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.”
Placement: to be set in to be put or placed.
. The state of being placed or arranged. 2. a. The finding of suitable accommodation or employment for …
The act of placing one self in a position,
creating an identity in the minds of a target market
Placement is where you are set beyond your control, submission rather then the Positioning where it is self based
The difference is is one based on trust and grace where as the other is self works. What God plows and plants will surely grow and prosper whereas what man plows and plants is dependent on the circumstances. One is mandated one is concocted.
“When you receive a mandate it changes everything” Noel Alexander
Ephesians 1:17-18 (Mirror Translation)
I desire that you draw directly from the source; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ , the Father of glory ignites the spirit of wisdom and revelation in you in the unveiling of his Master Plan. I desire that you know by revelation what he has known about you all along! (His intent doxa, glory.)
I pray that your thoughts will be flooded (OVERWHELMED) with light and inspired insight; that you will clearly picture his intent in identifying you in him so that you may know how precious you are to him. The saints are his treasure and glorious trophy of his portion! (we are God’s assets and the measure of his wealth!) (I’M HIS TREASURE HIS TROPHY)
Are you qualified to represent Jesus? This is a valid question. Many of us probably have asked ourselves that before. Let’s look at Paul. Was Paul qualified? Well considering he wrote a good chunk of the New Testament I wouldn’t hesitate to say YES. Paul was commissioned. Look at the first verse in many of the books in the NT.
Ephesians 1:1 (TMT )
Paul, employed by the delightful resolve of God and commissioned tobrepresent Jesus Christ to the saints…..
I’m going to ask you the reader a question:
Have you ever killed anyone? How about have youvever killed lots of people?
Paul did, he was a zealous murderer.
Acts 26:10-11 NLT
Indeed, I did just that in Jerusalem. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus. I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities.
How big are your sins? There is ni difference between a lie or murder, both are sin and God looks at his followers, his sons and daughters as spotless and shining pure.
2 Corinthians 3 : 18
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 on 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 in His glory!
Paul had a transforming moment and we have had that same transformation made available to us via Christ on the cross.
Romans 5:16 NLT
And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.
It is time to shead the guilt, shame, and condemnation. You are qualified in him. Yoi don’t have to be accredidated by man. You don’t have to have attained somw certain level in your Christian walk. The mere fact that yiu are walking in Christ is your accreditation and your qualification. He is looking for open and willing hearts.
I heard a reference to that gospel song “Old Time Religion” and I started to think. Nah, I really don’t want that old time religion. I really in all my life known what pure Christianity really is. I have just lately gotten a glimpse of what I believe to be Christianity is supposed to be.
I’m pushing the 40 + mark right now and I’m looking back at what my impact or how I’ve tried impact those around me. Looking at your spiritual roots can sometimes be a little bit painful. They say we learn by trial and error, and sometimes I feel there’s more error the trial. About 12 years ago I move to Kansas City and took a job teaching at Dominion Christian school. I have the privilege of teaching really bright kids. Many of them have moved on to some really awesome ministry in everything from music, preaching, sports, etc.
One of the classes that I taught was the homeroom Bible class. I often wonder how effective I really was and what my motives we’re. There was one studeny who often said “Oh no, it’s time for one of Mister K’s guilt trips.” I look back and my paradigm was probably one of outside appearance and works.
I have recently been spiritually challenged and with that some blinders have been removed. I was bound up in a works mentality. I was a slave to a set of laws.
Romans 8:15 (TMT) Slavery is such a poor substitute for sonship! They are opposites; the one leads forcefully through fear while friendship responds fondly to Abba Father.
I was moving in a spirit of “look what I can do. ” There’s the Marys and the Marthas, I was a Martha. I moved as a servant not a son.
