Balancing Grace and Faith

Grace and faith work together but they must be in balance.

How do I receive the blessings of God in my life? This is a common question I hear a lot. When people are saying this to me and others normally the next statement is, “I have been reading my Bible, and I’ve been going to church and I tithe, and I have been praying, but still I am not seeing any results”

Well, ‘question asked question answered’ because the whole root of the problem is right here: They have somehow gotten the idea that God’s response is linked to their performance. And the reason they have this idea is because they do not understand the balance of grace and faith and the relationship of the two.

What does grace mean? The definition of grace is unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor. So, what does that mean? That means we have some really good news, grace has nothing to do with you. Grace existed before you ever came into the picture. Here’s another way of saying it, grace is God’s part.

Now that we have a good definition of grace, what about faith,? I like to define it this way, ‘a positive response to what God has already provided by grace’. In other words, faith is your positive response to God’s grace. You see faith only appropriates what God has already made available to you and to anyone who will receive through faith. Therefore, faith is our part.

Grace and faith work hand in hand with each other, and they must be in balance.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’

Often we read very familiar scriptures and we don’t really read them. We start reading and then, subconsciously, we think “Oh, I know this.” But in this verse a very strong and great truth is revealed. It says, ‘we are saved’. That word alone is huge, but we are saved ‘by grace through faith’, not just by one or the other. It takes both working together, grace (God’s part) and faith (our part) to receive salvation. This word salvation is a tremendous word that effects every detail of your spiritual life. (I have a whole teaching on the word salvation.)

But let us go on. It must be understood that salvation is not dependent on grace alone. This type of thinking breeds universalism, because if salvation was dependent on grace alone then everyone would be saved and going to heaven, because God’s grace is the same towards everyone. God has given His great gift of salvation to everyone through the Lord Jesus Christ. But, it is by faith that a person receives that which Jesus has done on the cross. That is why he said, “It is finished.” (to read more see my teaching “tetelestai”)

The popular teaching today is that we need to ask God to forgive us of our sins in order to be saved, but that really is not what the Bible teaches. I know that is the most popular belief but let’s believe the Bible regardless of how we have always believed or been taught.

To believe that we need to ask God to forgive us our sins in order to be saved then we must believe that Jesus did not die for the whole world. If we look at 1 John 2:2, we can readily see it states that Jesus was the atoning sacrifice for the whole world. Jesus didn’t die for just a few or for only the ones He knew would accept Him, He died for every person who has ever lived, every drug addict, prostitute, liar, every sinner and He did it before you or I ever committed one single sin…’while we were yet sinners Christ died for us’ (Rom. 5:8).

Here is a radical truth and it will rub some the wrong way, and this truth would probably keep me from going into most churches and teaching: Sin is not an issue with God! How can I say that you may be asking. Well, the Lord is not waiting for us to ask Him to forgive us of our sins. I’ll just let that sink in a minute because I know that is a radical statement.

The sins of the entire world – past, present, and future – have already been forgiven. Even the vilest men that have ever lived had grace

extended to them! Jesus loved them and paid for their sins just as He did for you and me. God is not a respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11).

God has already done all that He is going to do. He has done His part and it is now up to each individual to do their part. Paul didn’t tell the Philippian jailer to ask Jesus to forgive him; Paul told him to believe on what Jesus had already done and he would be saved (Acts 16:31). We confess the Lord Jesus, not our sins, to receive this gift of salvation (Rom. 10:9).

You may be asking at this point, “are you saying then that everybody in the world is already saved?” Certainly not. We have to receive forgiveness by faith, but I am saying, The Lord has already forgiven everyone’s sin, (1 John 2:2). That’s grace. And now we have to put faith in what God has provided by grace to be saved. (Eph.2:8)

Our part is to receive that truth by faith and make it real in our lives. In other words you need to open your gift and say with your mouth “I receive Jesus as my Lord and I receive His forgiveness of sin” 

Jesus is the lamb of God, the one that John the Baptist spoke of in John 1:29 who came to take away the sins of the world!

Do you know that people do not go to hell for committing adultery, stealing, or even murder. Those sins and all sins have already been paid for. But the church often misinterprets John 16:8 and teaches that the Holy Spirit is here to convict you of all your sins. Well, I am here to tell you that that is not what the Holy Spirit is here to do. He is here to convict you of the single sin of not receiving Jesus as your Savior. The only conviction is that of believing in Jesus Christ.

The Bible plainly teaches in John 16:8-9 that the only sin that is going to send people to hell is the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. So, stop magnifying sin in your life, and start magnifying the righteousness that He brought. The message that much of the church is teaching does only one thing, it causes people to become sin-conscious instead of conscious of righteousness or as I like to say righteousness consciousness. Being sin-conscious causes us to link our performance.. Bible reading, praying, going to church.. to all the other blessings of God. See Rom. 3:19-22

Look at this statement by Andrew Wommack:

God’s grace has provided not only for salvation but also for every need of your life. That provision is not based on whether you are reading the Bible enough, praying enough, going to church, or even paying your tithes. Before you ever had a financial need, God created the provision. Before you were sick, God, through grace, provided your healing (1 Pet. 2:24). Before you ever became discouraged, God blessed you with all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3). God anticipated every need you could ever have and has met those needs through Jesus before you existed. That’s grace.

In truth Jesus hasn’t done anything to save, heal, deliver or prosper anyone, not a single person, in the last 2,000 plus years. I say that because what God provided by grace over 2,000 years ago, when mixed with faith, becomes a reality in the believer’s life today. Remember our definition of faith, Faith appropriates what God has already provided. I say over and over again, faith does not move God, faith does not make God do one thing for anybody. But grace and faith work together. Our part is to accept what God has already provided by grace, just like we did when we were born again. When we were born again we did one thing, we accepted what God had done through Jesus on the cross and received the gift of salvation. Grace must be balanced with faith.

It is not the truth that sets you free; it’s the truth you know that will set you free (John 8:32). What truth am I talking about? The fact that we must put our faith in what God has already done, not in what you think you need to do. Healing, forgiveness for sin, prosperity and everything else provided for in the atonement must be appropriated by one thing and one thing alone, Faith.

God has finished His part, all He is going to do. His part was sending His son, Jesus. His grace has provided for whosoever will (John 3:16) through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. No mixed signals here, no hidden meanings in this message and in what God has done. The news that every person needs to hear is in fact Good News. Actually Paul said it was “almost too good to be true news” because there is absolutely nothing we can do to earn it and nothing we can do to lose it. We are not talking about the act of rejecting Christ, we are talking about losing something like a one loses a set of car keys.

Let me recommend to articles here for greater clarity: Redemption and the other one is Eternal Life

It is very simple: We respond to God’s grace by faith and receive what He has already accomplished for us. But as simple as that is and as simple as it sounds, most Christians don’t understand it. They still want to fight and do spiritual battle or perform some good work. They want to tie reading the Bible, praying, going to church, or even paying their tithes to appropriating God’s favor and blessing, when clearly we can see that God has freely provided every provision for this life and the life to come:

2 Peter 1:3 (KJV) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Ephesians 1:3 (NLT) All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.

Philippians 4:19 (NKJV) And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Many emphasize grace and that is their focus. Others look at only faith and put the emphasis on that, but we balance grace and faith. Very few do that. Grace with a positive response of faith won’t save you, and faith that is not in response to God’s grace will bring you into condemnation. But if we put our faith in the things God has already done (finished) for us, then we have the victory that overcomes the world.

1 John 5:4 (KJV) For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Missions The Heart of God…

Missions: The Heart of God, really not so catchy title, so that means if you are reading this article it is either because you have a heart for missions or you are a missionary or you just like me so you read what I write, “Thank you” and there are a few who don’t like me and they read my blogs to try to find something to support their bitterness. None the less you are reading this and for that I thank you.

