Showing posts with label redemption. Show all posts
Showing posts with label redemption. Show all posts

Monday, May 25, 2020

Remembering

Today, throughout the United States it is a national holiday entitled, Memorial Day. It is a day in which Americans remember the service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives so that others may have freedom. They did not give their lives for the United States alone, but also for others throughout the world in efforts to bring an end to demonized dictators who, like Satan their father, have only one desire, power over humanity. Their objective is to steal, kill, destroy and or hold in bondage to slavery their fellow man in efforts to promote their tyrannical reign.

Although people may have many thing to remember, for Christians the greatest Memorial Day for them should be, the day that we "confessed with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believed in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, and were saved." (Romans 10:9) We celebrate the fact the Jesus Christ also paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving His life to save (redeem, heal, deliver, make whole) all humanity from Satan, the most evil, murderous tyrant known to man. We should remember as Paul said, "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience." (Ephesians 2:1-2)

Notice that before one confesses Christ they "were dead in trespasses and sin" not spiritually sick, but spiritually dead. Cut off from and unable to communicate with God. This was due to the fact that before one is born again, they walk according to the world, according to the ways of the devil. Paul tells us that the devil, "The god of this age had blinded your mind from the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ..." (2 Corinthians 4:4) However, one day in the history of man, God took it upon Himself the fix the problem, "He  anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38) Then a glorious thing happened. Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him..." (John 6:44) Our heavenly Father drew us to Jesus, gave us the grace and faith to confess Christ. Then God immediately "delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13-14)

When we consider what Jesus did for us and all mankind, the mind can hardly comprehend it. The apostle Paul tells us, "Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous." (Romans 5:18-19)   This means that not one person in all of humanity had the ability to provide redemption. God Himself became a man and provided man’s redemption. (John 1:14) It was God who redeemed man from the dominion of Satan. (1 John 3:8) It was God who destroyed death. (Hebrews 2:14) It was God who restored man’s authority over the Satan (Luke 10:19) It was God who adopted us through Jesus Christ and made us His children (Romans 8:15-16) It is God who gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness. (2 Peter 2:3) It is God who gives us exceedingly great and precious promises. (2 Peter 1:4) It is God who gives us the victory at all times (1 Corinthians 15:57) and it is God who gave us eternal life (1 John 2:25) all through Jesus Christ.

I could go on and on concerning what scripture says as to what God Himself did for humanity through Jesus Christ and what He gives to those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord. When we look to the promises that God has made throughout the Bible, there are several estimations. They range from 3000 to 7000 promises. Many of these promises were spoken by the Prophets and have been fulfilled through Jesus Christ. However, in the New Testament there is an estimated 750 promises that God has bestowed upon the believer. PTL Although today is Memorial Day, for the believer remembering what God did for us and what he has given to us, should be a Memorial Day celebration everyday. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Are You Struggling


The two greatest struggles for most believers is believing and receiving our inheritance now. Many of the songs in congregations today, whether hymns or contemporary songs, either put off our inheritance until we get to heaven or beg God for them now. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3 ) Notice, "has blessed us." This is neither future nor are believers to beg. He "has" blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Romans 8:32 gives us the same now reality, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Everything that Christ accomplished in His redemptive work belongs to the believer now. You do not need to beg God for it, simply do as Jesus has instructed, "So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mark 11:22-24)

Philippians 4:6-7 gives us another angle concerning our inheritance in Christ. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." When we know what our redemption in Christ truly means, and what it means to the Father, not simply a place in heaven, then we pass out of the realm of worry, fear, doubt, unworthiness and inferiority and into the rest that God has provided in Christ. The Apostle Paul recognized this so much that he tells us, "Not that I speak in respect of want, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therein to be independent of circumstances." (Philippians 4:11 TCT) Why can we be independent of circumstances? Faith! "For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7) It is intellectualism, reasoning in the mind, needing to see evidence in order to believe, or as Paul reveals, "...arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God..." (2 Corinthians 10:5), that robs believers of the things that the Father has freely given through Jesus Christ.

You see, redemption in the mind of the Father means a new creation, not a new renovation or a hybrid, but al1the privileges as the children of God, sons and daughters. It means that we have come into God’s family and have all the family rights and privileges now. "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…" (Romans 8:15-17) "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God…" (1 John 3:1-2) Scripture like these should be enough to cause us to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4), free from the old nature (Romans 6:6) but, again, it takes faith!

"For if, through the transgression of one individual, death made use of the one individual to seize the sovereignty, all the more shall those who receive God's overflowing grace and gift of righteousness reign as kings in Life through the one individual, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17 WNT) We are now reigning as kings in the realm of life through Jesus Christ. We have become masters. We are more than conquerors. We are set free, we are no longer held in captivity. We were slaves, defeated, conquered, held in bondage, but we are seated with Him on His throne. (Ephesians 2:6) And in the name of Jesus we become the bondage breakers for the rest of the human race. So, if you are struggling in any area of life, I have a simply suggestion for you, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom..." (Colossians 3:16) Why? "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17) The grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you all...

Monday, May 27, 2019

Complete Freedom

Today, is the fourth Monday of the month of May and in the United States it is a national holiday entitled, Memorial Day. It is a day in which Americans remember the service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives so that others may have freedom. They did not give their lives for the United States alone, but as they fought and died in the numerous conflicts throughout the world, they did it to bring an end to demonized dictators who enjoy(ed) killing, like Satan their father, have only one desire, to have power. They fought and died to turn back these satanic ruled people whose only objective was to steal, kill, destroy and or hold in bondage to slavery their fellow man in efforts to promote their tyrannical reign. Let us never forget those in the armed forces who have gone before and those today who are ready to do what it takes to defend and protect the citizens of the United States of America.