Luke 10:41-42 NLT
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Jesus blatantly said Mary chose the better. There has to be a balance as sitting at his feet or gazing on Jesus and getting things to happen. How much easier would it be to move out of passion then self will. The DIY attitude works when you are building a deck but in the spiritual world I now know He can do it much better than I could ever do. I worked and pressured change out of guilt and condemnation. Many of my students were striving to change out of will power. I’ve been a part of The International House of Prayer and one of the things stressed there is time spent worshipping and gazing as it were on Jesus will turn you from a Martha to a Mary.
Romans 6:11 “…Calculate the cross; there can only logical solution: he died for your death; that means you died unto sin, and now are alive unto God. Sin-consciousness can never again feature in your future. You are in Christ Jesus; his Lordship is the authority of this union.
His death on the cross brought the New Covenant (Grace) into the equation and wiped out mans reliance on the Law.
James 2:10 If you the standard of the law in just one aspect of it you failed entirely.
Jesus wiped out that old time religion. The law to me is thst old time religion. When I heard the words old time religion I conjure up pictures of fire and brimstone preachers who point that gnarled finger in your face yelling “Repent! ” This is a form of Christianity that to me leaves much to be desired. I do not want to spend my life trying to achieve some level of acceptance that is based on guilt and condemnation God. I love the fact that I now know there is a God who sees me as blameless now. He exudes grace. He knows me and likes me anyway.
No old time religion (law) for me.
I posed a question on Facebook, Twitter,and WordPress last night asking a simple question, “What is a mirror and what does it do?” Below are some of the responses. Some of the replies were humorous to philosophical. But I received the basic response I was expecting.According to Merriams-Webster Dictionary:
Mirror:1: a polished or smooth surface (as of glass) that forms images by reflection2a : something that gives a true representation
b : an exemplary model
A mirror can be used for for different purposes but in fact it is usually a piece of glass with a reflective coating which is used to show an exact reflection of the image of whatever is in front of it. (We are leaving the side show carnival mirrors out of this blog for now)2 Corinthians 3:18 (The Mirror Translation)The days of window-shopping are over! In him every face is unveiled. in gazing 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 mind-set to the revealed endorsement of our authentic identity . Man Kind is His glory!
A mirror is a man made object to show a reflection. It’s also what John said a portal to another dimension.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (Amplified Bible)
And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit
I have read this verse over and over for the past umpteen plus years and never have I put much thought into it. If you look at my previous blogs over the past month you will see that I have been digging into the book of Romans. It has been eye opening. I have spent hours contemplating the cross and grace. I have come to realize I and most Christians I’ve ever known think they are living under the New Covenant when in fact when in reality its most are living in a mix of the Old Covenant (the Law) and the New Covenant (Grace). It is impossible to be in both. you either live under the Law and attain through will power the ability to keep the 10 Commandments and the 600+ minor laws, or you live under the New Covenant and grace. It is one or the other. Jesus paid my spiritual mortgage 2000 years prior to me taking my first breath. He knew me before I was conceived and was waiting enthusiastically for me to be here.
I’m seeing the mirror as a two way street we see ourselves in Christ and he sees him in us, a mirror sees the present time and not the future or past. God is in us now we are blameless and innocent as he took care of my sin issues on the cross 2000 years ago.the ramifications of the cross when realized by the believer radically change ones paradigm. We look into the mirror and see what God sees. He sees us free of sin free of condemnation perfect before him. The vice versa is in effect as well, if he sees that, that is the spiritual reality the mirror should produce for us as well. I don’t have all the words to express this perfectly at this point but the revelation of the two sides the two perceptions of the mirror are liberating. There is now no condemnation I do not have to strive to come to my father. It’s unconditional acceptance. The mere thought of this draws me in to want more of him. This in not some sloppy grace fest. There are some groups out there that take shots at what they term the hyper grace message because they say it licenses the christian to sin. It’s the exact opposite the grace pulls you in to want more. He made man to relate to him on a personal basis. Prior to the fall (Adam), Adam walked and talked with God. The cross brought us back to right standing. a hard reset was done bringing back our original identity and redeemed innocence. He payed my spiritual mortgage.
