further validate in our minds the course of action we were bent toward taking in the first place. If things go right in our eyes, all is well and good, we haven’t only affirmed ourselves, we have affirmed our Savior. If things go topsy-turvy, perhaps the devil got involved in the details, but can feelings, even a sense of inner peace always be trusted as a fail safe method to always point us in the proper direction when it comes to the contentment or peace department, God through his power from on high doesn’t lead independently of his Word.
Finding rest sounds rather foreign to us, an idea too unrealistic or too good to be true, because somewhere in our life we have been involved in the relationships of our environments that were based on conditions. Standards may have become so deeply ingrained that we are not even aware of them, let alone conscious of how to get free from their tyranny, constantly trying to measure up to standards that are higher than we can reach. This is why God allows all kinds of things into our lives which he uses to strip us of our personal sense of worth. God is making us conformable to the death of Jesus so that in living this experience we might become conformed in his resurrection. This process is not enjoyable, because it’s hard to learn that life cannot be controlled, it’s far too spontaneous and rambunctious to be fully understood.
If the enemy can deceive us into believing a lie, they can control our life in that area. 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. We must learn how to resolve previous conflicts or the emotional baggage will accumulate as we continue to withdraw from life. The past will control our life as our options for handling it continue to decrease. Perceiving those events from the perspective of our new identity which God sealed in the Savior is what starts the process of healing those damaged emotions, because we have the privilege of evaluating our past experience in the light of who we are now as opposed to who we were then. Since their primary weapon is the lie, our belt of truth is continually being attacked. If they can disable us in the area of truth, we become an easy target for their other attacks. We stand firm in the truth by relation everything we do to the truth of God’s word and when we learn to live in the truth on a daily basis, we will grow to love the truth because we will have nothing to hide. It’s not wise for us to live on the enemies level.
Relationally, forgiveness is crucial to our maturity, it’s the glue that holds the body of the Savior together. Instead of insisting on the unity of the mind, we need to preserve the unity by taking the initiative to be the peacemaker in our relationships. Forgiveness is difficult for us, because it pulls against our concept of justice; we want revenge for offenses suffered, but if we don’t let offenders off our hook, we are hooked to them. We need to let go, because the unforgiving believer is yoked to the past or to a person and is not free. We shouldn’t try to rationalize or explain the believer’s behavior, forgiveness deals with our pain, not another’s behavior. Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another believer’s wrong, our only choice is whether we will do so in the bitterness of unforgiveness or the freedom of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice, forgetting may be a result of forgiveness, but it’s never the means of forgiveness and when we bring up the past against other, we haven’t forgiven them. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we must be a doormat to their continual wrongdoing, it’s okay to forgive another’s past wrong and at the same time take a stand against future wrongdoing.
While no believer will be sinless, hopefully we will all sin less as our behavior is impacted by our transformed thinking and that transformed thinking comes through taking in the Word of God and having the Word do it’s work in our lives. The sin nature disease called iniquity runs within the deepest recesses of the human mind, recesses beyond our conscious reasoning. God can see what people cannot see and the disease that manifests itself in our coming short of the right thing to do all of the time, every thought, every word and every deed, and the coming short of the measure of God’s rightness, actions in our lives are called sins. The issue isn’t 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. It’s not the non-imputation of sins that makes a person Heaven ready, it’s the imputation of the very righteousness that belongs to the Savior that makes us Heaven worthy.