[Notes] Andrew Farley - Session 1 of Convention 220: Freed from Guilt


We have an enemy that accuses us day and night, and we suffer from these accusations if we don't know any better.

12 Accusations and the Truth that sets you free:

12. You are going to pay at the judgment. 
- Quite the confusing statement, this sparks fear of meeting God face-to-face; We are told that there's a second, more extreme judgment that we are ALL going to face... But the truth is pretty black and white on this one. We're scared of this and we're falling for this because it opens up a grey area. 

In the final chapters of Revelation, chapter 20 shows people being judged according to their deeds, and they are thrown into the lake of fire if your name is not in the Book of Life. But if you are in Christ, your name IS in the Book of Life, and you ought to be reading chapter 21 instead! We are either goats or sheep - there are no shoats, there are no geep! 

There is only one judgment, and the only deciding factor of where you go is Christ. Are you in Christ? Then that's all you need!

11. You have missed God's will for your life. 

God's will for your life is for none to perish but for all to have eternal life. God's will is for all to be saved. God's will is not based on your choices. God's will has a name, and His Name is Jesus Christ, and as Jesus Christ is alive in you, so God's will is alive in you! God's will is for us to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in everything.. literally, 'Wow! Thank You! Thank You, Jesus!'

Jesus Christ is behind every door because Christ lives in you. Be wise! God's will is Jesus!

10. God brought this pain and circumstance on you to break you.

The truth is God wants to break our confidence in the flesh. The epistles say that we are actually being built up in Christ. We have been made a new creation that doesn't need to be broken. 

There's nothing wrong with you. There's everything wrong with the world, but because of Christ's finished work, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. God loves you deeply, through and through. He wants to break our confidence in the faith, but He does not break the new creation. Those are 2 different things. 

9. You are too selfish and you need to be broken. 

The flesh is selfish, but you are not of the flesh. You are of your self, and because of Christ, you are the new self. You are not fighting an inner 'civil war' with supposed more than one 'self' - This isn't true, at all! The enemy is the flesh, the enemy is not the new self, because God and I are on the same team! 

You don't have an old self that is sinful and dirty - you are the new self, the new creation! Self is not the enemy, sin and flesh are. 

8. Your heart is not right before God. 

Ever think this while praying? It may be true that our thinking isn't right before God, but don't associate your thinking with the new heart that Christ has given you. Romans 6 says we have become obedient from the heart. 

You are not an obstacle. You are instrument of God. You can offer yourself to sin, find out it was miserable, or offer yourself to God and find how it was all so fulfilling. 

6. The enemy has a strong grip on your life. 

1 John 5 says, the evil cannot touch you. Enough said. 

5. You are not keeping the your end of the bargain with obedience.

We talk about grace, but some bring in that you need to pay God back.. but Paul talks about the obedience of faith. Jesus also said the work of the Father is for us to believe.

The Gospel is not about God and you in some bargain; it's between God and God.. and we are the beneficiaries! 

4. Your sins are the exception. Your sins are willful, repeated and big!

Well, every sin is willful. A lot of sins are definitely repeated. We all stumble in so many ways. Don't make a big deal of your sins. Your sins are small, Jesus is big. Your sins are not just under the blood, but totally cleansed. 

It's not 'you're forgiven of all your sins, until you sin!' No, Christ CLEANSED ALL your sin! 

3. You don't really have a salvation story. 

I don't remember when I was born, but it certainly happened! There is no need for us to go ahead and put so much stress on our story, more than we should just reap and revel in God's story! 

2. The Bible teaches 'I can do all things through Christ,' but where's your victory and success?

Christ's finished work does not guarantee success and health and wealth according to our standards - but it does guarantee Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things, is alive in me in ALL things. The real Gospel says you need Jesus in everything, and Jesus is alive in you for everything!

1. You don't feel anything. 

God asked Adam and Eve, 'Who told you that you were naked?'
What was Jesus feeling on the cross? What was He feeling when confronted by the Pharisees and those lacking faith? We tend to relate victory to our feelings, but the New Covenant guarantees that as you are a new creation, you can be you, without having to long for a certain feeling just to know that Christ is alive in you! You can be you, and you don't need to fear because Christ is alive in you, and you are alive in Christ! 

Conclusion:
With each accusation, the TRUTH sets you free!

_________________________
email me at jibee@rocketmail.com


May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26

The 33rd

The sun is about to rise on my 33rd birthday. I guess I'm only awake because of work, but I think this is a good time as any to appreciate the quiet mornings. I've just closed iTunes to see if the birds outside would be welcoming today with their song, and so far all I'm hearing are chickens. 

Apart from the crows and the desktop PC humming, mornings at home are just so peacefully quiet. It helps to have a jacket on now... but a couple of decades ago, I wouldn't have minded - in fact, I would have welcomed the cold. 

Actually, some things never change now that I see it - see, back in Brent, around 20 years ago, I would sleep while keeping the window closest to my bed open; and this window absolutely had to be open at all times, deviating only in the event of a really strong typhoon. 

Today, I woke up with not just the window, but the door to my balcony open - perhaps, an indication that I like sleeping in places where air flows free. Or something like that. 

This opens up a lot. Around a month ago I started feeling a little more down than usual - by 'down' I mean I was actually thinking that it would be fine if I went home to be with God already. All this was coming from the realization of all the mistakes I've been making resulting in what I see and feel today - My gut was getting bigger, my performance at work was becoming slipshoddy, and everything that I thought I was gonna get into as I declared during the earlier parts of this year are still plans, more or less. 

What really got to me was the fact that it was also because of my doing that I lost a precious relationship. The guilt and all these other feelings that I would normally sing off just compounded - I was thinking along these lines - 

'There's so much that has to be done, and you haven't even started. The more you hold it off, the more it'll all get even worse, and it's already bad as it is, so what the hell are you doing? You've probably done so much earlier in your life that it's dented your attitude and now it's too late to fix any of that, and consequently, any of this stuff you're facing! Your life has no meaning, and no substance!'

What hurt me even more was that I felt like I was alone, like I couldn't open up to anyone about my struggles because I thought they ran so deep, and/or I could explain what I was feeling, myself. And even THAT was bad because I would think

'Well, you botched up your relationship with Pao! You could be opening up to her and talking to her now... but haha actually if you do, you're probably going to go through the same tirade of just talking about yourself and boring her!'