In a similar way, believers celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ also paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving His life to save (redeem, heal, deliver, make whole) all humanity from Satan, the most evil, murderous tyrant known to man. The Bible reveals to us, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38) and "He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8)

When we consider what Jesus did for mankind the mind can hardly comprehend it. The apostle Paul reveals to us through the Holy Spirit, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned."  (Romans 5:12) and speaking of the state of all men since the fall, “…having no hope and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12) This means that not one person in all of mankind had the ability to provide redemption. God Himself must provide man’s redemption. God must redeem man from the dominion of Satan. Death must be destroyed and man’s authority over the Satan must also be restored. We also must keep in mind that God is just, "…God is abundant in justice…” (Job 37:23) and therefore mankind could only be redeemed on absolute legal grounds. Even though God's love for man is unfathomable and the fact that He is also sovereign, He could not redeem man outside the realm of justice.

God would have to provide a substitute who would not have man’s satanic fallen nature but would be like Adam. He could not be mortal or immortal, but a perfect man as Adam was before the fall. He must fulfill the entire Mosaic Law, withstand the onslaught of all the devils attacks without sin, meet the demands of justice, (meaning that He would have to pay the penalty for man’s crimes against God) by suffering in man's place by becoming sin, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us..." (2 Corinthians 5:21) Being make sin the Redeemer would be separated from the presence of God by going to hell, which is the ultimate penalty for sin, until mankind had been fully and legally acquitted for their crime. In other words, Deity must suffer for humanity.

As Adam die both spiritually and physically ("a death you shall die," or, "dying you shall die." Genesis 2:17  Hebrew) and "and they made His grave with the wicked, but with the rich at His death..."(Isaiah 53:3 deaths, plural, in the Hebrew) Jesus too would have to experience both to reverse Adam's transgression. If Jesus' physical death was all that was required to redeem humanity, then sin is nothing more than a physical condition. If physical death deals with the sin issue, then every person that physically dies pays the penalty of his/her own sin. If sin is only a physical condition and can be dealt with through physical death, then we must conclude that God has no right to send someone to hell (although He really doesn't, it is an individuals choice to receive or reject Jesus) because the physical death of every person would be sufficient to satisfy justice and give them a pass to eternal life.

However, we know that this is not true. Jesus must suffer in both realms, physically and spiritually. Physically because that is the only way that spiritually dead humanity could eliminate the Son of God; spiritually, because it’s the only way that God could legally redeem man taking away Satan’s claim to humanity. It also stops man from accusing God of being unjust when they reject His way of redemption. Jesus indeed went to hell and suffered as a substitute for all mankind.  His physical death was infinitesimal to what He suffered in the spiritual realm. If humanity could have been redeemed apart from Christ, then Jesus becoming a substitute for humanity and being sent to hell would have become the most heinous crime ever committed in all of creation.

But thanks be to God who was willing to take upon Himself man's liability by suffering an incomprehensible death in two realms as man's substitute. So, let us never forget what the Father did through Jesus to give humanity complete freedom from Satan's power. Let us never forget and rejoice continually on our Memorial Day, the day you and I were born again. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you...

Monday, April 1, 2019

Please Be Seated

The climax of Redemption was the seating of the Lord Jesus. After He had been made sin, after He had satisfied the claims of justice, after fully paying the penalty of our sin which tied us to a relationship with Satan, a debt in which we could not pay, then Christ, with us, rose from the dead. Now God declares, "And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:6 ) This was the highest honor that God had ever awarded man. God the Word became a man, identified Himself with the human race, delivered the human race from the authority of Satan and carried His own blood into the Holy of Holies of heaven as Hebrews tells us, "After He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God." (Hebrews 10:12) Thus, making redemption eternal, complete, comprehensive and available to all who confess Jesus as Lord and receive Him as Savior.

We have the man Jesus Christ the righteous, seated at God's right hand as our representative to represent us before the Father, "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5) "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)  "For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." (Hebrews 9:24) "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1)

This is the highlight of redemption. Not only is every believer completely identified with Christ in His death, burial, resurrection and newness of life, (Romans 6:1-5), but Jesus is seated at the Father’s right hand, as the head of the new body, the Church, and we also are seated with Him, "far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come." (Ephesians 1:21) This is not only identification, but now we see our position. We can see that our redemption is a completed, finished thing. If Christ sat down at God's right hand, it is because the Father accepted Him and accepted what He did for us. The fact that He is seated there is the seal of our acceptance in the Beloved, "to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." (Ephesians 1:6)

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3) Faith says, not only are we seated in the highest position in the universe, but we are also blessed with every spiritual blessing. Another wonderful point to consider, the Apostle Paul tells us, "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:3) Faith also says, we are hidden from Satan, but we are visible to the Father, that is, not our physical bodies, the real us, our recreated spirit. The fact of the New Creation should be a nonnegotiable revelation in us. What I mean by a nonnegotiable revelation in us, is, no one, no person, no angel, no demon, not even Satan himself should ever again be permitted to rob us of who and what we truly are.

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle John tells us, "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4 ) "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith." (1 John 5:4) The Apostle Paul tells us, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17) So, let faith arise in us and say aloud, "I am of God...God, the greater One lives in me...I have the victory because I have world overcoming faith in me." Let us hold fast to this most wonderful redemption that we have in Christ as we sit with Him on His throne in the heavenly places. The grace of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ be with you all...

Monday, March 18, 2019

It Has Been Put Away

The word substitute means, "a person or thing acting or serving in place of another." This is precisely what God did through Jesus Christ for the benefit of all humanity. Jesus was our Substitute. He died under our Judgment, in our stead, because He was made sin with our sin. This took place because "For God so loved the world..." (John 3:16) "There is none righteous, no, not one." (Romans 3:10) "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) It was God in Christ that took man's liability, because no human could ever fix the sin problem, escape judgment and stand right with God. Therefore, when one accepts Christ, there is no judgment for him or her. "There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him (Christ)." (John 3:18 NLT) In the mind of justice, we died to sin and its dominion when we died with Christ. "For he who has died has been freed from sin." (Romans 6:7)

In the mind of God, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, brought us into a perfect oneness with Christ. Just as Jesus conquered death by submitting to it, "I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." (John 10:17-18), we, the new creations in Christ, conquer Satan by submitting to the Lordship of Jesus. In the same way that we have died to sin, according to Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:17; Romans 8:32; 1 Peter 2:24, disease and sickness do not belong to the new creation either. Jesus not only had our sin nature laid on Him, but He had our diseases laid on Him also. When He put sin away, He put sickness and disease away. "By His stripes we are (were) healed."

