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
Had to share!
When the Word becomes flesh in Jesus a radical statement is made by God! God’s original thought, His logic that has been preserved from the beginning manifests on earth! What is amazing about this is that the real God is revealed as well as the true man. Jesus as fully God becomes fully man and does not reduce His expression of himself as God. In fact, the fullness of the Godhead is in him bodily. What does this mean for man? It means that we also accurately and completely express God by our design. It means that we also house the fullness of the Godhead within us. When God’s logic becomes flesh we see what He really thinks about ‘flesh’ and that we do not have to continue to war with our ‘flesh’ against sin because He dominates sin in the flesh.The amazing thing about Jesus is that he simultaneously reveals God and man in the incarnation. This means that there is no separation between us and God. Also it wasn’t a temporary arrangement for him to be a man for 33 terrible years until he goes back to heaven free at last. He was raised as a man to show that we could never ever be separated. He is forever united with us! This is why Paul can make such a radical statement in 2 Cor 5:14 when he says, “If One has died for all, then all have died.” We see that Jesus wasn’t alone in His life or on the cross. 2 Cor 5:19 says that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.” So man and God were united in Christ’s life and cross. Jesus says in John 14:20, “On that day, you will know that I am in my Father, you are in Me and I am in you.” He comes and reveals a union that cannot be broken. There is one mediator between man and God, the man, Christ Jesus. As long as He is a man, mankind is completely united and reconciled to Himself.Why was sin destroyed? Because it wasn’t in our true design. Why are we in perfect union with the Godhead? Because we were designed for that. Why does Jesus look like us? Because He made us in HIS image and likeness. Why did love win over rule-keeping? Because love designed us to live in His heart and He put His heart in us. The incarnation is a radical statement from God that WE BELONG!
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.
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.
So I woke up around 2am, I
got up went to the kitchen and had a, drink. I came back to bed. I often put worship music or play the Bible audio (streaming) while I sleep. As I was crawling back into bed I picked up my phone to change the track. I noticed a blinking blue light reminding me I missed something and my phone wants to remind me to look. I looked at the status bar and opened Facebook. I saw a post by Francois du Toit and read it. My spirit was provoked by it. About seven hours I was with a small group discussing the resurrection in light of Romans, Ephesians, and 2 Corinthians. God you can wake me up like this as much as you want.
Francois quote is below.
“A meaningful relationship with the Creator and our fellow humans of tangible content and feedback was substituted for an airy-fairy philosophy of religious ritual, sentiment and dreams. Trapped in a spiritual vacuum of ignorance, we’ve latched on to worn-out and fading traditions of the past and vague future hopes.”
Francois du Toit
Once the veil of religion (law) is lifted and the epiphany of the realization what happened at the cross truly or even partially gets through a mans mind and springs forth into his spirit the freedom it brings is wow
Ephesians 2:13 TMT “But now wow! Everything has changed; vhou have discovered yourselves to be located in Christ. What once seemed so distant is now so near; his blood reveals your redeemed innocence and authentic genesis. ”
The WOW factor, the cross a the impact of mans co-death and co-resurrection. We are one with Christ at that time, pre-coneption.
Francois will be coming to Kansas City the end of May beginning of June, I look forward to it expectantly.
Romans 8:29 NIV
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Romans 8:29 TMT
He pre-designed and engineered us from the start to be jointly fashioned in the same mold and image of his son according to the exact blueprint of his thought. We see the original and intended pattern of our lives preserved in his Son. He is the firstborn from the same womb that reveals our genesis. He confirms that we are the inv we ntion of God.
Each of us were born new when Jesus resurrected. His re-birth was our re-birth. This is man’s re-genesis, man’s redeemed innocence! I seem to be going back to 2 Corinthians 3:18 a lot but it’s a common and rudimentary concept that Pauls message throughout the Gospel expounds.
It states “The days of window-shopping are over! In him every face is unveiled. 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 lead from an inferior mind-set to the revealed endorsement of our authentic identity. Mankind is his glory! ” The word gazing is katoptrizomenoi, it is the present tense meaning to gaze into a reflection, to mirror one self. Transformation is metamorphumeta is present passive indicative from metamorpho; meta, together with meros, form. Image is eikon, it translates exact resemblance, image and likeness; eikon also assumes a prototype, that which it not merely resembles, but from which it is drawn (think sourse).
For such a time as this! God knew you before the land and seas were formed. He knew you! He knows you! He desires to walk with you as he walked with Adam (pre his oops).