--

All I could say now is that during these times that we spend in the valley, it helps just to know that even there, I can draw the will to live knowing, just knowing that all this time, I was never actually alone - that my Father, He was always with me all this time. He was as close to me in this deep valley as much as He was in days that I was in the highest peaks.. 

In all this, we will always have a song to sing, we will always have a reason to give thanks and to rejoice, simply because even if we don't see an apparent solution or even a place to start healing or moving forward, we know that we have a loving Father who is always with us, and will always be with us, loving us with an everlasting and perfect love. 

Having your heart sunken leads you to thinking and re-evaluating what your purpose is in life. I had that question. Usually we think about our passions, and while what I believed were my passions actually helped me in my struggle to keep my head above water, I was led to think that there's more to this life that living out what we think is best for ourselves. 

As I was reading the Bible, I came upon verse upon verse that mentioned, 'The LORD is my portion.'

Digging deeper I found that this could be understood as 'The LORD is my Inheritance', or the way I took it at the time, the Lord is my future. That's guaranteed. The feelings I had were overwhelming to the point that I was thinking, can't I just be with you in all ways already, Jesus? Why am I still here if the logical choice is to be with you forever, instead of just wasting time here in this life? 

I mean, I'm good with my past. Christ covered that, and my present. Those verses I read guarantee my future. I'm all set. Why am I still here? 

It was in these moments when new thoughts began to spark - thoughts of others, and not just myself. Thoughts of investing, not for personal gain (as this loses its appeal), but investing in the lives of others. Being a blessing to the world - thriving, growing, solving the problems that I have not in the name of my comfort, but for the betterment of those around me more. 

For a while I kept the windows and doors closed in my life, and all I ended up with was feeling guilty, unaccomplished, disappointed, frustrated, and bitter. When you close the doors and windows, there's more time for you to think of yourself, and it never fails - the comfort of isolation may last, but eventually the air becomes stuffy as you're left with thoughts of mistakes, regrets, and heartaches..

Today may be my birthday, but as the turn of the year, it's just another day. I will, however, take this moment to say that my happiness is found in knowing that everyone else is happy. My comfort is found in knowing that everyone else is comfortable. The doors will always be open, not just for the persistent breeze of Baguio to flow in and through, but to welcome who the Lord brings to me, or who I am brought to by the Lord. 

I do what I do, and even if what I do is for myself, it's for others. I exercise to stay strong to carry things for others. I practice my music and photography for others to enjoy. 

My Christ is found in knowing that everyone else believes in Christ. 

Sola scriptura
Sola fide
Sola gratia
Solus Christus
Soli Deo gloria


_________________________
email me at jibee@rocketmail.com


May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26

[042317] The Truth About the Will of God by Andrew Farley



What is God's will for your life?

Is it really about what house to build, what car to buy? We've been hearing so much about finding the will of God especially before making big decisions, and then when you find that 'will', you need to stay in it. Like it's not hard enough to find it; now you'd have to stay holy to stay in the will of God.

Then there are those who say that there's such a thing as His 'permissive' will, and His 'perfect' will; Still there are those who talk about how God could place a group of doors in front of us, just for us to choose a door, and either reap the rewards or suffer the consequences.

But you see here how all this places people in bondage, which is actually far from the liberty upon which Christ has set us free!

So, what is God's will for your life?

God's Will Is Salvation.
- God's Will is actually obvious and clear and part of His will for us is, clearly, to be saved!

'The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.' - 2 Peter 3:9

God so loved the world, and that has never changed. There are no special groups and cadres that are saved, and there are no groups and people groups that are doomed to hell. It is God's will for everyone to come to the decision of believing in Christ and His finished work.

'This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth.' - 1 Timothy 2:3-4

Again, 'ALL' is emphasized here. Take a look back at what you thought God's will was before, and compare it to what we are learning so far - If God's will is for you to be saved, isn't it nice to know that Christ's finished work guarantees your everlasting life a.k.a. your salvation? In other words, isn't it nice to know that as you have believed in Christ, that you have been placed and secured in God's will?

We're seeing that God's will is certainly not something hard to grasp or achieve.

God's will is salvation for the Gentiles and the Jews.

God was in the business of saving Jews and protecting Israel.. but, as Andrew Farley says, this is a news flash! God's salvation has been extended to the Gentiles as well as the Jews!

'He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.' - Ephesians 1:9-10

Is God's will a mystery? Yes, but He has made it known to us. It was a secret, but now it is revealed that His will is 'the summing up of all tings in Christ', not just in the heavens, but in the earth, where lives Jews AND Gentiles. Christ is the unifier that allows us to merge in spite of our diversity. God's will, in this context, is unity - unity with Him, and unity with each other, in spite of our color, our looks, our other affiliations.

'By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known... to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs.' - Ephesians 3:4-6

God's will is for the Gentiles to be made fellow heirs. Indeed, blessed are we in this generation where this is made obvious. We, Gentiles, are part of God's will.

--

Now, yes, there are choices we have to make, but these aren't choices such as the ideal spouse, or the best job, etc. but rather linked more to our attitudes. God's will is that we exude certain attitudes, that we take on certain mindsets... God's will relates to attitudes.

'Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.' - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Are you wondering what God's will is for you? There it is.

God's will for you is to Rejoice.
God's will for us is to come to the attitude of 'Wow! Amazing! Incredible! Awesome!' It's the attitude which comes from being absolutely overwhelmed by the Good News of Christ, the Gospel that saves and sets us free!

God's will for you is to Pray.
God's will for us is to come to the attitude which says, 'Father, I need you, and I know that we are united, and that You are alive in me, and I am alive in You.' This is the attitude of living FROM Christ, and not FOR Christ. The idea of praying without ceasing is not literally staying in prayer, but understanding that throughout your life, you would eventually comes to the attitude of talking to Dad, and letting Him know all that you see and feel, believing that He always wants to hear from you, always staying with you no matter what.

God's will for you is to Give Thanks.
God's will for us is to come to the attitude which is able to find a reasonable thing to thank God for in ALL circumstances. And because He is with us forever, in any event, this is a reason to give God thanks, and thanks in all things. It's not positive thinking, it's not faking it till we make it, but it's just that we recognize who God is and knowing He is always with us even in what the world says could be the worst that could happen.

