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Yearly Archives: 2015
One of the lies of the world is that you have to work hard to be something. But we see in the life of Adam that the life of struggle is working the ground yourself. And in the life of Adam that the life of faith is letting God be your reward. In this teaching, I share how to identity performance based orphanism vs obedience based sonship. Don’t be a Martha! Be a Mary 🙂 And this teaching will reveal some revelations on what that looks like…
I firmly believe the truth of repentance and renewing of the mind have been hidden away from many believers. And because of this many still struggle to have REAL permanent change that Christ sacrifice allows us to walk in. In today’s training taken from my IMPACT discipleship class we discuss the differences between good fruit and bad fruit. And good trees and bad trees. And why these 2 things are so important for us to have real, lasting, permanent change that disciples the nations. Leave comments below!
Great question. But the real question to ask yourself is why do you think so hard for the answer to be anything, but yes He does? Why do you accept ANY answer as long as it doesn’t equal God?
If it’s because of something you don’t like in the Bible well that’s probably a given. Considering if you agreed and knew everything you would be God. And you’re not. So there’s probably somethings that He knows and understands considering He created everything. Wouldn’t it be more honest to simply say God exists and I just don’t agree with Him? Of course then you would be left with the decision of what you’re going to do with Him…
And most people don’t want to be left with that question. So you continue to find some argument – any argument – that concludes there is no God so you’re not left with the choice. Will you accept His offer for righteousness or be held accountable to your own? Even to the point of believing there is a multi-verse, aliens, or an eternal universe which is the reason why we are here because those answers don’t have the personal responsibility that God does.
But my friends you will have to choose this answer one day. Either now when you have the option to receive His righteousness or later when you have only the option to look at your own. And your question of why does evil exist today will be answered… because He allowed you to. And one day He won’t let evil in His Kingdom. And that’s when you won’t be either. Unless you decide today that you want to receive His gift.
Many people believe that we need to have a righteousness independent of Christ. And that quite simply is not true. It is because of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS that we now walk differently.
Here’s the REAL GOSPEL:
Our righteousness is from Him. And He changes us into people who do works of righteousness.
Let me show you…
First let’s go to Ephesians 4 and see how Paul explains the Gospel to uncover the question of what His righteousness looks like in our life…
Ephesians 4:17Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.
Notice that Paul says here that we no longer walk as Gentiles, I think we are both sides are in agreement here that we must no longer walk in the futility of the world’s ways. By the way futility means: pointlessness or uselessness.
The point Paul is making is that the Gentiles way is useless, empty, vain. Sin is the way of destruction and death. Why would we want it when we understand a better way in Christ? We wouldn’t. The problem is RENEWING of the mind. Which Paul continues into…
18They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
Notice they are darkened in their understanding, they don’t KNOW better, and because of this they are ALIENATED (or SEPARATED) from the LIFE of God. God’s ways are life, freedom, love, liberty, and joy. These are the things we truly want, but have been lead (conformed by the world) to believe we need to sin to have. This is a big point. Sin is a lie that doesn’t satisfy.
19They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
Callous meaning: showing or having an insensitive and cruel disregard for others. We see this in the life of the Pharisees it is a life devoid of love. And because of this, they feel they have to love themselves, take care of themselves through sensuality and greed. Pride is believing our way is better than His way. But once again this doesn’t truly satisfy or lead to life.
And here is what Paul is driving at… He says to the believers… look the way of the Gentiles… who DON’T know better is not the way you are to walk!!!
Paul is stressing in verse 20 if you have truly been taught about Christ as He really is… which unfortunately my friend is the biggest issue (IMO) that the Church faces… which I will get into in just a minute….
Put off your old self. This is the key if you will to RENEWING of minds. It is the understanding that you are NOT the old man, but you are the new man. A new creation (2 Co 5:17). So anything that belongs to the former manner and is corrupt is not who we are now in Christ. We are new creations. Reborn. New trees that bear good fruit (Matthew 7:17) UNLIKE the Gentiles who do not know better because they are still bad trees. They haven’t been changed by Christ yet.
But Paul explains who we are now…
24and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
So we put off the old man (the lies) of who we once were, but are no longer. And we put on the new self. And what is this new self? It is created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. The tree is changed, so the fruit is changed.
The problem is that people don’t have their mind’s renewed to who they NOW are in Christ. So they are still trying to DO to BECOME, but this doesn’t work. Because every thing you are told to DO to BE is simply an obstacle to receiving what Christ has done.
So while I agree that we are clothed in Christ righteousness. It is because of His righteousness that we no longer live, but Christ does in us. And we in Him. That now we naturally do the things of God. This is why it’s called fruit of the Spirit.
The main driving point of Scripture is to look at your fruit to determine your root. And I agree. But also there is a place for knowing who we are in Christ. And who Christ is in us. That’s why we see Scripture writers continually exhort believers to walk as Christ. Not because they weren’t saved, but because they didn’t understand who they now were. And that is still the problem in the church today.
I believe people will always choose God when their mind is renewed to His goodness and kindness. The problem is the lies they are believing about Christ and themselves. That’s why renewing of the mind is what causes transformation. And yes He prepares the works for us to walk in. We are simply obedient. But not because we “have to be” but because we “get to be”.
