Ok, this is going to be short and it comes from personal experience as of late.
Romans 5-8 has totally rocked my world in the past 5 months! I believe it is a key to changing ones spiritual and emotional identity. Around January I was challenged to study chapters 5-8. I took the challenge and I’m so happy I did. Grace and the ramifications of the cross hit me like a nuclear bomb, blowing away all of my pre- established beliefs.
What changed? My identity or how I perceived myself. Jesus died on the cross and we (all mankind was co crucified with him AT THAT MOMENT) were co-raised with him. This act was a re-genesis of our spiritual man. Our sin man was decimated. The law of sin and death was revoked. The free gift of forgiveness and grace was appropriated to all mankind. We were given the ability to accept this gift and step into His fullness. The verse ” there is now, no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, behold all has become new!” actually means literally what it says. I no longer have the notion that I have failed and fall short and and am filled with guilt and shame.
My identity is defined by God, I don’t define myself, he does. He says he sees him in me! (2 Corinthians 3:18)
I said I would keep this short so if you have questions or comments please reply below.
By Andre Rabe On April 22, 2013
The cross is the greatest contradiction. It is an evil act of murder and it is our salvation. This horrific death is the ultimate goal of false accusation, but simultaneously it exposes the deception of this accusation and so forever strips it of its power.This scripture summarizes the tension of this paradox: “For the Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.””(Mark 14:21 HCSB)
In other words, it is God’s plan but it is an evil act that should not happen. The scriptures simultaneously declares that he was innocent, that he was unjustly accused, that those who murdered him was guilty of the blood of all innocent victims … it was wrong in every way, yet the scriptures maintain that this was exactly what had to happen.
If we become so familiar with the story that we no longer see the contradiction, then we’ve missed the central revelation contained in it. Like all other pagan ideas of sacrifice, much of christianity looks at this sacrifice and are mystified by its magical powers – we allow the very revelation it is supposed to bring, to be swallowed up by sacred awe.
The murder of the innocent man Jesus Christ can never be justified – it was wrong! He was falsely accused and brutally abused by a frenzied ignorant crowd. Nowhere else was the true nature of our religious and secular institutions revealed more clearly than in this senseless violence. This is where God in all his innocence, in his most vulnerable state, faced evil in its most articulate expression – the unjustified violence of man. Evil incarnate met God incarnate.
Yet it is exactly here where evil is most real, that God intersects, turning our act of murder into our salvation. He uses the occasion of our most brutal violence to demonstrate His most extravagant love. He bore the brunt of our hostile minds, of our sinful thoughts. The event in which we bruised him and wounded him, is met with healing. At the very moment in which our rejection of him is absolute, he demonstrates our absolute acceptance.
However, we have often ascribed both the good and the evil of the cross to God! Lets expose that myth.God obviously anticipated these events. He knew that the open display of truth, in a world bound by myth, would be a confrontation with only one possible result. The very fabric upon which our societies were build, the false accusation, the prince (principle) of this world, the father of lies, would not take to this exposure kindly. Yes God knew and planned to make the most of this confrontation, but in no way is He the source of the violence that it exposes. In no way does He delight in the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
The unjustified torture and death of the innocent Jesus Christ does not satisfy God’s justice in the sense that He delights in this punishment. The blood of Jesus does not satisfy the blood-lust of an angry God. Such theories is a mixture of ancient pagan thought and the very biblical revelation that came to expose the corruption of these myths. We were the angry deities who satisfied our blood-lust in this iconic murder.Why would God then use such an event? The scriptures describe this event as God’s victory over evil. In what way did He conquer evil?
This was the event in which the deceiver would deceive himself; the act in which our unfounded accusations would be exposed for what it is. The story that would deconstruct all our myths into the nothingness that they are.
These false models are exposed in the very moment when our true model is revealed. We are now able to see the true God and reflect Him – a God who loves and adores; a God in whom there is no accusation.
Wherever the gospel is declared and understood, sacrificial systems cease; victimization ceases, the oppressed and downcast are given hope by a God who identifies with them; a God who is able to overthrow the established corrupt overlords and make all things new.
I’m not going to say too much this morning. At New Day Lloyd Rindels opened quoting Galations 2:18-20 out of The Mirror Translation.
18 Only a con artist will try to be a law-man and a grace-man at the same time!
19 My co-crucifixion with Christ is valid! I am not making this up. In his death I died to the old system of trying to please God with my own good behavior! God made me alive together with Christ. How can any human effort improve on this!
20 The terms, co-crucified and co-alive defines me now. Christ in me and I in him! His sacrificial love is evidence of his persuasion of my righteousness!
