Free From Fear, Free To Love!

Regarding all this talk in the churches about focusing on Jesus Christ, I'd say I agree with the notion - any time we think about Christ, is good time, indeed. It's life-giving time.

However, I believe that in our focusing on Christ, we shouldn't leave out how Christ was and continues to be focused on us, to this day. 

How WAS Jesus Christ focused on us? Well, for starters, He was already thinking of us before time and space were established. Darlene Zschech sings what was stated in Ephesians 1:4, in her perspective: 'Before the world began, (we) were on His mind.'.. 

..and while we could not take each and every singular evil event and explain the focus of Christ towards us in each of them in a way we would understand completely, we DO know that He was with Joshua before a great undertaking, He was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, He was with David as he avoided Saul... We DO know that He is with us, focused on us for us, in all things, even the most evil of situations.

How WAS Jesus Christ focused on us? In the fullness of time He came to us, born of a virgin, 100% God yet 100% man, focused to experience and to feel and to go through anything and everything we could go through as human beings, focused to relate to us in our level instead of looking down on us as a kid looks down on ants with a magnifying glass..

..and in what can be called a sheer demonstration of even more focus, He endured the greatest pains and torture, scourged, humiliated, and crucified - Jesus Christ, 100% God, 100% man, beaten, bloodied, and nailed to the cross - yet for nothing else but for us, fully focused on us, enduring the cross because we were the prize to win. 

Oh, what a Savior we have, indeed! Out of focus He brought us back to how we were designed before the fall, raised as new creations filled with the Spirit that calls God our beloved Father, yet not because of anything we did or anything we could do, but because of Jesus Christ and His righteousness, His life and His life abundant fully infused and fully united with us.


See, when we take verses like Philippians 1:21, where Paul says 'To live is Christ, and to die is gain', there will always be the tendency for us to focus on ourselves and to live trying to be like Christ, even saying that we were 100% focused on Christ... and yet, not focused on His character and His work but actually focused on ourselves and how to be like Him when that is clearly not the focus we ought to have. 

We quote John the Baptist and we applaud people who say what he said in John 3:30, that we decrease, and Christ increases.. which may be okay, sure; but it's just that we're focusing on our decreasing. 

What I'm trying to say here is that if we were to preach on focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, we simply cannot choose what we ought to focus on, as if His life was a lesson plan where we could pick and choose what we wanted in a given day; No, if we say that we should focus on Christ, this AUTOMATICALLY includes His focus on us which was established before we had the thought and capacity of focusing on Him! 


Let us enjoy Christ and all He has done... that's an order! Because we wouldn't be able to love the unlovable until we realize how He loved us with a perfect and everlasting love; Consequently, we wouldn't be able to love with such focus and thoughtfulness until we ourselves take in and keep taking in how He was so absolutely focused and filled with thoughts towards us!

Christ was focused on us and continues to be focused on us; He was free to focus on us, even as He walked with us in this reality and in this world, because He knew that despite His being 100% man, He was confident in His inseparable union with His Father.. 

We, consequently, are free from fear of thinking that God isn't with us because we don't feel it - Take note, Christ, while being surrounded by Lazarus' relatives, in an atmosphere devoid of joy and full of sorrow... even in this environment, Christ spoke, 'Father, I thank you because you hear me, and I know you always hear me..'

..immediately after this, He did not need to affirm Himself any further, focusing on Lazarus, speaking with authority, 'LAZARUS, COME FORTH!'

As we focus on how Christ was focused on us, we understand what it truly means to live, and the gain associated to when our earthly bodies fade.

Let us focus on Christ, for then we would realize how, as we have been set free from fear, we are free to focus, free to love... and to love truly, to live Christ. 


Focusing on Christ means focusing on His love for us.
As Christ is ALWAYS focused on us, so we are free of thinking He isn't focused on us.
As Christ is ALWAYS focused on us, so we are surely free to focus on others the same way.

In Christ, you are free from fear, free to love.

God bless you.

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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

Christ, our Freedom

I've never identified myself as a leader. I've never seen the need to step up and to take charge, long enough for it to have a permanent effect on my life. Well, I would probably know. I'd probably relate something; I mean, it's not like I never led anything before, it's just that nothing really sticks out as a leadership quality that I demonstrated, right now, as I write this. 

For the most part, any leading I did came out of necessity... or rather, desperation - in other words, I led only because there was nobody else to lead. And by my standards, which are probably too rigid or made rigid by the standards of the world, I'm not really doing a good job - or, I'd rather say I could do so much better. 

There's so much I could do so much better in. Playing the guitar. Singing. Taking photographs. I could do so much better in handling the land which I suppose was assigned to me to manage. I could do so much better in handling and maintaining my finances. 

I could do so much better in my job. I say this especially since if I see myself from the viewpoint of my boss, I don't think I'm doing enough to earn the money I make - Of course, the fact that I'm still working for this same boss means that I have been blessed with a really good, really patient boss. 

With that said, I could do so much better in marketing skills. I'd like to think that I have a decent grasp of real estate, but the rubber truly hits the road when you are given the responsibility to not just handle transactions pertaining to property, but to sell property. 

What I'm learning from the plethora of courses and services my boss has had me go through is pretty simple; actually, it applies to all of the 'I could do so much better' items I've stated so far as much as it would to my supposed role as a 'marketing expert' - 'I could do so much better in caring.' 

I could care more. I could actually give a shit. But apparently, right now, you can give me fruits, vegetables, Starcraft II, and time, and I'll be content with my life. 

Well, at least that's what I think. The mere fact that I said that I could care more tells me that on a long enough timeline, my creature comforts will no longer be comfortable. That there's more, and so much more to this life than what I currently think. 

God, I know all this, but what really peeves me is that I don't have the motivation to move at the speeds that my mind and heart demand. 

Then again, I've been preaching on focusing; well, at least I did yesterday. What we established was that (1) as we live we will certainly be focusing on something; (2) we give life to whatever we focus on, and (3) it helps to focus on Christ and His finished work. 

Right now, apparently, I'm focusing on how I lack focus and determination, and I'm doing a good job at it, because I'm giving life to it. 

So what should I be focusing on right now? Well, I ought to be focused on Christ - if I focus on Christ and how He is constantly focused on me, then I would probably have the right focus... Yeah, I suppose that's a good start. 

