Forgiving the Right Way

When I was younger I saw a TV commercial about forgiveness. It was animated and had a story of two ranchers one rich and one poor. As the story unfolded the poor rancher stole one of the rich ranchers cows and was caught by the cow hands and when they brought him to the owner they all said “string him up it will teach him a lesson” but the owner said “Forgive him it will teach him a lesson” We must learn to forgive and to forgive and forgive the right way.

One of if not the most destructive things a person can have is condemnation. When in condemnation one will suffer from all kinds of things like depression, sickness, fear, strife the effects of condemnation are very damaging. And if a person uses condemnation to try to correct or punish then they are operating in witchcraft (manipulation for intimidation to bring domination) it is really the ministry of the devil. Because the devil will try to condemn you about EVERYTHING and ANYTHING he can, it is his greatest tool.

If you work hard and get some overtime on the job then he will say you don’t spend enough  time with your family, if you stay home then he will condemn you for being lazy. No matter what you do it will never satisfy the devil, I know people who are the same way.

But when you are free from condemnation then it is a victorious life to live indeed, not a life of sin or licentiousness as some would want you to believe. Many Christians stay in condemnation all the time because they don’t understand what Jesus has done for them through his death, burial and resurrection. When you are covered by the blood of Jesus you are free from condemnation (Romans 8:1). How? Because you are dead to sin, and live no longer in it.

Romans 6:1-2
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

The question is this “How shall we, who are dead to sin, live in it any longer in it” many  misinterpret this as saying that they are dead to the power and influence of sin or in other words some believe that when they are born again that sin no longer has any influence on them. But the divine reasoning of Jesus and the Apostles is this, that when a person is free from condemnation then sin loses its power. The problem is condemnation.

Remember John 8: 1-2 the story of the woman caught in adultery, they (legal, religious folk) you can always pick them out they have no joy, always judging somebody else and pointing at the person who they feel is wrong in some way and will try to get as many other people involved with them as they can so they can feel justified in themselves.

Jesus dealt with the sin and did not side step the sin issue he did not say “don’t stone her show some mercy, no he said “if you are without sin throw the first stone” no one there could do that, except for Jesus and he would not do it, so one by one they all left.

Jesus ask this woman a question “where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” It seems here that Jesus was more concerned with her condemnation than the sin. He is wanting to know about her accusers, he is wanting to know if she is still feeling shame, and feeling condemnation. You can see Jesus is wanting her to say something, he wants to hear certain words come out of her mouth. So what does she say “No one Lord”. And Jesus said to her “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” What are we seeing here? When you are free from condemnation you are empowered to go and sin no more. Why? Because you are able to use your faith without a sense of guilt and shame, you are enabled to have confidence and be bold.

I like a definition by E.W. Kenyon

“Righteousness is the ability to stand in the presence of a Holy God without any sense of guilt, inferiority, condemnation or shame of any kind.”

You see the work of Jesus is to remove darkness of every kind from your life, because his light that shines on you shows and points to his perfect work in you and not your own works. His light shows how clean you are by his blood, how perfect his righteousness is in you, how clean your conscience is by removing all your sins. Many of the problems Christians are having today are because of condemnation, they are in bondage and are often helped to stay that way by other people who try to bring condemnation all the time.

Back to Romans.

Rom 6:9-11 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus died for our sins, and the Bible teaches not only did he die for our sins but he died to sin at the cross, “once for all”. How did Jesus die to sin? You see we must understand verses 9 & 10 if we are to understand how “we who are dead to sin should live any longer therein”  Verse 11 starts with a key word “Likewise” (in the same manner) you also, reckon (take into account, calculate, count over, meditate) yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. So this being dead to sin question must be answered, if we are to reckon ourselves or take into account what is in our spiritual bank then we must answer a questions about Jesus.

Did the Lord Jesus die to….