What are we seeing here? It's not about God giving you the instructions to buy a certain camera, or to drive a certain direction at a given time, but it's about attitudes - attitudes which are, by the way, of Jesus Christ, - that are being worked in us day by day.

God's Will relates to actions.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality. - 1 Thessalonians 4:3

Paul continues by mentioning that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit , and should not be used for flippant things; it should be used in honor, knowing that you carry Christ within you.

Sanctification? You have been sanctified, set apart for a purpose. You are holy, blameless, and sanctified. You HAVE been sanctified. These are the actual daily choices - do you choose to use your body for Christ, do you set apart your temple for Him, or for sin and other purposes altogether?

Don't waste away time and energy chasing after sin, and letting your body be abused by sin, instead, waking up every day, and offering yourself to God as someone who is alive to Him, with a body that is holy and acceptable to Him, which is an act of worship! Worship isn't just music - 99% of our worship is any step taken in dependency to Christ who is alive within us.

'Now the God of peace... equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ...' - Hebrews 13:20-21

The pressure is off. Break it down: The writer of Hebrews prays that the God of peace - the God who is at peace with you, who likes you and loves you, may He equip you through the knowledge of Him - as you are equipped in your heart, may you continue to be equipped in the mind through the renewing of the mind. - in every good thing to rejoice, and to pray, and to give thanks in all things, through Jesus Christ who is alive in us.

In other words, as God is the One working through us, the pressure is off! It's no longer about the works you do, but the works that God has prepared in advance for you to walk right into them. God has designed you for good works - not just in a period of time, but in each and every day of your life! You be you, and you let Christ work in and through you! God is doing the work in you so that you can see what is pleasing in His sight!

Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution... For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. - 1 Peter 2:13-15

Here, Peter talks about what it means to suffer, and how foolish it is to suffer for wrong reasons. Why suffer for a crime which goes against the rulers of the land, spending the rest of your life in bondage because you deserve it? Peter is also saying that if you are suffering for what you believe in Jesus, then so be it; it is an honor, but really, it's foolish to waste your time suffering as an evildoer.

God's will is for us to be sensible, that we walk in the wisdom of the Lord, that we do not waste time and energy doing foolish things like people who do not know Christ.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time... do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. - Ephesians 5:15-17

Before going any further, go back to what the current trend is regarding how most Christians believe regarding the Will of God; that you need to find it, and it's a tough road, and that you may need to get rid of all the sin in your life to find His will, and to get into His will, and to stay in His will.. and THEN you'll be okay with God.

Have we seen any of this funny business, this bondage? No, what we've seen so far in the Scripture is that God's will is salvation, that this salvation is for all (for Jew and Greek), that God cares about our attitudes in general (love, patience and kindness towards others), that God cares about our actions, and how we carry ourselves in a daily basis, caring for others, as temples of the Holy Spirit.

Is this hard to understand? It's not about being scared to make the next move lest you fall out of God's will, but sadly, this error has been more pervasive! No, God's will is big, it's Jesus Christ in you, and expressed through you! Don't be foolish, make the most of your time, and take time to understand what God's will really is!

God's Will Is Not Paralyzing

I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. - Romans 1:13

Paul planned to go to Rome so many times, but he wasn't able to in more than one occasion. Paul operated like a lot of us, not knowing what tomorrow would bring; he kept packing his suitcase, only to be 'prevented'.

This is saying we aren't alone in making decisions without a feeling or a knowledge of what tomorrow brings. We all walk by faith. The will of God is not about where to live, and who to marry, and if you make the right decisions, you'll be okay, and if not, you won't... Your 'okayness' does not depend on your decisions, but on the finished work of Christ.

WARNING:
Don't let a frantic search for getting in God's will and staying in God's will become a works-righteousness for you!

Let's not fall to the temptation of believing that we may mess up God's will for us totally because of our decisions! We are so tempted to make our choices connect to our rightness before God... that our choices would cause God to place us in some sort of lesser experience with Him.

[I've felt this way too many times. I've felt in the core how my actions in the past gave me what I suffer for today, and that I would have been in a better version of God's will if I did better in the past.]

This is clearly not a Truth that liberates! This is a worldly view of destiny and future prediction.

REMEMBER: You are righteous by NEW BIRTH, NOT by daily choices! You are right before your Father by your New Birth.

Don't get us wrong - if God gives you wisdom for specific choices, then consider it! Consider the views of others, and from your righteousness in Christ, make the decisions, without fear that what you decide would derail you from God's will!

God's will is salvation for anyone! - Jesus In You!
God's will relates to attitudes and actions! - Jesus Through You!

God's will is NOT paralyzing - God's will is JESUS in you and expressed through you!


_________________________
email me at jibee@rocketmail.com


May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26

[042117] Notes from Questions About Freedom (Part 4) by Andrew Farley


(Starting at ~25:35)

‘What is the best way to teach a grace message to your team while at the same time they need law/guidelines (HELP!)’

Your teams don’t need ‘The Law’, or the Old Testament Law; they need to know the Gospel. The Law was not even given to the Gentiles, but we need to know the message of the Gospel.

We DO need the guidelines. Paul tell the Romans to pay taxes, and to be at peace with all men, and to respect your authorities. What we see here is that there is no clash/contrast between grace and functioning in society! The heart of Christ is that we obey those in authority, to obey the rules that have been put in place for our protection.

It’s not for us to become legalistic about these rules; there are still earthly circumstances and consequences for our actions in this world. It’s one thing for us to suffer for believing in Christ, but if we’re suffering because of something we did, we have to understand that there is no partiality here, and the consequences that apply to unbelievers certainly apply to us as well. These things happen without partiality. The earth functions in another way.

Listening to our parents and authorities is not legalism. Don’t be afraid to have boundaries, and to have laws of the land, and rules in place. We don’t want to be unwise in the raising of our children, our peers, and/or our teams. As all people, we are all getting more and more acquainted in the Gospel with every day, but we ought to look out for each other by establishing guidelines.