The ramifications of the cross and what was done for me there are life changing. The realization that grace was poured out unconditionally and I now no longer am bound by the law. I am not bound up with a DIY mindset (work in progress) is freeing. 99% of my Christianity has been based on attaining a level of acceptance that is impossible. A DIY mentality is crippling to a spiritual walk. The epiphany of “looking into th mirror” has been radical to say the least. Not only do we see a reflection of Christ in the mirror but He also sees his reflection in us. Mirrors see the present, not the past or future. He sees me sinless blameless now regardless of how I feel about me. Grace was a total gift. The cross or what was accomplished at the cross should be freeing to anyone who gets it. The realization or understanding that he died and our sin nature died at that moment and our original identity of redeemed innocence was in place 2000 years ago… Woo Hoooooo! HE REALLY REALLY LIKES ME!
Romans 1:17 AMP
For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.
Romans 1:17 TMT
Herein lies the secret of the power of the Gospel; There is no good news in it till the righteousness of of God is revealed. The dynamic of the Gospel is the revelation of God’s faith as the only valid basis for our belief. The prophets wrote in advance about the fact that God believes that righteousness unveils the life that he had in mind for us. “Righteousness by his (God’s) defines life.”
I’m Trading My Sorrows, Jeremy Camp
Replace trading with the word traded
In Galations Paul contrasts the mans fall through Adam and the redeemed innocence that Jesus brought through his obedience and death on the cross.
These contrasts spotlight the importance of the cross. I’ve posted on this subject before but it is vital to the life of the believer. It brings me into a total paradigm shift. I see the world differently because of this grace revelation.
Galations 1:6 (The Mirror Translation)
I am amazed that you can so easily be fooled into swapping the Gospel for a gimmick! The Gospel reveals the integrity of your original identity rescued in Christ; the gimmick is a conglomeration of grace and legalism. A mixture boils down to a do-it-yourself plan to salvation. 7. There is no other Gospel in spite of the so many so-called Christian priducts branded “gospel.” If any hint of the law remains, it is not good news but merely religious people’s ideas, detracting from the Gospel of Christ….. 9. Let me blatant and clear about this: any gospel that does not emphasize the success of the cross is a counterfeit and produces nothing but the curse.
At the cross we were crucified with Christ, past tense! Do you understand the ramifications? I’m a bit foggy on it myself but it is starting to sink in the more I meditate and marinate in it. Its one or the other its either we fall under the Law or we fall under Grace. There is no fence sitting no taking some law and some grace. Paul states it pretty clear, using words like blatant and he even tells you which side of the fence to land on…GRACE!
The law implies or is founded on a DIY (do-it-yourself) mentality. If we could attain righteousness on our own works Christ would not have been sent down to walk as a man, submitting himself to all the temptations, and taking those sins (blameless and innocent as he was) for us. In a DIY world we wouldn’t need grace. And again we can’t mix the Law and the grace message no more than we allow ourselves to continue to live a life seeking out sinful lifestyles. I choose to live in faith. I choose grace. I know fromy previous history I can’t depend on myself to keep afloat in this world filled with temptations.
Law (vs) Grace
Flesh (vs) Spirit
Works (vs) Faith
I want to live I grace not under the Law, I couldn’t do it!
I couldn’t work enough to gain a level of goodness, that’s not how it works. The pharasees tried and were labeled white washed seplacurs. I chose faith.
What’s the mist recent tech toy you have bought? Whether it’s an ipad or cell phone most likely it came with a owners manual. These manuals can be a huge help when you are learning a new skill on your new toy. They can give you insight and make things attainable. They can help you setup your email or your voice mail. You can read them from beginning to end. You can even memorize parts or photo copy pages to keep around for a quick reference. But in the end the manual can not send an email or make a call for you. The manual is used to point to the device. It’s there to guide you and help you along the way. The Bible is our owners manual, use it but make sure we connect with what it points to. God is asking for a relationship. A relationship people!