  1. a) The power and influence of sin. No, Jesus came in flesh and blood but he had no sin nature, no lusts to be tempted by, (Hebrews 4:15)  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. In us we have the flesh a sin nature but Jesus had no such thing in him. Jesus had nothing for sin to attach itself to but we have. So was Jesus ever under the power and influence of sin….. No! So how did he die to sin on the cross, well for one thing for us as our substitute?
  2. b) The imputation (ascribed, or attributed.) guilt (condemnation) and penalty of sin? God took our sins and put them on Jesus. Is this how he died to sin? YES for us as our substitute!! Glory to God forever! So LIKEWISE you RECKON yourself dead to the imputation the guilt or condemnation and penalty of sin because you are in Christ.

Sin is still sin and the power of sin comes in when we forget to reckon the truth. The truth is you have been redeemed and condemnation is not imputed to you because of the blood of Jesus. Now the next verse, verse 12 becomes something you can do if you understand verse 11 and verse 10 of Romans.

Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. Many Christians try to practice verse 12 without understanding the power of the previous verses and what Jesus has done for us by his death, burial and resurrection. Sins power is no more over you, you are no longer under condemnation but are now under justification.

If Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be, and He did die on a cross at a point of time in history, then, for all history past and all history future it is relevant because that is the very focal point for forgiveness and redemption. – Josh McDowell

So then what does all this have to do with forgiveness and forgiving the right way? I will tell you. One man I know handled his children like this when they did something wrong and got into trouble. They would come to him and would say “dad I’m sorry forgive me” and he would always forgive them and afterword it would never be brought up again because that was the end of it. Where did he learn how to do that? He learned it from Jesus, because our Father is that way. His children then did not have to walk around in condemnation and guilt afterword wondering if it were over or if he was going to start fussing at them again. No they knew it was finished.

Likewise Jesus has forgiven you the same way, he is not holding your sin against you he is not accusing you or remembering the sin any longer. Well then when someone, perhaps your wife or husband or mother, your children or friends come to you and say “forgive me” don’t say ah don’t worry about it or forget it I am your husband……no when they say forgive me, they need to hear you say “I forgive you, completely” look your child in the face and say “daddy forgives you, completely” and what does that mean? That means do your best to never, ever bring it up again.

Why that is so important because when we understand that is the way God is with us then we can rest in his forgiveness and not have condemnation. That puts you in a position to be well to be free to know that God wants you to be dead to condemnation and sin means you are alive to the joy and strength of the Lord.

 

(1 Corinthians 15:34)  Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

It means we can go to God in confidence and in faith knowing we are clean we are righteous in Him and he is not mad with us. When we have this understanding then we can receive our healing and all the other benefits that come to us through Jesus Christ.

Until next time remember look to your future and not to the past, learn to live in the grace of God and love much forgive always and hold no bitterness toward anyone.

Out For The Kill But Blinded By The Light

There was a man who was out for the kill. With the papers in hand he was hunting down anyone who belonged to the Way, man or woman, it made no difference to him because he had a job to do, a contract had been made and he was just the one to carry it out to the fullest and he enjoyed his work. As a matter of fact, it had not been too many days before that he had taken great pleasure in the murder of a man named Stephen and afterwards had gone wild in the city and started going from house to house dragging people out of their homes and putting them in jail.

Who was this wild man, you may ask, and whatever became of him? Well, he was a preacher and he was highly educated. As a matter of fact he was the best of the best. They called him Saul. You can read the whole story in the Book of Acts it’s very exciting. As far as what became of him? Well, he went blind on the outskirts of Damascus and was dazed by a blinding flash of light and the very ones he was killing and putting in jail came to his rescue…. and that is what I want to talk to you about today.

 

Blind on Straight Street

So here is Saul, blind, hearing a voice talking to him that those with him did not hear, sitting in a house in Damascus for three days! What would you be doing? Probably the same thing Saul was doing, praying. For those three days he didn’t eat or drink anything. He was focused on one thing. This man’s entire life and attention had been arrested by the One who spoke that day when the light flashed around him and he fell to the ground. I’m sure Saul had those words going over and over again in his mind, “I am Jesus, the One you’ve been hunting down. So get up and enter the city and you’ll be told what to do next…that was three days ago. And now all of his attention was on the Lord, waiting for the next part of His directions.