My take on this: Part of our respecting of authorities is birthed out of the understanding that we are all, indeed, getting acquainted with the Gospel of Christ, and the person and identity of Christ with each and every day. There are consequences for even the smallest slip-ups we have, and we have to understand that our roles as leaders is to impose (1) guidelines and rules to keep our brethren from falling into these consequences, and (2) a gracious response in the name of training and not punishing those who have fallen.

Andrew Farley concludes: ‘Don’t be focused on Old Testament law when we do want to be proclaiming the excellencies of God’s Grace to our teams right from the get-go and showing them this dependent life on Christ.’

Is your teaching basically boiling down to, ‘Let go, let God’?

Yes, and no.

For some, when they think, ‘Let go, let God’, they’re thinking ‘Jesus, I can’t but you can, but I’m going to let you.’; and that’s the attitude. Just as we received Him (‘I can’t, but you can, and I’m going to let you’), so we walk in Him, emphasizing ‘I can’t, but you can, and I’m going to let you’…

On the other hand, we ought to watch out for when ‘Let go, let God’ becomes, ‘All of You, and none of me’; Again, we aren’t fire hoses here; we aren’t supposed to become little Jesuses here. We must remember that WE became the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ so we could be involved and we could participate, and we could be united with Christ, so we could be ourselves…

… we could understand that Christ is alive in us, but we should always remember that because of this, we could be ourselves. God is crazy in love with us, and that He really likes us. He knows everything about us that makes us who we are, and He doesn’t want to change any of that – He did all that He did because He loves us.

Do you believe that you are an OBSTACLE to God, or an INSTRUMENT of God? Do you believe that you are dirty and ugly, or that because of Christ, you have been made compatible and acceptable and beloved by God?

Is it ‘Let go, let God?’ – Yes and no. He is the Power. He is God, and we are not. But at the same time, we are made His children, holy and dearly loved; He could have done it all without us, but He chose to create us, He chose to rescue us, and He chose to include us.

Learn who you are in Christ, and then be yourself, and then repeat.


(Ends 33:01)


_________________________
jb.redeemed
email me at jibee@rocketmail.com

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26

[041817] 10 Reasons for the Resurrection! By Andrew Farley



10 Reasons for the Resurrection! By Andrew Farley

Without the Resurrection, Christianity has absolutely NO sense at all.

But, lo and behold, Christ has risen from the dead, indeed.

10. To Demonstrate God’s Power – This is at #10 because we already know of God’s power speaking entire galaxies into existence; we have seen God’s power parting the Red Sea, healing leprosy, providing manna from heaven, etc… So we know that God is powerful. Christ certainly had power in raising Lazarus from the dead.

9. To Fulfill Prophecy – We can look at all sorts of documents in the Hebrew Bible and in the Old Testament, and we can see that the prophets saw this coming. Isaiah 53, for example says that Christ was the suffering servant who was pierced for our transgressions. Psalm 16:10 says that Christ will not be done away with in a tomb, that Christ will not go through decay. Indeed, there were prophecies about the Cross, but there were also prophecies about the Resurrection.

8. To Cure Our Fear Of Death – The fear of death is pretty strong. The fear accompanying us saying that this is all that there is just so huge. Hebrews 2 says that Christ shared in our humanity so that He would free those who were in slavery to the fear of death all of their lives. If we’re scared to die, we’re slaves to fear… once we were slaves, but by Christ’s resurrection, we have been set free. The resurrection indicates that we no longer have any reason to fear what lies beyond.

7. To Save Us – We say that the cross saves us, but that only brought us to the grave. But it’s the resurrection of Christ that brought us into grace. The cross does away with our old self, but it’s the resurrection that gives us the new self. The cross is what pays for our sins, but the resurrection deals with our selves. We have not been called children of the cross, but children of the resurrection (Luke 20:36)!

Romans 5:10 says that we have been reconciled by the death of Christ, and indeed, there is a bridge.. but that’s only half of the story! That’s only one side of the coin. The verse goes on by saying that we have been saved by His life. It is by the cross AND the resurrection that we have been saved. His life saves us. His life has power over death. His life has power when we couldn’t control our destiny and future.

Romans 4:25 says that Jesus Christ was raised for our justification… but what is justification? We try to justify ourselves for our actions, but when we justify ourselves before God, we have only one name to mention, and that is Jesus Christ.

Didn’t Christ die for our justification? No, He was also raised for our justification, meaning that God doesn’t just look at us ‘as if’ we were justified, but He does see us as justified through Christ! Christ has made us really right by His resurrection. He caused us not just to be changed, but to be born again, made totally new, through His resurrection.

6. To Raise Us Up As Born Of God – Yes, we celebrate that Christ has been risen from the dead, but we also praise God because as Christ was raised from the dead, so we have been raised as well! We have been included in the resurrection. 1 John 3 says that we have been born of God.
This means that as we have been born with characteristics of our parents, to say that we have been born of God, we bear characteristics of a living God! We have been made overcomers because we were born of God. This isn’t just a symbolic truth, but it’s a truth that we possess right here, right now!

5. To Give Us A Resurrection Heart – God promised through Ezekiel (c36) that we will be given a new heart and a new spirit. Romans 6:17 says we have been made obedient through the heart. By grace, we have been made obedient. Part of our identity is that we have been made obedient from the heart. Do not believe the sayings that we have a wicked heart - That’s only what we USED TO have.
If you are in Christ, you have a new, resurrection heart, an obedient heart.

4. To Bring In The New Way Of Grace – Romans 7:4 says we died to the Law so that we could be joined to another, to Him who was raised. The resurrection means that we are joined to a living Savior. We are not joined to a dead teacher. We are not married to a dead founder of a religion. We have been joined to a risen Christ.

This means that we have power over sin and death. We don’t need the Law if we have the Spirit of Christ in us.

3. To Take Us Out Of Our Sins – Paul told the Corinthians that without the resurrection, everything is vain, useless, and that we would still be dead in our sins. We would be (1) dead and (2) in our sins. Many people still think that they are still in their sins, but we ought to know through this passage that by Christ’s resurrection, we have been (1) made alive, and (2) taken out of our sins!

2. To Seat Us In Heaven With Christ – Ephesians 2 says that Christ raised us up and seated us next to God. So we should do away with singing and saying that we need to be close to God.. but by Christ’s resurrection we have been placed as close to God as we could ever be – So close in fact, that we cannot be taken away from His presence, no matter what happens!