Act on what you get out of your bible. It needs to drive you to contemplation and prayer. The more you get into the word the more you should be driven to relating with the one who inspired it.
I recommend daily reading and contemplating. I also recommend You Version, it’s a website and you can get an app for most data devices as well. A friend of mine (Randy Bohlender) challenged myself and a group of guys to do one of You Version’s reading plans. We chose to do the New Testament in 30 days. I did it 12 months in a row using a different version each time. It was a awesome means to know the manual. We also setup a Facebook group to post insight and ask questions. I really enjoyed the iron sharpening iron.
Get to know your manual and get to know your God on a relationship level.
Many people look at God and think hes all about rules and limitations. Heis not interested in controling you. Gods one agenda is to save and set you free to be fully and truly yourself, to be the person he dreamed of. He knew you before you were born. The only reason you are here is because he liked what he saw when he pictured/dreamnt about you before you physically existed. He thinks about you and that thrills him.
Eph 1:4 He does what he likes, he makes what he likes. Your existence is not an accident. Many of us have issues with identity and don’t understand that identity is the root of the problem. Ask yorself this question: do I like who I am, do I like myself? We have gone through confusion because we did not like ourselves. God does not have that problem with us, HE LIKES US AS WE ARE! He does not frown when he thinks of you, he smiles over us and desires to be in relationship with us.
Through the Gospel we have an oppurtunity to see what God sees in us. Gal 2:20 It is no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me. God sees us through God grace redemption glasses. He sees us atvfull potential even whenvwe are not. Is this faith of Christ in the our incarnation of what he sees in us more important than what we see? Is this faith a human action or a God deal?
I was taught what I needed to believe about God growing up, but he would rather I learn what he believes about me. There is a huge difference in these two lines of thought. I want to know the declaration of what God believes about me! It is not my thoughts about God that defines him, it his thoughts about me that defines me. the Gospel doesn’t come demanding faith it supplies faith.
Matth 11:27 No one Knows the father ecxept the Son, no one knows the son except the Father.
If following laws and precepts were enough Jesus wouldn’t have to have come and died ont the cross.
The law reveals the problems, it reveals the spider web but left the spider. Jesus came to kill the spider.
Jesus is not just an example for me but of me. 2 cor 3:18 We behold Him as in a mirror. We behold Him, is there any fault in Jesus (in the image in the mirror)? We behold Him as in a mirror, if we see Him doesn’t he see us too? He comes to reveal the truth about you! That we may know who we are. He came to reproduce His very qualities that he has in us. The cross was that hard reset that set aside the law and brought the new Adam that wiped out the sin nature. That mirror goes two ways. We put off this transformation saying I’m not there yet, but a mirror is AT THIS MOMENT. It is not in the past or future it is the here and now. God sees us in our best even when we are at our low points. That image in the mirror is our original identity, our redeemed innocence, our victorious overcoming walking in power and miracles persona.
Jesus walked his life without sin. He came to earth and took on mans form. he was made flesh. He went through all temptations that entangles our humanity (Hebrews 2). He was at base flesh. It says he grew in wisdom and knowledge (Luke). He knew his father, he knew his mission, and he knew the outcome while still being man like us. Romans 8 calls his flesh, sinful flesh. He was able to look to his father and see the eternal outcome. He sees the spectacular and has a purpose/mission to see eternal results. In my blog yesterday I asked are we willing to lay down our life for the eternal outcome. Am I willing to lose my life. Jesus laid down his life for us so that we could walk into that same eternal mindset here on earth and eternally.
In Romans makes such an appeal that we see that we can/could die with Christ at the cross and walk in his calling on earth as it in heaven TODAY! Paul looked into that mirror and sam that image of Christ reflected back in him(Paul). That image points to a reality greater than me. I want to experience that reality.