If you have read any of my blog in the past this is probably the common thread, your identity is in him! He defines you not your actions or abilities. If I could do anything to attain a place of position before God the act of the cross would have not been necessary.
The law has been superseded by the cross. We were co-crucified and our original identity was restored. Freely given, freely recieve it. Step into his grace, his freedom, his faith… A hard reset was done to this world at the cross. That relationship that God had with Adam in the garden (pre-sin) has been restored. Your redeemed innocence is restored.
God relates to you through your identity not through your behavior. He defines your identity not you.
He says you are made in his likeness. You were created in his image. His image of you is spotless. He sees eternity in him in your identity now. He likes you now. He liked you before he created the world. He is not wanting you to be something or do something to gain his acceptance or love. If we could do something to please him on our own merit he would not have had to send Jesus to the cross. It is a free gift given to us at the time of the cross, that’s right he did it prior to our being conceived. He forgave us and extended the gift of forgiveness and grace freely to all at the time of the cross. It is simply a matter if accepting the gift and walking into the place of sonship he has supplied.
We were created to not only be partakers of his divine nature (in fullness) in heaven but also to partake here on earth. He says who I am not me or my actions. My significance is or should not be defined by anything but the word of God.
2 Corinthians 5:16-19 TMT
16 This is radical! No label that could possibly previously define someone carries any further significance! Even our pet doctrines of Christ are redefined. Whatever we knew about him historically or sentimentallity is challenged by this conclusion.
17 In the light of your co-inclusion in his death and resurrection, whoever you thought you were before, in Christ you are a brand new person! The old ways of seeing yourself and everyone else are over. Acquaint yourself with the new!
18 To now see everything as new is to simply see what God has always known in Christ; we are not debating man’s experience, opinion, or his contribution; this is 100% God’s belief and his doing. In Jesus Christ, God exchanged equivalent value to redeem us to himself. The act of reconciliation is the mandate of our ministry.
19 our ministry declares that Jesus did not act independent of God. Christ is proof that God reconciled the total kosmos to himself. Diety and humanity embraced in Christ; the fallen state of mankind was deleted; their trespasses would no longer count against them! God has placed this message within us. He now announces his friendship with every individual from within us!
Romans 5:17-18 TMT
If death saw the gap in one sin, and grabbed the opportunity to dominate kind because I’m a one man, how much more me we now she’s the advantage to reign in righteousness in this life through that one act of Christ, who declared us innocent by His grace. Grace is out of all proportion in the superiority to the transgression.
18 The conclusion is clear: it took just one offense to condemn mankind; one act of righteousness declares the same mankind innocent.
“You don’t have to claim another promise when you discover that the promise already claimed you! 2 Cor 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”
Francois du Toit
I recently was told I should look at two books by Andrew Farley. The first was The Naked Gospel and the other was God without Religion. I am working my way through the second ine right now. I am finding it falling in line with what God has been impressing on my heart.
In my opinion they are good reads and very provoking. I also found to two YouTube videos that give a good overview in kind of a shotgun blast. I listened to both 4+ times each last week. I find repetition works well for myself.
Dr. Andrew Farley is senior pastor of Ecclesia: Church Without Religion, a non-denominational, evangelical church that has resided on the high plains of west Texas for more than 55 years. Andrew is a bestselling author of three Christian books, and his writings have been featured in national news and media outlets including PBS, CBS, and FOX. Andrew serves as a faculty adviser for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and he frequently speaks to Christian university groups like Campus Crusade for Christ and at churches around the United States and in Canada.
God without Religion session 1
God without Religion session 2
I was up early after being pounced on by a five year old (literally awakened by a 50# sack of inhibition saying “daddy get up”). I might not have appreciated it at the time but I know I will look back 15vyears from now and wish I could re-live it over and over. With that being said I arose and prepared the morning cereal and sat down for a morning snuggle. We turned on some cartoons and one of the characters had a quote “I have two words for you, Nach O’s.” Ok, so it wasn’t actually two words but it has been stuck in my head ever since. I have been in Romans again.
Romans 6:6-9 NLT
We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.
He died ONCE for sin. We died with him we arose and were set free from the earthly hold of sin. He did it! I have walked 99% of my life living under the paradigm of living under the weight of bwing a sinner and because of this the guilt, condemnation, and performance based Christianity I have lived under has been well… awful. In the past 6 months God has changed my perspective towards the sin nature. This brings me back to my Nacho’s.
