Going Deeper

When God turns up the heat…

When a painful relationship cripples you…

When temptation seems too much bear…

When you feel restless in your faith…

When attaining that lifetime goal leaves you emptier than you were before…

When you can’t find any direction…

When you’re desperate for healing…

When you feel lost and alone...

 

It’s time to go deeper with the LORD.

It’s time to get closer to the LORD.

It’s time to pour out your heart to Him.

It’s time to embrace another layer of brokenness.

It’s time to take one step closer to the end of yourself.

It’s time to bow down so He can lift you up.

 

Your answer is here: 

Matthew 6:33-

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be yours as well.

All these things are everything you want and need in life.

Will you allow the distractions and stimulations of the world system to drag you away and miss God in this?

Or will you listen to the Holy Spirit?

It’s your decision. He’s your true friend.

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Do I Live a Double Life?

“Do I live a double life?” …What a great question to ask ourselves.

A double life means that we behave one way around those we’re accountable to and another way when we’re alone. Some of us may behave honorably at work or school then treat our families with disrespect.

Wherever there is a double life, there is double mindedness. Double-mindedness is “inner duality.” In other words, living in double mindedness means we harbor simultaneously the mind of Christ and the unregenerate mind without Christ (Gal. 6:8).

A double life simply indicates that in our spiritual house we are struggling to manage territory that has not been surrendered to Christ. In other words, we are trying to manage “in our own way” territory that belongs to Him, and it’s causing problems.

 

doublemindsdWhen we live with two minds opposed to each other, we prevent ourselves from living victoriously. Imagine a two headed person, each mind with an opposing agenda. While we try to hold ourselves together, in the soul a war wages causing instability and ineffectiveness at the deepest level.

Surrendering territory is the bottom line goal of the spiritual growth process. We can surrender every last area we are aware of. Yet, there’s always another one to release to Him. Because God desires truth in the innermost parts (Ps. 51:6) in conformity to His image, the Lord always reveals corners or closets that still hide from His light.

When we surrender a territory to Him, we are the ones who benefit! In doing so, we  take one step away from double-mindedness and one step toward single-mindedness. The more hurting places we bring into the light, the less we hurt, and the more we heal. Our fragmented hearts become whole one issue at a time.

But acknowledging that place and presenting it to Him can feel scary. We ask Him to heal a painful area in our hearts that we hide from others, and even from ourselves. We hide it because it scares us. We hide it because we don’t know how to deal with it. We hide it because we don’t want to remember it ever again.

We may be champions at work, heroes at home, but when when we encounter that hidden area of the soul, we deflate into total wimps.

But that’s okay.

How so? Because the LORD understands that place. He saw it happen. He feels compassion on you in your pain. He doesn’t expect you to conquer it and clean it up on your own. You can’t. He’s inviting you into His personalized recovery program (recovery from the Fall) to build you back up where you’ve been torn down.

We may believe that these areas hidden away inside of us are unacceptable to Him. But nothing is further from the truth. Remember, on the cross, He BECAME our sin. So, He doesn’t just know all about it, He’s BECAME it. When you bring it to Him, He feels compassion for you, not condemnation. He is very familiar with it, sees that it’s hurting you, and wants to lead you to a better place.

When the Holy Spirit highlights darkness in our spiritual house, it is a gift from God! Receive the gift! He is inviting us to allow His light inside that dark place to cleanse and heal because He wants us to experience wholeness and freedom. If we wince at the idea of allowing the LORD access to that place to heal us, it’s because we don’t know Him very well yet.

We may not know that He is accepting of us right where we are. He is gentle. He is kind. He is sensitive and thoughtful. He is strong and helpful. He is extremely patient and full of empathy throughout the process.

Where is the LORD initiating healing in your life?

Is a situation recurring?

Is He knocking on the door of your heart?

When the LORD initiates healing in your life through a recurring problem, it’s a good thing. But there are two dangerous and counter-productive mistakes we can make along the way.  Things proceed much more smoothly when we steer around them.

The first mistake is to give ourselves condemnation and guilt over the issue. Since Christ at Calvary removed condemnation and paid for our guilt once and for all, He is not the giver of those spirits. Guilt and condemnation come to us through our flesh from the enemy who accuses us under the Law. And, boy, is he crafty and seductive in this. The LORD gives grace and conviction to those who come to Him for salvation and healing.

Condemnation and guilt are the opposite of grace and conviction.

The second mistake we can make is attempting merely to “perform better behavior.” This superficial tactic is flesh in action. In human understanding, flesh avoids the very issue that Christ wants to address. He wants to address the heart! He sees with empathy past the behavior right down into the deepest recesses of the heart.

Stop wasting your time performing for Him. He is not your earthly parent. He is not interested in your behavior when you think it distracts Him from the truth right there in your heart, fully visible to Him. He knows it all and understands it all from your view point. There’s no need for shame or embarrassment or hiding. He wants the best for you. He wants you to trust Him. He wants healing for your broken heart.

When we experience trouble, sin, struggles or pain, we are receiving an important signal from the Lord: that the heart needs attention in that area. We must not ignore the heart and strain merely to perform differently.

Think about it. When the check engine light blinks on your car dashboard, you don’t put a sticky note over it, do you? Of course not. 

So when we experience trouble, sin, struggles or pain, what should we do?

  1. Stop ignoring your problem. It comes up repeatedly for a reason. It arises as a gift from God for you to deal with it, and the corresponding heart issue.
  2. Stop allowing condemnation and guilt to dwell in your life with Christ. They don’t belong. If Christ doesn’t condemn and guilt us, we must not condemn and guilt ourselves (Rom. 8:1, Amos 3:3; Heb. 1:3b AMPC; 1 Cor. 6:11 AMPC).
  3. Receive God’s overflowing grace and acceptance, His complete and generous forgiveness, His powerful truth and conviction (maybe with tears) to begin heart healing.
  4. Ask Him to lead you to healing. Then be brave and follow Him.

All this takes place in the heart!

 

Stop wasting your time living a double life.

Be yourself and deal with your heart.

That’s what He wants, the real you!

single-mind

When your issues arise, refuse denial and “better performance.” Instead, humble yourself in authenticity. Take a step toward single-mindedness. Pour out your heart to the LORD. Let Him love you in that hurting place.

Be real with Him in your heart.

Through all the situations He leads you through, get to know Him (Matt. 11:29). That’s the whole point of your journey. As you continue following, He will lead you to healing. He will lead you to peace. Ultimately, He will lead you away from the fragmentation and falsity of double-mindedness toward resting in the grace and authenticity of single-mindedness (Rom. 8:9) with Him. 

 

Galatians 6:8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

James 1:7-8 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

Job 12:22 He reveals mysteries from the darkness And brings the deep darkness into light.

Job 18:28b The Lord my God illumines my darkness.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Amos 3:3 Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?

1 Corinthians 6:17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.
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Internalizing the Cross

When we wear a cross, it represents our crucifixion with Christ.

But jewelry is only an external symbol of crucifixion. What about internal crucifixion, the crucifixion of the soul?

When we follow Christ, we follow in His footsteps and walk where He walked. He ultimately walked to the cross, right? Likewise, in our walking with Him, we will encounter crosses.

intersectionA cross is where your will and God’s will “intersect.” 

Think of a street intersection. We’re walking in one direction. God’s leading us in another. At that intersection of self-will versus death-to-self, we face inner conflict in our decision making.

But…

Instead of pondering and wrestling in our own human understanding, we can turn to Scripture to light our way.

In fact, you won’t believe it, but Galatians 2:20 actually makes the decision for us:

It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.

It says “It is I who no longer live…

Hmmm… I-no-longer-live? Really?

Yes.

If I am no longer living, as the verse plainly states, then there is no self left to disagree with God.

If there is no life (“I no longer live”), then there can be no self.

No life = no self.

No self? Seriously?

How so?

Because “I have been (past tense) crucified” with Him. That’s our own personal past tense crucifixion. So, according to Galatians 2:20, you and I were ALREADY crucified with Jesus Christ, hanging on that cross.

So…

Instead of self-will operating apart from God’s will at that “cross” intersection, Galatians 2:20 reveals that our will is one with God’s will already in Christ on the cross of Calvary.