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us, "For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all." (Romans 6:10) Christ has died once for all as our sin Substitute. He, in judgment, met the demands of justice for us. He took sin, sickness, disease and the curse of the law to hell, the place of judgment, the place of suffering and put them completely away! Now, for those who put their trust (faith) in Christ, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10) becomes a current reality. The New Living Translation say it this way, "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." The Father now sees every believer in beauty and perfection in Christ. "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." ( Colossians 3:3) Once a person receives Christ as their LORD and Savior, their old nature is executed, it died.

The theory of our dying daily with Christ comes from 1 Corinthians 15:31, "I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily." Paul is not talking about going to the cross of Christ again and again to continuously die to Christ or to die to sinful habits. He was actually saying, due to his mission for Christ, he was constantly living in the presence of physical death; He was in danger of losing his physical life on a daily bases. The fact is, we died once with Christ and now we live with and in Him. His perfect Redemption is ours; His perfect Righteousness is ours;
All He is and did is ours and all we are is His! "God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself." (Ephesians 1:22-23 NLT) This is "Good News."

The Father made us one with Himself in Christ, "even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).(Ephesians 2:5) "And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses." (Colossians 2:13) "God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did." (Romans 4:17) "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." (Ephesians 1:4) In the mind of God, before the foundations of the world, He chose us, and though dead in our trespasses, He made us alive in Christ, holy and without blame before Him in love. In other words, God counted us New Creations, His sons and daughters, before the foundations of the world simply because He counted the things that were not as though they were, and they became. PTL...

The moment a person confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and receives Him as Savior, the new birth, the new creation and everything tied to and associated with redemption becomes an instant reality. Now believers may not know these facts, but that does not change them in any way. "Who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised up because of our being declared righteous." (Romans 4:25 YLT) We could not have been declared righteous unless Jesus Himself satisfied the claims of justice and therefore declared righteous Himself. Therefore, if He was made righteous, then all who confess Him as our LORD, accept Him as Savior, receive eternal life and are automatically made righteous that moment. To add to this, believers can dominate the forces of darkness in the Name of Jesus.

This has nothing to do with our works, but, Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]. (Ephesians 3:20 AMP) It is God at work in and through us, because, sin, sickness, disease and the curse of the law have been put away through our wonderful Substitute, Jesus Christ our LORD.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Born From Above

The fall of man through Adam left humanity devastated. However, at the fall of man God the Father began His work of man's redemption (Genesis 3:14-21). The extreme measures that He took to redeem man are recorded in the Bible and evidenced throughout man's history. His brilliant plan of redemption would be worked out in and through Jesus Christ. Deity would become humanity for man’s redemption. (John 1:1, 14) But, what does God’s plan of redemption mean to us today? What has the resurrection of Christ given to us today?

We see recorded in Scripture that Jesus would be beaten, suffer and die on the cross, (Matthew 27:26-50), be made sin ( Isaiah 53:6), be separated from the Father (Matthew 27:46), His body placed in a grave (Matthew 27:57-60), and His spirit descend to hell (Psalm 16:10; Psalm 88; Acts 2:2:31), as man's Substitute. Only God knows what He truly suffered. In hell, He satisfied the claims of justice, had been made Righteous, made a New Creation ((Romans 4:25; Colossians 1:18;1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18) had conquered Satan as well as all demons and evil spirits striping them of their authority (Matthew 28:18; Luke 10:18-19; Colossians 2:15; Revelation 1:18), resurrected, reunited with His body bursting forth from the grave shouting, "All hail," (that is rejoice exceedingly) (Matthew 28:9), Why? Redemption had come, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Law and all the prophecies concerning Christ  were fulfilled. 

This progressive revelation of God’s brilliant plan of redemption is seen throughout the O1d Testament.  We see a portion of this in Ezekiel. "For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." (Ezekiel 36:24-27)

Though this is the Word of the Lord to Israel’s renewal, it is a prophetic Word concerning the New Covenant and New Birth. Becoming born again is at the heart of Christianity. From the fall of man to Pentecost every plan and purpose of man’s redemption is centered on this. This is the reason for the incarnation, death, burial, resurrection and glorification of Christ. Now, this wonderful plan of redemption is eternal, comprehensive (meeting every need of man) and available to anyone and everyone who confesses Jesus as Lord and receives Him as Savior. Knowing these things, believers need to come into the revelation knowledge of the Scriptures and apply faith to who we are in Christ, what Christ is in us and how the Father sees us or Christianity is nothing more than one of the religions of the world.

Becoming born again, becoming a new creation in Christ, is not simply a conversion to new concepts or a theory. It is not rules and regulation to live by, but a reality. It’s the transformation of one’s life into the image of Christ from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) Though Jeremiah and Ezekiel spoke prophetically concern this, Jesus is the first one who speaks in specifics of being born again. This is revealed in His conversation with Nicodemus where Jesus explains what being born from above is and the need of it.

"There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. Jesus answered and said to him, most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? Jesus answered; most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:1-8)

Some things to notice, "No one can see or understand the Kingdom of God except he is born from above…No one can enter the Kingdom of God except he is born of water and the spirit." Interestingly enough, Nicodemus, a teacher of Israel, cannot understand it. Unfortunately, the same is true for many believers today. They have not found on their own or have been discipled into the depths of the tremendous reality of being born again. Jesus shows us the difference between the natural and the spiritual man. He tells us, one is born of natural means and the other is born of the Spirit. Looking into this passage, it is evident that Jesus fully understood the state of man. Jesus, in speaking to the Jewish leaders as recorded in John 8:44, tells them they are of their father, the devil. In other words, they are partakers of satanic nature.