Picture a party scene, the host has put out a platter of nachos, they are there for all. They were freely put out and were assumed to be there for all the attendees. To eat those nachos do you have to;
1. Pay for them?
2. Do a stupid human trick to gain access?
3. Bribe the guy watching the food table? 4. Beg?
5. Put on sack cloth and cover yourself with ashes?
6. Go mission impossible, drop from the ceiling via zip line snd stealthy grab them?
7. Dress in your Sunday best and look marvelous?
8. Have the high score on Pac Man or Halo?
The answer is none of the above. The nachos are yours freely, they came with the invitation.
Drop dead to your own efforts. God is not sitting in a revolving chair. He does not turn his back and pull the nacho tray if I/you sin. He already died for my/your sin past, present, and future. He no longer sees it (past, present, and future). We don’t have to grovel and reach if we make a mistake. He is not sitting in a chair looking at us continually, he is permanently set in us. Whether I fall on my face or am sprinting forward he is in me and likes it there regardless of me.
Confession of sin is not your telling God about your sin it’s teling sin about your God. Sin lost its authority to run my life. It’s a done deal.
Romans 6:6 TMT
We perceive that our old lifestyle was co-crucified together with him; this concludes that the vehicle that accommodated sin is in us, was scrapped and rendered entirely useless. Our slavery to sin has come to an end.
Romans 6:9 TMT
It is plain to see that death lost its dominion over Christ in his resurrection; he need not ever die again to prove a further point.
How many sins have you commited? How many have you confessed? I’m looking for a number. Do the numbers match?
Guess what God died once and took care of your sin one time. He doesn’t have to die again and again. Your sin was taken care of past, present, and future all at the same time. He does not pull the nachos if you mess up. Grace covers you eternally.
Paul’s message throughout the NT was of extravagant love because he was extravagantly transformed, his identity was not of this world he saw the eternal here on earth. He was able to withstand life long persecution because he saw the other side here and now.
Julie Meyer, a friend of mine posted this on her Facebook page. Julie is a musician, dreamer, author,mom, and much more. She has had numerous dreams that have accurately come to pass. She has been involved with ministering through music and intercession. Julie and her family have been an integral part of the founding and continuation of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City.
I respect her very much. Please read what she has to say;
My last 30 years in the prayer roomThe year was 1983. I was 23 years old and attending Mike Bickle’s church called South Kansas City Fellowship. There were a core of us that attended the daily Prayer meetings back then. We met 3 times a day. At 6am, noon and 7pm – 10 every night. I also worked as a teller at a Bank in Overland Park, Kansas. So everyday what I would go to the 6am, head to work, run back over to the noon prayer meeting during my lunch break, then go back to work…then head home, quick change of clothes and head up to the 7-10pm prayer meeting. This was my life and I loved it.
At the time I could not even think of doing anything else. I remember being there the day Bob Jones came up and said, ‘24/7 House Of Prayer’. The singing will never stop round the clock. God is releasing the song birds’ At that time I could not imagine doing anything else. A small group of us would talk about this over coffee frequently. ‘What would this look like? How could this be? 24/7 worship? Will I get to do this full-time? Will this be my job?”
I think it is an awesome thing to watch the spoken prophetic Word of God become a reality. That is exactly what I have watched these past 11 years. I literally saw the Prophetic Word become a reality of which I am actively involved in. I have watched my children grow up in the House Of Prayer. I have watched their hearts awakened to His Love at young ages. I have watched them become excellent in the Word of God and also excellent in their skill as prophetic musicians. Now I am watching for the 2nd half of the prophetic word to become a reality. For I remember the day Bob Jones stood up and said ‘Out of this 24/7 House of Prayer will come the day when ‘No disease known to man will stand’. We are so close to this. I can feel it. I can see it in the distance but it is getting closer and closer. I tell myself, ‘I am so blessed that I get to do what I do. I get to praise my Bridegroom. I get to sing to my Father and experience the touch of the Holy Spirit. This is my calling. This is my heart and this is my Glory to awaken the dawn with my song. To sing, to praise, to prophesy that which is on the Lord’s heart. I have literally seen the first part of this Word come to pass and the ‘No disease known to man will stand’ is coming quickly’. Oh the Glory of the day when wheel chairs are lined at the front of the stage because the lame are now leaping. It is coming……It is coming! God is stirring the hearts of His Levites all over the world, from nation to nation. He loves it when the fragrance of intercession and praise arises. I had a dream about this very thing that I am reminded of as God is setting His watchmen on the wall to cry out day and night, to never keep silent and give Him no rest….