 

Suddenly there was knocking at the door. He heard Judas get up and go to answer, he could hear men talking, now footsteps. Is this the person he had dreamed about (really more of a vision), could this be the man named Ananias? Let me stop here and tell you a little about this man Saul. You must understand that Saul was the most doctrinally correct, legalistic preacher you could find, by his own testimony. This is what he wrote of himself in Philippians 3:5-6: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

So why was he struck blind? I mean he was doing everything right! I’m sure if you were to ask him how he was living in the eyes of God he would have responded “Hey, I’m living right, Brother!” But God on the road to Damascus struck Saul blind, why? Well, I have an opinion about that. You see, I think we have a word picture here: I believe Saul was struck with the natural effects of his spiritual blindness. Up to that time all he could see was the law, the do’s and the don’ts, the rules and he could not see the love of God or the grace of God or the compassion, only the letter of the law and you know the letter kills… but the spirit gives life.

 

What’s In A Name

But God, who always provides a way out of darkness, had a man who had been waiting in the presence of the Lord. His name was, “Ananias” and as far as we know his one great quality when the Lord called for him was, he was there when he was needed. No other mention of him in the scripture is made. There is no indication that the Lord appeared to him again or sent him to do anything else. It’s possible, but there is no mention of it.

But he was in his place on that day and was waiting in the presence of the Lord, (That is a whole other message) Evidently this was something he spent a lot of time doing.

Saul, whose name became Paul, was as I said, the most doctrinally correct, legalistic preacher you could find, but God on the road to Damascus struck Paul with the natural effects of his spiritual blindness brought on by the letter of the Law. Then God sent Ananias. Here is the word picture: Ananias is the Greek form of the Hebrew name *CHANANYAH (khaw-nawn’) “Hananyah.” Ananias means ‘the grace of God’.  “Hanan of Yah“, “Jah has favored” or graciousness of God, a gift.

 

Acts 9:17 (MSG) –  So Ananias went and found the house, placed his hands on blind Saul, and said, “Brother Saul, the Master sent me, the same Jesus you saw on your way here. He sent me so you could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” God sent the grace of God to open Saul’s eyes. So the very first thing Saul saw upon his eyes being opened was the grace of God in action and from that point Paul went on to write 2/3 of the New Testament proclaiming the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ – that by grace are you saved through faith – and this is the message that is still going forth today.

 

Romans 5:15-17 (KJV)
15  But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

 

*Strong’s Concordance #2605

Chanan: “gracious,” the name of several Israelites

Original Word: חָנָן

Part of Speech: Proper Name Masculine

Transliteration: Chanan

Phonetic Spelling: (khaw-nawn’)

Short Definition: Hanan

 

Remember…look to your future and not to the past, learn to live in the grace of God and love much, forgive always and hold no bitterness toward anyone.

Bibliography

Bible, K. J. (1611). The Word . Harrison House.

Peterson, E. H. (2002). The Message (Bible). NavPress.

Strong, D. J. (201). Strong’s Concordance. Cincinnati: Jennings & Graham.

Wommack, A. (2015). Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary. Denver: Andrew Wommack Ministries.

 

Sour Grapes and Generational Curses

I like to read; therefore, I am always reading something. I read several articles every day, mostly of a biblical nature but I also read many secular articles as well. Over the last several months I have read from some Christian magazines and other articles about the topic of Generational Curses. I was amazed to discover that many people, Christians, still believe that they can suffer from a generational curse, even though the Bible says “anyone who is in Christ is a new creation, old things are passed away, all things have become new”

So where does this General Curses teaching come from? Well, the idea comes from what was expressed in the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:5: “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me” (see also Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:18; and Deuteronomy 5:9).

In other words, the sin is handed down and the guilt of it as well from the fathers to their children, there sin would pass from one generation to the next. This was a popular teaching in the time of Christ and apparently still is among Christians. This may shed a little light on the story of the blind man whom Jesus healed in John 9. Before He healed the man Jesus was asked “who sinned? him or his parents”?