There is a word that is used quite a bit today as I hear people talking and the word is mandate. I hear it from people of all walks of life, many from the Bible college I graduated from speak of a mandate that has been handed down to them by the founder of the school while others feel they have one of their own.

But what is a Mandate? Well according to the dictionary it is defined this way

 

  1. a command or authorization to act in a particular way on a public issue given by the electorate to its representative:
  2. a command from a superior court or official to a lower one.

 

It is very often used as in political circles, such as when a particular party wins by a huge margin you will hear somebody say that this party has received a clear “mandate” or a clear message to enact the things that they have pledged to do. So a mandate is seen as important and rightly so, also a mandate is given, as our definition states as “a command from a superior court or official to a lower one” it is an authorization for a superior person or persons that have and can give this authority to another to act for them on their behalf.

Now in order for this mandate to have any bearing on the person or group it is given to it must be recognized as something valuable and the importance of it must be understood otherwise the mandate is just another set of rules handed out to a group that has no understanding of the value of the order and authorization by which it was given and places it in a position of a “good idea that should be done someday by somebody”

You see. I believe that before a person will give prayerful and financial support to something, it has to be seen as important and valuable and relevant for today. And that my friends is why people like me and other missionaries around this world have to constantly write and travel back to our homelands to raise funds in order to maintain the work that has to be done in the places where God has called us to, because many don’t see the value and importance of missions and do not recognize the “Mandate” sent out by the superior court of heaven to go and make disciples. I know some won’t like what I just said, and believe me I am not trying to make anyone angry, in my position I cannot afford to anger people but the truth is sometimes hard to swallow easily.

THE MANDATE OF MISSIONS

If we are believers, then we believe the Word of God, if we believe the Word then we have to believe the mandate. If we think the commands given by God in His Word are optional, then it only stands to reason that we would believe our responsibility to the command is optional as well.

But we can clearly see in His Word, spoken by the head of the Church Himself, Jesus Christ, just a short time after His resurrection and subsequent ascension back to His Father in heaven, He clearly spoke to us His body in the earth in this verse of scripture.

Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV)

18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Jesus made the mandate clear and without any question as to what He meant when He said he had received “all authority in heaven and on earth” and then He authorized us to go and teach all nations. And in turn the blessing and presence of Jesus would be with the disciples there and with us now, because the words “to the very end of the age” are used pertaining to us.

So if you find yourself complaining about missions and those missionaries and missions Sundays, be careful because for one, it shows what you are valuing and two you are complaining about the very thing God has approved and even commanded. I mean if it were today and on television then it could go something like this.

The add would come on and Jesus would be in the background in front of a group of people, perhaps holding signs pro Jesus signs and He says “All power is given to me in heaven and in earth and I am authorizing you to go and make disciples in my Name and to teach them to observe and do all the things I have taught you” as the camera zooms in on Jesus, He looks squarely at it and says “I am Jesus Christ and I approve this message”.

What I am saying is that the mandate of Missions is C L E A R and we should be honored to carry that message ourselves and walk in the authority we have been given and to support those who have answered that call.

 

THE IMMEDIACY OF MISSIONS – Lord here am I send me……but just not immediately….

I live is a very large city and things are always moving, people are in a hurry to get things done and things are never fast enough. Yet at the same time we are surrounded by procrastinators and procrastination. And often we fall into that trap ourselves and put off doing those things that we really need to do in favor of doing those things from which we receive momentary satisfaction or fulfilment from and those things that are of greater lasting value, well they often don’t receive the attrition they deserve.

In all probability if you were to go and ask 10 people during the Christmas rush why they are in such a hurry, the answer would not be that they are trying to rush to their accounts office to and get there Financial Planner in order for an early retirement. And you probably hear any say they are rushing to the dentist’s office to be the first in case there is a long line. No more often than not we avoid and put off till tomorrow, or a better time, or after this or that but then all to soon the things we put off show up at the door much sooner than we planned.

Kind of reminds me of a story I once heard where a man made a deal with death, he said “Death now I will go when you call without a fight, but I want you to do something for me, death replied and said “what is it you request”? Well says the man, before you come for me you have to warn me well in advance. Death smiled and said “Ok you have a deal” So many years passed and the day came when death came to the man’s door and said “Old man, it’s time” NOW wait just a minute, says the old man we had a deal that you would warn me before you came. Death, laughed and said old man, do you see those wrinkles in your face, and the gray in your hair, and do you feel the cold in your bones and that slower pace by which you walk and those eyes are not as clear as they once were” The old man answered and said yes but what does that have to do with our deal, for you to warn me before you come? Death says “Why old man I have been warning you for years”

For missions to become important to us, we must allow the Spirit of God to open our eyes and heart to the immediacy of the need today. We can plainly see in the Bible that Jesus taught us that the time is now and the harvest is waiting to be brought in.

John 4:35 (KJV)
35  Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

The Jew’s harvest came in around the end of March. Therefore, Jesus must have made these statements around the end of December or the first of January. Jesus was saying the physical harvest very well may be four months away, and not to focus on that but to look at the spiritual harvest that is before them right now. This was when the Samaritans dressed in their everyday robes which was a white linen, were beginning to pour out of the city to come and meet this Man who had told the woman all the things she had ever done. Jesus was saying, “Look at the spiritual harvest that is ready to be picked right now.”

And none of us wherever we live in this world, a small town or large city, none of us can live there very long without realizing that the need is great and that the need is still Right Now. People are lost and without hope and dying, and going to a devils hell without Christ a place that was not meant for them. Just like the old man and death no one knows the day or the hour that they will die and no one knows the day or the hour when Christ will return.

The need is now, and today is the day. Let me just pause here for a moment and say if you are reading this and you have not took the time to accept Christ Jesus as your savior and Lord, do it now, there is no better time. Just look at what God is saying in 2 Corinthians 6:2 For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

 The point that Paul was making in this verse is that God’s grace is in vain if people refuse the acceptable time, the day of their salvation. What Paul is saying is so powerful, People cannot just come to the Lord whenever they get ready. Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44). There is an acceptable time of salvation, and people need to respond when the Spirit of the Lord deals with them. You cannot just count on a more convenient time, on your own terms. (Acts 24:25).

I am telling you now is the time of God’s favor and grace, now is the right time, and now is the day of salvation. The NEED is now, the TIME is now, and He is calling all of us to do something NOW.

Now we are going to talk a little about a word that is not so popular among us but it is a common word for many and a familiar word for those who live on a mission field, and that is the word Sacrifice.

THE SACRIFICE OF MISSIONARIES

Now those of you who know me and Donnia know we do not tell sad stories nor do we talk about the sacrifices we have made and try to make you feel sorry for us in order to get support, quite the opposite can be said I do believe. But, there is sacrifice required to go and do what we are called to do and this is an article about missions and not just about our mission but missions in general.

While it is true that we live in an instant age and can receive messages and phone calls and with things like Skype and FaceTime we can both see and hear our friends and loved ones even though they are hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles away. And because of the internet the world is in fact a “shrinking globe” With airplanes and automobiles we can reach our homes many times in just a few hours.

But there is still no replacement for the hug of a child or the joy of being at the graduation of a grandchild or the need to be at the bedside of a family member who may go home soon or to make a few memories around the “Thanksgiving table”. While others take those times for granted and even with a bit of disdain for having to take the time when other things might seem more desirable, Donnia and I can only hear about those special days and wish we could be a part from time to time.

No, there is nothing quite like having to say good-bye to people we love who are close to us, especially those friends and close family.

There is nothing like having that person we love in our presence.