Our will is one with God’s? Hmm…

How so?

calvaryCalvary is where man’s will (Heb. 2:17; 1 Tim. 2:5) and Gods’ will (Is. 53:10) intersected in the cross of Jesus Christ. Christ was 100% man and 100% God. Man’s will is in the man, Jesus Christ who identified with us in His humanity and in His death. God’s will is in the divine Christ’s obedience to submit to crucifixion. We were one with Him in His full humanity and we were in Him in His divine obedience (Rom. 6:8, 2 Tim. 2:11).

There, He hangs. Lashed, crowned, spiked, and lifted.

And there YOU are. Inside Him. Being crucified together with Him.

Galatians 2:20 It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.

It’s clear. We HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED with Christ (Gal. 2:20).

Yet, this reality of oneness with Christ cannot be experienced if we have failed, as Scripture instructs in the previous verse (v. 19), to die to the law:

Galatians 2:19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.

Christ clearly separated Himself from the law in in John 5:45, in one of His heated confrontations with the Pharisees: “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.”

Moses is the “Father of the Law.” Jesus won’t have to accuse any of the Pharisees before the Father because the Pharisees live under the law and will be judged and condemned by the law. For no one can sow the law and reap eternal life.

the law <  > Jesus Christ

Do not be deceived (Gal. 6:7). We can never live for God if we have not first died to the law.

As long as we’re alive to the law, we cannot be dead to ourselves, and thus cannot be alive in Christ.

Living for God <  > Alive to the law

Alive to the law<  > Dead to yourself

Because the law activates self-will and sin (Rom. 7:8), the proportion to which we have died to the law, we have died to ourselves. To that degree, Christ can live His life through us.

Die to law = die to self = empty space=Christ lives through you

To the extent we’re trying to fulfill the law, we are refusing to receive Christ’s finished work for us. Our flesh is trying to fulfill the law (which is impossible), and in that, trying to be God (Luke 18:19).

Self-effort = You will fulfill the law = You will perform righteousness = You are God=You reject Christ’s work for you

This arrogance blocks in us the life flow of Christ’s fulfillment of the law. He has already fulfilled the law for us. So we don’t have to try to. Not that we could.

Flesh is cleverly deceiving us to waste that time, space, and energy that Christ could be using to glorify Himself through us.

You rejoice in your weakness = You can’t fulfill the law = Christ did it for you = Thank you, Jesus!

Flesh = Strives to perform righteousness = Blocks Christ’s life in you

You can’t!–> He did it for you–>Faith IN HIM fuels–>time space energy–>Christ’s life flows freely

The imagery of being crucified with Christ is helpful for some of us to die to, or lay down, our lives and desires that are contrary to God’s (Matt. 16:24).

As a sincere follower of Christ, if we really are crucified with Christ, we can say, “I was in  Jesus Christ when He died. So, ‘Do I (being in Him) feel the spikes through MY hands? Do I (being in Him) feel the crown of thorns on MY head? Do I (being in Him) with every feeble breath feel the rough wooden beam scraping against MY bloody open-wounded back?‘” and so on (Rom. 6:8, 2 Tim. 2:11).

The imagery of the crucifixion can help us die to flesh and bridle our hearts, thoughts, words, and actions to get us in step with His purposes for us (Rom. 6:8).

After the crucifixion came the tomb where self-will and sin were laid forever (Col. 2:11). And remember… the sin nature never resurrected (Acts 13:29). Only the new resurrection life arose three days later (2 Cor. 5:17, Acts 13:30). You and I, the new creations, rose with Him in that resurrection life. That’s how we are one spirit with Him right now (1 Cor. 6:17). Your spirit is the spirit of the resurrected Jesus Christ!

That’s the real you now. Crucified with Christ. Filled with Christ. Led by Christ.

 

WORD MEANINGS– Galatians 2:20 

1) I have been crucified with Christ.

-crucified means to crucify together with (you and Christ), to impale in company with (literally or figuratively), by the death of Christ upon the cross I have become utterly estranged from (dead to) my former habit of feeling and action.

2) It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.

-it is no longer means no longer, no more, never again, logically for it cannot now be said

-I who live– alive, to get their living, holding, Christ is living and operative in me, i. e. the holy mind and energy of Christ pervades and moves me

3) The life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.

-by faith means faith, belief, trust, confidence, fidelity

-loved means to take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem. The love which led Christ to become human and be crucified for us.

-gave– to hand over, to give or deliver over, to betray (oneself). In other words, Christ betrayed Himself to save us.

 

Verses

Galatians 2:20 It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.

John 5:45 But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.

Romans 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

2 Timothy 2:11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;

Galatians 2:19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Hebrews 2:17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer.

Romans 7:8 But sin, seizing its opportunity through the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from the Law, sin is dead.

Luke 18:19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Colossians 2:11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ,

Acts 13:29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb.

Acts 13:30 But God raised him from the dead,

1 Corinthians 6:17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

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The Veil of the Law

 2 Corinthians 3:15-17

15 Yes, down to this [very] day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies upon their minds and hearts.

16 But whenever a person turns [in repentance] to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away.

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom) 

True repentance is a life turned from self to Christ for permanent cleansing and eternal life here and now. We know we have repented if the veil over our minds and hearts has been “stripped off and taken away” (2 Cor. 3:16) and we walk free from sin and the law. If the veil is still intact, we have not truly repented.

Hebrews 10:2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.

Romans 8:3 AMPC For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], [Lev. 7:37.]

2 Corinthians 3:15-17 makes the same point as Romans 8:3 and Hebrews 10:2.

When the veil of the Law is “stripped off” and “taken away,”

1)sin has no more power over you (Rom. 8:3) and

2)you do not feel guilt for your sins (Heb. 10:2, Rom. 4:8, Ps. 32:2).

If sin still has power over you, you have not accepted the Sacrifice (Rom. 8:3 AMPC) because the veil is still intact. You have need of repentance (2 Cor. 3:16) and spiritual circumcision (Col. 2:11).

If you still feel guilt for your sins, you have not accepted the Sacrifice (Rom. 8:3 AMPC., Heb 10:2) because the veil is still intact (2 Cor. 3:16). You have need of repentance (2 Cor. 3:16) and spiritual circumcision (Col. 2:11).

For either of these, you may also have need to repent of your unbelief (John 6:29).

 

“When Moses is read (2 Cor. 3:15)” means “whenever the Law is read.” This is because Moses is theblood_curtain father of the Law.  Just as the Temple curtain veiled and protected the priests and people from God’s holiness, the Law throws a veil over the minds and hearts (2 Cor. 3:15) of the hearers separating them from God. This is because the Law defines (Rom. 7:7), points out (Rom. 7:5), arouses (Rom. 7:8) and condemns (Rom. 7:11) sin. The Law serves as a REMINDER (Heb. 10:3) of sin, just as the Old Covenant sacrifices and offerings were a reminder of sin to the Israelites.

In the Old Covenant, bulls and goats were sacrificed repeatedly which pointed to the coming perfect and eternal Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. On the Day of Atonement, after the priest laid hands on the bull transferring the sins from himself and his family into the bull, the bull was sacrificed for the sins of the priest and his family.

scape goatThen the two goats, chosen by lot, represented the sins of the people. The priest laid hands on the first goat transferring the sins of the people into it, then sacrificed it to appease God’s wrath for the sin of the people. The second goat was the scape goat. The priest laid hands on this second goat transferring the sin and guilt of the people into it then released it into the wilderness never to be thought of again. This scape goat released the people of any consciousness of their sin or guilt for sin from the previous year.

In this ritual, the priest and his family and the people were “released” permanently from their sin and guilt for sin, but only for the previous year. Because the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin (Heb. 10:4), this had to be repeated annually to maintain their cleanliness before God (Heb. 10:11). It had to be repeated, thus it was not perfected (Heb. 10:1). This repetition pointed to the Once-For-All, Final and Eternal Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the scape goat in the New Testament.JC scapegoat All of our sin and guilt (Heb. 1:3b; 1 Cor. 6:11) fell on Him permanently. This is how He has removed them as far as the East is from the West (Ps. 103:12). He became (2 Cor. 5:21) all of our sin. Our sin, which He became, received the verdict of guilty, the punishment of death. He died that dark and grim death in our place. Our sin remains dead in Him on the cross because we have been baptized into His death at salvation (Rom. 6:2-4).