God was so focused on me that He was thinking about me, how my life was going to turn out, what my struggles, victories, strengths and weaknesses are... all not just before I was born; The Bible says that before the foundation of all things was established, or in other words, before everything that was came into existence, before creation, He was already thinking about me. Not that I was anything special, because He was intimately thinking about each and every one of us, dead and alive, in this era and throughout all time and space. 

In His focus and determination He knew that it would take nothing less than His own begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to have what He lost at the Garden of Eden - that is, you and me. Timothy Keller points out that Jesus Christ set aside His Godly attributes to be born and to live as one of us; He lived to a good age, all this time seeing and experiencing all that humanity could possibly experience; He showed us the Truth of who God is, and ultimately laid down His own life, subjecting His being to the most excruciating pain and suffering, enduring eternal torment and anguish; He did all this, for nothing else, for no-one else, than for you, and for me. 

The same God who thought about us before the concept of time and space - I'd like to imagine that He was thinking about each and every one of us as He was nailed to the cross. Timothy Keller continues by pointing out the following beautiful passage regarding the Lord's death in Isaiah 53:

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.

It was for nothing else than for you and for me that He found satisfaction; He endured eternal suffering and anguish, for nothing less than for you, and for me. As this sinks in, I smile as I imagine our Christ, beaten, battered, bleeding, broken, yet in my own mind possibly smiling as He silently whispered, 'It.. is.. finished.'

Indeed, no greater love has man ever known; Christ has THAT focused, and THAT determined to have us that He literally gave up everything (and His everything is literally EVERYTHING). 

How's that for focus? 


But let me be perfectly honest right now: I don't feel this message..

The absence of feeling notwithstanding, I recognize how this lack of 'the feels' right now works to my advantage because it actually allows me to focus for real, without depending on the feelings for affirmation. In other words, the lack of feeling right now is actually leading me to focus more...

...and what I've been led to learn regarding focus is that more focus comes from less effort to focus. Or maybe, true focus is found in not focusing at all. Like Musashi would say in his Book of Void - it'd probably be in the lines of, the final step to learning is to forget everything you've learned. 

Christ has set me free from the yearning for the feeling in order to feel focused. Because of Christ's finished work, I am guaranteed His presence and His absolute closeness to me 100% of the time, no matter what I feel, no matter what I see in my life. Because of Christ's finished work, I can move, knowing that this is the absolute truth, free of depending on any sort of feeling to know that it's true..

For truth is nothing unless it is the Truth - a proper noun, an entity; more than just a set of tenets, more than theology, more than a mindset... Truth is Jesus Christ himself, and Jesus Christ is Truth... and as Jesus Christ is not dead, as Jesus Christ is alive and forever alive, so the Truth is alive.

With all this said, we have more time on our hands; more time to appreciate and enjoy life with Christ always with us, because we no longer need to worry if He is there. We have more time to focus on what really matters. A wise man in the Dune series said, 'Fear is the mind-killer.' Consequently, in Christ, and because of Christ's finished work ushering His limitless, perfect, everlasting love into our lives, casting out all fear, our minds simply come alive. Following that train of thought, Christ brings our minds into life. 


Let's really emphasize something; because of God's love seen in and through none other than His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, we have been born again, introduced into a new life as new creations, with our relationship with God renewed, to the point that Christ is as close as He could ever be, not later, but NOW. Because of Christ, we no longer have to fear.. 

God's love for us is not only guaranteed, but it is perfect and everlasting. Christ's finished work is no longer the reward of our performance, but the motivation for our good works. Our old selves have died, and we have been born again, setting us free from any thought of us performing to 'die to ourselves'. Christ did everything for God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - to be with us, as close as ever, forever, and ever. 

Let's elaborate on that even further! Because Christ has done it all, and because of all Christ has won for us to win us, we are free of thinking if God loves us or not. 


We are free of thinking if we've done enough to earn peace. 

We are free of ever thinking if what we do is good or bad, because no sin can ever separate us from the love of God - He makes all things work together for our good, even if it means disciplining us in preparation for the future. Consequently, we are free from worrying if God would punish us for our past sins, because sin was punished at the cross once and for all. 

We are free, free of doubting our new identity, because our old selves were crucified and slain as Christ was crucified and as Christ died, and we were born again as Christ rose from the dead. 

We are free of wondering if God is with us in a certain venture. We are free of doubting that God is with us when we don't feel Him. We are free from trying to pray and sing and speak the Bible just to feel as if He is with us, because Christ with us guarantees that He always blesses us and keeps us. 

We are free from fear of anything and absolutely everything - we're free, we're free from looking at everything and easily seeing how it would taint us/our children!


We're free. We're free to do anything we want - Yes, you read that correctly! Yes, there will be consequences to foolish decisions, but you can be sure that one of these consequences is absolutely not God punishing you or taking away His presence from you, or separating from you! 

We're free to see the efficacy of our absolute union with Christ, whether we move from glory to glory, in life and righteousness, or when we make our bed in hell, in death and sin! Again, it's God's love through Christ's finished work that guaranteed that absolutely NOTHING now can ever separate us from Him! 

We're free! We're free from insecurity, free to look at ourselves in the mirror, and, big belly, small penis, scars, small breasts, attributes contradictory to the world's suggestion of a visually pleasing stature/body/attitude notwithstanding, we are free to look at ourselves as absolutely beloved by God, free to realize that this is all that matters! 

We're free, and free indeed, to see the love of Christ in every situation, and to demonstrate the same said love for others to see! We're free to see the parallels between the stories of the world and the great and glorious finished work of Christ!


In my desire to wrap this all together, I will say this: Christ is our Everything, which means that we have forever to understand each and every facet of what that actually means... and in this particular moment, I've come to put together how Christ is our Freedom. 

We're past the fact that Christ doesn't give us our blessings, He doesn't give us favor, He doesn't love us in the sense that He gives it to us as if it were a resource. We're past saying that we are merely blessed, favored, and loved by God - It's just that Christ Himself is the greatest blessing given to us by God, and through Christ the greatest favor we could ever experience is seen in how we are loved by God; from one of billions and trillions of perspectives we see how His love is through our absolute, inseparable union with Christ, who is as close to us now as He could ever be. 

This is where we see that above all things, we are free from fear, and we are free to bask in His perfect love. This is the freedom we have through Christ - this is the Freedom that is Jesus Christ. 