We are so blessed, unlike those missionaries of yester year, who when they said good-bye to friends and family it may be years and perhaps for the rest of their life they would not see them again, nor could they call or send an instant message.

Matthew 19:29 (KJV) And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

Missionaries I know have dedicated their whole life to one city or one country. I know of one missionary, that if they had one disciple and baptized one person, in the country they were ministering in, in a single year, it was a great success. Now if you are the type of person that only looks at the bottom line, or counts success by the masses that were saved you may not think they had done a whole lot. But what really matters here is not the great numbers or the huge campaigns, no what the bottom line is here is, did they remain faithful to the call of God.

I read a story and I have heard it told but I think it bears repeating, about an older missionary couple coming home from the mission field….

An old missionary couple had been working in Africa for years and were returning to New York to retire.

As the trip began, they discovered they were on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from one of his big-game hunting expeditions.

No one paid any attention to them. They watched the fanfare that accompanied the President’s entourage, with passengers trying to catch a glimpse of the great man. As the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to his wife, “Something is wrong.”

“Why should we have given our lives in faithful service for God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us? Here this man comes back from a hunting trip and everybody makes much over him, but nobody gives two hoots about us.”

“Dear, you shouldn’t feel that way,” his wife said.

He replied “I can’t help it; it just doesn’t seem right.”

When the ship docked in New York, a band was waiting to greet the President. The mayor and other dignitaries were there. The papers were full of the President’s arrival. No one noticed the missionary couple. They slipped off the ship, disappeared in the crowd, and found a cheap flat on the East Side, hoping the next day to see what they could do to make a living in the city.

That night the man’s spirit broke. He said to his wife, “I can’t take this; God is not treating us fairly.” His wife replied, “Why don’t you go in the bedroom and tell that to the Lord?”

A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was completely different. His wife asked, “Dear, what happened?”

The Lord settled it with me. I told Him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put His hand on my shoulder and simply said;

“You’re not home yet.”

 The greatest reward for the missionary is not here on this earth, oh yes we do get to experience a glimpse from time to time but the reward of the missionary is out of this world. In my Father’s house are many mansions, and He is preparing one for me and for you.

And that brings us to our next thought about Missions…..

THE SATISFACTION OF MISSIONARIES

Funny isn’t it that while talking about sacrifice it is an easy transition into satisfaction. I mean almost as a simultaneous thought sacrifice/satisfaction, that’s because when serving God as a missionary whether it be around the world, or in the United States or wherever the homeland of the person there is a huge amount of satisfaction as we know we are in the center of Gods will doing what we are called to do.

I remember when I was a younger man before I went to bible school or pastored a Church, missionaries would come to the church I attended and to other churches around me and bring their slide shows and dress in the attire of the country they worked in, and I might add I really looked forward to those meetings. And on the inside of me I knew that one day I was going to be a missionary, but it did make me wonder “how would I live, and would I have to spend my life in suffering and poverty on the premise that one day after a while I would have my reward, in the sweet bye and bye.

But I learned and now can say with experience, that yes there is a great deal of sacrifice but there is also a tremendous amount of reward in the future and also right now. I could not think of doing anything else, even with all the sacrifices and problems and sometimes danger. Because there is nothing like being in the center of God’s will there is nothing more satisfying than that. Think of it in the terms of food (yes, you knew I work food in here someway) But actually Jesus is the one who brought this example into the satisfaction of being in Gods will when He said “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me” really let me show you.

John 4:34-35 (NIV2011)
34  “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
35  Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

In all truth, if you feel called to missions or being a pastor or any one of the ministry rolls, don’t try to ponder how it’s going to work out or if you will be happy, honestly being in the will of God is all that matters and what it is really all about. There is a complete satisfaction that goes with the job in spite of the sacrifices and difficult times that will arise. When contemplating the call of God on your life don’t try to factor a “misery” level into it as if we have to suffer some in order to please God. No! God wants us to be fully satisfied and happy and full of joy in His service no matter what challenges my come.

 

THE INDIVIDUALITY OF MISSIONS

One of the things we see about Jesus is that he had a large ministry, filling some of the largest areas in his country. Just think about it we know of a least twice where he spoke and ministered to over 5000 men not including the children and women whom he also fed. (Matthew 14:21) He had a huge healing ministry, and partners who helped him and a staff that he supplied for and fed and their family’s every day, the ministry was large enough that Jesus had a treasurer.

But Jesus’ ministry was not only to the masses but we can see Him in many individual encounters as well. And I really enjoy looking at these one on one interviews Jesus had with people. Now we have talked about the woman who came to Jesus at the well and because of that encounter an entire city was changed. And then we can see Nicodemus, who came to him at night, this “Nic at Night” episode brought the questions that led to the powerful response from Jesus that “ye must be Born again” And who can forget the woman who reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment defying the laws that could have had her killed but because she did we see that Jesus felt that touch of faith even in a crowed so large they were pressing in on him from all sides, He still stopped for her.

You see every individual is important and He has time for all and desires that all people take time for Him, because it is not the will of God for any to perish in any part of their life.

2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)
9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

In this world we live it is easy to get lost and begin to feel like we are just another number in the billions, yet Jesus is still all about the one. Something else to note about this scripture that is most interesting. This this verse brings out that God’s will doesn’t always happen. That sounds like heresy to the extreme “sovereignty of God” people, but there is no denying that is what this verse is saying. He is Lord but He doesn’t control everything. And even though God is all powerful, but He doesn’t choose to use His power in a way that denies our right to choose. It is not His will for anyone to perish, but we know many do. Why? Because of their choice, not God’s.

There are those folks who teach that nothing happens unless it is Gods will but they are totally wrong. Those who teach God allows things to happen are only correct in the sense that God gave mankind authority over this earth and over their own lives.

Yes, we need the big arena meetings and the mega Churches and the mass meetings. But the greatest part of the work is done by the Missionaries and all of us who see value in the one to one meetings with individual people.

A young man, walking along the beach at dawn, noticed an old man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Catching up with the man, the youth asked what he was doing. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun.

“But the beach goes on for miles, and there are millions of starfish,” countered the young man. “How can your effort make any difference?”

The old man looked at the starfish in his hand, and then threw it to safety in the waves. “It makes a big difference to this one,”

Don’t be caught up in the attitude of the day in which we live that “if we can’t deal completely with the problem, then we will just do nothing at all” Once, when I was pastoring I wanted to buy a church bus so I sent out letters and ask people to buy one tire or one seat, I never ask anybody to buy the whole bus and this is the way we get things done today, one person at a time.

That’s why Jesus is a personal Savior….

 

THE OBEDIENCE FACTOR OF MISSIONARIES

There is one outstanding fact that every Missionary that preaches the gospel of the Lord Jesus has in common, we did not call ourselves to the job. No Missionary goes to the field of his or her own will, you must be first called by the Lord. Not a mission board or a group of people in need or by a Pastor somewhere. We are called by a loving heavenly Father who has only good in store and knows exactly who the best one is to fill the need in a certain situation and He also knows the best time and at what intersection of life you need be where you’re going.

Remember the guy whose job it was on a certain day to be in a certain place holding a pitcher? Luke 22:10 timing is everything with God, at just the right time the baby cried and the basket was opened and baby Moses was found.

God still calls people, regardless of who they are and what talents they have or don’t have and it is not based on their recommendations and resume. It has been said many times but still bears true “whom God calls, God equips.” But with that call there must be obedience on the part of the one being called, because if they are not obedient they will never have the satisfying life fulfilled life and ministry they were intended by God to experience.

We can readily see example after example of people who were called by God to some type of service for Him, some followed and some did not. There is Paul on the Damascus road and the disciples, from different vocations in life from fisherman to tax collector. There was the young rich ruler who chose his wealth over the call of the master and went away sorrowfully and then as we spoke of earlier there was Moses, who tried to convince God He has chosen the wrong man for the job and of course that mighty man of valor Gideon at least that what the angel called him when he found him hiding from the enemy.

