Sin-consciousness, leads to sin-management which gets ones eyes to go inward in a bad way. It lead me to 35+ years of bipolar roller coaster riding Christianity. I was always concentrating on managing my short comings. My relationship with God was based on my ability to achieve and do. If man is relying on oneself, man will always fall short. This leads to shame, guilt, and condemnation.
I had read and known and even preached on Romans 8:1-2 but the wording in the Mirror Word opened it up like never before.
Condemnation and shame are no more once ones identity is achieved in how God defines man rather than how man defines oneself. Knowing that the only view that God has of me is that of perfect, forgiven, redeemer, whole, and His son changes everything. My realization of His view of me eliminates my need for sin-management. Talk about mind blowing freedom.
1 Now the decisive conclusion is this: in Christ, every bit of condemning evidence against us is cancelled. (“Who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.” This sentence was not in the original text, but later copied from verse 4. The person who added this most probably felt that the fact of Paul’s declaration of mankind’s innocence had to be made subject again to man’s conduct. Religion under the law felt more comfortable with the condition of personal contribution rather than the conclusion of what faith reveals. The “in Christ” revelation is key to God’s dealing with man. It is the PIN-code of the Bible. [See 1 Cor 1:30 and Eph 1:4].) The law of the Spirit is the liberating force of life in Christ. This leaves me with no further obligation to the law of sin and death. Spirit has superseded the sin enslaved senses as the principle law of our lives. (The law of the spirit is righteousness by faith vs the law of personal effort and self righteousness which produces condemnation and spiritual death which is the fruit of the DIY tree.)
There is no more distance or delay. I no longer look for some place in time down the road to where I can or will be acceptable to God. ..
I AM NOW! I was perfect to him before the world was made. I am made in His template of His own DNA! (Eph 1:4). No toil no striving, my original identity now shines!
I was listening to a YouTube video of Don Keathley this morning and he was speaking of Paul’s life and the transition he went through after his Emmaus Road experience. Paul did not immediately go out and share with the world, he instead went into the wilderness to contemplate and marinate in what he had gone through.
Don said something to the effect..
“it’s not about having God revealed to you bout about having God revealed in you.” Been thinking about that most of the day. It’s that revelation that has impacted me huge like.
It takes the God of the universe and puts Him inside oneself rather in some distant realm. It trashes distance and delay. No longer a being to strive to meet but one who has been waiting on each one of us. He is in each one of us right now. Not requiring anything of us to obtain this closeness. It’s a gift a free gift from a God’s very essence is complete love and nothing else.
When Grace Transforms Culture – Pr. Don Keathley: http://youtu.be/NpnMujeMwOw
“In the Gospel, all bookkeeping and scorekeeping are simply trashed in favor of the free acceptance of everybody and everything by grace. Nobody has to pass a single test. God is not the infinite Watchbird. Instead, He become incarnate in the whole, slimy, messed up world; and His last word on the mess is simply to shut up about it in the death of Jesus and offer us a New Creation in His resurrection. The old order is simply bad news. And it’s the bad news because nobody can pass the tests it keeps imposing. In the New Creation there aren’t any tests. Everybody’s home free.” – Robert Capon
“No relationship can survive in the old order of guilt and blame. Relationships can survive only in the order of grace and forgiveness.”
“The only thing we can possibly do with the impossible natures we foist on each other is drop dead to the business of proving we’re perfect peaches and hand out pardon all around.”
– Robert Capon from “The Mystery of Christ”
Hell is our demand for self-destruction, not God’s demand to appease his personal beef with mankind. God’s wrath against sin is very real and very intense – he hates sin BECAUSE it destroys His children. If we choose to identify with the very thing that destroys us, we have heaped condemnation on ourselves. But let’s stop blaming God for that. He is not the enemy of the damned, He is the Saviour of the damned. – John Crowder
Talking about the ‘narrow door’ that is preached so hard in some circles… “It’s forbidding narrowness lies not in the fact that it is so small it is hard to find; rather it lies in the fact that it is so repulsive it is hard to accept.” – Robert Capon
Once in awhile it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way that they have been told to. – Alan Keightley
Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved. Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust Me….. For now, I just want you to be with me and discover that our relationship is not about performance or you having to please Me. I’m not a bully, not some self-centered demanding little deity insisting on My own way. I am good, and I desire only what is best for you. You cannot find that through guilt or condemnation or coercion, only throught a relationship of love. And I do love you.” – from “The Shack”
“…there is therefore now no condemnation for two reasons: you are dead now; and God, as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, has been dead all along. The blame game was over before it started. It really was. All Jesus did was announce that truth and tell you it would make you free. It was admittedly a dangerous thing to do. You are a menace. Be he did it; and therefore, menace or not, here you stand: uncondemned, forever, now. What are you going to do with your freedom?” ― Robert Farrar Capon, Between Noon & Three: Romance, Law & the Outrage of Grace
The power of the gospel isn’t about what we’ve done wrong, but about what He’s done right.