Stripping off and taking away the veil of the law is how believers are released from the power of sin and the guilt of sin (Heb. 1:3b; 1 Cor. 6:11)

Permanent release is what happens when the veil is “stripped off” and “taken away.” Jesus Christ takes away our sins (John 1:29; Rom. 11:27).

This freedom is the result of true repentance (2 Cor. 3:16-17).

In the New Covenant, Jesus Christ doesn’t want us to stay stuck in reminders of sin, but the just the opposite. He wants us to give Him glory in the fact that He, and He alone, has taken away our sin (Jn 19:30; Rom. 11:27)! Complete removal of sin in spiritual circumcision by God alone is the entire purpose of Calvary -and why we even have Communion at all- to remember HIM and celebrate the liberation that HE has granted us (Gal. 6:15).

If you’re still beating yourself up over your sins, you’ve missed the whole point. You’re  “reading Moses” (2 Cor. 3:15), living under the Law of sin and death, walking in self-righteousness and drudging up garbage from the bottom of the sea that God remembers no more (Heb. 8:12, Rom. 4:8). Thus, in doing so, in Christ, your life and walk are stunted with the unnecessary darkness and garbage that the Law naturally arouses. There’s more for you! Ask Christ to open your spiritual eyes and set your free.

Coming-Out-of-the-Law-of-Sin-and-Death-squareThe Law is not in effect over us anymore in Christ. However, you will experience it as such when you live under the Law according to 2 Corinthians 3:15-17:

When the Law is read, it’s as if…

~the Temple Veil has not been torn.

~the Old Covenant is still in place.

~there is still a separation between believers and God.

~believers must make temporary sacrifices and offerings for sin to appease God.

~Christ’s perfect and eternal sin payment has not been made.

~Christ’s sin payment is incomplete.

~our relationship with God is still based partially on sin, not on faith alone.

After a reference to the Law is made or a passage is read out of context to be under the Law, to compensate for its “veil” effect (2 Cor. 3:15), the Law must be put in context of the New Covenant. The New Covenant is the context that the law must be presented in to refresh the minds and hearts of the hearers on the current relationship between God and man according to its context.

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the Law, but under grace (Rom. 6:14).” Romans 6:14 is an appropriate verse to read to place the Law in proper context, refreshing the readers, not on their sin, but on just the opposite…on the fact that their sin has been taken away by the One and Only Savior, Jesus Christ! (John 1:29, Gal. 5:1) It is finished! This gives to Him the MOST GLORY ever when we openly acknowledge and RECEIVE into our hearts the liberty He purchased for us.

torn-veil

Romans 6:14 effectively throws off the blinding veil of the Law and reestablishes the hearts of the hearers in the current faith-based (not sin-based) relationship between God and believers under the New Covenant of Jesus Christ. This truth of Romans 6:14 in the minds and hearts of the hearers keeps the Temple veil torn and open, maintaining free and open access for all those who believe on Christ’s finished work to come boldly by faith alone to the throne flowing with grace and mercy and help in time of need (Heb. 4:15-16).

 

Hebrews 10:2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.

Romans 8:3 AMPC For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice] [Lev. 7:37.]

Colossians 2:11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self-ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ,

Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (This was written in future tense before the Cross. Today we live after the Cross so we can put this in past tense for proper context. “For I have already forgiven their wickedness and remember their sins no more.”)

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Galatians 6:15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.

John 6:29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Romans 4:8 and Psalm 32:2 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against him.

Romans 7:5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.

Romans 7:7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

Romans 7:8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.

 Romans 7:11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.

Romans 11:27 And this will be My covenant (My agreement) with them when I shall take away their sins.

Romans 6:2-3 We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Psalm 103:12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Hebrews 10:11 Furthermore, every [human] priest stands [at his altar of service] ministering daily, offering the same sacrifices over and over again, which never are able to strip [from every side of us] the sins [that envelop us] and take them away—

Hebrews 10:4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Hebrews 10:1 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.

1 Corinthians 6:11 AMPC And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.

Hebrews 1:3b AMPC When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

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What to Do If I Sin

1 John 2:1 But if anybody does sin… 

“Oh no! I don’t know what to do! I feel dirty, guilty, ashamed, cast out… I feel trapped, caught, busted. Help! I’m lost. I can’t find my way back to God.”

I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands. Psalm 119:76

WHAT TO DO IF I SIN? 

Before you get all flustered, rest assured: Hebrews 13:5 says that God will never, ever leave you. So chill. He’s right there beside you trying to teach you something important. So listen up!

GRACE AND TRUTH

In John 1:14, we read that Jesus Christ, the exact image of the Father, was FULL of two things: 1) GRACE and 2) TRUTH. Those are the main two ingredients in the recipe we give ourselves if we sin.

If Christ is full of grace and truth, then we must be full of grace and truth, to others and to ourselves.

“But how do I give myself grace?”

Good question. This is how:

Go look in the mirror and honestly forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not being the person you would like to be. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Confess that you never were. Confess that you will never be. Confess that you cannot be good, no matter how hard you try (Lk. 18:19).  Confess that you cannot please God, even with all of your best human efforts (Is. 64:6). Confess that you have no righteousness at all. None. Zero. Zip. Confess that you simply cannot live the Christian life. Confess defeat. Confess that all you have left is the white flag of surrender found in Romans 7:24. “Belly up” is the first step to victory.

(Hint-hint: Jesus Christ is the only one who can live the Christian life. Ask Him to live His life through you. Then stop trying to, and start trusting Him to. He is Faithful.)

After you give yourself GRACE, you give yourself TRUTH.

Ocean waves are ever-changing. Yet, the deep water below stays smooth and consistent.

ocean depthThe deep ocean water is like God’s Word: true and unchanging. 

While circumstances, thoughts, feelings, relationships, fashions and weather constantly change like the waves of the sea… truth never changes

“How do I give myself truth?”

You tell yourself the truth.

TRUTH is your plumb line to find reality in a deceptive world! But you can’t tell yourself the truth if don’t remember the truth. So…

REMEMBER THE TRUTH!

If we sin, we must remember the TRUTH to guide us to, and keep us on, the right path:

meet my attorney

1 Jn. 2:1 “But if anyone does sin, we have AN ADVOCATE with the Father, JESUS CHRIST the righteous. Jesus Christ is your personal attorney: full time, pre-paid, best friends with the Judge, knows all the ropes, wins every case. Sweet!

Whew! That takes the pressure off of you. If anyone can handle your case before the Father, it’s Jesus Christ! Slam dunk!

 

YOU TRUST CHRIST TO HANDLE YOUR CASE FOR YOU WHILE

YOU FOCUS ON STAYING IN THE YOKE

jesus-hugging1

Remember, regardless of your behavior, you’re already in the light as the new nature. Your behavior is simply an indication of who or what you’re identifying with. Christ has already transferred you permanently into His kingdom of light. If you’re in Christ, the light is your home and reality now. He washed (past tense) you clean at salvation and says you are clean (Jn 13:10, 15:3). But as He said, your FEET are getting DIRTY (Jn 13:10) with the filth of this world. It’s everywhere and He knows it. The filth of this world is called sin.

One of the enemy’s highest priorities is to lure you into confusion about your identity. He lures you to identify with ANYTHING, just not Jesus Christ. All this begins IN YOUR MIND (Col. 1:21-22). And by RENEWING YOUR MIND (Eph. 4:23) and believing the truth, you will remember (Eph. 6:13) that your home is in the light. Then you will act as if your home is in the light… because it is.

 

FORGETFULNESS AND FAMILIAR SPIRITS

Good news! If you sin, you are still the new nature (2 Cor. 5:17)! In the sin situation, though, you have simply FORGOTTEN the truth of WHO you are. When you forget the truth, you’ve allowed familiar spirits to manipulate you. That’s their job.

Familiar spirits include guilt, unbelief, lust, shame, condemnation, depression, and so on. Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit never sends a spirit of guilt because Christ already paid for ALL of your guilt (1 Cor. 6:11 AMPC, Heb. 1:3 AMPC). He sends only conviction, sometimes with tears and brokenness. 