And the examples can go on and on, but one example that really shines and stands boldly is found in Isaiah – Isaiah 6:8 (KJV)
8  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

One Pastor puts it like this, and I think it is well for me to state it here in this article, “Every time, a Missionary stands in our pulpit to preach the Word, or share their burden, you are seeing an answer to prayer, as well as a person who has responded in obedience”.

 

THE NEED OF MISSIONS

So obedience on the part of the Missionary to the call of God is wonderful, but all the obedience in the whole world would count for absolutely nothing unless there were willing and obedient people who will also catch the vision for Missions by responding both prayerfully and financially to the need of the Missionaries and not just when there is an emergency but a regular consciences of them or on a more personal level us. The local Church must be missions minded, both home missions and foreign. One man said it like this

“Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.” – Oswald J. Smith

We get asked all the time “is there anything you need” and the simple answer is “Yes, Money” the need of the Missionary can be many things, but think about it the Missionary living on a forging field today needs finances. When we travel it costs for taxis if we had the funds we could buy a car of our own, if we hold a seminar in another country, then we must fly there and rent a building. When administrating a new Church or school there is a cost involved and beside all that just as those who live and are able to work a paying job have to supply for electricity and water and a place to live, the Missionary on the field has the same needs only they don’t have a weekly paycheck coming in most of the time.

That is why great partners are so vital to a Missionary. So what does a great partner look like? Well here are some examples that Missionaries have given of great partners…..

Great Missions Partners:

  • Let us know they received our correspondence and are praying for us. They are committed to give to missions and let us know how we can pray for them. They visit us on the field and invite us into their homes when we are on furlough.
  • Are faithful—in their giving, praying, and communicating. They remember the kids on their birthdays. They make sure their missionary has personal money at Christmas.
  • Are known by their love. They just believe in us and the call that God has given us. They pray for us and give as the Spirit leads them. The best partners are great lovers before they are great prayers or givers. Our best partners are individuals rather than churches.
  • Understand the cost of missions and give thousands to keep us on the field so we don’t have to travel to raise money. (We prefer to be workers on the field, not professional fundraisers). We are thankful for churches who focus significant care and support on one or two missionaries, rather than spread themselves too thin over many missionaries. This makes more of an impact for the Gospel
  • Remember us every month. They’re people we can count on for support. If they have to discontinue regular support, they let us know as far in advance as possible. (They don’t just stop giving without any warning or explanation.)

Now there may be some people that might say, well perhaps the good Lord should have thought about this a little more in detail. Calling people to the mission field, I mean, He should have dropped thousands of dollars in their bank account to make sure all went well and that everything gets done. Well that would have been wonderful and if He would have dropped the language in as a bonus so it did not have to be learned that would be awesome.

Yet, God does just that, through the combined efforts of churches and individuals all around the world who generously give to the work of Missions.

In reality Missions is an area where people don’t “have to give, but get to give”

I have found that many times the average pastor views his church as a local church with a missions program; while he ought to realize that if he or she is in fact pastoring a church, it is to be a global church with a mission’s purpose.

As the Missionary that is supported by churches and people like you goes, so you go as well. I know it is said often but none the less stands true, when you send us the reward is counted as well to you.

And finally I want to add one more item to this topic.

THE SAVIOR OF MISSIONS

So here is the real heart of this whole article and lesson. It’s not about money or planes or houses or all these other things, it is not even about Missionaries who see the world or churches and individuals who feel better about themselves because they support these efforts. It is first and foremost about the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

And it all goes back to the very first item motioned a “Mandate” we still have the “Great Commission” we still have a command that we go into all the World with the Good News of the Gospel. Jesus never said this is for your four and no more, so just keep it to yourself, no we were commanded to do all and occupy till he comes until the whole world has heard the Good News that a savior has come and He offers to whosoever will blessings and an abundant life not only for now, but for eternity to come.

In reading the article that this article you are reading was adapted from the author/Pastor quotes a man and I think it is fitting to place what he said here in this article again…

Charles Malik, former Lebanese ambassador to the United Nations, asked in a speech: “What has been the greatest American contribution to the rest of the world? Has it been money? Has it been food? Has it been medical skill? Has it been military might? Has it been industrial know-how?” Then he answered, “The greatest thing to come out of America has been the American missionary effort: the quiet, selfless men and women who have left the comfort and security of their homeland to bring the gospel of Christianity to less favored nations.

Mandate

Immediacy

Sacrifice

Satisfaction                               = The Great Commission Matthew 28:18-20

Individuality

Obedience

Need

Savior

Will you prayerful consider becoming a Missions Partner with us today, just click on this link and now and fulfil what God has called you to do by helping send us as your hands and your voice in Peru.

If You’re Waiting For God To Heal You, You’re Wasting Your Time!

I image there have been some double takes from those who have read the title of this message and hopefully you are reading this because I have peeked your interest on some level. Let me just tell it like it is right from the start, ‘God is not going to heal you! He’s not going to bless you and He’s not going to save you! Now before you get too overwrought and upset and write me a letter or comment you may regret later, read the entire article!

Why do I say God is not going to do these things? Because He has (past tense) already healed us (1 Peter 2:24) and saved us (Ephesians 28 & John 3:16) and blessed us (Ephesians 1:3) over 2000 years ago. Yet, I still hear believers today praying and asking God to heal them or to heal a loved one. I hear ministers proclaim with a loud voice as they lay hands on the sick say, “we just ask you, Father, in Jesus’ name to please send your healing power now.” It makes me sad and angry all at the same time. Why? Because it sends a confused message to the body of Christ and a confused message to the world. When believers are continually waiting on God to heal or to bless in some way or other, continually waiting on a deeper revelation or greater understanding so that they might obtain their healing they completely miss the simple truth of the gospel of Christ, and try to get Jesus to do something that has he has already done and said was finished.

What does that mean? It is finished! That means God has completed His part or done His part.  When Jesus cried out in (John 19:30), “It is finished’, He really meant what he said. His work on earth was done. The Atonement for sin, sickness and disease was complete. He provided everything we could ever need. We aren’t waiting on Him to give, He is waiting on us to receive. People are always trying to find out what their part is. Well your part is to R-E-C-E-I-V-E. Receive what? To receive the healing that belongs to you, to receive the blessings that belong to you, and to receive the salvation that is yours.

Let’s look at some scripture starting with the Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” do you know what the word “spiritual” here means? In the original Greek text, it is pneumatikos, which in this context means having properties and characteristics belonging to the Spirit of God.(emphasis mine). Paul in writing the book of Ephesians he wrote it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit from the perspective that all things are ours in Christ. Any blessing you or I have or need is not something we must strive and fight to get. It is something we already have! Listen, God provided for us before we had the need. It is just a matter of receiving what has already been provided or what has already been done.

Nothing Yet To Be Done

This is so important! I cannot emphasize it enough! The understanding that any blessing you could ever need or desire from the Lord is done, and when this is understood it brings an assurance that is enormous. It completely destroys legalism and the performance mentality, and takes all the pressure off. Why? Because how are you going to doubt that God our Father will do something for you if He’s already done it!

Let me illustrate it this way:  When I was going to Bible school, before I started I found out I had to pay $1100 on the day of orientation, and I did not have any of the money. So I did the only thing I could do, I went to the Lord about it. On the night before school was to start I still did not have the money needed. I had ask already and had it settled in my heart that God wanted me to go to this Bible school and I figured if He wanted me to go then He would have to supply what was needed.