Jesus also tells us, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” (John 5:24) It is apparent that Jesus believed man to be spiritually dead, a child of the devil, and that the born again experience is to be a change of nature, which also will mean a change of relationship. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)

Here we see that man is by nature a child of wrath. He is spiritually dead. The Apostle Paul also tells us, "...that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world." (Ephesians 2:12) The Apostle John tells us, "In this the children of God are manifest and the children of the Devil." (1 John 3:10 ) There are only two families and all of mankind is either a part of one or the other. They are either children of God or children of the devil which means they have either the nature of God or the nature of the devil. They are either made alive, born again, a new creation or spiritually dead, having the satanic nature. Although there is teaching in the church, Scripture does not reveal man having a dual nature, the sin nature and the divine nature, when one becomes born again. Prior to being born again, man’s spirit was dead, but now, being born again his spirit is made alive. It does not say one half alive or partially alive or that he is dead and alive, but that he is made alive. We see this revealed through Jesus, as well as the Apostles' Paul, John and Peter.

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24)
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:12)
This is not a future possession but a present tense possession. "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) I labor this point because to many believers live under guilt, condemnation, unworthiness and or inferiority and not the life that Jesus’ substitution has so abundantly provided through faith in Him. "Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." (1 Peter 1:23) "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins." (Ephesians 2:1 ). Believers are not illegitimate children, nor hybrids or half breeds, but are legitimately and legally born of God.

These things are crucial for every believer to know and completely understand. Believers do not have to live a life here on planet earth with the struggles that the unsaved face day to day. We do not have to live under the burden of religious laws that are unscriptural and create unworthiness, condemnation, guilt and inferiority, for we are saved by grace through faith. This is the very key to live the abundant life that Jesus has provided as we wait in hope for our glorious arrival in heaven. I pray for you as the Apostle Peter stated, "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)

Monday, September 17, 2018

What's The Report

The Prophet Isaiah brings us, most likely, the greatest revelation of Messiah prior to His advent. Although he is used of God to announce the purpose of Messiah, God knows the heart of man and begins one of the passages of scripture revealing the Messiah by asking a very important question, "Who has believed our report?" (Isaiah 53:1) Basically, the Holy Spirit, in speaking to Isaiah is saying, "What I AM saying and about to say, would scarcely be believed by anyone." Isaiah refers to the fact that his message and those of the other prophets, "our report" had been for the most part rejected. He groups himself with the other prophets, and says that the Word of the Lord which they had spoken concerning Messiah had been, for the most part, disregarded.

Interestingly enough, Isaiah's question appears two more times in scripture. Once in John 12:38 and again in Romans 10:16. This time, like in the past, it is focused around people not believing in, Messiah,  Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself faced unbelief mostly from the religious community, especially the religious leaders of the time. In the account in Romans 10, the Apostle Paul was also dealing with unbelief among the Jews concerning Christ. Unfortunately today, in many sectors of the church, unbelief has also infiltrated the ranks of church leaders who pass it along to the church. Sure most evangelicals believe that rebirth is only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, but what about healing of the body and mind or deliverance from being demonized. Why are these things pasted off as not Gods will for today when they are clearly as much of a part of redemption as rebirth?

The problem is revealed in the ministry of Jesus, "Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again, He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them." (John 12:39-40) The writer of Hebrews also sheds some Light on this, "For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it." (Hebrews 4:2) The problem is a lack of faith. This same question is significant to us today if we are to see and experience Gods entire redemptive plan manifest on the earth. However, the only way that believers will see and experience Gods entire plan of redemption is to see it through the eyes of faith.

Isaiah tells us, "Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all...Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief and made Him sick..." (Isaiah 53:4-6, 10 AMP)

This passage reveals to us a good portion of God's brilliant, merciful, glorious plan of redemption. Although many today have limited redemption to only regeneration, the fact is, regeneration is only a small part of the total plan of redemption. The Hebrew words borne, griefs, carried, wounded, transgressions, bruised, iniquities, chastisement, stripes and healed opens a wonderful picture of what Messiah would come to earth to do. This was not simply for a season or for a particular dispensation, but for eternity. God's complete, comprehensive plan of Redemption, in which some things have been revealed by Isaiah, is eternal and available to all who put faith in Jesus Christ. The following is a compilation of the definitions of these words placed in sentence form.

Surely He has taken away, carried away, cast away, all of our anxieties, calamities, diseases and sicknesses (pains of the body). He has taken the burden of our pains of the mind, yet we esteemed Him stricken by Gods divine judgment and afflicted as though He had sinned. His skin was breached by violence because of our rebellion, sin and trespasses. He was beaten to pieces because of our perversity, evil and sin. Discipline and correction was brought upon Him so that Gods peace and favor would be upon us, and by His bruises, hurts and wounds we are cured, repaired and thoroughly made whole. This is the report and it is as true and available today as it was when it was spoken by Isaiah. PTL

So, let us all, every believer, come to the place where faith in God's Word is above all reasoning, intellectualism and logic and simply "Believe God's Report!"

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Cure

Sin consciousness can be traced to the main reason for practically every failure in a persons life, even that of a believer. For the believer, it erodes and even destroys faith. It destroys the initiative in the heart because it creates within, a sense of shame, unworthiness and can produce an inferiority complex. It cause the believer to be afraid of God because he/she has no sense of their legal right to stand in the Father's presence without condemnation, even though the scriptures call believers into fellowship with the Father and the Son. (1 John 1:3) Few theologians have recognized the fact that sin consciousness is the parent of practically all human religions. When studying the basis of all the religions of the world, we find in every one, that man seeks to be healed this awful disease.