Familiar spirits know intimately your history, your wounds, your temperament, your habits, your struggles.familiar spirits

  • They hang around you waiting patiently, and in just the right circumstance, they pounce on your MIND and EMOTIONS tempting, urging, accusing, harassing, shaming and condemning you to keep you in bondage TO THEIR CONTROL.
  • They want you to believe LIES that you ARE the old nature (lie!), that you can perform righteousness but that you failed at it (lie!), that God is now angry or disappointed in you (lie!), that there’s NO way out (lie!), and that you’re on your OWN now (lie!). All lies!!
  • Step by cunning step, their ultimate goal is for you to AGREE with them. 

All this and more. And they manipulate you to do what?

Rely on your flesh, your own understanding, your old patterns. You then walk independently of the Holy Spirit. Not good. What do you do then? You act out the lies they seduced you to believe. You think you know better than God does, don’t you? And such arrogance always precedes a fall (Prov. 16:18). Ouch.

In that deception of your mind, you walk in dead-end pathways that no longer fit your purpose as the glorious new creation. You have FORGOTTEN who you are, Who you belong to, Who already paid your sin debt in full, and Who has delivered to you everything you need to live a life pleasing to God and to yourself (2 Pet. 1:3).

MORE GRACE AND TRUTH

[Jesus Christ = Grace + Truth]

Your Forgiven State= GRACE

You, the New Nature= TRUTH

The Scripture tells us that Christ has already paid your sin debt in full at Calvary (Jn 19:30). “It is finished,” Christ announced. 

“Okay. So, how does that work in all this?”

On the cross, Christ BECAME all of your sin. (What does “all” mean? It means ALL.)

paid-in-full-stamp-vector-19036186All of your sin DIED with your old nature in Christ’s sin-laden body which was laid in the grave forever. This is grace!

When He resurrected, the sin remained dead in the grave, but His new spirit body raised up in new resurrection life. And you were with Him when He did! This is the same new resurrection life you carry as the new nature, a spirit being. That’s what the new nature is– the resurrection life of Christ within! This is truth!

Christ already BECAME the very sin you are struggling with at this moment! That is how it can’t be counted against you in the courts of heaven. He saw ahead and KNEW this sin issue would happen to you before you were ever born and has taken care of it for you! He took all the pressure and all the judgment and all the condemnation and all the punishment for you so you can focus on staying in the yoke. That’s your only job now.

It’s a fact. The old nature and all its sin is dead and buried (Rom. 6:6). 

God says so. Period.

Conclusion….if all your sin is in the grave (it is) and your sin debt has been paid in full (it has) then you’ve merely forgotten who you are. Thus, what you must do is REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE. (Who you are in Christ is on this post right below the Scriptures, if you need a reminder.) Remembering who you are is turning the Light back on in your brain, otherwise known as, renewing your mind (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23).

Keep in mind that in this dimension, you face clever “smoke and mirror” shadows of the old nature in the deceptive form of cellular memories which are stored in your neurons,  muscles, behavior patterns and thought patterns. These are NOT the old nature! They are mere shadows of the old nature (Rom. 7:17, 23)! Satan preys on these shadows and any underdeveloped areas in your character. He animates them as if they are you but they are not. He is a master at this deception and will lead you astray when you forget the truth. So that’s how the old nature is truly and factually crucified but can feel like it’s still there (Rom. 7).

trippedThe way Satan trips you up is by subtly and persistently persuading you to identify with the sin– instead of with Christ. He does this because he knows that your behavior will follow your identity. The minute you begin identifying with sin, you will move toward it and desire it and become one with it. The minute you start identifying with Christ, the sin loses its power, healing begins in your union with Christ and victory is already yours.

Identity is everything! If you sin, the root issue is that you mistakenly believed that the sin was who you were. Oops! At some level, you identified with the sin forgetting that you were the new creation in Christ who already has everything he needs. In that deception, you veered off course.

But alas! The LORD is always graciously recalculating your life in His will to work out everything for your good. So instead of condemning yourself, receive the reality of your forgiven status as the new nature, be teachable and learn from it. That’s the goal. Learn to identify with Christ overtime at every level and in every lesson. Wherever you fail to identify with Christ, sin issues will arise. And that’s okay.  That’s how we learn. It’s a lifetime of learning. Overcoming sin issues is how we are conformed to His image. Sin issues are simply opportunities for growth.

I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands. Psalm 119:76

“Okay. I get it. But I need a procedure of GRACE and TRUTH if I sin.”

Of course! I thought you’d never ask.

Well, since God says your sin is already paid for in full, (Jn 19:30) thank Him for that!

Then take Steps 1-10 (below), a counter-intuitive (your intuition is broken from the Fall), Biblical protocol that leads to freedom. And no, it’s it’s not walking by sight and asking Christ in unbelief to do what He’s already done (Jn. 19:30) Instead…you walk BY FAITH!

 

IF I SIN: STEPS 1 – 10

1) MAKE THREE CONFESSIONS (A, B, C)

A. Confess sin to yourself to break denial (Eph. 4:15) of the problem.

B. Confess sin to God for mercy and help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). As a sincere follower of Christ, you are already completely forgiven!

You may feel “driven to beg” for forgiveness if you are Catholic or believe that…

  • There is a separation between you and Him (Rom. 8:38-39; Heb. 13:5) because of it.
  • You have ceased to be the new nature (2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:24) now
  • You believe that can remove your own sin (Heb. 9:22b; Eph. 2:8,9; Titus 3:5, 1 Jn. 1:8)
  • He doesn’t know all the ins and outs of your sin problem (Ps. 139:1-4)
  • He hasn’t already paid for that sin (Jn. 19:30)
  • He has no compassion for you in the situation (Heb. 4:15,16)
  • He holds the sin against you with condemnation (Rom. 8:1), guilt (1 Cor. 6:11, Heb. 1:3 AMPC) or accusation (Rom. 8:33 NLT).
  • You refuse to receive His promised grace and mercy in time of need (Heb. 4:15-16)
  • Self, pride, ego, and performance hold you hostage (Eph. 2:8; Heb. 12:1-2, Rom. 7:19)
  • He cannot relate to you (Heb. 4:15,16) in your particular situation
[If you “use” 1 Jn 1:8-9 as a Catholic confessional booth, then use the verses in proper context: 
1 John 1:8 is a salvation related verse. Literal Greek: “If we claim to be righteous in and of ourselves, then we deceive ourselves…” This verse addresses the Gnostics who claimed to “be without sin” because they claimed there was no such thing as original sin, thus they thought they had no need to confess it. They claimed to have a righteousness of their own. Christians never claim to have been without original sin and know they have no righteousness of their own. That’s why they need a Savior.
1 John 1:9 is a salvation verse. Literal Greek: “If we have confessed our sins (at any time in life), He is faithful and righteous to have forgiven us our sins and to have cleansed us from all unrighteousness.” FYI Your 100% lifetime forgiveness and 100% lifetime cleansing were completed in totality over 2000 years ago at Calvary.]

C. Confess sin to a confidant to break isolation and receive healing (Js. 5:16).

When your feet get dirty, get your feet washed (Jn. 13:10)! CONFESS your sin to a confidential member of the body right away and get prayer for HEALING. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins TO ONE ANOTHER and pray for one another SO THAT you may be HEALED.” Do you want to heal from the sin so you can leave it behind you? Of course you do! Then expose your dirty feet for washing. It works! Why would anyone want to keep dirty feet? Yuk!foot washing

Just as the human body is designed to heal itself, the body of Christ is designed to heal itself. Obey this command regularly and stay connected with one or more prayer partners until the situation improves. [OR you may choose to operate as a secretive and independent member of the body which the Scripture says we cannot do (Rom. 12:5). Then you will reap what you sow staying stuck in the muck of your sin.] 

Repeat confidential confession as often as necessary. As always, get professional help for your issue if it is serious or fails to improve over time.

2) SUBMIT AND RESIST James 4:7 says, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” The safest place to be in the world is submitted to God. When you submit to God and resist, in His time God takes care of the situation for you in causing the enemy to flee. But you must first line yourself up with the Lord by submitting to Him. And you must also realize that the pain you are experiencing is good pain or growing pains. It is God, the Good Potter, reforming you, the broken clay (Jer. 18:4; Is. 45:9) into His image. It never feels good. But endurance is what a good soldier learns to develop (2 Tim. 2:3).

submissionThe truth is that the LORD has great compassion for you in the sin situation because He can totally relate (Heb.4:15-16)! He was tempted just as you were and knew you would struggle with this before He formed you in the womb. He is using this to conform you to His image. He also knows it’s harming you; that’s why He agrees with you that He doesn’t like it either. Submit to Him and He will show you a better way.