Now, if you think I did not have any opposition from the devil, oh boy, it was intense or if you think I had no doubts about it, you would be wrong. The devil fought me saying ,“you’re never going to get the money” and  “what kind of a man are you, you brought your whole family out here to go to Bible school and you will not even get to go”… on and on Satan harassed me. That night I was at a friend’s house and his roommate, who I had never met, came home. He had been visiting family. He was also a student and was to start his second year. As we talked and got to know each other he happened to ask, “so are you all ready to start in the morning?” I said, Yes, I was ready. Then he asked, “Do you have all your money for orientation?” I said not all. Well, how much do you lack yet? He asked. I said, “Well, all of it.” At that point he kind of laughed and said, “I have enough to cover it, and will give it to you if you can pay me back in a few weeks” and he did and I did.

So the next morning I paid the $1100 to the school for my tuition and the moment I did every doubt, every harassing thought, and every negative thing disappeared from me. You’re probably saying, “Well, of course they did! You had it, no need to wonder if you are going to get it now! That would be dumb” and you would be 100% right and that is my point. Have you ever prayed to be healed and then in your next thought wondered if you would really get healed? If you said yes, I can tell you why. Because you don’t view healing as something that has already been done but as something that has yet to be done or accomplished in you or for you.

If You Were, Then You Are

Now quickly let’s look at 1 Peter 2:24 and see how it applies to our life today.

1 Peter 2:24 (KJV): Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. First, we must understand that when Jesus died for our sin, it was not a token gesture. He did not take a sample of sin and use it as an example. No, when He died the Bible teaches us that Jesus became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). He took every sin for every person (the entire human race) for all time into His own body on the cross. You know the scripture teaches us that His face was so disfigured, more than any man and He didn’t even look human. You would scarcely recognize Him as a man. (Isaiah 52:14). Sin and all the toll it takes on mankind (sickness, disease, age, and pain) came into the sinless body of Jesus, who had never ever sinned or had His body ever know the effects of sin and corrupted it. Jesus knew this was going to happen and that’s why He ask His Father to, ‘let this cup of suffering pass from Him’. It was not only what was to happen to Him physically but He did not want to become sin. But Jesus, our Pure Holy Savior, knew this was what He came to do. Truly the religious leaders who fought to have Jesus crucified said when they were taunting Him “He saved others; himself he cannot save….” (Matthew 27:42). If he would have saved himself, we would be forever lost.

This is a very interesting verse and so packed with truth we could teach on this one verse for weeks, about righteousness and what it means to be “dead to sin” and much more. But that is for another time. But this verse does put the healing that Jesus obtained for us in a very special place. It puts it in the past tense. What does that mean to you and me? It means it’s a done deal, a completed fact of the agreement, it’s in the will and it belongs to me! It means if we were healed then we are healed and we are not waiting for it to happen or for God to heal us. That’s why it is really incorrect to pray for healing. Instead, we are supposed to just receive the healing that the Lord has already provided. We are not waiting on God to heal us. He’s already done His part. He is simply waiting on us take what He has provided for us and command His healing power to manifest in our bodies. I am here to witness I have done this so many times and it works. You and I must understand there is a fight but there is a difference between fighting to get our healing and fighting because we have already been healed. And that is the difference between success and failure.

How are we saved? Did it just fall on us like ripe cherries off a tree? No, Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves.” We are saved by grace, but not by grace alone, we are saved by faith but not faith alone, it is the combination of both. Faith is not true biblical faith unless it’s used in receiving what God has already fully provided for us by grace. Grace is the unearned, unmerited favor of God that He has provided to us, independent of any worth or work or value on our part. If it is in any way attached to some goodness of ours, then it is not true grace. God, on His own or by grace, has already provided all the things we will ever need.

Because the word saved or salvation has been called the great inclusive word of the Gospel (see my article “The Ultimate Word) (The Hebrew, and Greek, “sōtēria”, meaning “safety”, “preservation”, “healing”, and “soundness”), it gathers to itself all the redemptive acts, such as justification, redemption, grace, propitiation, imputation, forgiveness, sanctification, and glorification. We could say:

 

  • For by grace are ye healed through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  • For by grace are ye justified through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  • For by grace are ye redeemed through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  • For by grace are ye sanctified through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  • For by grace are ye glorified through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  • For by grace are ye safe through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  • For by grace are ye sound of mind through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  • For by grace are ye preserved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast.

So you see my point here! God has a master plan and it is all of His doing for us whom He loves with an eternal love. What I am saying is this, if God has not already moved or supplied by His grace, then we can’t make Him or force Him by our faith. (After all, where do we get the faith from in the first place?) No, faith simply appropriates what God has already provided for us by His grace. So if He’s already provided all these things for your needs and my needs by His grace, then as one man has so aptly said, “faith is just our positive response to what He has already done and not something we do to get God to respond to us.

These things have become more and more real to me of late, and I am seeing more of the manifold blessings of God not because of something I have done to deserve or earn them. These come by revelation from the Holy Spirit.  He makes these truths come to life on the inside of us. One thing that has helped me tremendously, though, is the study of Spirit, Soul and Body. As I understand more that I am a spirit, that one third of me is full of the Holy Spirit of God, wall to wall and tree top tall,  the more I understand and meditate on these truths of who I really am in Christ ,the more the Holy Spirit, our teacher, brings revelation.  My prayer is that you will bathe yourself in His word and let the washing of the water of His word (John 15:3) overtake you and be thoroughly furnished unto every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17).

 

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

 

Reference works include

Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary

Strong’s Concordance

Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of New Testament Words

King James Bible

Alexander Photos

What Sin Are You Talking About

Hebrews 8:10 (KJV) 
10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

What an awesome statement! God said He would be merciful to our unrighteousness and would not remember our sins and iniquities anymore. The difference between the Old and the New Covenants is in this scripture right here. If only Christians could believe this! And the reason why many Christians haven’t accepted this is because the Old Covenant wasn’t merciful to our unrighteousness, and our sins and iniquities were held against us. They have been living in the Old Covenant (in their thinking) and have not entered into the New Covenant. We can know that if the Lord doesn’t remember our sins, then He certainly can’t and won’t bring them up to us. He has removed them as far as the east is from the west (Psalms 103:12). If God doesn’t remember them, neither should we (Hebrews 10:2).

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. – Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.

 

There is an old song by an old gospel group, The Spear Family, titled “What Sins Are You Talking About” (see the link). I was reminded of it as I sat down to write this. We are living in the most exciting times in history and God is pouring out His love and gifts all throughout this world and we are right in the middle of it. And because of this the enemy is also stepping up his efforts. But let me encourage you in something…”we always win”!! One of the areas I see the devil operating in that is keeping the children of God held back is in the area of self-condemnation and guilt. These are not from God! (Romans 8:1) (Out of the sixteen translations that I checked, eleven left out the phrase, “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”) So what’s my point? It is this…’that there is NO condemnation from the Lord to those who are in Him, PERIOD.’ But if believers walk “after” the flesh, there can be condemnation against them from other sources. It is impossible for me to go into every aspect of this truth in this short article, but do some study on your own and use the resources that are available. Greek concordances and translations and commentaries are all available on-line and most are free.