True, that I do have much to work on; I have my own faults and areas of improvement - I could and would do so much better in so many little details - but in each and every one of these things, Christ is present and is first and foremost, not by my doing, but by default. We as people who want to see change happen for the better in so many ways and in so many levels would do very well to change the way we think about God, by focusing on the love He has for us, seen in the life, death, resurrection and ascension of none other that His own begotten Son, Jesus Christ. 

High on the mountain
I will be lifting my voice
and in the valley
I will be dancing for joy 

In every season, 
You are worthy
In every moment,
You're wonderful!

- 'Mountain' by Brian & Katie Torwalt

NEXT: Free from fear / Free to love

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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

[071317] No Strings Attached by Andrew Farley, Take 2

In the process of finishing my article on the Freedom we have in Christ, or rather how Christ Himself is our actual freedom, I've seen the need to listen to some of the resources I've exposed myself to prior continuing what I've started. I tried finishing the said article once in the past, but I ironically felt that what I produced sounded too desperate. 

So I'm taking one step back to take two steps forward. It's Thursday afternoon, and I'm about to write up a storm. 


No Strings Attached by Andrew Farley, Take 2

It is EXTREMELY rare for a good thing in this world today to have absolutely no strings attached. In the light of this, since people are expecting a catch, or something in return or as payment, we ought to move towards serving in the light of how we were served, serving without strings attached, serving without a catch, as Christ's finished work guaranteed so much for us, without any catch.

It's pretty funny, pretty sad at the same time that we can talk about God's unconditional love towards us, but then again we would imply that there are strings attached down the line. Before we go ahead and talk to other people about how there are no strings attached, and no catches to the perfect and everlasting love of God towards us, we must understand it ourselves. 

The Forgiveness we have in Christ has no strings attached. This is pretty controversial, depending on who you speak to. The Catholic will tell you that forgiveness is given to you by a priest you confess to. The Protestant will tell you that you are 'totally' forgiven, but when you sin, God's presence is 'removed' from you, and you would have to confess for His presence to return. 

I've noticed how we don't necessarily fall for these sorts of strings, but based on what we were brought to believe prior to the establishment of our faith in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit (Note To Self: More on this later), we still throw in strings and subtle 'hairs' to what we talk about. In other words, we say we believe in the forgiveness we have in Christ, but then again we would want others to confess to us before we forgive them of the wrong they committed.

Some of us still preach on 1 John 1:9 as if it was totally our verse as believers to observe, when it has already been established time and time again that the first chapter of 1 John was primarily for anyone who preached and cleaved to the Gnostic mindset/theology/doctrine. 

Fortunately, God Himself has taken all these strings away, cutting ALL of them, leaving a forgiveness without any hitches. The book of Hebrews emphasizes how we have cleansing and once-for-all forgiveness. Note that this was not always the case, especially as we would see in the Old Testament... Today, we have Peter who says that Jesus Christ died once and for all. The book of Hebrews tells us that we have been forgiven one time for all eternity; by one sacrifice we have been made not just forgiven, but perfect for all eternity... forever!

Seeing how this is just so good, we ought to let the goodness of this forgiveness we have in Christ continue to boil over and to overflow! Yes, we understand how there is the tendency for us to show some concern over our behavior, or the behavior of others as a response to this great, great cleansing and forgiveness we have - the concern that we now have a path or a doorway to abusing this said grace...

But guess what, not only has our loving Father indicated that this forgiveness is true and has no strings attached... It's not the only thing we have in Christ! So all the strings are cut off, and there are greater things attached to this forgiveness! 

The Pharisees were good in adding weight to the perfect Law; we're just as good in adding conditions to God's unconditional love brought about by the New Covenant. But God is just for us. Period. 

There are all sorts of people and entities and forces that want to control us. Consequently, we want to try to control other people ourselves; this is why a good number of us, whether Christian or not, do have issues when we say that God's love and forgiveness has no strings attached. It's completely contrary to what we're used to doing and how we're used to living. All of our systems to control ourselves and others are simply vanquished with this Truth. 

Actually, the forgiveness we have in Christ is already reviving and motivating on its own. Peter reminds us that if we are lacking in qualities we shine as Christians, then the most probable cause of this is that we have forgotten the forgiveness we have in Christ. 


There's more. Our Freedom in Christ has no strings attached. Freedom with one string attached is no freedom at all. Yes, we're free to sin. God doesn't want you to sin. We don't want you to sin. But what we're saying is that when you make a mistake, or when you've sinned, it isn't a deal breaker. However, it's not sin that we aren't focused on, but grace - it's the grace of God that teaches us not to sin. 

Our Identity in Christ has no strings attached. Your past is no longer a string attached to your identity. Your addiction to pornography is not a string attached to your identity. You were washed, justified, and sanctified from your previous identity of not just a person who sins, but a sinner. By Christ's finished work, you are set free from the string that implies that you are what you do, or you ought to do something in order for you to be what you ought to be. 

No, your Identity is established by birth - as Christ rose from the dead, so you rose again, you were born again - Your identity is established by what Christ did, and this stands no matter what you do. This is the Truth that sets you free, the Truth that is worth celebrating!

Our Life in Christ has no strings attached. We have been given, and freely given all things, including life, because of Jesus Christ. Our life is made solid, and we enjoy God's presence 100% of the time, without our obedience as the basis of this presence. We aren't obedient for His presence; we have received His presence - His Spirit and union came first! He didn't wait for us to be obedient - While we were sinners, He gave His life to us, and He is expressed through us through the obedience and righteousness He established. 

There are no strings attached to our Choices - If we choose poorly, yes, there will be consequences, but again, this isn't a deal-breaker, nor is it grounds for God to 'punish' us... Sin has already been punished at the cross. 

We can choose to waste our time making foolish choices, and He's still going to receive us and love us, but it's still going to be a foolish choice, with corresponding conseqeunces! 


When there's trouble in paradise, when there's conflict in marriage and our relationships, when there are fights in the church... well, here are times when realizing how God's love and grace has no strings attached can really help. See, the more we understand how there are no if-then statements behind God's love absolutely poured out upon us, the more we are able to not just tolerate insufferable people - when we give up our right to have the response we desire, or when we give up the strings attached, there is much more potential to resolving conflict, and bringing life. 

It's time for us to cut strings and to truly shower people with agape, encouraging people and loving people just because of who they are. We may find this tough at first, but when we realize how we ourselves have received so much and all things through Christ without any strings attached, we have no other ending, no better result than to walk in the light towards the infinitely brighter day. 

