Faith

It Doesn’t Matter


Grace is SufficientII CORINTHIANS 5:17 HCSB   “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.”

What’s New?

if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;”    

Jesus made it clear that, if we have rejected Him, we are already dead, “Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.” John 3:18 HCSB

We are dead before we accepted Christ.  We are cut off from God.  We have no home in Heaven, no hope of eternal life.   We are still born entities who have not been given the gift of eternal life via the Holy Spirit.  We are already dead.

There is a familiar saying that, “Jesus did not come here to make bad people good, but to make dead people live.”  I have no idea who said this, so I cannot give attribution.

Jesus came here to die so that I can live.  When Jesus was nailed to the cross, all the law of sin was nailed to the cross.  The law existed to demonstrate that it is impossible for me to obey God on my own power.   Jesus put “finished” to the law when He was nailed to the cross, “having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. “ Col 2:14

All the reasons that people can think of, all the accusation that Satan accuses you with, any right anyone had to find fault with you was put to death the moment you accepted Him.  Furthermore, sin itself no longer has command over you.  When you accepted Christ, the Spirit of God immediately came to you, moved in to your body, your mind, your life, and brought YOU to life in Christ.

Jesus became sin, and died of it, took it to Hell with him and paid the full penalty for it.  All sin was put to death and no longer has any authority over you.  The only power sin has, now, is whatever you give it.  The good news here is, now that the Spirit of God lives in you, you have all the resources of Heaven to help you overcome sin.

BUT WHAT ABOUT MY PAST?

old things have passed away

When you accepted Jesus Christ’s free gift, your past died with Christ.  Your new life was created when He rose from the dead.  Your acceptance of this completed work put to death your old self.  “…having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions” Col 2: 12-13 NASB

When you accepted Jesus’s sacrifice for you, you were buried with him in death, and the new creation that arose from the dead is the new creation that now lives in you.

Your past is just that, the past.

I know, I know, everyone else still treats me as if I am the old me.  That is OK.  People will eventually see that you are no longer that person.  This takes time and patience.  The new life you will live will be a product of Christ living in you.

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  Galatians 2:20 NASB

You died.  Christ lives in you, now.  Your old self is dead.

Yes, you still have memories of the past, but they no longer have power over you.   The Spirit of God lives in you, now.  Allow the Spirit of God to work in you to change you into the likeness of Christ.  You have to forgive your past.  God already did.

The past has just as much hold over you as you let it.  Forgive your past.  People change very slowly, but they will change.  As evidence of your new life dawns on others, you will be treated differently.  Let time and patience do their jobs.

GOD LIVES IN YOU

The greatest thing that you will learn is, now that you are born into the Kingdom of Heaven, you are now an adopted child of God.  “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”  Romans 8:15 NASB

Fear of punishment for your past can go away now.  You are no longer a slave to your past, so you can stop acting as if it has any influence over you.  It died when you died.  You died when you accepted the free gift of salvation.  It is now Christ that lives in you.  You are His brother.  God is now your father.

I John 4:15 says that God abides in you, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”

QUALITY OF LIFE

This new life, this “Zoe” as it is said in the scriptures, is not just living, it defines a new quality of life.  Your life changes because you are a new born creature.  Where you didn’t exist, you now exist in Heaven.  Zoe is not just a life form, but a new life form that has a new quality of life.  This quality of life manifests itself in you as you grow in Christ.

We are possessed of this quality the second we are born.  All that God is, has, and gives, lives in you.  It is your inheritance.  The fullness of the Kingdom of God is yours, now, today, because you were born into the kingdom of Heaven.

YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

Sin used to be your master.  This is no longer true of you.  Where you were once dead in your sin, sin now only has the power over you that you allow it to have.  But, even then, the Grace of God covers our sin.  We do not abuse this grace, but have access to it so that we can be continually made into the righteousness of Christ.  Christ’s righteousness lives in us.  It becomes manifest in us when we realize we are free from the curse of sin.

Being free from sin is not comprised of a list of “Don’ts”.  The influence of the Spirit of God will show you a view of sin that you never had before.  Sin does not become a list of don’ts, but a fact of “Don’t want to”.  Sin no longer will have the power over you that it used to have.

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”  Romans 6:1-8

Before we were born again, we had no righteousness.  Now, we are alive in Christ, and HIS righteousness lives in us.  He did this for us, so we cannot brag about it.

IT NO LONGER MATTERS WHAT EVERYONE ELSE THINKS

In God’s eyes, you are His child.  In His eyes, you are complete.  You are loved and lovely.  You are whole and pure.  When you accepted this free gift of Jesus’ death and resurrection, you were born into the Kingdom of Heaven complete in every way.