Remember that God’s grace clearly teaches you to say “no” to sin (Titus 2:12). And, remember that the Law brings guilt, shame and condemnation down on your head which triggers more sin entanglement (Rom. 7). On the contrary, God’s kindness leads you to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Receive His grace and kindness (Col. 2:6) to save you from your body of death (Rom. 7:24-25).

Sometimes it’s a seasonal or temporary sin struggle. Other times it’s necessary to remove yourself from the environment, but listen to the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of confidants for your particular situation. With the process of submission and resistance, the support of others will strengthen you to be able to submit and resist. Get a support group, a sponsor, a prayer partner or accountability partner. Two are better than one (Eccl. 4:9) and a three-strand cord is not easily broken (Eccl. 4:12)

 

The deeper down into the heart the sin issue originates, the more support you will need and the longer it may take to totally defeat. But defeat it you can for sure because God is on your side! With Him ALL things are possible.

 3) POUR OUT YOUR HEART TO GOD Psalm 62:8 tells you to pour out your heart to the Lord. Pour out the depths of your broken heart to Him in raw honesty and complete vulnerability. No masks. No games. No holding back. The more deeply truthful you are with Him, the more He will honor you in that. He is the God of truth. He is pleased with your courage to trust Him in opening up with your raw truth. In that, you are opening up to allow Him to help you with it. pour out heart

With tears, allow your heart to grieve and release as a loss (Phil. 3:8) the sin entanglement. You must face the reality of the situation, let it go, and put it behind you.

This process may reveal whatever is below the surface feeding it (such as childhood wounds, dissatisfaction, disillusionment, lusts of the world, fear of facing your situation and following God’s calling in it, feeling overwhelmed, and so on).

When the root issue is revealed, simply deal with it as God leads you. Ask Him to help you find a suitable and healing substitute for the sin. Pray for red flags ahead of sin issues so you can detour and deal with the underlying issue. Don’t be shy about reaching out for help if need be.

4) AGREE WITH GOD Amos 3:3 says you can’t walk with Christ if you don’t agree with Him. Agree with Him that He has already paid for your sin in full. Thank Him for the Sacrifice for you! Agree with Him that you are the new nature, but that you FORGOT who you are. This is His victory to you. Take it!agreement 2

Ask Him to help you remember who you are! Meditate on that regularly. Tell yourself the truth in front of the mirror! Once you remember (Eph. 4:23) that you are the new nature, alas, you’re back in your right mind again (Luke 15:17a). In this Scripturally accurate reality, the healing and growth will come more easily.

5) REPARATIONS Romans 13:10 tells us that love does no harm to a neighbor. Go make apologizereparations or apologies for any wrong you have done to another. This includes sinning against yourself (Matt. 22:39). Forgive others. And forgive yourself.  Apologize to the LORD if you’ve grieved or quenched His Spirit.  Thank Him for forgiving you at Calvary.

6) Renew your mind (Eph. 4:23). daily, or hourly, if necessary. Renewal and meditation on His Word will transform your mind in the area of your struggle. You can never, ever renew your mind too much! In this, you replace destructive lies with God’s truth. Also, remember you are not alone in this struggle. Saints all over the world are struggling with the same issue (1 Cor. 10:13). Take comfort in God’s overarching divine purposes in the sanctification process. Join a support group to strengthen yourself and heal more quickly.renew

I’m reminded of an alcoholic who wanted deliverance from alcoholism so badly that he attended seven (!) Alcoholics Anonymous meetings every day. Why? Because while he attended all those mind-renewing meetings throughout the day, there was no time left to even think about drinking…  How badly do you want deliverance?

7) IDENTIFY WITH CHRIST Learning to focus on and identify with Christ is critical. He created you, adores you, has given you new life, has rescued from the jaws of hell, has the perfect plan for you and your life, and is lovingly conforming you to His wonderful image. Wherever you identify with Christ, your behavior there will Jesus saving manfollow. You are designed to get all of your identity from Christ alone. Wherever you identify with something else, there will be problems. When you identify elsewhere, you are trying to force a round peg in square hole. It just doesn’t work no matter how you strain. Don’t waste your time.

In this goal of progressive comprehensive identification, submitting to God will come more naturally, as will resisting. Ask God to teach you how to get free from from the sin, however that may work in your situation. BUT you must always FOCUS on and IDENTIFY with CHRIST, not the sin. Look where you want to go! Worshiping Him throughout the day helps tremendously with your focus and identity. Very important to give yourself grace, truth and time in this process.

8) CONFORMITY Matthew 11:28-30 says when you take His yoke, you are conformed to His image. Agree to take His yoke daily to be conformed to His image. Release anything He instructs you to and receive every yokesingle thing He instructs you to. He knows all about the sin (Jn. 18:4a) because He became that very sin and does not hold it against you (Rom. 4:15b). He has great compassion for you and desires to HELP you (2 Pet. 2:9a, Heb 4:15,16) and GROW you up in His grace and knowledge. Living His yoke, you’re allowing Him to do just that. As you abide in Him, you will also find rest and ease. In His yoke, thank Him for the opportunity to know Him better and for conforming you to His image.

9) CAST OUT Matthew 10:1 says you have authority to cast out unclean spirits. Take your God-given authority and by name, out loud, renounce, bind, and cast out each unclean spirit that harasses you. Then thank God. Stand your ground. Pray over your home and family. Summon prayer partners to join you in this if necessary.

cast outStep 9 is vital because these particular spirits want you UNDER THEIR CONTROL, not Christ’s leading (Eph. 6:12, Js. 4:7). Flesh, ego, self-will and repeated rituals never defeat sin. If they did, we wouldn’t need a Savior! Grace and truth (Jn 1:14), with James 5:16, triumph over sin every time. The Scripture guarantees it.

A sample prayer for Step 9:

“In the name of Jesus Christ, I bind and renounce the spirits of __________ (guilt/shame/condemnation/lust…) and cast you out of my life! You have no authority here. Get out! Christ has paid for my sin in full and I will no longer listen to your lies. I pray the blood of Jesus Christ over my mind, heart, soul, life, home, family and daily activities…Holy Spirit, I ask you to come into these vacant places in my soul and abide there forever. Teach me Your ways.

And 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, ‘For MY sake God made Christ to be MY sin who knew no sin, so that in him I might become the righteousness of God.’ Lord, I trust Your Word that you have paid for my sin in full and by faith I receive your righteousness as my own…because it is certain that I have absolutely none! I trust that through this sin struggle you are teaching me to depend on and identify with You and not myself, and to walk by faith, not by sight. I trust that You are conforming me to Your image. Thank you for that, LORD. Amen.'”

You’re the boss of every unclean and lying spirit. Do not allow them in your life or in your family. Take authority as necessary until things settle down. Then, remain watchful, discerning and prayerful.

10) REMEMBER THE BIG PICTURE! GIVE THANKS! IN and FOR all things, Scripture tells you to give thanks (1 Thes. 5:18, Eph. 5:20). That includes, yes, this very situation! Christ knew this would happen and is walking through this with you! He has allowed and arranged this lesson to grow you up overtime in the grace and knowledge of Christ. During trouble, thanksgiving escorts you into His gates (Ps. 100:4) at a time when you need Him the most!Freedom Woman On Sunset Sky 

Thank the Lord for this particular circumstance that He has purposefully arranged for you to grow more

D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T

on Him (Phil. 3:8). You are a branch learning to rely on the Vine, NOT your own resources. When God turns up the heat, don’t fight Him, don’t fight yourself; let yourself melt into His arms as the helpless clay that you are (Jer. 18:4; Is. 45:9). Reliance on the Vine is a painful and time-consuming process for stubborn branches to learn.