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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

[070917] No Strings Attached by Andrew Farley

We've seen a lot of deals and promotions that sound so good at first.. Free 30 Day Trials, You've Won A Raffle, etc. We seem to be used to this sort of thing to the point that we are immediately wary of any 'strings' attached to any sweet deal. We keep asking, 'What's the catch?'; and at times, we also ask, 'What's the limit?', usually followed by 'There has to be a limit.'

Well, when it comes to Christ and His finished work, there are no hitches. There are no catches, no limits. Try to think about that. What if in Christ, there are no limits? 

No strings are attached with God. We, as humans, would go against this naturally because we automatically assume there are strings attached. We would talk about agape, and unconditional love, and immediately after that, we're adding conditions. We're adding limits, we're attaching strings. 

The Word says it quite clearly: Paul addressed the Romans, and in the end of Chapter 8 he says nothing can separate you from the love of God. Nothing can kill this deal. God knows how we work, and it had to be said, that indeed, it was His plan to bring us into a relationship which has no strings attached. 

There are no strings attached to our forgiveness. There's a Catholic 'string' attached, which states that we're only forgiven when we confess to another person, and we aren't forgiven when we don't confess. With regards to Protestants, we state that we have some sort of ultimate forgiveness, but we still need to confess our sin if we want to be in complete union and fellowship with God. Sin, in this regard, hinders us from God's presence. 

By God's grace, these strings have been cut. Because of Christ and His finished work, we have been totally forgiven. His blood brought us forgiveness, period. The blood of Jesus brought once-for-all cleansing, and once-for-all forgiveness. Peter says that Jesus died once for all. The book of Hebrews says that by one offering we have been cleansed and made perfect forever in Christ. 

This may make us nervous in the sense that if we take this in, we might go ahead and abuse this grace, and take advantage of it.. but hang on, because there has been so much more given to us. The last thing we want to do is to tie the strings that God has already cut with our 'buts' which come out of our nervousness regarding sin. We're pretty good, as good as Pharisees, to add more strings.. but God comes out as better, because He offered us salvation through Christ, and by His blood, He cut through the strings, making it based on His performance, and His blood, not your works, not your performance. 

So the Catholic mindset states that we confess our sins to a priest to be forgiven, and the Protestant mindset states that we are forgiven, we can speak to God directly about it, but from here on out we need to 'manage' this forgiveness that we were given. 

The sin management system can't happen unless God has taken all our sins away, once and for all. 

It is inevitable for believers to eventually bring up 1 John 1:9 - however, it is virtually impossible for us to confess all of our sins - we can't remember all of our sins, and we aren't aware of all sins that we commit. It doesn't help, either, for us to generalize and say 'forgive us for all our sins, known and unknown', because it is clear that it is the blood of Jesus that cleanses us, and not our confession. If it helps, we confess not for our sins to be forgiven, but we confess out of the fact that we have already been forgiven. Again, just to clarify: 1 John 1:9 was for Gnostics who claimed that sin was relative or non-existent, and therefore they claimed that they had no sin. 

The strings have been cut. Christ lives in us and He will manage just fine. 

Let's do a free fall into God's grace. There really are no strings left. If you are in Christ, you already know that you have been forgiven, and you already know that the work of Christ is finished, and the string of 1 John 1:9 has been severed. 

What's next? Well, we move along the Truth that Christ's finished work really worked, and that the strings have been cut. We have been completely cleansed and forgiven. 

How do we end up not abusing it? Well, the Bible states in more than one instance that forgiveness is actually something that motivates us. Don't sell forgiveness short. He who has been forgiven much forgives much. Peter says that if we fall short on our behavior, there's a big chance that we've been forgetting about our forgiveness and sanctification in Christ. 

When we realize that there are really no strings attached, we would have no hesitation in saying, 'Wow!' and 'Thank you!' 

The Old Testament shows, of all things, how we could not meet the standards of the Law. There were 613 strings, and the local folk, even the priests were not faithful in keeping the conditions of these strings. Through Christ, all these strings were cut, but then, we get nervous: We add up strings again, in the form of reintroducing the 10 commandments, and the 10% tithing rule, and so on and so forth..

We need to understand that in place of the strings, we have been given fruit: Christ is now the source of our Love, Peace, Patience, and Joy, etc. Freedom with one string attached is no freedom at all. 

People in Christ are certainly still sinning. God does not want us to sin, but when we sin, the deal hasn't been thrown into the fire. Our salvation has been brought to us by grace, and not works.. you add one work into there, and it isn't grace anymore. Consequently, Titus tells us that the grace of God actually teaches us to say 'no' to sin. 


With regards to our Identity in Christ, there are no strings attached. Our heinous sins no longer define us. Adulterers and Liars do not inherit the kingdom of God, indeed... but we have been cleansed, so cleansed to the fact that we are no longer sinners by nature; we have been so cleansed to the point that we were made new, literally, made righteous because of Christ. 

The strings have been cut, and and there are no strings attached to our identity! We define our identity through the new birth brought about by the finished work of Christ, and we are no longer defined based on what we do. Isn't that motivating? Isn't that inspiring? 

This is an incredible truth that is worth celebrating, and one that is worth sharing! 


Our life in Christ has no strings attached. There are those strings which we hang on to which state that we need to be obedient to enjoy His presence; however, the Truth of the matter is that we get God's absolute presence for free, paid for by the blood of Christ, and His presence actually motivates us to be obedient. If you put obedience before His presence, He is no longer the power and inspiration behind your obedience. You do not obey to enjoy God's presence, you enjoy God's presence, and out of this, you enjoy. You walk by the Spirit, and by His presence which came before you executed some sort of obedience. 

So contrary to our former claims that we gave our lives to Christ... it's actually the other way around. Christ gave His life to you. It is by this that we have been made obedient. 


There are no strings attached to our choices. Don't get us wrong - there are consequences to the poor choices we make, but God certainly does not punish us for our wrong decisions by cutting us off from His salvation. There is a chance that we would catch a cold if we don't wear a jacket, but this doesn't mean that we are eternally separated from God. 

God already allowed the punishment to be poured upon Jesus.. but there are consequences. You're still loved and forgiven, but it's foolish and absurd to live so recklessly. 


There are no strings attached to our Attitudes. We may understand our standing with God and how that doesn't have any strings attached, but there's a tendency for us to keep strings attached to our relationships with one another. 