Sin consciousness not only destroys faith, it also robs us of our peace of mind and due to these two things, it tends to make ineffectual the most earnest and zealous prayer 1ife. Think about it this way. How can one honestly believe that God will hear and answer prayer if we approach Him unsure that He even accepts us? For the most part, theologians since Luther have not faced this issue head on and therefore, lack in presenting a cure for this condition. In the approach of man needing righteousness, the church has spent its efforts, preaching how unfit and unworthy the believer is before a Holy God. Many have attempted to meet this issue, but for the most part, they have failed to bring the cure that lasts.

Man's cure has been confessing and repenting of sins, sorrow for sins, deep agony in prayer, going to church, doing penance, fasting, giving money, saying repetitive prayers, doing good deeds, giving up pleasures, fighting bad habits, putting themselves under discipline of self-denial and self-abasement, by neglecting the body. Some have even gone so far as to lacerate their bodies. Others have taken long pilgrimages and sill others have separated themselves from society by locking themselves in seclusion. Some are finding temporary relief in confessing their sins to one another. Yet in all of these things man has only found temporary relief at best, from the pressure that is upon them. In other words, no works of any kind whether they be works of self-abnegation, repentance, penance, saying of prayers, or self-denial can ever rid the heart of sin consciousness.

There are two types of sin consciousness. One is the man who has never been born again, "that at that time you were without Christ...having no hope and without God in the world." (Ephesians 2:12) The unregenerate person, the natural man, is not just a sinner, he is more than that, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14) The Bible calls the unbeliever lawless and darkness. He is more than a transgressor. He is more than a violator of the law. He is by nature a son of disobedience and a child of wrath. (Ephesians 2:2-3) He is spiritually dead, that is, united with Satan. (John 8:44)

The other type of sin consciousness is the undeveloped believer. One who has never grown beyond the state of being a babe, "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe." (Hebrews 5:12-13) As we can see the undeveloped believer does not know their rights and privileges in Christ being "unskilled in the word of righteousness."   

So, man is presented with a great dilemma. The problem is, can God legally deal with the sin problem
and the sins problem? How can He deal with this Satanic nature that is in man? Has God provided a redemption that cures this sin disease? The answer to these three questions is unequivocally yes! God has made provision to make a New Creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) His plan is to bring a redemption that will impart His own nature into a person (2 Peter 1:3) thereby removing the sin nature and at the same time destroying sin consciousness. It is a redemption that covers every phase of man's need, by perfectly restoring his relationship as a child of God and restoring his fellowship with the Father so that there is no sense of guilt, shame, unworthiness or inferiority. A few of the wonderful aspects of God's brilliant plan of redemption are; the believer stands complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10); he is a partaker of the fullness of God in Christ. (John 1:16); he is a child of God. (John 1:12)

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul shows us another wonder of this redemption, "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 
in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13-14) There are four facts revealed to us here. First, we are delivered out of Satan's dominion. Second, we are born into the kingdom of the Son of His love. The third having redemption meaning, Satan has no legal right to reign over the one who has confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and accepted Him as Savior. Fourth, He not only redeems us out of Satan's dominion, there is also a remission of our sins. This means that every sin previously committed is cancelled as though they never happened.

It is God alone, through Jesus Christ alone, (Acts 4:12) who has the cure that is not simply relief from sin consciousness, but a complete, eternal and comprehensive redemption which is available to all who call upon the name of Jesus. "to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be righteous and the righteousness of the one who has faith in Jesus." (Romans 3:26) "Therefore, having been justified (declared righteous) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:1-2) "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21) The cure? The Father's own righteousness filling the believer. PTL

Monday, March 12, 2018

He Never Changes

 The Holy Spirit through the Prophet Malachi reveals a very important aspect of God, "For I am the Lord, I do not change." (Malachi 3:6) God is immutable. He does not change. He is unchanging. He is unable to be changed. Nothing or no one is capable of changing Him. I labor this point due to the questions that arise concerning whether or not certain aspects of the church were only enacted over a particular space of time which we will look at. The primary meaning of the name Lord, is Jehovah, the "self-existent One who reveals Himself." (Exodus 3:14) The word God in Scripture, El, Elah, Elohim, suggests certain attributes of His Deity, such as His strength, whereas Lord reveals His essential being.

The first appearance of the name Jehovah in Scripture follows the creation of man. It was God, Elohim, Creator, who said, "Let us make man in our image." (Genesis 1:26) However, in the second chapter of Genesis, when man was formed and was given authority over creation, it is the Lord God, Jehovah Elohim, who acts. This clearly indicates a special relationship of Deity, as Jehovah, to man. We see this emphasized throughout the Scriptures. Jehovah is distinctly the redemptive name of Deity. Why do I say this? When sin entered and redemption became necessary, it was Jehovah Elohim who sought Adam and the woman, (Genesis 3:9-13), and clothed them with coats of skins. (Genesis 3:21) This is a beautiful type of righteousness provided by the Lord God, through a sacrifice, which pointed to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26)

The first distinct revelation of Himself by His name Jehovah was in connection with the redemption of the covenant people, Israel, out of Egypt (Exodus 3:13-17).  Since it is God's redemptive relationship to us that these names reveal, they must each point to Calvary where we were redeemed. The blessing that each name reveals must be provided in redemption, which the Scriptures clearly teach. These seven redemptive names, point to God's continuous and increasing revelation of Himself to man. In His redemptive relationship to man, Jehovah has seven compound names which reveal Him as meeting every need of humankind from Adam until the end of time.Interestingly enough, there are seven redemptive not six or eight, but seven. (Seven is the number of divine perfection)