Give thanks to God that your sin is eternally “paid in full” already (Jn. 19:30) yes–even amidst the struggle of it! Take sincere relief in that! Obey the Scripture and let your sin burden roll off of you and onto Him, the Burden Bearer (1 Pet. 5:7). Release it to Him for healing and believe His truth. Remember you’re not walking by sight, but by FAITH (2 Cor. 5:7). And your faith is, NOT in yourself but in HIM

 

The Scripture doesn’t tell us to “manage” our sin issues. It tells us to “rid ourselves” of them (Col. 3:8; Eph. 4:31). Thus, I have just given you the tools you need to rid yourselves of your sinful behaviors, one at a time.

Now, your job is to put Steps 1-10 to work prayerfully and persistently as the Holy Spirit leads you. You must not only hear but DO what the Scripture says to walk out of the sinful behaviors (Js. 5:16; Js. 4:7; Eph. 4:23). As you do, watch as they, one by one, fall by the wayside. In His perfect timing, God will reward your diligent efforts of obedience in your pursuit of Him and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33). If you need any reassurance or encouragement in this endeavor, I am a living proof guinea pig in this application and healing from deep complex trauma.

In your Advocate, Jesus Christ, God has already handled your sin issue perfectly by having forgiven and cleansed you permanently at salvation (Rom. 5:10a). He has also given you the command for healing (Js. 5:16) and the tools to rid yourself of sinful habits and unclean spirits. Obey the command (Js. 5:16) and use the tools. He is on your side in this and you have His ultimate authority.

Take authority

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Js. 4:7). If the enemy knows you will tolerate him at any level, he will harass you there. So if you sin, apply Steps 1-10 as the Holy Spirit leads you.

As you maintain these principles over time, the enemy will flee. God says so. 

I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands. Psalm 119:76

WHO I AM IN CHRIST (below)
1 John 2:1 But IF anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

1 John 1:8 is a related salvation verse. Literal Greek: “If we claim to be righteous in and of ourselves, then we deceive ourselves…” This verse addresses the Gnostics who claimed to “be without sin” because they claimed there was no such thing as original sin, thus they thought they had no need to repent of it. They claimed to have a righteousness of their own. Christians never claim to have been without original sin and know they have no righteousness of their own. That’s why they need a Savior.

1 John 1:9 is a salvation verse, but if you’re stuck on using it for confession, at least use it in context. Literal Greek: “If we have confessed our sins (at any time in life), He is faithful and righteous to have forgiven us our sins and to have cleansed us from all unrighteousness.” FYI Your 100% lifetime forgiveness and 100% lifetime cleansing were completed in totality over 2000 years ago at Calvary.

Psalm 139:1-4 O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thoughts from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my way. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence

John 19:30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

James 5:16 Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

Romans 5:10a For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son,

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Romans 8:33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one–for God himself has given us right standing with himself.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 7:17 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 7:19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.

Luke 18:19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.

John 13:10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, 

 

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Titus 2:12 [The grace of God] teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,

2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.

Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God

Colossians 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight.

Hebrews 9:22b For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

John 18:4a Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him

Romans 4:15b And where there is no law there is no transgression.

2 Peter 2:9a if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials

Romans 12:5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Romans 7:24-25 Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Philippians 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;“

Luke 15:17a When he came to his senses…

1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 4:23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.

Amos 3:3 Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us, therefore, draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need.

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Colossians 3:8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Ephesians 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Matthew 22:29 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself
Matthew 10:1 Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority and power over unclean spirits, to cast them out,
Jeremiah 18:4 And the vessel that he was making from clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he made it over, reworking it into another vessel as it seemed good to the potter to make it.
Isaiah 45:9 Woe to him who strives with his Maker!—a worthless piece of broken pottery among other pieces equally worthless [and yet presuming to strive with his Maker]! Shall the clay say to him who fashions it, What do you think you are making? or, Your work has no handles?
who i am in Christ
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Poems

You

You’ve been calling me
My whole life,
You’ve been leading me
My whole life,
You’ve been loving me
My whole life,
Looking back now
I can see You,
My whole life.

(2002)

Ephesians 1:4,5
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will

Jeremiah 1:5
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart

 

Progression

God grow us
From living under moral duty
to reimburse Him
To living in complete devotion
to Him
To living in absolute delight
in Him.
His desire:
For us to rest joyfully
In His love and abundance
Where spiritual disciplines
Become ultimate desires
Because in His presence alone
Is Life supreme.

(2002)

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.

1 John 2:5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.

 

Victory

Absolute surrender.
The glory of His majesty
More than I can bear

Soaring through timeless days
In the surge of His embrace
On the wings of His will.

Overwhelming awareness.
In absolutely everything
His mighty power rules

So brilliant and valiant.
All else fades from sight
As He leads me onward.

(2002)

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

Isaiah 40:28-31  Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
29 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

 

Escort

Everywhere I go a perfect Gentleman escorts me.
He is always there.

I am free to barge out in front of Him or wander off at any time. I am free to choose to think for myself.

He loves me.
He takes care of me.
He opens doors for me.
He tells me secrets.

My Companion is not rude. He is never controlling. He is not legalistic.
Nor is he overbearing.

He exudes kindness.
He offers freedom.
He lavishes grace.
He practices gentleness.

We hang together. We converse together. We travel together.

I surrender. He gives peace.
I release my agenda. He gives me His.
I seek. He reveals.
I call. He answers.
I hurt. He heals.
I fear. He encourages.
I wane. He strengthens.
I vex. He invites sanctuary.
I forget. He reminds.
I faint. He empowers.
I get inundated. He provides orderly completion.
I get distracted. He refocuses my attention.

He leads. I follow.
He reigns. I worship.
He gives ideas. I record them.
He comforts. I grieve.
He mends. I celebrate.
He opens. I pass through.
He intervenes. I praise.
He rescues. I rejoice.
He protects. I give thanks.
He prepares. I proceed.
He winks. I smile.
He manages. I rest.

He gives me love. I give His love back to him.
He gives me more love. I spill His love out to others.

My Escort is available
to anyone
who with a whole heart
will RSVP His invitation.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

 

Home

Lost in Your love
Lost in Your presence
Lost in the bounty of Your grace,
Free from myself
Free from this world
Free from worry that makes waste,
Rest from my work
Rest in Your light
Rest in the glory of Your face,
Forever Yours
Forever home
Forever bound by Your embrace.

(2002)

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us

Hebrews 4:10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his

 

Glory Due

From Adam forward
Over all the earth
In every nation
every state
every town
every home
Every man and boy
Every woman and girl
Rich and poor
Black and white
From first gasp
To last breath
Praising you
Worshiping You
Honoring You
Adoring You
Every second of every minute
Every minute of every hour
Every hour of every day
Every day of every week
Every week of every month
Every month of every year
Could not fill
The very first drop
In oceans so vast
Of Glory Due
The One and Only
The Alpha and Omega
Our Lord and Savior
The Most High God

(2007)

Psalm 96:4  For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.

 

 

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The Power of Abiding

Abiding in Christ is powerful.

Abiding in Christ is efficient.

Abiding in Christ is obeying.

First of all, what does abiding mean? It means “to be vitally united to” and “to make your permanent home.” Christ commands His body to abide in Him by staying vitally united to Him and making Him our permanent home.

Abiding Video (2.5 min)

When you abide in Christ, you actually fulfill all the law and the prophets of the Old Covenant and the greatest and second commandments of the New Covenant.

Let me explain.

 

In Matthew 22:36-41 Jesus answers a Pharisee’s question,36″Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus responds, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

In verse 40, Jesus explains, All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” He’s explaining that when we obey the great commandment (v. 37) by loving God with our all and the second commandment (v. 39) by loving others as ourselves, Jesus says we fulfill “all the Law and the prophets (v. 40).” In verse 40, “all the Law” includes entire the Mosaic law (the Pentateuch) which with the prophets, He says, sums up the entire Old Covenant!

~So, from Matthew 22:36-40 we can see that obeying the great (v. 37) and second (v. 39) commandments causes us to fulfill all the Old Covenant (the Law and the prophets).

 

In John 15, Christ’s final commands to His body include abiding in Him (Jn. 15:4) and His “new command” of loving one another (Jn. 13:34; 15:12, 17). These two commands reiterate the great and second commandments. Abiding reflects the great commandment (Matt. 22:37) to love God with our all. And loving one another reflects the second commandment (Matt. 22:39) to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

~So, from the congruence of John 13:34; 15:4, 12, 17 and Matthew 22:36-40, we can see that abiding in Christ and loving others fulfills the great and second commandments.