However, when we continue to understand that God has cut all the strings to our relationship with Him because of Christ, we find a better way to relate to others - we are able to cut strings, like those that state that this person is the absolute source of our happiness and joy. We are free to relate to others, and to genuinely listen to them, understanding them flaws and all, without tugging on the strings which state that these people have to meet some sort of standard before you give them your full and uncompromising love and attention. 

We cut the strings by giving up our right for a need to be met by the other person. We give up our right to expect things to turn out how we want it. Once we cut strings, we are free of an impossible web of conflict. 

When we understand that all strings have been cut, we are set free from loving others with conditions. We are free to encourage, we are free to love, we are free to give random acts of kindness, as much as we see how we are encouraged, loved, and given kindness just because, by none other than our loving God, our Father. 

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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

A Clarification (Or, My Words From The Words I Just Listened To)

The Gospel says that the Law is good, yet the perfect standards which the Law presents point out our sin. Jesus Christ not only met these perfect standards; Romans 7:4 through the body of Christ we ourselves have died to the Law (i.e. set free from meeting the perfect standards of the Law).

The Gospel says through the same verse that we did not stay dead, but we have been brought into Christ, and as He was raised from the dead, so we were raised from the dead, 'in order that we may bear fruit to God'.

The Gospel defines the fruit in Galatians 5, as the fruit of the Holy Spirit: Love, peace, patience, joy, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, and self-control. Take note, they are not the 'fruits', as if they were separate categories to be studied and practiced, bringing the focus back to our performance instead of them naturally occurring in and through us by the Holy Spirit which dwells in us, when we were raised from the dead. 

Galatians 5 continues by saying that there is no law against such fruit. Christ, as the vine (John 15:1), bears these fruits through us, whom He calls the branches. Christ produces love, and we bear this love as the love that causes us to love one another - therefore, we adhere to the Law, and we fulfill the new Commandment that Christ gave us, because He Himself is fulfilling it in us, as we are in Him!

The Gospel is not the Law, nor is it an opportunity for us to practice licentiousness: Legalism slaps us against the wall of rules and forces imperfection to attain perfection, while licentiousness says there are no rules, and that we could do whatever we want 

Perfect love casts out all fear; in other words, in place of fear, we now have perfect love in Christ. Christ is our perfect love. God loves us perfectly because of Christ and His finished work. 

Perfect love casts out all fear. We now operate from all that is associated with this perfect and everlasting love. It is in CHRIST that we move and we have our being, and no longer do we act and react from trepidation and a sense of condemnation. 

The Gospel inspires us to be all we could be, moving in love and not out of fear. The Gospel teaches us to be and do everything we were created to do in Christ, NOT just for us to do anything we want. 

The Gospel respects the goodness and the perfection of the Law, but introduces us to a new and more excellent way in Christ - a life of freedom, yet a life that is royal - a life that is abundant, which meets the perfection of the Law as Christ met its standards. 

This is a far cry from those who bash the Gospel by saying that we claim that we don't have to do anything anymore, or that we claim we can do anything we want, according to our senses. We move and overcome and conquer without fear, knowing that Christ will never leave nor forsake us, driven by the perfect and everlasting love that is always in us, and that we are always in. 

Not that we don't make mistakes; but when we fall, we should not focus on our conduct, but on our immovable and eternal position in Christ, for our conduct and our actions to follow suit. Licentiousness will never be the trait of a person in Christ, because when faith comes by hearing, and as Christ is the author of our faith, we are made new.

We are made new. We are made compatible to God, and incompatible to sin. We have a new heart, and a new mind, which appreciates the Spirit, and is foreign to the flesh, or the mindset of the world without Christ. 

The Gospel is the fulfillment of the Law, and it presents us with an adventure eternally with our Savior, our Father, and our Teacher. The Gospel is Christ, the Word made flesh, that dwelt among us, and is now alive in us, as close as He could ever be to us, and us to Him. 

Because of Christ, we are no longer afraid to die.
Because of Christ, we are forever excited to live.

The exciting adventure, the great journey of a thousand steps does not begin with a simple step, before it begins with believing in Jesus Christ. - Jonas Ajonye

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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

[070317] Notes from Fight for Truth: a study in Jude by Andrew Farley

Jude 1:1-2 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you. 

2 Peter and Jude have their similarities in the sense that these Apostles talk about errors and Truth. Like Paul, Jude also emphasizes that we are kept in Christ, and that we are in a safe place. No matter how we mess up, we continue to be kept by Christ, and in whom we are kept in God the Father. We are eternally safe in Christ.

"Jude continues by declaring that grace and peace be multiplied in the reader who believes. Jude says grace and peace be MULTIPLIED to you, and not added. He said multiply and not add. If you multiply by zero you still have zero. Only in Christ do we have grace and peace, may it be multiplied." 

Peter established that the knowledge of Jesus Christ results in grace and peace as well. We are truly loved, called to the table to feast in all of God's goodness. Now, we are designed for good things, reserved, kept in Him, and therefore we could expect grace and peace, and for grace and peace to be multiplied. 

Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 

Jude is saying that we certainly have something precious in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Peter speaks of a false freedom, and here Jude says we must 'contend earnestly for the faith'. 

What we have heard so far is that in Christ, we have grace and peace, and indeed, we are kept in Christ; no matter what happens or what we make happen, we are in Christ, and Christ is in us, and we are beloved, reserved, and kept in God, who by the Spirit we call Father. We must contend for the Gospel, and we must not settle for anything less! 

We know how much we cherish the Truth of God's word. We don't want it watered down. Indeed, Jesus Christ deserves our full respect, His blood sacrifice deserves our honor, and His resurrection deserves our attention... And we have the privilege of preserving it, sharing it, and living it for all to come to believe. 

Jude is worried about those who mess with this message:

Jude 1:4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 

We are kept in Christ, and these people crept in. Their modus is in line with what Peter had to say, regarding false teachers who mock the second coming, who preach false freedom that states that you are free to sin and to sin even more, ultimately attempting to put out the Light who is Christ, and Christ alone. 

Jude calls them, ungodly. They are non-believers. They aren't necessarily promoting legalistic works, but they are saying that people can go ahead and just do whatever they like, and whatever their body tells them to do, and that nothing matters - To this, we compare them to who Paul resembles when he mentions in Romans 6, 'What then? Shall we sin, for grace to abound?' There is sure to be distortion when these sorts of words are mentioned, even as legalism could distort the same way. 