It’s not about punching in and checking into God’s presence, but it’s about us being in God’s presence forever, as Christ has been raised and now lives forever! We’re not getting any closer to God because we are already one with Him, joined to Him not just now but forever! When we were born again we have been placed close to God. It’s not going to get any better than it already is.

1. Relationship with the Resurrected Christ – It’s all about our relationship. God wants relationship. God wants us. God doesn’t want us to do, do, do, He doesn’t want us to impress, He doesn’t want us to try, HE WANTS US. That’s why He joined us to Himself – Christ gave His life FOR us, then He gave His life TO us, infusing us with His life so we could live in intimacy with Him as He lives His life THROUGH us.

It’s about union. It’s about being one Spirit with Jesus. It’s about being connected. It’s about being plugged into the resurrection life of Jesus Christ… forever.


Thank You, Jesus! 


_________________________
jb.redeemed
email me at jibee@rocketmail.com

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26

My Current Perspective

My Current Perspective

'If we are not deliberately thinking about our culture and our context, we will be conformed to it without ever knowing.' - Timothy Keller

Today is Maundy Thursday, April 13, 2017. It is 5:32 in the afternoon. I am parked outside of Good News, and the rain is beating hard on the car, giving it a good rinse. 

My current perspective on our culture: Our culture as Filipinos today is amusingly diverse. I say amusing because in the previous years, more and more of us have been boldly standing up against a mindset made prevalent only by default - that mindset which believes that we have been done a great injustice by the Marcos family, and that we have been liberated from tyranny during what was called EDSA 1986. 

We see in our current administration that the leaders in the past 30 years have been sitting on their hands, saying much and doing less. I see a culture divided in the sense that there are more of us who are doing more and saying less, or at least saying more about doing more. 

I see a culture divided between a people subdued by those in influence by tactics which appeal to the emotions yet consequently insulting the intellect, and a people who have had enough of the crying and are applauding those who are actually doing something about it.

I see a culture driven either by blind hate, or inspiration brought about by action towards an actual solution. I see a culture which, if all pointed to the right direction, would gain immediate and effective traction simply out of passion.

With all that said, my current perspective on our culture is that our culture is a passionate one. Our culture stands firm on its beliefs - whether these be our personal beliefs, or those passed/imposed on us by religion, organizations, and other influences, the culture we have holds what it believes in in very high regard. 

Let's look at this further. We are either seen as determined if we are with people with like beliefs, or stubborn when being with people who oppose what we believe. While we avoid confrontation, we are more likely to take a more defensive stance when our beliefs are assaulted. 

Sadly, too many times this means that we exhibit behavior which may very well be directly contrary to what we say we believe... 

...which means that it's not what we believe that we hold in high regard, more than the fact that we actually have strong beliefs about something. I hope I'm making sense. We are a culture that experiences its divisions not because of what we believe but by how we believe what we say we believe. 

For instead of us having the actual confidence in what we believe in to hear what any opposition has to say, we fight back, and not always in a fair manner. And those of us who try harder to understand are either smothered out or forced to give up. 

My current perspective: Our culture experiences its divisions not because of what we believe but by how we believe what we say we believe, and... well, nothing more than that, sadly. 

Now there must be an easier way to squeeze that all into a few words. Could it be that our culture has a lot of belief, but lacking in faith?

...or could it be that deep inside, we believe in ourselves more than we believe in what we say we believe?

For those of us who say that we are Christians, isn't that our struggle as a people liberated by Christ's finished work, against the flesh, and the way of the world?

My current perspective on my own personal culture is one which definitely needs to stand fast - and, in light of all that I've been writing so far, I need to stand fast in the fact that while I do have a grip on Christ, my life, the truth of the matter is He will never leave me no matter how far I think I am from Him.

I am currently on uncharted territory. And instead of me placing emphasis on my sight on the compass, I think I would do so much better to just place my faith in the One who actually points north. 

This, consequently, is my context.. based on my current perspective. 

Now and always, to live is Christ, for by Christ, I live.


Halleluyah.

_________________________
email me at jibee@rocketmail.com


May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26

[041317] Risen! By Andrew Farley





Why is the resurrection SO important? Why is it so critical and crucial to the Christian faith? Why is it so important to you?

We can talk about how the cross is so important, but there is importance in also knowing why the resurrection is important.

Is it for us to know that Christ has power over death? Well, He's already demonstrated His power over death when He raised people from the dead before the cross. He's demonstrated His power and authority by healing the sick, and raising the dead..

So, again, why is the resurrection SO important?

Why is it important to the Christian faith?

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
1 Corinthians 15:3

We all have a story of how we were brought to believe; some of us may not have remembered the actual day and year, some of us may have remembered it as the time when they said the 'Sinner's prayer' - but the main common point is that we all heard the Gospel, and at some point we were born in the Spirit when we came to believe. We hold fast in the Truth of Christ and our salvation and abundant life in Him. As we hear message after message, we would do well to hold fast to Christ each and every time. If we began hearing in faith, let us continue to hold fast by hearing in faith.

What are the things to hold fast in? What are the first things to believe in? You don't need such a dramatic story - in fact, your story may be unremarkable, but it should all come together in the fact that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.

The enemy will definitely attack your story, but you really shouldn't be intimidated if you know for a fact that your story has its origins and its totality in the fact that Christ died for our sins.

'..and that He appeard to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.' 1 Corinthians 15:5-8

Paul presents that we can have confidence in the fact that there are actual witnesses to Christ's death and resurrection. The Gospel is not life-changing, but life exchanging. Paul wasn't with the apostles. Paul was the outsider who didn't have the experience of walking with Christ in His 3 years of ministry; He says he doesn't fit, he didn't have the same origin as a disciple, pointing out that he was even persecuting disciples, but yet he presents that even he had been blessed by Christ showing up to him.

This just points out that if Christ appeared to Paul, a killer of Christians, the total enforcer of the law, He is faithful and true to appear to us as well! Our sins are small, and Christ is so much bigger!

For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 1Co 15:9

Paul just keeps going, emphasizing how he was so dead wrong about God and Jesus Christ. He was the Church's worst enemy but CHRIST STILL CHOSE HIM to write the majority of the New Testament - how great is that! God's grace is just such a big deal!