Jeremiah 1:5 NIV
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
We were cast in his image, we were redeemed at his resurrection whether we chose to walk in his grace and hope. What is his blueprint for each of us? My identity who I am is not my vocation or what I achieve or don’t achieve. It is not a label put on me by parents, peers, doctor, government, physique, etc. We are bot ugly ducks who will one day transform into that swan. I/we look into that mirror today and we see God’s image and at the same time God looks back and sees us and guess what it is the same image. He sees us transformed metamorphosed NOW. He is not looking at some future us. He sees with his perfect present vision. His son died and and rose again taking back the right the car keys if you will. Satan is a thief, he never had ownership of us or the earth. He usurped authority. Jesus took the authority back. Our original identity was restored at the cross!
We were pre-destined to be his image, the image of his Son! We are that eikon, that exact image/likeness, that prototype.
I choose to walk in his identity, I refuse to be a label put on me by someone or something other than God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
THOUGHTS ON HELL
by Francois du Toit
It is so sad that for many years the church had to reduce its message to a heaven or hell theme in order to persuade people into a decision for Christ.
The Gospel persuades man what God believes and what God achieved on humanity’s behalf in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the Gospel has the power to get people to fall head over heels in love with God and to love their neighbor as much as they love themselves, then this Gospel demands our total attention and emphasis. This automatically frees anyone anyway from the dread of hell or any sense of pending punishment. There is no law against the free expression of the fruit of the spirit. No one can exaggerate love, peace, joy, endurance, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self control. Legalism can neither match nor contradict this. There is no law against love! Galatians 2:22,23. The urgency to tell everyone the good news of their redeemed innocence because of the success of the cross and God’s act of kindness in Christ to rescue mankind from an inferior expression of life into the most attractive life possible can never be matched by a fear motive! Paul gives such context to the motivation of ministry when he declares that “the love of Christ constrains us, because we are convinced that one has died for all, therefore all have died!”
Our message is powerful enough to stop people in their tracks with the best news ever! Sin in its every disguise doesn’t have what it takes to even remotely match the attraction and total contentment and appeal of the Christ life!
The truth of our original identity revealed and redeemed in Christ, sets us totally free from every distortion in our minds about the life of our design. We declare the intimate resolve of God and his attraction to engage with the individual in the most personal tangible way possible. The biggest waste is to miss out on one day of fellowship with your Creator.
I amount often overwhelmed with the thought of the ultimate extent of the great work of redemption and act of reconciliation that God undertook to rescue the human race. Underestimating this great salvation has always been the biggest sin of the church. The greatest safeguard we can ever give someone against a wasted life is in our message that reveals truth in such a way that every possible excuse we could have to experience distance from God or to continue in any form of sin, guilt, fear or an inferior lifestyle is done away with. In its stead there remains only the wide open arms of Father God longing to embrace the individual and the world into unrestricted friendship. There is enough content in the positive revelation of Christ in you to rid you of a sin consciousness and its dreadful consequence. Our message is not to persuade people that there is no hell, but rather to convince them that Christ suffered the horror of it to liberate us from its dread both in this life and the next. To influence people into making a decision for Christ based on hell is to distract from the truth. The focus and central theme of the Gospel is the revelation of the mystery of man’s inclusion in the death Jesus died and our co-resurrection and joint-position in the father’s right hand. The liberating truth of the forgiveness of sins and an understanding of their innocence that leads to a tangible intimacy with the living God and spontaneous love for people. God pleads through us to bring people to realize their full inclusion in the Gospel. Let his love in you reveal him to your neighbors and the nations. His love is unthreatened and needs no defense! Col.4:4 This is my prayer request, that I may be able to present this message in the most effective way possible. 4:5 Do not spoil your chance to touch others with the word through a lack of wisdom. Redeem the time by making the most of every opportunity. (Time only finds its relevance in redemption-realities) 4:6 Season your conversation with the revelation of grace. This remains the most attractive and appropriate option to respond in every situation.
The object of New Testament ministry is not in the first place to get people to go to heaven one day! It is the unveiling of the most attractive life possible, the life of our design redeemed again. Now to be enjoyed in an immediate, intimate, daily, constant, conscious feedback encounter with the Living God in Spirit and in truth and undiluted friendship with our fellow man!
He overlooked the times of ignorance and now urges all men everywhere to discover his eternal thoughts about mankind, revealed in Christ, when we were judged in righteousness in one man’s death, and raised in his resurrection as the trophy of justice redeemed! Acts 17:30,31. Having made purification for sins he sat down! His throne authority is established upon our redeemed innocence.