Let's clarify here: Legalism states that God is angry with you, and that you need to behave in order to stay in God's presence and love. As a response, we ought to say something along these lines - That you are secure, and that you are safe because of the love and the grace of God, and that Jesus Christ took away your sins, and that God remembers them no more, and that you are a new creation; All your sins are forgiven, and not only do you have a new mind which is the mind of Christ, but you also have a new heart which is fully equipped as you are fully equipped to do good works, and works of life; that you have a new identity, so we could live from this Truth and be inspired by God!

Now, while legalism has its error, so Jude points out that licentiousness is error as well. It's pretty much the same lines we have stated, only taking out that we live from this Truth of who we are and who God is and what Christ has done, taking out that we live inspired by none other than the Creator of the Universe. Licentiousness deletes the significance of Christ's life in us and through us. 

The Gospel of grace and the Gospel of Jesus Christ can apparently be twisted this way. These are ungodly, unsaved unbelievers who are twisting this. They can quote God, but they are not Christians. 

Jude 1:5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 

Jude is pointing out the same thing Peter has been saying regarding the judgment of the wicked i.e. those who reject Christ and His finished work. But there's more to this verse: Jude mentions 'once and for all', in line with what is mentioned in Hebrews, where Jesus died and was raised once and for all.. what it means here in Jude, or rather what he emphasizes is that we will all know the Lord from the youngest to the oldest; we will have an innate knowledge of the Lord, without having to have a PHD or a doctorate degree. We will all intuitively know the Lord more and more. 

Jude 1:6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. 

Jude continues to emphasize that even angels who rebelled are not exempt from punishment and judgment. He is pointing out the fallacy which these false teachers claim: Sin will be punished. 

Jude 1:7 Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.  

There is a punishment. There is darkness. There is eternal fire. Hell was not invented by the human mind, but mentioned by enough sources in the Bible to be true. 

Jude 1:8-9 Yet in the same way these men also by dreaming, defile the flesh and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'

Not even Michael the archangel rebuked by his own glory and splendor, but he said, 'The Lord rebuke you!' This is such a strong point, to speak out of the glory of none other than the Lord, especially since nowadays we are fond of literally speaking to the mountains, yet not out of the authority and freedom we have in Christ, but from the confidence of our own mouths. Many tell us to rebuke and to claim and to cast... which is all right, but the point here is that there is the possibility and tendency for us to do all this talking with actually more focus on the enemy than on Christ Himself! 

We are quick to name cancer and its related symptoms and even certain conditions that may or may not be happening in our bodies or in the bodies of those we want to pray for, and then we just go ahead and latch a subtle 'In Jesus' name' in the end, just because we think that if we don't say that, we won't be heard! 

I personally believe that we ought to pray for one another with the focus always being on Christ and His finished work, and on the promises that God is faithful to uphold through Christ who loves us and saved us! 

We see here that even Michael leaned and trusted in the Lord to rebuke the enemy... and yet some, especially those who do not believe, they believe that they have some sort of authority and some sort of power to speak up and to speak out, and as we see in the next verse, their ignorance would be their own downfall.

Jude 1:10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 

They act like authority, when they have no authority. They act as Truth-speakers, when they speak of lies. They speak as if they have the market cornered on freedom, when they are actually spreading lies, lies which bring actually bring people into more bondage. 

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. 

Murder, error, and rebellion are in common with these false teachers. They rush in, but they eventually will be led to perish. 

Jude 1:12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds, autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;

That doesn't sound like a Christian. False teachers are double dead, bringing false hope yet so insecure.

Jude 1:13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. 

Now that DEFINITELY doesn't sound like a person who is in Christ. But Jude goes even further:

Jude 1:14-15 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, 'Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.'

This is what Jude is emphasizing; that these Jesus-deniers and these false-teachers will go through these things. Let us not make the mistake of confusing Jude's words here by saying that those who are in Christ can still be dropped into the eternal darkness, and that we need to behave to get out of it. No, the Truth of the matter is that as we are in Christ, we know we are free from the threat of eternal darkness, and we behave with gratitude and for others to see and believe in this freedom we have! 

We are being trained for the future. We are NOT part of these people who are being convicted, as if we were prisoners waiting for judgment! Note that there is a difference between conviction and condemnation. The Holy Spirit convicts: disciplines and trains us for the future, and He does not condemn, i.e. bring up the filth and the sins of the past as if they were never cleansed by Christ! 

Again: The discipline of the Lord is training for the future, and not punishment for the past. Behavior matters! Choices are important! The Lord disciplines us and trains us for the future, but at the same time He does not hold our sins against us!

 We are certainly not saying that behavior and choices do not matter. The role of the Holy Spirit is undeniable in our lives, and it is not to condemn us or to convict us as if we were prisoners - no, by the Holy Spirit we are reminded of who we are through Christ and His finished work, and in so doing we are trained. 

Jude 1:16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. 

Now Jude turns to us:

Jude 1:17-19 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, 'In the last time there will be mockers,  following their own ungodly lusts. These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.'

If someone does not belong to Christ, they do not have the Spirit. They are misleading God's children. Jude goes back to us again: 

Jude 1:20-21 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

We are being built up in Jesus Christ. Our faith is set apart. Our faith is sacred. What we believe is a big deal, and it is precious. Contend for it, hold on to it, preserve it, fight for Truth. We speak in love. We speak in the Spirit, understanding that the mind of Christ dwells within us. Praying in the Spirit is praying with the awareness that we are in the Spirit, and the Spirit is in us, i.e. no word is wasted, and even if we don't know what to say, the Spirit prays through us in groaning we do not understand. 

'Show me how loved I am, so I can live loved..'

Jude 1:22-23 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others snatching them out of the fire, and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

Indeed, we have been given mercy, and Jude prays that mercy continue to be multiplied in us, that through this abounding mercy we show mercy to our brothers in Christ who continue to struggle with doubt, snatching people who do not believe from certain fire and darkness, shining Christ and in so doing leading these to Christ.

Jude 1:24-25 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time now and forever. Amen.

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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

[070217] Notes from Truly Knowing Him: a series in 2 Peter (pts 2-4) by Andrew Farley

There are opponents to the Gospel, and in 2 Peter, the apostle aims to address them, to shoot them down. Even back then there have been 'posers', adding their own manuscripts and words to the Gospel, for their own motives and for their own intentions.

It is because of this that Peter assures the reader of where his Word comes from, and he asserts his eyewitness account. He says this versus every false word that has come, i.e. lies about the childhood of Jesus, and 'secret' or 'hidden' 'gospels.'