IN & AFTER

The use of the words “in” and “after” in this chapter are very important. “In” signifies a fixed place or position. “After” signifies a lifestyle. Christians (and this is so very important to constantly keep in the forefront of our thinking) are “in” Christ and should walk “after” Christ. Now it is possible for a believer who is “in” Christ to walk “after” the flesh. But a true Christian cannot be “in” the flesh (Romans 8:9). We do not have TWO natures living on the inside of us. When you accept Christ as your Savior your spirit is totally made new and there is no old sin nature left inside of you. This probably comes as a complete shock to a lot of you reading this who have been taught to believe in the-old-nature-versus-the-new-nature theology. Many Christians have been taught to believe that after salvation they are still the same at their core. I heard one minister say this (as a matter of fact years ago I said it myself), “it’s like having two wild dogs on the inside of you and to whichever one you say sickum to the most wins” and they live the rest of their lives trying to restrain this old nature. They believe they have two natures. Dear friends, that’s schizophrenic, and it produces Christians who are nothing like Christ. So, why then…..you may be thinking, do Christians still struggle to live the ‘Christian life? Well, in Romans 6:6 it says this “That the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” The sin nature is dead and gone, but like us when we die we will leave behind a body, and the body left behind in this case is the carnal mind. It’s like a computer that has bad programming in it and until it is reprogrammed it will function under the old program. It needs to be programmed. But GOOD NEWS is that the Bible says in Rom. 12:2 that your mind can be renewed or programmed, transformed. (see also I Cor. 2:16) If you have not studied the subject of Spirit, Soul and Body, let me encourage you to do so as it will open up the Word of God for you. It is a powerful study!

Paul makes it very clear, distinguishing between “in” and “after”,  that born again people cannot be “in” the flesh but they can walk “after” the flesh. I know this upsets some of our thinking and theology but it needs to be. The word that was translated “in” here is the Greek word “EN,” and it denotes a “(fixed) position (in place, time or state)” (Strong’s Concordance # G1722). In contrast, the word that was translated “after” in Romans 8:1, 4-5, and 12-13 denotes “according to anything as a standard, agreeably to” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon G2596). Therefore, when Paul spoke of being “in” the flesh or Spirit, he was referring to a fixed position or state. When he spoke of being “after” the flesh or Spirit, he was referring to whatever we might be using as a standard of conduct or whatever we are agreeing to at some point in time. Christians can agree to or conduct their actions according to some standard other than God’s and still keep their position in Christ (Romans 6:20) (chew slowly as this is a big piece of meat). So Christians can walk “after” the flesh, but they are never considered “in” the flesh. So now we know this truth, that we are now new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and have a new identity, we are a new species that never existed before (as one translation puts it) which is our spiritual man, not the flesh. An unbeliever might try to walk “after” Christ, but the truth is they will always be “in” the flesh until they put their faith in Christ alone. ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God.’ (Heb. 11:6)

Romans 6:22 makes an amazing point. Paul is saying that in the same way that our good acts could not change our sinful nature before we were born again, likewise, our sinful acts cannot change our righteous nature now that we have become new creatures in Christ Jesus. Servants of sin is a description of people before they were born again, and likewise when he says free from righteousness he is not saying that a lost person cannot do anything that is right but what he is saying is all, every good act they do is not enough to change their NATURE. Why? Because they must be born again. (John 3:3,16)

RECEIVE HIS GIFT OF NO CONDEMNATION

So why am I saying all this? It is to bring you, the Christian, out of the place where the devil defeats so many and keeps God’s children dwelling on sin and keeps healing from being manifested and victory maintained. When the Christian continues in condemnation and guilt he or she lives a sick and defeated life. The Greek word translated “condemnation” in Romans 8:1 is “KATAKRIMA,” and it means “an adverse sentence (the verdict)” (Strong’s Concordance # 2631). Paul was stating that God has no adverse sentence against us once we receive Him and confess Him as Lord. All our punishment has been placed on Jesus, and we don’t need to bear it because if we were to bear it then that would be double jeopardy (Legal Definition: No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure). Those of us who still walk in condemnation are being condemned by the devil or are condemning ourselves. It is not God who condemns us! That would be a miscarriage of justice and God is faithful and just. (Romans 8:34).

We, as born again believers, are free from the law of sin and death. We are free to receive God’s free gift of Righteousness and no condemnation. We are free to walk in health and victory and joy and peace. It is time for the child of God to do as the Father of Jesus has done and accept the judgment that was placed on Jesus as sufficient and as full payment for the debt of sin that was owed.

 

 

References

Strong’s Concordance

Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of New Testament Words

King James Bible

Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.

 

 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

 

What Does His Blood Deserve

Often people judge their ability to receive from God based on their worthiness or their behavior of the preceding days. Another way of saying it is, they expect from God based on how spiritual or good they have been. And in that frame of mind they tend to think they either deserve or don’t deserve a thing. Perhaps a couple on the way to church on a Sunday morning engages in a dispute and by the time they reach the church they are quite angry with one another and entering into the service one or both of them are thinking, “Well, I am not going to get anything from God today!” Their reasoning for this is because they are or were in an argument and may still be upset so therefore how could God bless them this morning because they don’t DESERVE it based on their performance.

People sometimes get sick and often think they are in that condition because of something they have or have not done and God is disappointed with them. They somehow feel that they deserve what they are having to deal with, sort of an ‘I made my bed hard so I will just have to lie in it” mindset, judging themselves to be unfit or unworthy or undeserving of the blessings of the promises of God. They apply this way of thinking to every area of their life.

Questions will start to arise: How do I receive healing? …..How do I receive prosperity? …..How do I receive the things I need so badly? …..What am I not understanding? …..What am I doing or not doing that is causing me to not be on the blessing side of things? And what is really being said here is, “I judge myself as unworthy.” This is a mentality called Sin Consciousness and is prevalent in Christianity today throughout the body of Christ, I am sad to say. This kind of thinking leads to depression, steals ambition and causes sickness and will even break apart good families and friends…. Sin Consciousness is a killer.

With this type of thinking what we are really doing is judging Jesus as unworthy. Now I know this is a bit of a shocker but none the less it is true.  Look at Acts 13:46 – Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. You see, they (the Jews) judged themselves as unworthy to receive God’s grace and blessing and mercy and benefit. Because they judged Him and His sacrifice as unworthy or unacceptable for them on their behalf they judged his sacrifice as unable to redeem them. This type of thinking is keeping many, many believers in the body of Christ today away from the goodness of God and His great love and the benefits he has already provided for them. I firmly believe many stop going to church, not because they don’t love God, but because they feel they cannot live up to the rules and standards placed before them that say, “This is what a good Christian looks like and acts like, and if you don’t look like this and act this way you aren’t a good Christian…and on and on and on” and they leave because they judge themselves as unworthy and refuse to be a part of something they feel they cannot attain to.

This verse makes it clear that these people passed sentence on themselves. It wasn’t God’s will for them to perish (2 Peter 3:9), but God only provided one way of salvation (John 14:6). No one will ever be able to stand before God and point the finger at Him and accuse Him of being unfair. Those who reject God’s Word send themselves to hell. (Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary)

We can also add that those who reject Christ and what He has done are keeping the blessings of God from being active in their lives. Why? Because, by not recognizing that Jesus is our supreme sacrifice and substitute, we negate in our lives all that was finished on the cross. You see we are not worthy in and of ourselves! Our OWN righteousness is as a filthy rag. But we are not receiving and operating based on our own righteousness. We are receiving and operating based on HIS righteousness and His obedience and His worthiness.

What Does Jesus’ Blood Deserve?

When we begin to look at every aspect of our life in the light of what Jesus’ blood has done for us and what His blood has secured for us we begin to understand that it is not a matter of what the standards and rules we impose on ourselves and others can do for us based on our performance of those rules. When we finally look at the great salvation in the light of what He has done and what His blood deserves, we can then begin to be truly free and live an abundant life in Christ. That’s when we understand that Jesus’ Blood Deserves:

Miracles

Healings (1 Peter 2:24)

Captives set free

Family members brought into the body

Devils defeated

Blind eyes opened

Dead raised

Financial breakthroughs

Abundant life lived

Promotions

Freedom from condemnation

Released from guilt

Judgment satisfied

Because all of God’s judgment was poured out on Jesus (John 12:31 – Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 – And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.) Notice that the word men is italicized. This means it was added by the translators. The context of the verse is talking about judgment. What Jesus was saying here is, if He is lifted up then He will draw all judgment to Himself, not necessarily drawing all men. Although this is a scriptural truth, it may not be what is meant here. Jesus was saying that when He is crucified, He would draw all of God’s judgment upon sin unto Himself. And yes, He did bear our judgment so we would never have to be judged. Jesus was judged and punished for us. So by accepting Him we are accepting that we are not the recipients of God’s punishment for sin but Jesus was.