The more we declare the integrity of God’s persuasion concerning us demonstrated in his son’s obedience in our favor, the less we have to prompt people to believe, their believing will be most spontaneous! Even our faith is from him! Eph 2:8 Your salvation was a grace thing from start to finish, you had no hand in it; because it is all God’s gift to you, because he believes in you. (Mirror Bible) Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God– (RSV)
Paul preached in such a way that many believed! Acts 14:1 Yet he never asked for a show of hands to indicate their ‘decision’ to believe! The more we make an issue of “Now do you believe this? Because if you don’t you’re going to hell!” the more we disguise the very message we’ve just proclaimed!
God’s work of redemption is valid with immediate effect. “The hour all creation was waiting for has come. The son of man is glorified! The single grain of wheat did not abide alone; it fell into the earth and died and bore much fruit!” John 12:23,24. Mankind died in his death and was made alive together with him and raised together with him and is now seated together with him in heavenly places. Every human life is fully and equally represented and justified in one man’s act of righteousness. 2 Cor 5:14,16; Acts 10:28. “Jesus reveals that man pre-existed in God; he defines us. He justified us and also glorified us. He redeemed our innocence and restored the glory we lost in Adam. (Rom 3:23,24; prohoritso, pre defined, like when an architect draws up a detailed plan; kaleo, to surname, identify by name) What further ground can there possibly be to condemn man? In his death he faced our judgment; in his resurrection he declares our innocence; the implications cannot be undone! He now occupies the highest seat of authority as the executive of our redemption in the throne room of God. (See verse 1, also Rom 4:25) Rom 8:30,34 Mirror Translation Jesus is what God believes. If every human life is equally included in God’s economy of grace then man deserves to hear this Gospel more than what any man deserves to be judged.
Our influence in society, regardless of our profession, is determined by our faith and not our job-description; our faith is sourced in Christ, in his perfect work of reconciling a hostile world to himself. While we proclaim the sinful state of humanity we are not proclaiming the gospel, and life changing faith cannot come to the people! This conviction is critical, if we are serious about impacting our world with the proclamation of the Gospel.
So sad that we allow the deception of a Christless “universalism” to hijack words like ‘inclusion’ and ‘universal,’ These words powerfully and significantly describe the masterful genius of God when Jesus died humanity’s death! This is the mystery that none of the rulers of this world understood, otherwise they would never have crucified the Lord of glory!
The point is that the gospel is good news for all people because the gospel reveals how fully included they are in Christ by God’s doing; truth is already true before anyone believes it; a diamond doesn’t become a diamond when you discover it, obviously God hid the diamonds and treasures in the earth for man and not from man! That is why we preach with passion, urgency and persuasion in order to awaken every mans mind and instruct every man and present every man perfect in Christ Col 1:28, because the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations is now revealed.
We have underestimated the Gospel of Jesus Christ for centuries, because we have adopted an interpretation that robbed us of the true impact of salvation in its relation to life in the here & now on planet earth. We have felt more comfortable with a faith that refers us to a place in heaven one day rather than to see faith as the now & relevant substance of things we always longed for & the evidence of unseen realities around us & within our grasp; the life of our design is redeemed!
Jesus didn’t die 99% or for 99% He died humanity’s death one hundred percent! If Paul had to compromise the last part of verse 14 of 2 Cor 5 , to read: “one died for all therefore only those who follow the prescriptions to qualify, have also died,” then he would have had to change the first half of the verse as well! Only the love of Christ can make a calculation of such enormous proportion! The same all who died in his death were raised together with him! According to the only scripture in the entire OT that refers to the 3rd day resurrection, we are included! “After 2 days God will revive us, on the 3rd day he will raise us up!!” Hos 6:2 When Paul ponders this scripture (he also quotes it in 1 Cor 15:4) he makes one of his most radical discoveries in his gospel; he writes “While we were dead in our sins (before we knew or believed the gospel) God made us alive together with Christ, and raised us (mankind) together with Christ and seated us together with Christ in heavenly places! That is the point of the gospel; what happened to Christ happened to us before anyone but God believed it! We’re not window-shopping here we are gazing into the mirror! For so many years we’ve read 2 Cor 5 verse 17 out of its context! Verse 14 and 16 gives context to verse 17 Therefore the IF cannot be a condition it must be a conclusion otherwise verse 14 also becomes ‘iffy’!!
The gates of hades will not prevail against the testimony of truth; the weapons of our already won warfare tears down every argument and resistance to the knowledge of God; love wins, I can see even the ‘other brother’ awakening to the festive sound!