The concept of generational curses has become popular among certain Christian groups teaching people that unless they say a special generational curse-breaking prayer or go through some type of deliverance or have their house cleaned by a specially anointed curse-breaking minister or prophet then they will continue to have an unusual amount of problems. We also now see some calling for ceremonies and asking forgiveness for the generational sins of a nation as was done under the Old Testament.

 

I read an article just a few days ago where certain ones were calling for the USA to repent of a whole list of things and then to fast for three days and after three days the curse would be broken from over the nation. This sounds very spiritual and to be sure is a lofty idea, but Saints, Jesus has already finished the work and the curse is broken in the life of the believer. The idea that we have to do all these things in order to get the curse broke goes to the heart of religious activity, religion is do,do,do but in Christ it’s already done.

 

Once you are a believer you are a new creation and no longer can you be under a generational curse. This curse on those who break the second commandment unto the third and fourth generation was repeated in Exodus 34:7 and Numbers 14:18. But both Ezekiel (Ezekiel 18:1-4) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:29-30) prophesied an end to this curse. Jeremiah went on in the verses after his prophecy to speak of the New Covenant we now have in Christ (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Galatians said Jesus died to redeem us from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13). If the punishment has changed or been eliminated, then the Law has changed too.

 

Commentary from Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.

When the Lord made a new covenant with us through Jesus, then the other covenant became old and should be retired, likewise with the commandments. The Greek word “APHANISMOS,” which was translated “to vanish away” in this verse, means “disappearance, i.e. (figuratively) abrogation” (Strong’s Concordance). The word “abrogate” means “to abolish, do away with, or annul, especially by authority” (American Heritage Dictionary). The Old Testament Law should disappear and be abolished. What a radical truth!

There is still much benefit in studying the Old Testament, but that benefit lies primarily in seeing what we have been redeemed from. If anyone tries to still relate to the Lord based on the principles of the O.T. Law, they are wrong.

As Paul stated in Galatians 3:11-12, “The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith.” Put that together with Romans 14:23, which says, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin,” and you will see that trying to serve God by the O.T. Law is sin. The Law itself isn’t sin (Romans 7:7-10), but trying to use the Law for something it was never intended to do is sin.

 

The intent of the Law was to condemn us (2 Corinthians 3:9) and make us guilty before God (Romans 3:19). The Law could never reconcile us to God. It only showed us our need to be reconciled, and condemned us so that we would never fall into the deception that we could do anything on our own that would solve the problem. The Law shut us up unto the faith in Christ’s atonement, which is the only thing that could save us (Galatians 3:23).

In order to be put under a generational curse you have to go back under the law of Moses, back to the OT. Now those who teach that there is still a generational curse that believers in Christ have to be delivered from have to quote scriptures like the ones in Deut. where it says “bring no cursed thing into your house, lest you be like it” Deut. 7:26. The problem with the teaching that says things like this: if you have this or that object in your house it is causing all your problems, therefore you must do a list of things. The people who are always being “delivered” have no rest in their life. They are always having to go back and do something else.

Listen, the plain truth is… You are not under a curse anymore!!

Now let me inject this: I don’t recommend having idol gods or things pertaining to pagan worship in your home. Why would you? But don’t live your life in fear of the devil.

In the New Testament the only way for you to be cursed is to go back under the law. In fact, believing that Old Testament law about curses causes you to go back under the curse. See Gal 3:9 – So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (The Righteous Shall Live by Faith) and 10 – For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

The moment you trust in or take the position that blessings or healing or any of the things Jesus has freely provided come by the keeping of the law and that by doing it (law things, whatever those may be – reading so many Bible verses each day or praying for an hour a day and the list goes on) and of course praying, reading your Bible are good to do but if you believe you will be favored because of your doing then at that moment you’re under a curse. Believing the teaching of generational curses causes all the problems, not necessarily something laying around your house.

 

We are irreversibly blessed…..we cannot be cursed.

 

Photo Credit The Field is the World

Remember the prophet Balaam? He said, “I cannot curse what God has blessed” and that was under the blood of bulls and goats. We are blessed under the blood of Christ! The only way to be cursed today is to believe another gospel, or to preach another gospel or go back to the law.