His Blood Deserves…… It is not what we deserve but it is all about JESUS …….

We Receive From His Hands

I heard a great illustration from Pastor Franklin:

A little boy came into a candy shop and walked over to a big jar of candies and stood looking at it. The boy’s clothes were worn and he was a bit unkempt and it seemed obvious he could not buy what he desired. So the shop owner said to him, “Go ahead and reach your hand into the jar and get what you want and I will not charge you for it.” But the little boy just stood there looking at the jar of candy. So again the shop owner said, “Go ahead, son, put your hand in and get as much as you can grab and you can have it for “free!” But again the boy just stood staring at the candy jar. Finally, a little frustrated, the shop owner reached in with his own hand and pulled out a big handful of the candy. When he did the little boy smiled and held out both hands, then looking up at the shop owner and said, “Thanks, your hands are much bigger than mine are!”

You see, Jesus’s hands are much bigger than ours. His reach is much greater than our reach and His ability is beyond what we can do. When we receive from His hand, of what He has obtained for us, then we will have more than what we could have asked or thought (Eph. 3:20) The only problem is we can limit what God can do, because of our unbelief or by counting ourselves unworthy to receive what Jesus has procured for us.

We Must Get Out Of This Performance Based Religious Thinking

So what is the answer to the question, “What does His blood deserve?” His blood deserves every good and perfect gift, every benefit, every victory. Why? In Revelation 5:12 it says, ‘Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.’  You are worthy to receive because Jesus Christ was and is worthy. Not by works of righteous which we have done, but by grace through faith we are saved. Trust not in your performance and your standards and your abilities but solely in Christ Alone. Understanding redemption, the complete forgiveness of your sins, is foundational to understanding the New Covenant and how God deals with us today. He deals with us in light of what Jesus has done, and the work completed on the cross, all the debt has been paid.

 

Maybe you could have raised your kids better. Maybe you did mess up with adultery and went through a bad divorce or had a child when you were unmarried and still in high school. Perhaps you see where your children are just like you and this keeps you from praying and believing that God’s favor is on your life. But all these things combined and more are not enough to negate what Jesus has done for you and all who will accept Him as Lord and Savior! You see, I once belonged to a group that was sensitive to sin, had high “standards” to attain to and placed a lot of emphasis on how we dressed, where we went and many other things. We feared God. Not in a wrong way, but with a reverential respect of God and who He is. But what happens many times is those who are sensitive to sin to stay away from it (and that’s a good thing), find themselves being manipulated by the devil because the very standards and sensitivity that can and should be an attribute and asset can also be used as a liability working against you. Because you did not keep that standard one day or you sin, you count yourself as unworthy because your performance was not up to par. We begin to look at others with our standards and because they are not living according to our expectation we disqualify them and look down our sanctified noses as if we walk on a higher plane. Then one day we find ourselves unable to live up to our own standards and our performance is not what it should be and we think we can no longer go to God boldly because we have judged ourselves “unworthy” and we then negate what has been done for us through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Every false religion—even religious Christianity—puts the burden of salvation back upon the individual. “Salvation” is then based upon your performance. If you live holy enough, do enough good things, observe all of these rituals and rules, your own standards of what makes a “good” Christian then you might be able to be saved. The problem is—and the book of Romans makes this very clear—that none of us can live up to those standards. We can’t save ourselves!

Only Jesus is worthy and because He is we are…………

 

Reff:

Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.

Jentzen Franklin Ministries

KJV Bible

Message Bible

 

Since When Did Grace Become Not So ‘Sweet The Sound’

When did the word grace become a battle cry for Christians to choose which side to be on? When did grace become a dividing mark, in the place of a point, to bring the hurting comfort and cause the blind to see? When did the mere mention of the word grace cause believers to begin to size up one another as an opponent. Why is it wrong for me or any other brother or sister to say I am a preacher of grace or a preacher of righteousness standing firmly on the foundation of Christ, the Solid Rock, and placing all other ground that is not built on Christ and His righteousness as sinking sand? Where would we be without the grace of God and His great love? It seems to me that we have allowed the enemy to take something so amazing and awesome and make it into a battlefield of contention and a detraction from what it really is.

Without the grace of God there is no hope and the world would be lost. It has become ‘I am of Paul and I am of Apollos (1 Cor. 3:4). It has gotten to the point that we are even apprehensive of writing anything with the word grace in it or to say the “G” word from most pulpits without an elaborated explanation of what we really mean. As long as things like this prevail, it shows that the body of Christ is still carnal, and all the while the devil laughs and the lost remain so.

A Word About Covenants (Agreements)

Today we live under a New Covenant, a better covenant or, we might say, a new dispensation. The Jewish people had a covenant with God before the Law of Moses and He was totally faithful to His agreement with them as He is with us. That agreement was a foreshadowing of the New Covenant (or dispensation of grace) that we live under today.  Before the Law was given by God the children of God depended on God and His faithfulness. His grace was sufficient for them. (Psalm 105:37) (2 Cor. 12:9)

Let’s look at two key words and their definitions to see just what they mean to us as believers today. (Words are very important and if you have been a follower of this ministry very long, you know that I have written and spoken about the words that come out of your mouth framing your world.)

Covenant: The term “covenant” is of Latin origin (con venire), meaning ‘a coming together’. It presupposes two or more parties who come together to make a contract agreeing on promises, stipulations, privileges, and responsibilities. (Smith’s Bible Dictionary)

Dispensation: A Dispensation is a period of time.  Dispensationalism is an approach to biblical interpretation which states that God uses different means of working with people (Israel and the Church) during different periods of history, usually seven chronologically successive periods.  Views vary from three periods to four, seven, and eight dispensations.  But seven is the most common perspective. The Scriptures divide time (by which is meant the entire period from the creation of Adam to the “new heaven and a new earth” of Rev. 21: 1) into seven unequal periods, usually called dispensations (Eph. 3:2), although these periods are also called ages (Eph. 2:7) and days, as in “day of the Lord.” Five of these dispensations, or periods of time, have been fulfilled; we are living in the sixth, and the seventh and last is before us.

The dispensations are as follows. (I will give only some scripture reference about these as it is not the point of this message and we will be focusing on where we are now and what this dispensation means to us and how we are to be living in it.)

  1. Innocence (Gen. 1:26; Gen. 2:16, 17; Gen. 3:6; Gen. 3:22-24.)
  2. Conscience (Gen. 3:7, 22; Gen. 6:5, 11-12; Gen. 7:11-12, 23.)
  3. Human government (Gen. 9: 1, 2; Gen. 11: 1-4; Gen. 11:5-8.)
  4. Promise (Gen. 12:1-3; Gen. 13:14-17; Gen. 15:5; Gen. 26:3; Gen. 28:12-13; Exod. 1: 13-14.)
  5. Law (Exod. 19:1-8; 2 Kings 17:1-18; 2 Kings 25: 1 -11; Acts 2:22-23; Acts 7:5152; Rom. 3:19-20; Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3: 10.)
  6. Grace – The age in which we live now (Hebrews 8:6 -13, John 6:29, 47, John 10:27-28, Eph. 2:8-9) The entire New Testament letters
  7. Millennium (Isa. 2:1-4; Isa. 11; Acts 15:14-17; Rev. 19:11-21; Rev. 20:1-6)

The thing we must be careful of is not to apply the truth of one agreement (dispensation) and the truth of another agreement (or dispensation) and try to mix them. (That would be like trying to apply the rules of football and the rules of soccer together. If you mix them it does not work and just causes confusion.) There was over 2500 years of mercy but we must be careful not to do what others did and still do and mistake God’s mercy and lack of judgment as approval. Also note that there are different housekeeping rules during the different dispensations (we will look at these in the next lesson).