I suppose I would still have questions if I think about all the contradictions and issues that theology presents us with; but for years now I have determined to go with what I know by revelation concerning his perfect work of redeeming his image in us: to live daily in the full benefit of that and to unveil him in every person I have the privilege to meet; that keeps one pretty busy enjoying him and sharing him! I am addicted to the Philemon 1:6 kind of koinonia! The koinonia (communication) of our faith is ignited by the acknowledging of every good thing that is in us in Christ!
Exploring the extent of his love initiative and where it leads us truly exceeds any limitation or dimension! And we are all in it together! Wow what eternal bliss and glory we participate in! The hubble telescope surely increases our horizon daily, only to realize again and again that we are dealing with measureless dimensions in outer space that reflect in us! That we may be filled with all the fulness of God is a thought that breaks all boundaries, we are fearfully and wonderfully made and equally fearfully and wonderfully redeemed! The whole earth is full of his glory, “and as truly as I live”, says the Lord, “all the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of my glory, even as the waters cover the sea!” Jesus said: if you believe that I am what the scriptures are all about, then you will discover that you are what I am all about and rivers of living waters will gush out of your innermost being!
The good news unveils the love of God spectacularly! The dimensions of his love exceed any concept we could possibly have of height, length, breadth or depth! The gospel can be underestimated, but never exaggerated! The half could not be told of Solomon’s wisdom and wealth and in Luke 11 Jesus says, “A greater than Solomon is here”! Rev 5:13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, “To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
While we argue that all would be OK regardless, we still miss the point! The urgency to communicate this gospel is not compromised thru speculations about the future, but constrained by the revelation of how God’s faith included hostile indifferent mankind in the sacrificial death of Christ, and his triumphant resurrection, when he represented the entire human race; multitudes are living in torment right now because they have never heard the truth of their redemption; what a waste to postpone redemption to life hereafter if it can happen now! How all will eventually discover what they have missed and how they will be ‘judged’ is none of our business anyway; it is our business to live the living epistle to be known and read by all men! And to give everyone within earshot on this planet the opportunity to hear truth that ignites life-changing faith!
So have you ever had one of those days? Well all six of us are on antibiotics. It has been one of those stay in bed days. I flipped on the television and there was a show on called The Locator. The pretense of the show is for family members to be reunited after years of absence do to splits at birth, family splits, foster kids, etc. I watched two different segments, one was about reuniting a brother who was seperated by a marriage split when he was two (currently he is 40) the other was reuniting a mother and daughter. Where am I going with this?
Well I found this interesting as turned off the television and opened up the word. I opened up to where I had left off.
Romans 8:15-19 (TMT)
Slavery is such a poor substitute for sonship! They are opposites; the one leads forcefully through fear while sonshipI resppnds fondly to Abba Father.
His spirit resonates within our spirit to confirm the fact that we originate in God.
Because we are his offspring, we qualify to be heirs; God himself is our portion, we co-inherit with Christ. Since we were represented and included in his suffering we equally participate in th glory of his resurrection.
He has taken the sting out of our suffering; what seemed burdensome in this life becomes insignificant in comparison to the glory he reveals in us.
Our lives now represent the one event every creature anticipates withheld breath, standing tiptoe as it were to witness the unveiling of the sons of God. Can you hear the drum roll?
The Locator was all about reuniting lost relationships. All of mankind has lost relationship with God because of Adams sin. We need that reuniting that relationship with our original father. From the moment God created man he was, is, and always will be our original father. Just like any family there are different levels of function or disfunction. Some people walk in that sonship amazingly while others are black sheep, prodigal sons, foster kids, etc. Our father is like that parent on the television show who is continually trying to reunite his family. We were his sons and daughters from the beginning, his death and resurrection brought that ability to walk in sonship full circle. No one who calls themselves a Christian can deny Jesus is the son of God. Jesus is in me and I am in him. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says that we look into a mirror and see Jesus, he uses that same reflection and sees us. If a mirror sees in the present tense the fact that what Jesus sees is him in us and we see him in us. The image seen both ways is sinless, blameless, perfect at that current moment. Jesus calls us co-heirs, sons and daughters. We are Gods sons and daghters. Sure some of us feel like orphans, foster kids, or black sheep but just like the prodigal son we have a father waiting arms open wanting us to run to him. Don’t worry about showering or cleaning yourself up. If yiu think I have to make myself presentable before going to him, get over it. Man will never on their own be able to make themselves good enough, that’s what grace is all about.
Malachi 4:6 New Living Translation
His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”