He is a heart God. He wants true obedience from a place of understanding how good He is. Not how good you’re trying to be. Once we accept we are eternally saved – we are off the treadmill of trying to earn our salvation – and we begin to walk in a place of right relationship out of love for Him and His people.
Here’s today’s main point. Don’t read Scripture for what you must do, but for who you now are. Through the lens of promise in Christ. Because of His righteousness in you. And then you will be free to be loved and be love to the world.
I believe one of the stumbling blocks of teaching is the belief that we need more and more teaching instead of allowing our current understanding to be catalyzed. We live out of the heart of our understanding. To know something in Scripture was to do it. If you didn’t do it, you didn’t know it.
Towards the beginning of my Christian growth I used to read Scripture quite often and especially other people’s opinions and interpretations of Scripture. I found as I read other people’s insights that I could quite easily argue opposite opinions using a number of Scriptures for and against many positions.
This caused me to question my own understanding…
So I decided to stop reading Scripture “widely” and instead focused on Scripture in “depth”. And as I did this Scriptures that at first glance seemed unrelated started to come alive.
Why? I believe this is because the Scriptures that I chose to go deep on started to become life to my heart. And my “lens of perception” changed so that I began to see other Scriptures through these lenses.
I spent a year (if not more) just on focusing Scriptures of love. And as I did this Holy Spirit started to teach me out of the platform that I brought to Him. These Scriptures catalyzed my relationship with Him and also brought life to my understanding. Shortly afterward I noticed my life started to change.
Not because I was trying to be something different, but because I started to see God differently. And we are made in His image. So as we know Him clearer, we begin to see ourselves clearer.
I currently believe this process of truly “becoming” what we are discovering has been cast aside for “doing” which is reading many different Scriptures with very little intention. Obviously each has their place, but I feel right now in the Body of Christ there is an awful lot of head knowledge and plenty of room for growth in heart knowledge. Proverbs 4:23
If we look upon our life and we see many issues that keep coming up, especially in our character, this is a clear sign that God is enhancing our heart understanding in this area. And the teachings we listen to under Holy Spirit filtering will give us the truth to replace those strongholds built by lies.
REPENTANCE: To turn away from one thing to another. In Kingdom terms, to turn away from a lie and see the truth. Why do Christians believe other Christians desire sin? If you don’t desire sin, why do you think another does? I believe one of the most effective ways to help people through “sin” is not to focus on who they are not, but to focus on who they truly are. Sin at its core root is selfishness. But selfishness is not overcome by our effort because that leads to religious performance. Selfishness is overcome by knowing the kindness and goodness of God. It is knowing His ways are better than our ways. That His promises are better than any illegal promise the enemy can cook up. 2 Peter 1:4
Let’s take this to a popular used Scripture: 1 Cor 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteousb will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,c 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
This Scripture is quoted often in telling people what they should not do. And rightfully so. However we miss the full impact of this Scripture if we stop at verse 10. Here’s why:
1 Cor 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Notice in verse 11 it’s not focusing on behavior anymore, but identity! As such WERE some of you. It doesn’t say TRY to be something different. Paul is telling the Corinthians this ISN’T who you are anymore! Paul isn’t jealous of their sin. He isn’t cutting them with Scripture and putting them in condemnation. He is saying, look my children this isn’t who you are. You have been washed. You have been sanctified (not BEING sanctified), and you were JUSTIFIED. But Christians are so scared to say that other Christians are made righteous and justified in the sight of God because of FEAR that they might sin if they know they “can”. But God did NOT give us a Spirit of Fear. So those who are entrenched in this fear are completely disregarding the POWER of God who alone can change a man. And who has already DONE so.
As a result they end up creating what they fear most. I have seen sin conscious preaching might tickle the ears, but it rarely changes hearts. Behavior modification works for a temporary time, but identity modification works permanently. We see this in the Old Testament vs New Testament realities. One says what you can’t do. And the other says who you now are by the sacrifice of Christ. He alone can change the tree. Are we not branches who rest peacefully in the Vine’s finished work?
The Pharisees were quick to see what was wrong with everyone else. But had forgotten the more weightier matters of the law which is to love one another. And it is in our love for one another that the world will see who belongs to Christ. And it is this same love that will break the back of selfishness. It is this love that will allow others to feel safe and secure in their Father’s arms. And it is this love that will not fail 1 Cor 13. So let’s remember who we are. And if a brother falls in sin, restore him gently. Reminding him of the goodness and kindness of God, seeking out the lie that has caused him to fall, and showing him who he now is in Christ. Picking a fight with the spirit trying to control him, but not the beloved brother who has forgotten who he is in Christ.
If YOU can’t see the good in someone, the reality of what Christ paid for them to walk in, and know how much God loves them. You don’t have a vested interest in their life. Nor the knowledge nor right to speak correction into their life. As a result you are nothing, but a clanging symbol. Or do you think the Scriptures were written for you to go around correcting people forgetting that it is the Master who is well able to make His servants stand or fall? Have you gone to Scripture to be cut yourself? Does your life show the fruit of what the pruning words of Scripture do? Has your love caused people to feel safe, to feel loved, and to trust that you hear from the Spirit? Repent yourself and others will desire your repentance and their own. This in my opinion is true Kingdom repentance. And it overcomes sin. Because Christ already did.