 

When we abide in Christ, He teaches us how to obey His new command (Jn. 13:34;15:4, 12, 17)  of loving others as we love ourselves. When we abide in Him, He naturally teaches us how to love ourselves as He does and to love others as He does.

~So, abiding in Christ naturally encapsulates “loving one another.”

 

In summary, Christ’s command to His body to abide in Him encompasses loving one another (Jn. 13:34,15:12,17) and the great and second commandments (Matt. 22:36-40). These summarize the entire New Covenant, and further contain all the Mosaic law and the prophets (Mat.22:40) recapping the entire Old Covenant.

[Abide+Love Others]>[Great Commandment+Second Commandment]>[Mosiac+Prophets]

 

The Efficiency of Abiding:

Great + Second Commandments (Matt. 22:36-40) = Mosaic law + All Prophets 

Great Commandment (Matt. 22:37) = Abiding (Jn. 15:4)

Second Commandment (Matt. 22:39) = Loving One Another (Jn. 13:34; 15:12,17)

Abiding teaches us to love others (Jn. 15:10).

Abiding (Jn. 15:4) = Loving One Another (Jn. 13:34, 15:12, 17) for it teaches us to do so.

[The Second Commandment (Matt. 22:39) and Loving One Another (Jn. 13:34, 15:12, 17) include all the “one another” verses in the New Covenant. See below.*]

Abiding = Great Commandment (Matt. 22:37) +  Second Commandment (Matt. 22:39) + Loving One Another (Jn. 13:34, 15:12, 17) = Entire New Covenant

Abiding (Jn. 15:4) = Great Commandment +  Second Commandment + Mosaic  law + Prophets = Entire Old Covenant

Abiding (Jn. 15:4) = Great Commandment +  Second Commandment + Loving One Another + Mosaic  law + Prophets = Entire Old and New Covenants

Abiding = Entire Old and New Covenants

Abiding

  • fulfills the great and second commandments of the New Covenant (Matt. 22:37-39)
  • fulfills Christ’s new command of loving one another* (Jn. 13:14; 15:4, 12, 17) because abiding teaches us to do so (Jn. 15:10)
  • fulfills all the law and the prophets of the Old Covenant (Matt. 22:40)
  • fulfills the entire Old and New Covenants

 

Abiding is powerful, efficient, and obedient. Abiding we don’t perform in our own strength. As created beings, we receive our strength and direction from our Creator. To abide we must choose to submit to Our Creator’s loving authority and leadership, choose to humble ourselves and take His yoke daily as we learn of Him progressively moment by moment. During this lifetime process of walking with Him, He naturally conforms us to His glorious image. Hallelujah!

Take My Yoke Video (1.48 min)

 

Matthew 22:36-41 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

John 15:4 Abide in me, as I also abide in you.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

John 15:17 This is my command: Love one another.

John 15:10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

John 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 

* The 59 “One Anothers” of the New Testament:

 1. “…Be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50) 2. “…Wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14) 3. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34) 4. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34) 5. “…Love one another…” (John 13:35) 6. “…Love one another…” (John 15:12) 7. “…Love one another” (John 15:17) 8. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10) 9. “…Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10) 10. “Live in harmony with one another…” (Romans 12:16) 11. “…Love one another…” (Romans 13:8) 12. “…Stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:13) 13. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” (Romans 15:7) 14. “…Instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14) 15. “Greet one another with a holy kiss…” (Romans 16:16) 16. “…When you come together to eat, wait for each other.” (I Cor. 11:33) 17. “…Have equal concern for each other.” (I Corinthians 12:25) 18. “…Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (I Corinthians 16:20) 19. “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (II Corinthians 13:12) 20. “…Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13) 21. “If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:15) 22. “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:26) 23. “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2) 24. “…Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2) 25. “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32) 26. “…Forgiving each other…” (Ephesians 4:32) 27. “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19) 28. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21) 29. “…In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3) 30. “Do not lie to each other…” (Colossians 3:9) 31. “Bear with each other…” (Colossians 3:13) 32. “…Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” (Colossians 3:13) 33. “Teach…[one another]” (Colossians 3:16) 34. “…Admonish one another (Colossians 3:16) 35. “…Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12) 36. “…Love each other.” (I Thessalonians 4:9) 37. “…Encourage each other…”(I Thessalonians 4:18) 38. “…Encourage each other…” I Thessalonians 5:11) 39. “…Build each other up…” (I Thessalonians 5:11) 40. “Encourage one another daily…” Hebrews 3:13) 41. “…Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24) 42. “…Encourage one another.” (Hebrews 10:25) 43. “…Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11) 44. “Don’t grumble against each other…” (James 5:9) 45. “Confess your sins to each other…” (James 5:16) 46. “…Pray for each other.” (James 5:16) 47. “…Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8) 48. “…Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8) 49. “…Love each other deeply…” (I Peter 4:8) 50. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (I Peter 4:9) 51. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (I Peter 4:10) 52. “…Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…”(I Peter 5:5) 53. “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (I Peter 5:14) 54. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:11) 55. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:23) 56. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:7) 57. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:11) 58. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:12) 59. “…Love one another.” (II John 5) *From Carl F. George, Prepare Your Church for the Future (Tarrytown: Revell, 1991), 129-131.

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The First Tabernacle in the Heart

Hebrews 9:8-9

“The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Holy of Holies had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle (the Holy Place) was still functioning. 

This is an illustration for the PRESENT TIME, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper,

 

Old Covenant priests entered the Tabernacle westward right to left (below) first into the Holy Place.  Then the High Priest alone was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies once a year, and only on the Day of Atonement.

Image result for tabernacle complexThe Holy of Holies (above left) and the Holy Place (above right), also called the “first tabernacle.”

The Holy Place (or first tabernacle)

where the embers from the bronze altar sacrifices for sin were carried to the altar of incense and burned as a sweet savor of atonement to the LORD.

I see that the first tabernacle is “still functioning” (Heb. 9:8) in my heart. There is still SOMETHING (anything!) I must do to appease God’s wrath and complete Christ’s Sacrifice for me. (Because His sacrifice is incomplete without my input.) My gifts and sacrifices for sin are still being offered to God for only temporary clearing of my conscience. My conscience is not cleared permanently.”

If the first tabernacle (Holy Place) is “still functioning” in your heart, then the Holy of Holies will not be disclosed to you (Heb. 9:8).

The Holy of Holies 

The LORD’S presence where blood was sprinkled eastward on the Ark of the Covenant and in front of it

I agree with Jesus Christ. “‘It is finished’ (John 19:30). There is NOTHING left for me to do. Ever.  I can enter the Holy of Holies by faith in Christ’s once-for-all perfect and eternal Sacrifice for me. There is NO sacrifice left of any kind. His sacrifice is way more than enough. As a result, my conscience is cleared permanently.”

Question:

Is the first tabernacle (the Holy Place)

“still functioning” in your heart?

Hebrews 9:8-9

“The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Holy of Holies had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle (Holy Place) was still functioning.

This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper,”

Lord,

Please show me if and where the first tabernacle is still functioning in my heart.

I don’t want that to block me from experiencing the Holy of Holies in my heart.

According to Your Word (Heb.9:8-9), show me anything that’s blocking

me and escort my heart into the Holy of Holies where You abide and where my

conscience will be cleared permanently. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

Hebrews 9:1-14 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Holy of Holies, which had the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning.This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Asking For What You Already Have

How do you pray? Do you ask God for what you ALREADY HAVE in Christ?

Do these sound like your prayers?

“Please redeem me. Please forgive me. Please cleanse me. Please give me access to the throne. Please don’t condemn me. Please establish me. Please give me a spirit of power, love and sound mind. Please make me your holy temple. Please give me favor with You.”

If so, you are asking God for what you ALREADY HAVE.

Notice that the verses about you (below) are in PRESENT or PAST tense. Examine the list of truths about you and notice where you are asking for what you already have.