The world may not recognize what God has done in you.  But as you submit to Him, by the power of His spirit, God will make manifest in your life all the riches of His Kingdom.  He will do this in you as you humble yourself before the Lord: “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”  James 4:10

Don’t let people convince you that you are not His.  Don’t talk yourself into going back to your old life.  Let the power of the Living God work in you.  It is written that a broken and contrite heart, God will not despise.  It takes you emptying you of yourself and allowing the completed work of God, that is in you, to be made manifest in your life.

No one can take this away from you.

Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

No one can rob you of your God-given gift of life and abundant living unless you allow it.   Abide in the word, abide in the love of God.  Let the power of the Spirit of God rule in your life.

I promise, you will see life and live life differently than you ever knew was possible.  The problems you think you have today, will be manageable because you will see them in the light of the Love of God, and His wisdom.  Many of the problems you have today will stop being problems because God will change your heart.

Where the law of sin said “You can’t”, Jesus and the power of His resurrection says, “I DID!”.

Where guilt and the world and Satan says, “You are a failure”, Jesus says, “My success is YOUR success, recieve it and walk in it.”

Where the Accuser says, “You are guilty!”, Jesus said, “You are innocent.”

The love and power of God abides in you.  Fear and sin no longer rules your life.  What God has placed in you cannot be removed.  God wants to make His power and life manifest in you.  As you seek Him, and pray, and search His word, and believe, the life God has placed inside you will be known to the rest of the world.

Chose you this day whom you will serve…

Let’s be about it.

I Love You

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Our Position in Christ – Introduction


Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

“For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.”  Matt. 12:40 HCSB – Jesus

The law states:  “The Wages of Sin is Death”

The Law:

We read that the wages of Sin is death: Romans 6:23  This is the universal law of Sin.  Death is eternal separation from God.  Humans are born dead spiritually.  (See John 3:16 – 18).

Jesus came here to fulfill the requirement of the Law.  He died on the cross.  He said of Himself: “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”  Matt. 5:17 – HCSB

The Old Testament Law was given to prove that no effort of Man (Humans) can satisfy the law.  We are born into a sin nature.  We inherited that nature from first man, Adam:  “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man,and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men,because all sinned. In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression.”  Romans 5:12 – 14 HCSB

What the Law did was amplify the fact that there is sin.  The Law was nailed to the cross when He was nailed to the cross because He is the fulfillment of that law.  The law created a debt that no human could pay.  We couldn’t pay it because the Law proscribed that the sacrificial offering must be pure and blameless.  Jesus was pure and blameless.  He was tempted in all ways, like we are, but did not sin.

Paul says this of Jesus being nailed to the cross:  “He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.”  Colossians 2:14 HCSB

The Sin:

What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ? EPH 4:9

Jesus told the disciples that, like Jonah, who was in the belly of the fish for 3 days, He will be in the belly of the Earth for 3 days.  We are taught that Jesus, who was without sin, BECAME sin for our sake: “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” II Corinthians 5:21 HCSB

This is not a trivial point.  This is, in fact, the WHOLE POINT, isn’t it?

We are sinful by nature.  Look at the world around you, and try to convince me that sin does not exist.  If the only sin you ever committed was to tell a little white lie, then, there is sin.  There are no degrees of rebellion against God.  ALL sin is rebellion.

We inherited this sin nature from Adam.

Here is what gives Jesus His street creds.  He was blameless before God.  He was not guilty of any sin.  He CHOSE to come here, in the form of a human, and assume the burden of our sin because we were eternally damned unless the sin debt was paid.  Jesus, who IS life itself, took on the burden of death, so we, who are dead at birth, may have life in Him.

Jesus became sin.  He didn’t just accept the responsibility for our sin, although that is what He did; Jesus BECAME sin itself.

Think about this.  Think a long time, if you need to.  This is not trivial.  This is the center point around which all our hope and claim of Salvation rests.

Jesus became every sin.  He became the ugly things we do and say.  He became all the hate.  He became every rapist, every murderer, every evil thing that has ever existed and will exist.  He became the very engine that drives evil to do what evil does.  Every vile thought, every adultery, every greed, avarice, every sickness we have ever had or can imagine.  Jesus BECAME these things.

JESUS DESCENDED:

Jesus shouted out on the cross, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”.  God will not look on sin.  God has no fellowship with evil. The only place evil has to go from there is hell.  And that is where Jesus went.

Having become all sin, all evil, all that is vile and full of reproach, Jesus descended into Hell.  He took on the full and complete wrath of God, and suffered the total separation of God.  There was no longer that sweet communion between Jesus and His Heavenly Father.  He was cut off.

Jesus became sin and absorbed and endured the complete wrath and torment of God’s judgement.  There were no angels there to help him.  The Holy Spirit was not there in Hell.  God was not there.  It was just Jesus.

Psalm 88 describes this event:
I am counted among those going down to the Pit.