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 1Co 15:10

We weren't save to sit on our hands to wait for Christ to return, but we were given the gift of life to participate in the life of Christ! Christ is alive in us, and we are alive in Christ! We are able not just to move, but to labor, to work hard, by the grace of God that is with us! By Christ's finished work we have been made holy and acceptable to God - ALL of US, and not just us, but the grace of God alive in us!

Legalism says that we are alone in our performance... but Grace says it is Christ and all of Him that is our performance! Before creation it was all of Christ and none of us... why did He make us? He made us to fit with Him, and for Him to embrace us. By God's grace we are light and made children of the light.

All of us has been merged with all of Christ. We wake up every day, being partners with Jesus Christ. Christ in us, us in Christ.

'Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?' 1Co 15:11-12

Why would we waste our time, and why would we find sense in focusing on Christ if there was no resurrection?

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 1Co 15:13-14

This begs the question, what is Christianity at the core? It's a sad fact that a majority of people today who say they are Christians say that Christianity is about following the rules of the Bible. That wouldn't make it any better or different from any other club or religion which has a code of ethics, a founder, and his sayings.

What makes Christianity different? JESUS CHRIST ROSE FROM THE DEAD. He wasn't just a teacher. He was either a lunatic, or a Lord who rose from the dead into life! Jesus either belongs to the psych ward, or He's telling the truth!

We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 1Co 15:15-17

Many believers in Christ's resurrection still believe that they are in their sins. These people still think that sin is an obstacle keeping them from God, when we ought to realize that (1) Christ has been raised, (2) the faith Christ has established in us is life and life abundant in us, and (3) we are NOT in our sins. Not just even DEAD to our sins, but totally taken away from our sins.

Our identity is Christ, and we ought to relate to God through Christ, our Savior, and NOT our sins. This is once-for-all forgiveness that was done through Christ's finished work.

If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 1Co 15:19

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead 1Co 15:20-21

We have been moved from Adam to Jesus Christ - in other words, we have been in the timeline headed for death and futility, but by Christ we have been placed into life and abundance.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 1Co 15:22

Death was spread to all under Adam, but by Christ we would be made alive.

But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 1Co 15:23-24

Without the resurrection, Christianity is foolishness.
Christ has been raised. He IS risen!
You are no longer dead. You are no longer in your sins.
You are alive to God!

Are you celebrating your resurrection with Christ?
Let's say WOW and THANK YOU to God!

_________________________
email me at jibee@rocketmail.com



May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26

On Discipline


Shortcuts and hacks reflect one’s exposure and contempt over a certain process. I should not be content in one place. In Christ, the revelation of His grace continues to renew our minds, and we are transformed more and more by the renewing of our minds – it is natural that we see that in Christ, our boundaries are expanded, our opportunities grow bigger.

In Christ, the results prove to be overwhelming, each and every time. No matter where we are in the walk and life with our Savior who never leaves us, He never fails to (1) overwhelm us with His grace and mercy, and (2) humble us with His great wisdom and power. And in the overwhelming, and in the humility, there will always be peace – we are not shaken.

Yes, we will not be shaken when faced with the intimidation and the humiliation that is of the world, for we possess (and are in the possession) of a Savior who is incomparably amazing, overwhelming to the point that we are brought to sincere humility.

I find myself in a point where indeed, His grace and peace endure and burn ever so brightly within, and I am brought to discipline and self-control, not to be any closer (as Christ is as close to me, and I am as close to Christ as we would ever be), but to focus.

In the past, I have been enraptured by being in the flames and not being burned or singed; I have been amazed, as a toddler who sees the sea and immerses in the ocean for the first time. In the same spirit of wonder, I am brought calm down, and to listen to the beautiful Fourth man, who spoke to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the great Babylonian furnace; and instead of waddling around as a baby in the water, I am brought to learn how to appreciate the deep even further, by learning how to swim.

Rather, I want to focus. I want to calm down, and learn from Christ. I want to learn how to swim. I desire all this, while remaining in the wonder which captivated me and brought the Gospel from my head to my heart years ago.

“..count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:15-18

--

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,  training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present agewaiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,  who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14

“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.  Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.  For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:11-14

So I’m in quite the bind here. There’s discipline, and there’s the new creation. The way I see it now, we are new creations, like it or not. We are new creations, regardless of what we do, and what we don’t do. We are identified as new creations, even if the world denounces our actions.

Then there’s discipline. I asked my mom a couple of minutes ago what word came into her mind when I mentioned discipline, and she quickly responded, ‘punishment’. Now that I think of it, the word discipline is associated to ‘training’ for me. It’s not delayed gratification. I see it now as intense appreciation of who we are and what we have. It’s not delayed gratification. It’s intentional gratefulness.

I discipline myself, not with my focus on what not to do, but what to do. And what, pray tell, is there to do? There is intentional gratefulness: I take out the gift wrapping of who I am, open up the box, take out the gift, and take time to read the instruction manual, looking every now and then at the actual gift, all this time being absolutely thrilled and excited at what I have.

Can we look at self-control the same way? Can we say that by the power of Christ, and by the grace of God we control ourselves, not by keeping ourselves from doing things, but changing our minds to enjoy what we already have, and to appreciate what we can do? So instead of expressing self-control in finances by holding our money with an iron fist, we are actually calculating when and where our resources can have the greatest impact?

Clearly, it’s becoming more apparent to me that though I am here, a new creation with all the bells and whistles, that this life I live truly is no longer for myself but for everyone else. For when I serve others, I serve myself in the most efficient way. I can enjoy life, but life is more enjoyable if the people around me enjoy life as well. So the gospel ought to be preached – not just by our words, but by our unspoken acts of love to one another.

The way I see it Christ could have just stayed in heaven. He had all He needed and wanted, but we were still considered by God as His prized possession. As a result, He gave everything up to have us, because we were His everything. This, this PROFOUND love is something I ought to be eating and drinking every day… because this life has no meaning if all I have to live for is myself… Again, I enjoy this life, but I am beginning to believe that this life would be so much more motivating and inspiring if I thought of the enjoyment and needs of others as well.

It certainly helps to type all of this down. It certainly helps to have all of this on paper, because if it was just brewing in my mind, it would probably never leave there. I thank God for all the senses we have and the capability we have to infuse what we are led to think in our actions… indeed, let all the world see and know His goodness through our literal lives.