I am Accepted-

I am God’s child. John 1:12

As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ. John 15:15

I have been justified (declared righteous). Romans 5:1

I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17

I have been bought with a price and I belong to God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I am a member of Christ’s body. 1 Corinthians 12:27

I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child. Ephesians 1:4-5

I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. Colossians 1:13-14

I am complete in Christ. Colossians 2:9-10

I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:14-16

I am Secure-

I am free from condemnation. Romans 8:1-2

I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances. Romans 8:28

I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God. Romans 8:31-39

I have been established, anointed and sealed by God. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

I am hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-4

I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me. Philippians 1:6

I am a citizen of heaven. Philippians 3:20

I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me. 1 John 5:18

I am Significant-

I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life. John 15:5

I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. John 15:16

I am God’s temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16

I am a minister of reconciliation for God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm. Ephesians 2:6

I am God’s workmanship. Ephesians 2:10

I may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

(originally from Neil Anderson’s list)

Reflect-

Is knowledge of these truths an oversight on my part?

Do I have trouble receiving them on a personal level? Why?

If so, is my inability to receive them due to unbelief or mere negligence?

 

Hebrews 11:5 tells us that only faith pleases God. So in the verses above, instead of asking God for what we ALREADY HAVE, let’s acknowledge and humbly receive by faith what God has ALREADY GIVEN us.

And in that acknowledgment and receptivity, let’s THANK HIM for each of the heavenly gifts He has lavished on us and live as if they are true…because they are! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!

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Digital Dementia

 

Techies, millennials, and those with no intuition,

Check this out:

Smartphones Make You Dumb

 

 

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You Cannot Have Two Natures

Although there is confusion in the churches, the Scriptures clearly teach that we cannot have two natures. We can have only one nature. We are either spiritually dead or we are spiritually alive.

The spiritually dead have unregenerate souls; they are slaves to sin, not raised from the dead by Jesus Christ. Those spiritually alive have regenerated souls; they are slaves to righteousness, raised from the dead by Jesus Christ. This is as simple as darkness and light. Darkness and light cannot coexist because light automatically casts out darkness.

The confusion arises from the Romans 7 conflict. In this chapter, Paul is characterizing the conflict of one person with a divided identity, not one person with two natures.

Identity is everything. What we identify with we will think, say and do. If we are spiritually alive, our identity is designed to be in Christ alone. However, the enemy knows that if he can lure us to identify with anything other than Christ, we will be unstable and doubleminded.

He cleverly lures us to identify with our behavior, our wounds, our sin, our bad habits, and even other people. But his favorite lure is our behavior. He knows that when we identify with our behavior we will never experience victory in this life. Simply put, when we identify with our behavior, we are sent forever chasing our tails.

In Romans 7, Paul has been raised from the dead by Christ and is spiritually alive. However, his internal conflict begins when he identifies himself with his behavior. When he does, he falsely believes that…

~he must “perform” righteousness and cannot do it

~he must live the Christian life and cannot do it

~it’s all about him being good enough for God and he cannot do it

But guess what??

He’s not supposed to be able to do it. Because it’s not even possible!

Romans 7 is like a terrified child in the pool for the first time with a swim teacher. The child stresses out, flailing and fighting the teacher thinking that she must somehow save herself. Over time, though, she learns that as she stops fighting, he keeps her afloat. As she stops trying, he positions her safely. As she stops doubting, he proves trustworthy.

The identity conflict rages in Romans 7 until it finally dawns on him that he, indeed, cannot do it.  Then his focus shifts victoriously to the One Who can do it! The end of Romans 7: “Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

In verses 24 and 25, he finally realizes that

~Christ is the only one who can live the Christian life

~he is one spirit with Christ

~he doesn’t have to try, but to trust

You have ONE nature and it is in Christ. That’s all you are now. And that is MORE than enough. Christ is Faithful and True to begin, sustain and complete your salvation as you trust Him (Heb. 12:1-2).

Remember the enemy tactic of luring you to focus on your behavior and resist him (Ja.4:7, 1 Pet. 5:8-10). Identify only with Christ who raised you from the dead. In that faith focus is your life source and your victory.

When Christ raises someone from the dead, they are alive forever. If someone was supposedly made alive and then falls dead again never to be raised back up, then they never were alive (1 John 2:18-19) at all.

When you slip and focus on your behavior, remember that sinning cannot turn the new nature back into a sinner any more than doing good deeds can turn an unbeliever to a believer. You’ve either been raised from the dead by Christ or you are dead in your sins. There is no in-between.

Meanwhile, you may need healing, discipline, endurance and mind renewal. Believe God’s Word, keep your eyes on Christ, get your feet washed and receive prayer in safe, authentic community (James 5:16), get help for your issues, ask God to reveal the lies you believe, and trust Him through it all.

Instead of living your own life… in your own strength… with your own understanding, realize that only Christ can live the Christian life. And He wants to live it through you!

Stop trying harder! Wave the white flag! Surrender your whole life and ask Christ to live His life through you. Trust Him. When you do you will find, just like the little girl in the pool did, that He is Faithful (Rom. 7:24-25).

 

Galatians 3:1-3 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

1 John 2:18-19 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

1 Peter 5:8-10 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Romans 7:24-25a What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith and Repentance

WHAT IS SALVATION? Salvation is by faith turning from one’s own way (Is. 53:6) to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 20:21), past, present, and future (Rom. 4:5) and eternal life (1 John 5:11). 

Let’s define Faith and Repentance:

Faith means “divine persuasion, a guarantee, the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).”

Repentance means “a change of mind, change in the inner man, turning around.”

Faith and Repentance are NOT two separate steps to salvation. Like two sides of a coin, they are one in the same!

  • The Holy Spirit by “divine persuasion” (faith) influences you to “change your mind” and “turn around” (repentance).
  • You cannot believe (have faith) without “turning around” (repenting) from unbelief.
  • Believing the Gospel is repentance and faith (all at once) from “one’s own way” to trusting Christ for eternal cleansing and eternal life.

Repentance, like faith, is a positive response to something God has said or done.

Romans 4:5 makes it clear that faith alone justifies us and counts as righteousness: “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Rom. 4:5).

Salvation is NOT turning away from one’s sins to be forgiven by Christ. That would be working to earn God’s favor by one’s own effort (Rom. 9:16). Think about it…  if we have to clean up our lives before we can be saved, we can never be saved. 

Facing Holy God Almighty, the sinful man knows well he is an unholy sinner in desperate need of a Savior. At that moment, he believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is forever cleansed and saved.

The sinner who believes has repented.

The sinner who repents has believed.

Faith and repentance are one in the same (John 6:29).

In Gospel of John, the word, “believe,” is cited 85 times. Never does the word, repent, appear.  Repentance is a sinner turning from unbelief to belief. He turns TO THE LORD from the Law’s condemnation of sin and his self-effort to have all sins removed in spiritual circumcision (Rom. 2:29) by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins IS repentance (John 6:29).

 

 

Salvation happens automatically by believing (John 6:29). Sanctification (conformity to Christ) is a subsequent process that happens as a result of salvation. Sanctification is NOT YOUR WORK. It’s the Holy Spirit’s work to perform in you from the inside out. Sanctification happens on God’s timetable. Not ours. He can set you free from things in a moment. Other issues can take a lifetime or never get resolved. 

It’s His business. It’s His burden. It’s His blessing.

Eternal life is a free gift from God. A free gift is received, not performed. The moment you start trusting in your own efforts to be saved, be terrified… for you have fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4) and “severed yourself from Christ.”

Trying harder is not repentance. 

Turning over a new leaf is not repentance.

Trying not to sin is not repentance.

Turning your back on a sinful world is not repentance.

Committing your life to Christ is not repentance.

Pure Biblical repentance is turning from your own way (Is. 53:6) toward God by faith in His only Son, Jesus Christ, to have your sins- past, present, and future- forgiven forever. Salvation is free and forever as we continue by faith in Him because salvation belongs to the Lord. It’s His eternal salvation (Ps. 119:41)! 

Hallelujah for the wonderful simplicity of salvation!

Let’s become “like little children” and enter in (Matt. 18:3).

 

Isaiah 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all

Romans 4:5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Romans 2:29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

John 6:29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

Acts 20:21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

Galatians 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Romans 9:16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.

Psalm 119:41 May your unfailing love come to me, LORD, your salvation, according to your promise;

Matthew 18:3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

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