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 2Pe 1:16-17

Immediately after Peter's statement on his legitimacy, he goes straight to the Sonship and Identity of Jesus Christ (v17); Peter prioritizes the recognition of Jesus Christ as God's Son, as was brought up to him by the power of none other than the Holy Spirit. 

We like to misinterpret the 'narrow gate' that is mentioned, as if it is made narrow because it takes effort on our part to get through it - but this is far from the Truth, which points out that it is narrow only because it is by only one Savior that we can get through it - none other than Jesus Christ. 

we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 2Pe 1:18-19

The prophetic word spoken here isn't as deep as we were raised to like to hear, as if it ought to always be 100 years ahead of its time... but all Peter mentioned here was the fact, the Truth that Jesus Christ is the beloved Son of God, with whom He is well pleased. And it's made that simple, it's mentioned that simply, that we would see it as a light in a dark place... 

And we would do well to observe it, and to keep our eyes set on this word as it rises not just from the outside, but in our hearts as well. It's that simple. It starts with us really understanding who Christ is, passing through the 'narrow gate' of recognizing and understanding that He is the Son of God and He is who He says He is...

...This is why it's called 'Christ'ianity; it's not about how we do and how we are morally straight before the world, lest we call it a religion of morality that happens to be called Christianity. It's not about rules! It's about letting the light that is Christ ruling in our lives.. and this is the Truth that we graduate into, from placing the focus on our performance and on our words and on our thinking. 

This eliminates any talk we used to wallow in, where we state that we 'walk away from the Lord' (versus Christ saying that He would never leave nor forsake us)... where we state that we 'backslide' (to this Ptr Farley says He slides with us because He is with us permanently!)

knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2Pe 1:20-21

This was not a word that was 'figured out' by man; this is not a word that we ought to play with; we don't go in and say that Christ's sonship is metaphorical, or just a 'spiritual interpretation' - no, this is the Truth breathed out to us by the Holy Spirit, or it is just another religion! No, we stand upon the Word that Christ is the Son of God, He is the Messiah!

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2Pe 2:1

As there have been false prophets in the Old Testament, there have been false teachers in the New Testament... and as those of Old, these false teachers spread their destructive heresies, the operative word being 'destructive' - They peddle the Law of God and call it the One thing, cheapening the value of the Law and bringing it down to the level of religion, making Christianity just like any other man-made doctrinal religion, leading people NOT to peace and freedom but destruction! 

Compare this to the life and the peace we have in Christ and by His finished work - God has a permanent smile towards us because of Christ - THIS gives us hope, THIS gives us peace, and THIS gives us life, NOT the heresies which state that we don't have enough and we can do it on top of Christ's finished work. 

Be vigilant, because these false teachers are as subtle as they are destructive - making their religious doctrines sound like Christianity - but we ought to understand that we have been established in Truth, and the Truth sets us free of even these flowery deceits. They preach destruction in secret and sneaky approaches, ultimately denying the absolute identity of Christ. 

And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. 2Pe 2:2-3

It never fails - as money has been the draw of false teachers today, so it apparently has been in the past, where the name of Jesus Christ is used not in recognition of His life and our salvation through Him, but for the sole purpose of... guess what? Money.

When we start promising people a cash return on their investment in the Gospel, we've missed the point entirely. But this has been the modus of false teachers then as much as it is seen even today. It's so destructive, so sick in the sense that we relate to God through this not as a Father who loves us, but as a Slot Machine, a Banker who keeps tabs and records of debt. 

They were speaking with greedy motivations, and telling them that they could do what they feel like doing... however, Peter has something to say about the destiny of these false teachers who bring God down to being a wish-granter, or someone we can demand service from depending on our money and works: 

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. 2Pe 2:4-10

For the most part, Christians may be uncomfortable declaring that they are righteous - and indeed, by our own efforts we are not made righteous - but Christ, by His finished work, has his righteous life birthed and set alight in us, and as He was raised from the dead, so we have been born again, perfectly righteous - not by what we do, but by what Christ has done. 

We were born condemned, but now by Christ we have been reborn: Blameless, Righteous, and Godly, as Christ is blameless, righteous, and Godly.  Our blamelessness is a gift, our innocence is free. We have been cleansed of all unrighteousness, and therefore we have been made righteous, fully righteous!

And so in trial, and in temptation, we know that God knows how to rescue those of us who have responded to who Jesus Christ truly is. 

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness. These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 2Pe 2:10-17

This describes those who reject Christ and lead people away from Christ. Do not be deceived and do not take this word for yourselves, if you know that you have been made righteous by Christ. Know how to differentiate what word pertains to who in the Gospel. 

We have closeness. Christ is as close to us as He could ever be, and this will never change, regardless of what we feel. 


The comparison of false teachers and Christians that may have been misled has to be emphasized because for the most part portions of 2 Peter have been used by many today as 'proof' that a Christian can lose his or her salvation. 

So there are false teachers, and there are Christians to be observed in the next set of passages. 

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destructionAnd many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed...  2Pe 2:1-2

There will be people who, being in the Truth, will jump into murky legalism and/or downright sin (their sensuality). They are still in the Truth, but by their 'shaken-ness' they bring others to shaky ground as well. Does this mean that they are lost?

the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment 2Pe 2:9

Differentiate between those who have once been made righteous by faith in Christ, to the unrighteous (never made righteous before) who were never saved, rejecting Christ and the persuasions of the Spirit to believe in Christ. 

suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with youThey have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. 2Pe 2:13-14

We can be tricked or believing in Christ at any given moment. 

These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved2Pe 2:17

What we have seen so far: 

Group 1: False teachers, destructive heretics, the unrighteous, stains and blemishes, adulterers, springs without water

Group 2: 'many will follow', Godly, you, unstable souls, enticed

In this world, we are still open to every thought and every wind that comes our way. The accuser likes to magnify this unstable-ness, but as we grow and live in Christ, we understand that we have more than just souls, but a Spirit of power, love, and, most importantly, sound judgment. 

For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 2Pe 2:18

Group 1 LIVES in error. They relish in sin without any consequences. Group 2 understands that they are new creations and no matter how hard they try to jump into sin.. it isn't a perfect fit. 

They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 2Pe 2:19

Whoever has died with Christ has been set free of sin. We used to be enslaved by sin. We are free, while Group 1 are still slaves of corruption. 