Our confidence and dependence is on Christ. The life we live is not one of living out a doctrine, but living in partnership with a living Savior. This is Christ, who saved us by uniting Himself with us; and therefore, as He is fully equipped for every good work, so are we. As God’s mercies for Christ are absolutely new every morning, so are we.

Here, yes, here we see that we are fully equipped, fully restocked each and every day – our past successes and failures can stay in the past because we are presented with new life and love, we are rendered overflowing not just as a one time deal, but on a sweet, daily basis! Indeed, we have all we need because Christ, who is alive in us, and in whom we move and have our being – we have all we need because He is alive in us, and we are alive in Him!

The moment that we realize that the Word of God which washes us and sanctifies us is not a set of words and doctrine but and actual Person, an actual Life that is Jesus Christ, this is the moment which Andrew Farley describes as the moment we say ‘Wow’, and ‘Thank You!’; As Timothy Keller would describe, these are the moments we begin, not to produce awe and admiration, but to just… wonder.


Worship follows, absolutely. 

_________________________
jb.redeemed
email me at jibee@rocketmail.com

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26

[032917] The Truth About Baptism by Andrew Farley



It helps to go to Scripture for what the Apostles say about it.

The Corinthians were talking among themselves, bragging about who baptized them. To this Paul responded,

'Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?' - 1 Corinthians 1:13

Apparently the people who were baptized by Paul were bragging about who baptized them. Everyone was losing focus on Christ, instead looking at who baptized them instead. It was ironic because the act of baptism itself was an act of public display, showing how were were buried and how we rose again in Christ. 

'I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,' 1 Corinthians 1:14

It was enough for Paul to publicly thank God that he only baptized 2 people; any more would definitely mean more confusion and dispute regarding this concern about who baptized who. It could be possible that Crispus and Gaius were doing some of the bragging and making a big deal about Paul baptizing them. 

'...so that no one would say you were baptized in my name.' 1 Corinthians 1:15

If baptism saved you, why would Paul be so thankful that he only baptized 2 people? Do you see it? Baptism doesn't save us, and baptism by the most recognized Apostle won't change that! It doesn't determine our spiritual destiny. It's not about us being in water, but about us being in Christ, buried in Christ, raised into new life.

Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 1:16 that he actually baptized a few other people, but he definitely ends there. 

--

Water baptism does not save a person.. Spiritual baptism does! 

Baptism, according to Steven Bailey, as taught to her young daughter:

Steven filled his kitchen sink with water and placed an empty soda bottle in. The bubbles rise and the bottle is filled with water, and Steven explains that this is how we are in Christ, and how Christ is in us at the same time. He then seals the bottle with a cap, and says we are sealed with the Holy Spirit forever. 

Water baptism doesn't save us; it's what it represents that saves us: We were brought into Christ, and Christ was brought into us. We are in Christ. We believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ, and when that happened we were brought into Christ, and Christ was brought into us. That's what saves us. 

'For Christ did not send me baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.'
1 Corinthians 1:17

What saves? If Paul was not sent to baptize, but to preach the Gospel, then what saves? Water does not save. What does save? It's hearing and believing the gospel that saved. 

Taking communion is fun, and it's a celebration. Baptism is fun, and it's a celebration, because the Spirit has given us joy about what Christ did for us and what He gave us. These ought to be celebrations as our birthdays and weddings are celebrations! 

Again, it is the preaching of the Gospel that saves. 

'Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you - not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience - through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.'
1 Peter 3:21

Peter seconds what Paul was saying. It's not the washing of our flesh that saves, but a spiritual baptism that saves. This spiritual baptism is when we were buried and raised, not from the water, but in Christ. 

Spiritual Baptism involves death and burial.

'Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?'
Romans 6:3

Earlier, Paul was asked, 'can we sin, so that grace could abound?'; Today, we are being assaulted with this same accusation, and this is absolutely not the Gospel that we celebrate. We understand that sin stinks, sin stings, and sin doesn't pay off. We understand that as we are in Christ, we would hold off on going back to sin, simply because sin absolutely stinks to us. 

Paul reminds us of our spiritual baptism, and how we are fused with Christ and united with Christ. We keep singing and saying we want to become closer and closer to God.. but we're missing it. Paul reminds us that we cannot get any closer; Christ is in us, and we are in Christ, and there is no getting closer. We ARE learning about this closeness, and man, I personally am learning new things and mind is being renewed... but Christ can never get any closer than how absolutely close as He is now - that we are one, and that He is in me, and He is in us! 

The more we understand this, the more we realize that this life is an adventure, and not a climb! It's not a question of endurance, but a matter of enjoying Christ with and in us no matter where we are! If we are striving to learn anything, we ought to strive to learn about who we are and what we have in Christ!

'Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.'
Romans 6:4

Water baptism is a celebration of this very verse. The Spirit came before the celebration. As we were born in the flesh, so the Spirit needed to give birth to us; this is why we say we are born again, because the moment we believe by His grace, we have been brought into life by the Spirit. Born again. 

'Having been buring with in in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.' -Colossians 2:12

We say 'God, you raised Christ from the dead, raise me from the dead.' There's no specific format about us receiving salvation through prayer, but the point is, we ask that we would be placed in Christ, out of Adam. 

THE GREAT SWITCHEROO - 'It's great that you're in the Spirit, but you have to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.'

'You need tongues! This is the proof of the Holy Spirit, that you were baptized in the Holy Spirit!' - What does this do to people? The enemy has tried and succeeded in using this to condemn people, going as far as saying that we are not saved if we do not speak in tongues... but what is the Truth in this matter?

John the Baptist says, 'I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptized in the Holy Spirit' (John 1:33); Do you realize that we are baptized IN the Holy Spirit? We're baptized by the Holy Spirit, in the Holy SPirit, but the point is it's a one-time deal, and there is no 'level two'! We can't say that we're born but not baptized in the Holy Spirit!

There is ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM (Ephesians 4:5). 

'For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slave or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.' 1 Corinthians 12:13

Baptism means IDENTIFICATION. We understand that we have a new identity in Christ. The Jews were baptized into Moses, but now, we are baptized into Christ. 