This scripture did not say as many as break the law come under the curse but it says as many as are of the works of the law…..Jesus never pointed to a person who was sick and ask about the keeping of the law or if there was sin in their life and Jesus is the model for healing. (Look at the model in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All who came to Him received.) And Isaiah 54 is as much about healing as it is forgiveness.

Many teach that we are not under the law but the works of the law and reference Gal. 3:10. This scripture is actually referring to the sacrifice of animals, dietary laws and feast days. But know these things are not referring to the curse of the law in the bible as the law is always in reference to the 10 commandments.

Why today are so many so called “Christian magazines” and so many others so obsessed with convincing Christians that they are or could be or need to get delivered from a curse on them? Have they never heard of Balaam or read Gal.3:13? We are not under the curse but are irreversibly blessed because of Jesus.

 

SOUR GRAPES

 

Jeremiah 31:30 (KJV)
30  But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

Jeremiah 31:30 (NLT)
30  All people will die for their own sins—those who eat the sour grapes will be the ones whose mouths will pucker.

Ezekiel 18:2-4 (NKJV)

2  “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

3  “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.

4  “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.

 

See the part that says….’the one who eats the sour grapes HIS teeth shall be set on edge’. When Jesus was on the cross the scripture tells us in 

Matthew 27:34 (KJV)
34  They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with *gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 

…but the next time vinegar was offered He drank it. Why did Jesus drink it that time? and then what happened next? This time it was not mixed with gall so there was no pain killer in it, but more importantly, Jesus received the vinegar for us because once He received He said, “It is finished.” (In the Greek language **“Tetelestai”) and one of the things that was finished was generational curses.

John 19:30 (KJV)  
30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

In other words, Jesus set his own teeth on edge…He took the guilt, the blame, the condemnation on Himself and bore it for us so that we will never be blamed or guilty or cursed, no matter what the fathers have done. So now you should understand the scripture that says (Exodus 34:7 NKJV)
7  keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” has been rescinded. Christ has (past tense) redeemed us from the curse of the Law.

Today, there is no such thing as generational curses.

Those who do not put their trust in Jesus are under the guilt of their own sin and will be condemned by these sins. But, for Christians, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

 

The last thing Jesus did on the cross was to redeem us from a Generational Curse

(Q) Did Jesus come to take the sin of the world?

(A) Yes. John 1:29, Heb. ch. 9 & 10

(Q) Through Christ have you been freed from all guilt and shame?

(A) Yes, Romans 6:18,22 Rom. 8:1

(Q) Did Jesus take the curse so we would not be cursed?

(A) Yes, Gal. 3:13, Col 2:14,

(Q) Did God promise through an Unconditional oath that He would never be angry or Rebuke us again? (A) Yes! Isaiah 54:9, Rom 4:8, 2 Corinthians 5:19 (this does not mean He approves of all we do, but it does mean He will no impute our sins to us)

 

Finally we can know without any doubt this to be true: Any person who is in Christ is Redeemed from Generational Curses because Jesus hanging on that tree (cross) is the Legal, Binding basis of the promise and it is forever settled in heaven and on earth…..

We are free from condemnation, guilt and shame, we can never be punished again and we have been made the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. 2 Cor. 5:21

 

Remember…look to your future and not to the past, learn to live in the grace of God and love much, forgive always and hold no bitterness toward anyone.

 

Works Cited
Bible, K. J. (1611). The Word . Harrison House.
Bible.org. (2001). What does the Greek word "tetelestai" mean? What does the Greek word "tetelestai" mean?
SAVEDBYGRACE. (2013, Feb 1). The New Creation CANNOT be under Generational Curse. The New Creation CANNOT be under Generational Curse, p. 1. Retrieved from 
https://thegospelofgrace.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/the-new-creation-cannot-be-under-generational-curse/
Strong, D. J. (201). Strong's Concordance. Cincinnati: Jennings & Graham.
*Wommack, A. (2015). Andrew Wommack's Living Commentary. Denver: Andrew Wommack Ministries.
Scholars differ on exactly what this gall was, but all agree that it had a narcotic effect that dulled the senses. Andrew Wommack's Living Commentary.