I am like a man without strength,
abandoned among the dead.
I am like the slain lying in the grave,
whom You no longer remember,
and who are cut off from Your care.
You have put me in the lowest part of the Pit,
in the darkest places, in the depths.
Your wrath weighs heavily on me;
You have overwhelmed me with all Your waves.
Jesus was alone in Hell.  He was dead.  He gave up His purity to become a complete abomination to God and Man.  And Satan had a short-lived party.  This was the goal of Satan.  That the King of Glory should fail and die.  Jesus’ torment was complete.  He had completely emptied the cup of God’s wrath.  Sin had brought Him to death and Hell.
Psalm 88 says:

Lord, why do You reject me?

Why do You hide Your face from me?
From my youth,
I have been afflicted and near death.
I suffer Your horrors; I am desperate.
Your wrath sweeps over me;
Your terrors destroy me.
They surround me like water all day long;
they close in on me from every side.
You have distanced loved one and neighbor from me;
darkness is my only friend.

While Jesus was there, He remembered the promises of God…just as Jonas prayed in the belly of the whale, Jesus remembered God’s eternal promise.  If Jesus would become sin, and bear the wrath of God, for the sake of all humanity, then God will raise Him from the dead, and seat Him on the Right Hand of the Father.

On His own, clinging to the promises, in the face of the unmitigated wrath of God, Jesus remembered…

“…the Lord…He heard me, …thou heardest my voice.” (Jonah 2:2), “…I will look again to the Holy Temple.” (2:4), “…THOU BROUGHT UP MY LIFE…”(2:6)

And in the Psalm 16:10 – “For You will not abandon me to Sheol;  You will not allow Your Faithful One to see decay.”

While Jesus was remembering the promise, and praying, and crying out, the Spirit of God came to Him and brought Him back to life.  His soul had died for our sakes.  He was condemned and died.  But the Spirit of God came to Him in Hell and brought Him back.

While Jesus was there, He accomplished several things.

Jesus preached to the prisoners in Hell:

“For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm. In that state He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while an ark was being prepared.”

Then He took the keys of Hell from Satan, and in proving He has all authority over life and death, and owns the keys of Hell, He took the captives from Hell and set them free, all who believed.

Satan no longer has any authority over anything.  Any thing he does have, he takes from humans who are willing to give it to him.

When Jesus came out of Hell, He proved that He is the King of Glory and the owner of all life and death.

Jesus proved that He alone is the Lord of the Universe and rules over all things.

Jesus gave us all this free gift of His grace, this life, if we accept it.  We are not alive spiritually unless we accept this gift:

“Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of the Messiah’s gift. For it says: ‘When He ascended on high, He took prisoners into captivity; He gave gifts to people.’

“But what does “He ascended” mean except that He descended to the lower parts of the earth? The One who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. ”  EPHESIANS 4:7-10 HCSB

Our first free gift is LIFE.  We are brought from death into life when we accept this free gift of Jesus’ sacrifice.  He proved He has this authority.

If you have accepted this free gift, then you are saved.  Salvation is yours.

Jesus gave us all manner of gifts on His ascension.  If you have accepted this gift of salvation, Jesus wants to walk you into His lordship.  This is where we walk in many more gifts.

He turned us from the unrighteous to the righteous.  We have gone from being lost to being found.  This King of the Universe came here to do this for us, since we can not do this for ourselves.

The hardest thing for me to overcome, having received this new life, was the idea that I am no longer a slave.  I am not a slave to sin and death.  I am free from eternal damnation.  My guilt has been replaced with His love.  My shame has been replaced with His grace.  I have received His mercy.  And he has taken me by the hand and lifted me up and no longer calls me a slave.  I am His brother.  God is my Father.

THE CALLING OUT

When we accept this gift, we are immediately separated from the values of this world.  The Spirit of God will walk with us to teach us, convict us, and guide us into Christ likeness.

When you are saved, you are called.  The rest of this series will look at several of the gifts you have received from Him, so that you can answer this call.

The goal is that you will be made into the image and likeness of Christ.  You are called to bring others to the same saving knowledge of Christ as you have been given.  God equips whom He calls.

We are saved.  In God’s eyes, we are complete.  While we are still here on this earth, God intends to make manifest to the world, the completeness you have in Christ.

This series will look at the promises of your walk.

Let’s be about it.

I love you

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Sufficient


And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  II Corinthians 12:9 NASB

The truth is, Jesus never needed anything from me.

In the very beginning, all creation was created through Jesus.

After facing a terrible scourging, Jesus carried His cross to Golgotha where He spent several agonizing hours on that cross.  He took on all of our sin and faced the complete wrath of God over it. Jesus descended into Hell to release the prisoners.  He took the keys of Hell and Death from Satan.  After doing all that, He raised Himself from the dead, just to prove to all of creation that He has power over life and death.

Jesus did all this on His own.

If I genuinely want to be like Him, there is not one whit I can bring to Him.  By His grace, and through my weakness, all I have to do is get out of His way, and let Him empower me to be Just like Him.

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