Baptism means we are in Christ. 'For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.' (Galatians 3:27); We have been born again, we have put on Christ, Christ is a perfect fit, and Christ looks good on you, man. 

Baptism is about identifying, union, and fusion with Christ. Water baptism doesn't save. Jesus saves.


_________________________
email me at jibee@rocketmail.com



May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26

[032817] It Is Finished! by Andrew Farley



'What is finished? Jesus, what's finished? What do You mean by that?'

The finished work of Jesus Christ will revolutionize how you look at your relationship with God forever.

What does it mean to us, personally? It can be broken down into four things:

1. Your forgiveness is finished. Your forgiveness is once for all. This is a definitely controversial statement among Christians, but it does help to understand the definition of forgiveness in the Old and New Covenants. The Old Covenant forgiveness comes only if you ask for it. You may hear it from all sorts of denominations, but it is ultimately conditional, and definitely not forgiveness that is once and for all.

This is not the forgiveness that we have. We have the forgiveness which comes from the other side of the cross. Take off your denominational beliefs; Remember the original message, as mentioned in Hebrews 9: your sins have been taken away, and not just temporarily, but forever! There's no reason for Jesus to do anything else for your sins. He died once and for all for all your sins, forever.

If you were not forgiven completely, you would not be saved completely. You are either forgiven, or not. Once saved, always saved definitely gains some traction under the fact that Christ took ALL of our sins, past, present, and future.

When we recognize the finished work of Christ, we recognize that we have forgiveness forever! This does not discount the power of sin - we are not callous to sin by any means, but we are focused on the superiority of the forgiveness that we have through Christ, who is seated at the right hand because all His work is finished. He sat down after making us perfect - not always performing perfectly, but perfectly forgiven, perfectly cleansed, rested with Christ, who said, 'It is finished!'

Standing on the Truth means we sit down with Christ. Paul says to the Ephesians and Corinthians that we have forgiveness. Will you sit down with Christ? Will you rest with Christ? Our forgiveness is forever, and it is finished!

2. Our death to the Law is finished. As Christ died fulfilling the Law, we died to the Law. How theological! But what does this mean? This means all the standards imposed upon you have been met by Christ - the measuring stick has been thrown out. Christ has met all the standards, and now you are fully accepted by God, no longer being measured because you have come out as an amazing, new creation!

This is what it means - you die to the Law, you die to the measuring system. Hebrews 7 says we died to the Law into a better hope. Hebrews 8 says that the old way to be holy, and the old way to be good enough and to measure up has been made obsolete. There are a lot of unbelievers that are trying to measure up, looking from the outside in, looking at what they're doing and calling that the problem... when they should be taken out of the Law, into grace! They shouldn't change their action, but their location - They should be taken out of Adam, into Christ.

Hebrews 8 also says that if the old way is obsolete, the new way (grace bought by Christ) is a better way. Hebrews 7 describes this new way of grace as an oath, a promise between God and God, a covenant between two eternal entities, making this a rock-solid covenant! When we understand that we are just beneficiaries and not participants in this covenant, we understand just how obsolete we are to the Law, and how perfect and liberating the new way of grace is!

We die to constantly evaluating ourselves, and we wake up and come alive to realizing how we are perfectly saved, as we have a perfect Christ who performed a perfect work, ushering us into a perfect covenant! We died to the Law - we are no longer under the system of the Law (for Christ is the end of the Law).

Stop measuring yourself and agree with God about you! You are okay, safe, secure, holy and blameless in Christ! It is finished!

3. Your old self dying is finished. We ought to just stop there instead of trying to overthink it, before we come up with an entirely different theology which downplays the finished work of Christ. Romans 6 mentions that our old self died - this means that we don't have to wake up feeling dirty and distant about ourselves!

We no longer agree with the people who say that we have dirty hearts, because as mentioned earlier, we have been moved from Adam into Christ. We have been delivered from darkness into light. A transfer is a transfer - that's what salvation is. We can leave our dead, old self, because we can live the life of light and abundance, seated in the heavenly places with Christ.

Stop looking at yourself as dirty and distant, but clean and close to God! You don't need to look at yourself with a sense of self-abasement and condemnation! You have been made clean, and you are not of the world, not of sin - you are you, with a new heart, a new spirit, a new life - clean and close!

Paul says to the Colossians that your life is hidden with Christ in God. (1) We aren't alone, (2) we're hidden, and (3) we're safe with Christ, and we are in God. Where we go, the Trinity goes.

Is any of this possible if our old self is still something we need to kill? Why focus on killing something that is already dead when it is our new self which is alive?

4. Your equipping for life and Godliness is finished.

'Man, I wish I could be more patient!' Your equipping for life and Godliness is finished.

'Man, I wish I could be more effective!' Your equipping for life and Godliness is finished.

'I wish I could be more loving and forgiving!' Your equipping for life and Godliness is finished.

Are you expecting God to actually pour out patience and love and efficiency? You already have it. He has already poured out His love. He has already made us a new self, and by nature we have been made patience.

Yes, we are all in process, and we still lack in some aspects - the question is, how do we handle it? Are we still asking God for something He has already given us? He has already equipped us in Christ. If we're having trouble expressing patience and love, are we praying to the Lord for it? If you aren't feeling patient and loving, you can remember that it doesn't take a phone call prayer to God to order it.

The Law cannot equip us, nor can it give us life - but in Christ, we are equipped, and in Christ, we are alive. It is finished. Christ says He will never leave us, so we will always be equipped. Christ saved us by His life - we are saved because we are equipped, and we are equipped because we are saved. 2 Peter 1 says we have everything we need for life and godliness. Colossians 2 says we have been given fullness in Christ.

You are complete. You lack nothing. You have everything you need for life and Godliness. Are you waiting on a package that has already come and made manifest?

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What does the finished work for you?

Application 1: Fully Forgiven! - Will you stop asking and waiting for the forgiveness you already have in Jesus Christ?
Application 2: Freed! - Will you stop holding yourself to a standard that God has freed you from?
Application 3: Accepted! - Will you stop seeing yourself as dirty and distant? Will you agree with God that you are clean and close?
Application 4: Equipped! - WIll you stop waiting for more of Jesus? Will you agree with God that you are complete in Him?

It really is finished! Celebrate the finished work of Christ.



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email me at jibee@rocketmail.com


May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26