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 2Pe 2:20

This verse refers to Christians who have lost peace and contentment; This is hardly a verse to contend that Christians can lose their salvation. You end up worse than you were because you are trying to force yourself back into a spot that you have absolutely been taken out of! 

For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 2Pe 2:21

The holy commandment referred to here is NOT the Mosaic law but the new commandment as mentioned by Christ, a new and better and peaceful way, to love one another. We would do well to serve as counsel to one another and to remind them that the life we have in Christ is the best life we could ever have, with true liberty and contentment.

There is nothing like the fruit of the Spirit being produced in you; in Christ, you were taken out of the design to sin and to revel in sin; in Christ, you were created to function in the Spirit, to bear love, peace, patience, etc. by your connection in Christ. 

What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” 2Pe 2:22

People can remain as Children of God by Christ, but their insistence in returning into sin and therefore into something that they no longer are brings them down to being mere dogs and pigs. 

They don't lose their salvation, but they certainly lose contentment and fulfillment. This, in my perspective, is Peter's vehement reminder that in Christ, we are capable of so much more than just avoiding the sin that once enslaved us. In Christ, we have been set free to perfect love, and to therefore live without fear. 

There is hope in every moment. Remember, the Lord knows how to rescue the Godly. He is able and ready to rescue us from a stupid decision. He lives in you, and He is willing to rescure you! 

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2Pe 3:1-4

Put it all together and the point of these false teachers is, 'do whatever you want, follow your sensual desires, because Jesus Christ isn't coming back anyway.' 

For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God 2Pe 3:5

They deny things as specific as the great flood, calling it allegory or symbolic. Here, Peter is saying that the flood is as literal and actual as the Truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2Pe 3:8

God invented time, and seeing as our life of probably 70-80 years in average is such an insignificant bit in the face of forever, we would do well to respect the absolute perfection and glory of God, further amplified and clarified by and through Jesus Christ. 

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2Pe 3:9

Salvation is NOT for a select group... His heart is being shown here, where He wishes that ALL should reach repentance.

Peter viewed the flood as literal. The Lord is not slow. God wants everyone to believe. 


So far, what we have seen in 2 Peter is that there is a false gospel that adds something to Christ, or misinterprets freedom as freedom to sin because of grace.

Peter immediately defines the true Gospel as one that emphasizes Christ's identity and finished work leading to grace and peace. When we truly know God through Jesus Christ, it's grace and peace through and through, all the way. This is not grace and peace which is limited to emotions; it's a consistent peace towards Him, because of His absolute grace towards us.

We ought to be on guard because on one end we could start off with good news, but then we could go to mediocre news, and eventually bad news. Like we start off with saying that God loves you, but then we say we need to 'maintain' this love with our efforts, and then eventually through this we can assert that we could lose our salvation.

The cure of avoiding all this is, primarily, to always believe that we are totally forgiven of all our sins. We say again: Because of Christ's finished work, our sins have been totally forgiven, and contrary to our Bible-belt claim that this is something we could abuse by sinning more, we would actually act and our mentality would change, in celebration of our forgiveness. Our mentalities (mind) would change, our attitudes would follow, and transformation ensues.

God's grace is more than just forgiveness, but actual equipping. So by God's grace, knowing God's goodness and fullness towards us, the bad burdens have been taken out, and now we are fully equipped with all we need towards grace and peace, which is Jesus Christ.

If we're grace creatures, we need grace fuel.

Peter goes on to describe false teachers, who basically preach and peddle false freedom, which actually leads to bondage and a lack or absence of contentment and peace. These false teachers mock the return of Christ, and by their words many have been deceived to believe they lose their salvation when technically they have only lost their contentment.

Jesus Christ has the market cornered on contentment. There is no other Truth that provides contentment, away from Jesus Christ. We see that the richness of His Spirit, and His character is all we need. We may run with this for the most part of the day, but we remain content even when we make mistakes, because we are always reminded of the power of the Spirit, as we are always in the Spirit.

We are of the Spirit and always in the Spirit, even when we choose the flesh; When that happens, it's like putting diesel into a car that runs with gasoline - it could try to work with the diesel, but it just won't happen no matter how hard the car tries. We in Christ would do well to always set our mind on the Spirit.

...knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2Pe 3:3-7

Here, Peter asserts (1) the creation of all things through the word of God, and (2) the literal truth of the flood. Later in this set of verses, Peter would point out what's waiting for people who reject Jesus Christ and are ungodly. Take note that by 'ungodly', we mean people who are in Adam i.e. those who insist that they earn all they would trusting in their own works and their own 'righteousness'. We become Godly because God, through Christ, has given us a new nature, and we have been reborn.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2Pe 3:8

This primarily speaks of the patience of the Lord.. and Peter gives us a different perspective here in the face of our own impatience, that God, who controls time, has engineered all that is with a degree of infinite patience which is absolutely superior to the patience we could comprehend, which is gauged and limited by time. With this, Peter says,

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 2Pe 3:9-10

God is patient towards us in terms of His desire for all to come into repentance, but when judgment comes, it comes swiftly, as a thief.

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness.. 2Pe 3:11

For the Christian, this passage points out, how could we flirt and relish in these things that are only temporary? Also, the rest of the verse speaks of holiness and godliness. Now, this part can easily be misinterpreted if taken on its own without looking at the context of the rest of the Word. This does not speak as if we, by our efforts, ought to maintain our identity of holiness and Godliness by our works; no, our position in Christ will never change, but we ought to differentiate that from our actual conduct.

What does this mean? We are inseperable from God because of the absolute forgiveness of our sins because of Christ, but this portion of the verse pertains to our conduct i.e. our actions and our attitudes in this world. Make no mistake, we have been sanctified, justified, and cleansed, and this will never change.

Awareness of our position in Christ will be the force behind our actions. Regardless of what our actions are, this will never change our position in Christ.  

...waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2Pe 3:12-13

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 2Pe 3:14

Here we see that Christianity is naturally not passive. We could sit on our hands and wait for Christ to come back, but grace simply cannot keep still within us. We ought to be diligent and careful to always make the quick choice and the action to recognize Christ alive in us, and our life in Christ, that He is expressed through us, in the big and small stuff. His life through me is one quick choice away... Christ in us is what we do, and how we act by default. We are that united, that we are hardwired to each other.

Let the outside reflect the inside, as it is.

And 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. 2Pe 3:15-16

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, (1)take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But (2)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. 
2Pe 3:17-18

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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