Under the Old Testament the people were working for God but under the New Testament God is working for us. We could say it this way, ‘the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ brought in the dispensation of grace (undeserved favor) and now God is giving righteousness, instead of God requiring righteousness, as under law’. Salvation, perfect and eternal, is now freely offered to Jew and Gentile alike by faith through grace in Christ.” We can see in Hebrews 8:9 that God is saying, “I am not going to make another agreement where I have to do what I don’t want to do.”

Hebrews 8:6-13 (KJV)

6  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

7  For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

8  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

9  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

11  And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

13  In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

 

You see, Jesus did not come to give more law (Gal 4:2-7) (Gal.3:22-24) Why? Because you do not need the law when you are being led by the Spirit of God (Titus 2). As long as you are under a law you are looking for a rule to tell you what you should do. Many Christians today still want the 10 commandments to be used as there moral guide and that is because they do not understand that the Holy Spirit is much more capable of guiding than a written code of do’s and don’ts.

Our New Covenant is better than the Old Covenant in every way. If not, then we should go back under the Old Covenant and adhere to the killing of animals to atone for sin because at least under that agreement the sins of the people were cleared for an entire year before the blood had to be reapplied. But under this NEW AGREEMENT Jesus’ blood was applied once and for all. The greatest difference in the New Covenant is that it is based on Jesus’ holiness, while the Old Covenant was based on the individual’s holiness. The Old Covenant would be broken, because no man was (or is) capable of keeping it completely. But the New Covenant cannot be broken! Why? Because this covenant is between God the Father and God the Son (Jesus) and we get all the benefits of Jesus’ covenant with His Father.

 

In our next teaching we will look at what changed and how those changes affect us, the New Testament believer, today and for all eternity. (I have placed some scripture so that if you are interested in this topic you can do some studying on your own.

 

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

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.

Be A Radio

Ever wonder why the finished works of Jesus are not manifesting themselves in our lives? Well, first we must understand the part our faith plays in laying hold of what grace has made available. First of all, let us start by accepting by faith that God has already given us everything we will ever need to live, through the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross.  Everything in the physical realm begins in the spiritual realm. That means in order to experience physical blessings, we must first receive spiritual blessings.  These spiritual blessings are in Christ, and when Christ is in us, we then should realize that God has already placed what we need inside of us. Believing this strengthens our faith. It’s like the old Prego spaghetti sauce ad that said, “It’s in There!”

I hear almost everyday believers talking about how to receive the things they are needing from God but somehow feel they are not attainable, at least not right away, when all the time Jesus has given all things freely to all who will receive them. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books with titles consistent with the thinking that it is a formula we must follow, for example: “7 Steps to Prosperity” or “5 Steps to Healing” or “To Get Your Prayers Answered Do These 3 Things” and the list goes on. Yet we just keep buying them hoping that the next book or CD will have the key.

Many sincere Christians make statements such as “I’m going to put my faith on ____ and confess it and make it manifest” or “I’m believing for _____.” It’s kind of a push this button, pull that lever and if you don’t happen to do it all in the right order, well, then your faith didn’t work, better luck next time. It’s the idea we can make something happen with our faith even if God has not provided it through His grace.

Let me explain: On the grace side God has provided salvation, healing, deliverance, prosperity, joy, and much, much more. It’s all there for us to make a demand on for our benefit and it’s all freely given to us. But it seems many have the idea that even if His grace has not provided it we can simply use our faith and make it happen. I’ve heard people say “Well I’m just going to put my faith on it and make it happen!” No, you’re not! If God has not provided it by His grace, then you are not going to make it happen or materialize it with your faith. You are not going to make something appear because you have confessed it over and over again. I know to many who are reading this that this statement is a real blow to their doctrine.

It’s the same ideology that says I gave this or did that, so therefore God is obligated to me to do XYZ. It is the same thinking that says, “I have to be good and do good so I can maintain MY righteousness. I’ve heard people say this. But my friends I have something to share with you. God is not obligated to you because of your works and it’s not YOUR righteousness.

It’s that whole Titus 3:5-7 thing: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Our salvation is a grace gift. It’s not because of any goodness or good thing on our part! In other words you and I could not do enough good things to become righteous, it is a gift. All we have to do is receive it by faith. Oh, and here is how to use faith to receive in case you were about say, “Yeah, but this faith thing…” Here I am about to demonstrate faith for receiving…… I believe what you said Jesus! Thank you, Lord. (Romans 4:1-6)

So what’s the answer? How do we receive those things God says we can and should have? Well, as the title of this article says, I suggest that you “Be a Radio.” And what does that mean, you ask? What is the sole function of a radio, what does it do? I’ve asked this question to a lot of people and I get just about the same answer each time, people say “it sends out a signal” or it “broadcasts something” No, the station broadcasts. But the radio doesn’t do that at all. The radio does is one thing.

It Receives! That’s it! The signal comes from the station and a tower helps that signal reach long distances but all that radio sitting in your house or car or office does is receive that signal.

(In radio communications, a radio receiver (commonly also called a radio) is an electronic device that receives radio waves and converts the information carried by them to a usable form. It is used with an antenna)

So I tell Christians all the time to be a radio. When it comes to healing or finances or something God has provided by His grace, quit trying to work for it, pay for it or pledge and make promises for it. Simply learn to just tune in to Him and receive. Now a radio doesn’t care in the least what it plays, it will play any station that has a signal.

So how can we know that we are tuning to the right broadcast?

Easy! The Bible teaches us, in regards to a shepherd and his sheep, that the sheep know his voice. (John 10:4) So we know which voice to tune into. No problem there because if we are a son or daughter of God, then we know His voice.

Also remember: If it is not provided for by His grace then you can never make it manifest with Faith because you cannot make a demand on something that is not provided thru His finished work. By grace are you saved through faith……….

   Our faith takes what God’s grace has made available.                   

Grace Provided Through the Finished Work    |   Received Through the Faith of the Believer


Salvation
  • JOHN 3:16
  • ROMANS 10:9
 |  Ask
  • Provided by Grace through the finished work on the cross
  • I believe what you Jesus Thank You.
Healing
  • 1 PETER 2:24
  • ISAIAH 53
 |  Rest
  •  1 Cor. 1:20
  • Heb. 4:1
Prosperity
  • 3 JOHN 1:2
  • 2 COR 8:9
   
All Things That Pertain to Life and Godliness
  • ROM 8:32
  • PHP 4:19
 |  Receive
  •  1 JOHN 5:14-15
  • JOHN 14:14

All the promises contained in the Bible are based on the finished works of Jesus Christ: His redemptive work done on the cross and through His death, burial and resurrection.

  • God’s divine power has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us (2 Peter 1:3).
  • God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).
  • Jesus bore our sins in His body on the cross so we could die to sin and live to righteousness. We were healed by His stripes (1 Peter 2:24).
  • We are saved through faith, by grace. This is a gift from God. By His unmerited favor we are delivered from judgment through our faith. This salvation is not of ourselves (Ephesians 2:8, AMP).

One man said it like this and I really like it he said, “Faith is the tunnel bringing what we cannot see into manifestations that we can see”

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.