“In gazing with wonder at the blueprint likeness of God displayed in human form, we suddenly realize that we are looking at ourselves. Every feature of His image is mirrored in us. This is the most radical transformation engineered by the Spirit of the Lord; we are led from an inferior mindset to the revealed endorsement of our authentic identity. Mankind is His glory.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18 (the Mirror)
Two glories are mentioned in this chapter; the glory of the flesh and the unfading glory of God’s image and likeness redeemed in us. The fading glory represented in the dispensation of the law of Moses is immediately superseded by the unveiling of Christ in us. Some translations of this scripture reads, “we are being changed from glory to glory.” This would suggest that change is gradual and will more than likely take a lifetime, which was the typical thinking that trapped Israel for forty years in the wilderness of unbelief. We cannot become more than what we already are in Christ. We do not grow more complete; we simply grow in the knowledge of our completeness. We are not changed from one degree of glory to another, or step by step. How long does it take the beautiful swan to awaken to the truth of its design? The ugly duckling was an illusion. Whatever it was that endorsed the “ugly duckling” mindset, co-died together with Christ! – Francois Du Toit
By design human life is wired to believe. We are faith creatures in our make-up; we want to believe. Love realized awakens belief. When you know that you are loved, it is easy to believe. Love sets faith in motion. – Galatians 5:6 & Francois Du Toit
“The life of grace is not an effort on our part to achieve a goal we set ourselves. It is a continually renewed attempt simply to believe that someone else has done all the achieving that is needed and to live in relationship with that person, whether we achieve or not. If that doesn’t seem like much to you, you’re right: it isn’t. And, as a matter of fact, the life of grace is even less than that. It’s not even our life at all, but the life of that Someone Else rising like a tide in the ruins of our death.”
― Robert Farrar Capon, Between Noon & Three: Romance, Law & the Outrage of Grace
From Ruan Haasbroek:
So glad that today God is not coming down, that in fact he has arrived to his favorite location- you! the incarnation exposes the myth of separation and distance. God is not far from any of us- in him we move, we live and have our being. To face life, with all its uncertainty can become overwhelming but what good news to have discover a conclusion that speaks louder than any stormy weather- that God is for us! He values all, not some. Our faith is not how we persuade him into voting for us, faith is the result of discovering he has always counted us in. He has opened up, exhausted his resources and given himself completely to us. For so long we have failed to discover the treasure hidden in the earthen vessel, God is not busy contemplating whether he should let you in on his secret or not, the mystery of God (that was hidden for ages) has now been revealed- Christ in you! God has made us his home, we do not need to build another temple yet again to show him honor, his temple is our body- to know no man according to the flesh is sufficient contribution. In discovering the truth about ourselves, as in a mirror (in Christ) will free us to get on with act living. Engaging with the thoughts of God, concerning man, there is always and only one result- his opinion of mankind is summed up in the person of Jesus. God believes in you not because he needs some return on his investment of human life, but because he sees himself in us! We do not have to idly wait for yet another visit. We do not have to pray another pray to try and influence a supposedly reluctant God into motion. The conclusion is clear the incarnation is the cat out of the bag! Its the big bang all over! God does life with us! The vicarious man, Jesus, gives context to this new life- we are free to respond and discover that in him all things has been reconciled to him. Let us enter his rest…his satisfied with you!
“Beware of too much grace,” said no New Testament writer ever. They did, however, warn you of the Law.
Have you ever made a mistake that you thought “Surely, this time I’ve screwed myself over. If God was okay with me earlier today, then He’s definitely done with me from here on out.”
Sometimes we can be so unmerciful with ourselves.
Everyone is in different places with this. I mean, our standards are all a little different.
I used to be such a zealot for religious works. If I set out to fast (yes, skip food!) for 3 days and ate M&M’s on the 2nd day at a friends birthday party (based on a true story), then I’d practically have a pity party with God and think that I would never be “used by God” because I was a pansy Christian who couldn’t even deny myself some color-coated chocolate goodness for the sake of the so-called “gospel”.
You might think that sounds exhausting. Well, you’re right… it was.
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