These compound names which are revealed in Scripture are, (not in any particular order)...
  • Jehovah-Jireh, "the Lord will provide" (Genesis 22:13-14); Christ is the offering provided for our complete redemption... 
  • Jehovah-Nissi, "the Lord our banner" (Exodus 17:8-15); It was Christ's triumphed over principalities and powers (Colossians 2:15) that He provided for us, as our Substitute, the redemptive privilege of saying, "Thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)...
  • Jehovah-Shalom, "the Lord our peace," (Judges 6:23-24). This reveals to us the redemptive privilege of having His peace. Accordingly, Jesus says, "My peace I give to you." (John 14:27) This blessing is in redemption because "the chastisement of our peace was upon him" (Isaiah 53:5) and confirmed when "having made peace through the blood of His cross." (Colossians 1:20)...
  • Jehovah-Ra-ah, "the Lord my shepherd" (Psalm 23:1) Jesus became our shepherd by giving His life for the sheep (John 10:11-15); therefore, this is also privilege provided in redemption...
  • Jehovah-Tsidkenu, "the Lord our righteousness" (Jeremiah 23:6); Jesus became our righteousness by bearing our sin; therefore, our privilege of receiving the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17) is a redemptive blessing...
  • Jehovah-Shammah, "the Lord is present" (Ezekiel 48:35) The Lord is present revealing to us the redemptive privilege of enjoying the presence of Him who says, "Lo,I am with you always even until the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20). This blessing provided in redemption is proven by the fact that we "have been brought near by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:13)...
  • Jehovah-Rapha, "the Lord that heals" (Exodus 15:26); This name is given to reveal to us our redemptive privilege of receiving the healing which was provided by Christ, our Substitute. Isaiah, in the redemptive chapter, declares, "he has borne our griefs (sicknesses), and carried our sorrows (pains) (Isaiah 53:4; Matthew. 8:17)
This completes the list of seven redemptive names of God, which were given for the purpose of revealing God's relationship to all of us under each of these seven titles. These seven names also belong to Christ. (John 1:1, 14) It is under each of these seven titles that He "is the same yesterday, and today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8) Jesus says to all who come to Him for any of these seven
blessings, "He that comes to me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37) This is the Good News that God wants preached to all the world, so that every person may have the privilege of enjoying "the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ." (Romans 15:29) There is nothing of God's Word more "settled in heaven" than His redemptive names. No one has a right to change God, "I AM" to I was!!!

The Holy Spirit, who is sent to execute for us the blessings of redemption, is our Helper and He is ready to help us press through and beyond all of the obstacles that try to keep believers from all their redemptive rights through Jesus Christ. These blessings are pledged to us in His seven unchanging redemptive and covenant names of God. So, I want to encourage us all, if we need provision, Jehovah-Jireh will provide; if you need victory, Jehovah-Nissi, has provided it; if you need peace, it is available now through Jehovah-Shalom; we can rest in the fact that Jesus is Jehovah-Ra-ah our shepherd; by virtue of becoming a New Creation in Christ, Jehovah-Tsidkenu is our righteousness; we never have to feel that he has forsaken us, for Jehovah-Shammah is ever-present; if you need healing now, today, Jehovah-Rapha, is the healer of spirit, soul and body.

Finally, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." (Colossians 2:8) These redemptive names of God and everything they represent belong to you now! As we have seen, the Scriptures reveal, "For I am the Lord, I do not change." (Malachi 3:6) and "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8) So, do not wait. By faith take hold of all of His promises. They belong to us NOW...

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Believers Gospel

From Romans 1:18 through Romans 3:20, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul has expressed and exposed to man his condition as a helpless sinner under wrath, under judgement, unjustified, guilty, condemned, and under the death penalty. This is what man is prior to confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and receiving Him as Savior. However, Paul now turns to what God is and what God has accomplished through Jesus Christ as man's Substitute. God through Jesus Christ, has provided, on absolute legal ground, the way to give man eternal life. The gospel message for the unsaved generally provides the listener with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for man's salvation. Here in Romans 3:21-26 Paul expounds on what this all means as he begins to lay out by the Holy Spirit man's new identity. This is what I call the believers gospel...

"But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets." (Romans 3:21) First, understand that man's basic need was and is righteousness, that is, the ability to stand in the Father's presence without the sense of guilt, condemnation, unworthiness or inferiority. Paul declares that God has unveiled a new source of righteousness which is witnessed by the law and the prophets. Even though God has revealed His righteousness apart from the law, that righteousness is not contrary to the law or against it. Moses, who through the Holy Spirit, wrote the Books of the Law, and the Prophets, who also spoke through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, revealed God's righteousness in every scripture that speaks of the Messiah. As far as God is concerned, the Law, Prophets and especially Christ set forth His righteousness.

"Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:22-23) Paul tells us in Romans 1:17, "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith." As we see, now we know where or to whom our faith is applied, Jesus Christ. This is very important, because our faith in Christ goes beyond the day one is saved. I say this, because most believers tend to have more faith the day they received Christ than they tend to have the rest of their Christian walk. This may be the main reason why so many live under guilt, condemnation, unworthiness or inferiority. For believers to live free of these enemies, we must apply faith to what God said as being absolutely true and then apply, or act upon His Word.

Notice, the righteousness of God is “to all and on all who believe.” This is an open invitation to the entire world; all men everywhere who believe. This believing, or faith, in Jesus Christ is not just mere mental assent, or intellectual knowledge. To believe in or on the Lord Jesus Christ is; to adhere, cleave to, trust in, to have faith in, to rely on. Acts 16:31 (AMP) says, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping and you will be saved." This applies across the board with every area of life as a Christian, because the word saved is pregnant with meaning beyond simply regeneration.  Also note, all are guilty; all have transgressed; all are lawless; all have fallen short; none measure up to the perfection of God, the glory of God and the divine standard of God's righteousness, however...

"Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:24) Justified means "made righteous, acquitted; made and declared right; freed from guilt and blame, and therefore, freed from the penalty and punishment of sin's guilt. At Calvary, the law was honored, sin was judged, death was dealt with, and pardon was made available. Therefore, we see that God is gracious without being unjust, and He is just without be ungracious. This redemption, this buy back, the purchasing of man, has been provided in and through Jesus Christ only.

"Whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed." (Romans 3:25) God Himself had foreordained Christ to be the Lamb from and before the foundation of the world. Jesus was set forth to be a sin substitute, on the ground of faith and His blood. God did this to show His righteousness because He had been passing over the sins of Israel for fifteen hundred years. Now it is demanded that the penalty be paid. Jesus met that penalty and paid or redeemed the promises that were made each year by the High Priest on the great Day of Atonement. In effect, Jesus cashed in 1500 years of promissory notes and brought redemption to every man who had been blood-covered under the First Covenant. The writer of Hebrews also covers this in detail...

"Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." (Hebrews 9:12) Note that this redemption is an Eternal Redemption. When Christ carried His blood into the Most Holy Place of heaven and the Supreme Court of the Universe accepted it, man’s redemption became a completed, eternal thing. Next we see, "For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" ( Hebrews 9:13-14) Notice that the blood of bulls and goats only cleanses the flesh, the outward man. It did not cleanse the heart; it did not make man a New Creation. Continuing... 

"And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9:15) Now we see that Jesus also died for the sins of those living under the First Covenant that had been covered by the blood of animals from year to year, that they might have their share in the inheritance of redemption through Christ. Finally, we see, "He (Jesus) then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." (Hebrews 9:26) Therefore, God has dealt with the sin problem. The sin problem is ended and the sinner, Jew and Gentile, by confessing with the mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believing with the heart, has the legal right to eternal life because God so loved him that He gave him His only begotten Son. And now...

"to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (Romans 3:26) God is righteous and the righteousness of the one who has faith in Jesus Christ. The only way that a person can become righteous in the eyes of God, is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and His blood. It is upon simple faith in Jesus Christ, that is, acting upon what God has said in regard to His Son that turns an unrighteous, God opposing convict into a righteous child of God. Now we can understand that we were justified, declared righteous, freely by his Grace, through the redemption God worked in Christ. So then, if Christ has fulfilled the law and the righteousness of the law, then whosoever believes and receives Christ, (in the biblical sense), the righteousness of the law is also fulfilled in him or her. PTL. This is the gospel for the believer. Amen...

Monday, July 17, 2017

Free Indeed

Sickness and disease came from the fall of Man. In other words, they are the byproducts of satanic dominion over man. Any redemptive act of God that would redeem us from Satan must also redeem us from sickness, disease, poverty and all manner of bondage, because they come from Satan. However, any redemptive act that fails to redeem us from these things, especially sickness and disease, is a limited redemption at best. So, what is the limit of redemption that God has provided through Jesus Christ? According to the Holy Spirit, speaking through the Prophet Isaiah, "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5) 

We can see the reality of this in the earth ministry of Jesus as the Son of Man as recorded by the Apostle Matthew, "When evening had come, they brought to Him (Jesus) many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Matthew 8:16-17) Then we see a greater revelation of this through the Apostle Peter after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to the right hand of the Father, "who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed." (1 Peter 2:24) Basically, we see that which was to come, Isaiah; that which had come, Matthew; and that which is a finished work that continues to be, Peter.

Here is redemption. God dealt with the sin problem, (Isaiah 53:6) by substitution, through Jesus Christ and as we see in the scriptures shown above, He also dealt with the disease problem. If God laid our sin on Jesus Christ, it would be wrong for us to live in sin. In the same way, if God laid our
diseases on Him, it would be wrong for us to live under the continual dominion of disease. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." (Romans 8:11) The Holy Spirit who dwells in the believer will indeed heal these mortal bodies of ours. We see once again that healing is a part of the plan of redemption.

What about our needs? It is wrong for me to need clothing, food, and shelter, and not to have them? Jesus tells us, "For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things." (the necessities of life) (Matthew 6:32) Jesus goes on and says, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33) The Apostle Paul tells us, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) Paul is also referring to the necessities of life. The word "supply" means, to make full; to cause to abound; to furnish or supply liberally. Therefore, "God shall supply all your need" means exactly what it says.

All of these issues deal with bondage. Bondage is defined as, the state of being a slave; the state of being bound by or subjected to some external power or control. So think about the measures that God took for humanity. God the Word became flesh (incarnate) (John 1:1, 12); He (Jesus) suffered on the cross; spent three days and nights in Hades; satisfied the claims of justice; subdued and triumphed over Satan, (Colossians 2:15) death and hell, (Revelation 1:18); was raised in victory from the dead, (Ephesians 1:19-21); ascended into the presence of the Father where He sat down at the Father's right hand; (Hebrews 1:3), and has made redemption both eternal and available for all mankind. (Colossians 1:13-14) With this in mind, it then seems to be almost a crime for us to remain in bondage, a slave to the devil, in any area of life, especially when we consider the depths of redemption. 

Jesus said, "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:36) The Apostle Paul tells us, "Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Corinthians 3:17) and "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." (Galatians 5:1) God declares that we are free! Unbelief does not change these facts. Ignorance of our rights and privileges cannot annul the Word or make it of no effect. God says we are free! Not only did God break Satan's dominion and power over us, He also translated us, (removed from one place to another), by the new birth, out of Satan's family and placed us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, that is, into His own family. Therefore, Satan has no more right to reign over us than he has reign over Jesus.

So, let us make our confession of these wonderful truths, through the lips of faith. Let us declare, "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption..." (Colossians 1:13-14) Hallelujah!!!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Our Father Has No Favorites

It should be a great comfort to our heart to know that our Heavenly Father has no favorites, (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11) and that all of His children have their own place in His heart. Let's look at the wonderful things that believers have in Christ as seen in Jesus' prayer for all who would become His disciples. "I do not pray for these (the apostles) alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me." (John 17:20-23)

Notice the grammar, "that they" be one with each other in the same manner the the Father and Son are One; "that they" be one with the Father and Son; "that they" all share together the same glory that the Father gave to the Son; "that they" all be made perfect in one. Finally, notice, that the Father loves all His children with the same level of love that He loved Jesus. Absolutely no favorites, but all believers are on the same level plain with the Father and Son. PTL. Due to these facts, every believer has the right to enjoy the same redemption. The work that the Father accomplished in Christ absolutely destroyed the power of the enemy, and now redeems every person who will confess Jesus Christ as Lord and receive Him as Savior into a complete, full, lacking nothing, redemption.