I Am Undone (Dream from my ‘Supernatural Dreams and Encounters’ Book) We move Heaven when God stirs our heart to pray day and night (Isaiah 62). When we entwine ourselves with His purposes and are faithful to the invitation to intercede, He acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. This dream is a picture about how faithfulness, especially in intercession, moves God’s heart (Psalm 132:3–5). I had a dream. An angel took me into the room of a man who was deep in sleep. We stood together at the foot of his bed so the angel could show me how this faithful person spent even his unconscious hours. I could hear the man praying while he was asleep. Every time he would roll over in his bed, he would say, “Abba, here I am. Here I am, Abba. I love You, Abba.” I looked up through the ceiling and saw a vast angelic army. Together the angels seemed like an ocean of brilliant, radiant light. It appeared that they were pulsing and trembling, just waiting to break in. They were waiting to be released by the call of the angel who had led me into the room. He was in great anguish because he earnestly desired to give the call they were all expecting, but he only said one sentence: “It is not quite time yet.” I kept looking at the heavenly hosts. I could see ladders. I could see lamps. I could feel the anticipation and how strongly they wanted to break in. The angelic multitude was getting ready to burst in, not with a simple entrance, but with a flood of divine activity. Only this single angel held back the imminent breakthrough. But it was not quite time for him to release them. There was something yet to be completed before the breakthrough could happen, though I was not shown what it was. I noticed the Lord standing at the head of the man’s bed. I was able to feel His gaze of tender kindness and hear His gentle whisper over the man. He said, “So many people said they would do it, and they never did, but you really did it. You really did it.” The Lord’s affirming voice, affection and kindness to the man were due to the man’s faithfulness in continual night and day prayer, even in the mundane things of life. This man did not seek fame and fortune; he stayed steady, lovesick for God and unoffended day by day. A tear came from the corner of the Lord’s eye; He was deeply moved by this man’s faithfulness. The tear fell in slow motion and broke into a hundred tiny splashes on the man’s pillow. It was beautiful to watch. This display of passion was a side of the Lord I had not seen before. From my vantage point, I noticed that the man’s room was as bright as day even in the darkness, because the hosts of Heaven were so close to breaking through. The Lord looked at me and said, “We have heard many pray, ‘Take us up.’ Instead, tell the faithful ones, ‘Heaven is coming down. Heaven is breaking in.’” The Lord added, “And tell them, I am undone.”
I’m going to let the word speak for itself today…
1 Cor 15:13 If our co-resurrection is not proclaimed then the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is no longer relevant.
15:14 If Christ is not raised from the dead there is nothing left for us to preach and nothing left for you to believe.
15:18 No resurrection implies no hope for anyone beyond the grave; it makes no difference whether you believed that you were included in Christ’s death or not.
15:19 If our hope in Christ was restricted to only benefit us in this life then imagine the severity of our disappointment if it all had to come to an abrupt end when we died.
15:20 However this very moment the risen Christ represents everyone who has ever died; exactly like how the first fruit would represent the complete harvest.
15:21 The same humanity who died in a man was raised again in a man.
15:22 In Adam all died; in Christ all are made alive.
Christianity to me, is not a list of do’s and don’ts. Christianity is a relationship based out of the grace and hope that Jesus gave us through the cross.This act of going to the cross on our behalf set into motion a spiritual revolution. Due to Adams sin we (man) was now bound by the law of sin and death. In his death we co-died and were co-resurrected now no longer being bound to the law. It was a re-genesis. Jesus gave man (already living to those not yet conceived) the ability to walk in spiritual fullness here on earth (now). Grace flows freely not to allow man to do as he pleases but to grow in relationship with God here on earth as Adam did pre-fall. That grace draws us to our father.The actions or things that constrain and hold us to earthly desires but that relationship, that grace, that hope, that unconditional love draws us away from thelusts snd temptations.
One of the biggest problems withe the church these days is that it as seen as judgemental. Many still operate as if they were under the law. We can not operate under the law and the new covenant together. Make your choice to either follow every commandment and 600+ minor laws or accept th gift of salvation and walk in the fullness of all Jesus gave us at that moment we died and resurrected with him 2000+ years ago.
If following the law would have worked Jesus wouldn’t have had to be our sacrifice.Before the cross if you sinned you needed to get yourself some animal go to the priest and have him sacrifice it for you. Jesus became our sheep, our priest, and our sacrifice. The one stop shop. He made righteous the un-righteous. He did it to bring us into a relationship with him. That relationship can be found here today. That grace, that love, that relationship brings my Christianity to not a list of what I can and can’t do but a desire and deep longing to be satisfied and complete in him not the things of this world.
On a side note it makes Christianity a desirable thing to the world