Everyone has the same righteousness. No one has a better righteousness, or more righteousness, but all have God's righteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:21) Righteousness comes through the new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21) When we are born again, we receive the life and nature of God, the Father. (John 10:10; 2 Peter 1:4) It is God's very nature in us that makes us righteous. Again, there is not one of His children that has more of His righteousness than another. All who receive His nature have come into His family and are recognized as the sons and daughters of the great Father, God, (1 John 3:1), and everyone has the same rights in the family.

Each one may have different gifts, callings, or ministries, but they do not make him/her any dearer to the heart of the Father. Everyone has the same love nature, the same great Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead. Everyone has a right to the same kind of fellowship with the Father and the Son. (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 John 1:3) Everyone has a right to the use of the Name of Jesus to deliver people from the dominion of Satan, to cast out demons and to heal the sick. (Mark 16:17-18) Everyone has the right to every promise of God. (2 Corinthians 1:20) Our Father has no favorites. If you have not known this, I pray that you will ask the Lord for a deep revelation of this wonderful truth. This will open the door to a closer, more intimate fellowship with the Father, resulting in a sweeter and richer life. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Never Forget

After a time of enjoying the benefits of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, believers can get caught up in various things such as, ministry, education, work or just life itself and not take the time to reflect on the divine exchange that took place at Calvary nearly two thousand years ago. We can take for granted the great works that were carried out by Jesus on the cross. The work of the cross was perfect. The last words Jesus said before He died were, "It is finished!" (John 19:30). The Greek word for finished means "to end; to complete; to execute; to conclude; to discharge a debt. Jesus had perfectly fulfilled every jot and tittle of the Mosaic Law and as Hebrews says, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15) Now, He was about to complete His mission of the restoration of humanity in the dark regions of hell. He became sin with our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21); He became sick with our sicknesses (Isaiah 53:10); He became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13) For three days and three nights He suffered unimaginably.

The essence of the cross and His time in hell, separated from the Father (Matthew 27:46), consists in Jesus taking our place. He was our substitute. He personally suffered the totality of the punishment that we deserved for our disobedience so that justice could and would be satisfied. This was the divine exchange. In this exchange, we receive all the righteousness of Jesus and all the blessings of His obedience. (1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:3) From the day we enter into this exchange, (John 3:1-7) our goal should be to become like Jesus, (2 Corinthians 3:18), living in the fullness of His righteousness, in the same way that He became like us on the cross, sinners in need of deliverance. 

On the cross, God the Father placed all the sin, transgression, iniquity, guilt, shame, rebellion, sickness and curses of man, on Jesus. Every wicked thing produced by our rebellion was put on Jesus, as all the goodness in Him became ours because of His obedience. This incredible, divine exchange came about in the following ways...
  • Jesus was forsaken so we could be forgiven. (Matthew 27:46)
  • Jesus carried our sicknesses and pains so we could receive healing. (Isaiah 53:4-6, 10) 
  • Jesus became sin so we could become righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
  • Jesus died our death that we could share His life. (Romans 5:6-11)
  • Jesus became poor that we might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9) 
  • Jesus carried our curse so that we could be blessed. (Galatians 3:13, 29)
  • Jesus suffered our shame so that we could partake of His glory. (Hebrews 2:10) 
  • Jesus suffered our rejection so that we could be accepted in Him. (Ephesians 1:6)
The father has provide humanity with a perfect and complete redemption. Not only do we receive the blessings of the divine exchange shown above, but also every promise of God revealed in both the Old and New Testament. Look at the following passages, and receive by faith all that our Heavenly Father delights in giving to His children. First know that, "He (Jesus) has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." (Hebrews 8:6) This does not exclude the Old Covenant promises of God, but, actually includes them along with all the promises under the New Covenant. "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)

Notice, the Father through Christ freely gives us all things! "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3) "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:2-4) (Note: these are just a few of the things available to believers through faith in Jesus Christ)  

Some of you reading this may have been taught, with the exception of being born again, all these things only pertain to those in the Bible, especially those in the early church, and that they are not for today. This insinuates that God's Word has changed, when in fact He and His Word are one (John 1:1; 1 John 5:7) and as He has not changed (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8) then His Word also has not changed. (Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Mark 13:31) So, how can we appropriate the benefits of what Jesus has accomplished through His death and resurrection? By faith. There are no substitutions for living by faith. We must wholeheartedly trust in God and believe that He is Who His Word says He is and that He will keep all of His Promises because He can not lie. (Numbers 23:19)    

Also, through God's plan of redemption, Jesus defeated the devil. This victory is irrevocable and eternal. Satan cannot do anything to change it. Jesus is the stronger man Who entered the strong man's house and plundered his house and his goods. (Matthew 12:29; Revelation 1:18) When confronting the devil, his crew of demons and evil spirits, we must not deal with them on any basis other than on the blood and righteousness of Jesus and the authority that He has given to us in His Name. If we try confronting the kingdom of darkness by any other means, we can be defeated. We also need to be aware of the enemy's schemes (1 Peter 5:8-9), because he can camouflage the meritorious work of Jesus, thereby diminishing its power, which is one of the devils strategies against every believer. But, if we confront the enemy on the blood (Ephesians 1:7) and righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) of Jesus, the authority that He has given to us in His Name, (Mark 16:17-18) and the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3) we will always be victorious.(1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14)

God has provided a complete, comprehensive and eternal redemption through Jesus Christ and has made it available to all humanity. (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9) There is no value that man can put upon the Father's ingenious, incredible plan of redemption that could ever do it justice. What Jesus did for you and me is priceless, beyond any price tag that we could imagine. Therefore, let us never forget what Jesus has done and always remember, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, (selfish, rebellious, hopeless, haters of God) Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) So, never forget the divine exchange that we have through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...