Amazing Husband Part 5

Every Christian should know that the church is the bride of Christ – Revelation 21:9 – “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” In Scripture, the Lord uses the “marriage” analogy of our grace relationship to help us define His relationship with the church, believers.

Romans 6:14 – For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. So what exactly does that mean? The Apostle Paul explains this in Chapter 7 in Romans.

Romans 7:1 – Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? (Verse 2) For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.

(Verse 3) So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. (Verse 4) Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another even to Him who was raised from the dead that we should bear fruit to God.

God gave the law and the law is not bad, but there is one who is bad and his name is Satan. Satan is called the “accuser” of the brethren. And here is what he accuses us with, the law. Satan will condemn us by taking something that is good and uses it for bad. This is what the Apostle Paul devoted his life to deal with.

Here is what Paul is saying in these verses: You, us, believers, were married to the law, but we died to the law so we are now free to be married to another – Jesus. But because we were married to the law for a season, this messes our thinking up with how Jesus wants to treat us!

Think about this: What kind of husband do you think the law is? Is the law a forgiving husband? Is the law a loving husband? Is it caring or kind? Is the law compassionate or understanding? No, to all of these.

Here’s what the law does: The law points out what we do right and what we do wrong. The law is overbearing, faultfinding, critical, and judgmental husband. That’s who we were married to for a season. But now we are married to Christ. But how did we get married to Christ? How can we be free to marry someone else?

God came up with this brilliant plan: The law is not going to die, but we die, not physically, but we die to self, our own desires. If we die to that, we can be married to another. That’s what Romans Chapter 6 is all about. We can be buried in baptism and raised free to be married to Christ.

The law cannot justify.

The law cannot justify us in the sight of God. Romans 3:20 – Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight. Romans 3:28 – Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

In the book of Galatians, there were people around that were saying, “We believe in the gospel of Paul, that we are saved by faith,” yet they were also saying that in order to mature, in order to be sanctified, in order to keep your salvation, you also have to follow the law.

We are still dealing with this today in some churches. They say, “Yes, we are saved by grace through faith, but you still have to do this, this, and this.” Paul addresses a group in Galatians that were telling Gentiles that they had to be circumcised in order to keep their salvation.

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? (Verse 2) This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (Verse 3) Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

When people think “grace” plus “law,” it’s hearsay, false doctrine. Here is the reason: You reduce Christianity to the same level as every other religion in the world. First of all, Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship. But every religion in the world teaches “works!” You have to do something to be in right relationship with God according to those. Christianity is the only faith where we have to “receive.”

If you were raised in a very legalistic church, you will always struggle with your performance for God.

The law cannot empower.

Romans 7:4 – Therefore my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another – to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

Jesus is the fruit-producing vine as opposed to a wild vine. The only way we are ever going to bear fruit is to be married to Jesus. Jesus is the husband that can give us fruit. Galatians 2:21 – “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law then Christ died in vain.” 

If we could be righteous through the law, our performance, then why would Jesus have died for our sins? Do laws of “thou shall not” make you stop doing what the law said not to do? Does any law make everyone obey them? No. We can have all the laws we want, but none of them will keep people from breaking them. The same goes for God’s laws.

Once you read the laws of God, were you empowered to never do what He said not to, do again? The law can’t empower us to stop doing anything, only the grace of God can empower us. The only way we break any stronghold in our life is to give our lives to Jesus Christ. The power to overcome comes from Jesus!

Is it not better to be married to a person than to be married to a list of don’ts or do’s? Many Christians are trying to empress their second husband, Jesus, by keeping a good relationship with their first husband, the law. Try that in the natural ans see how it works out. You can’t take the faultfinding do’s and don’ts and use it to empress the second husband. Can you imagine a wife still going over to her first husband’s house and serving him and then telling the second husband that this will make their marriage better? That’s nuts.

Love can justify and empower.

Who is love? The Bible says God is love! God can justify and God can empower. The Pharisees asked Jesus what he greatest commandment was and Jesus said, “Love… Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” The whole law is wrapped up in those two.

Love is the strongest governing force in the world. Some people think that if they teach more grace than the law, people will sin more. That’s wrong. Grace does not produce sin, it produces righteousness! God doesn’t think like we do. God says, “If you want to receive, give; if you want to have authority, get under authority; if you want to live, die to self; and if you want to have a holy church, preach on grace!

What gives sin its strength? 1 Corinthians 15:56 – the strength of sin is the law.

If someone sits under a legalistic church, they will follow the rules as long as they can and then they break! They will walk away frustrated and go back to the way they were before being saved. I’ve seen this happen especially when they are not being taught about God’s amazing grace.

We die to the law husband and marry the grace husband – Jesus Christ! Which kind of husband do you want to be married to? Jesus tells us that He will never leave us or be unfaithful even though we might.

 

 

Amazing Salvation Part 4

Romans 10:13 – For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Saved – Sozo – To save, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction. To save a suffering one from perishing, to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to deliver from the penalties of judgment. To make one whole: spirit,, soul, and body.

Salvation is eternal: past, present, and future.

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

1 John 2:25 – And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life. 

1 John 5:13 – These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. Since God is eternal, salvation is eternal. When most of us think of eternal, we tend to only think of the future. But, eternal is that God has always existed, does exist, and always will exist! “I am that I am,” is what God told Moses His name was. In that statement, God is saying, “I am eternal!” Before anything, God was.

Revelation 1:4 – John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,…

Revelation 1:8 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

He is the author of eternal salvation. There is a past, present, and future tense of salvation: Past – who was; Present – who is; Future – who is to come. According to the Bible: You have been saved, you are being saved, and you will be saved.

We have been saved from the penalty of sin; you are being saved as we learn and grow in Christ, and we will be saved from the presence of sin. We have been saved in our spirit; we are being saved in our soul (mind, will, and emotions); and our body will be saved one day.

If we don’t understand that we “have been” saved, then we will have an incorrect view of “are being” saved. However, if you do understand salvation in the past then we will have peace in the present and faith for the future.

If you don’t understand the past tense of past salvation then you will have pressure in the present and fear in the future.

Whosoever calls o the name of the Lord will be saved, meaning: saved, justified, sanctified, accepted in the beloved, redeemed, and forgiven. If you have believed, you have been saved. If a person doesn’t understand this, they will always be trying to achieve something. Salvation is not a goal to be achieved. It is a gift to be received! All through Scripture, salvation is described as a gift!

In these next verses, look for past tense: Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Verse 4) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (Verse 5) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, (Verse 6) to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:11 – In Him, in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, (Verse 12) that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. (Verse 13) In Him you also trusted after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, (Verse 14) who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

We were bought with a price, purchased possession! We are owned by God! How could God ever lose something that He owns?

In 1 Corinthians, Chapter 6, verses 9 & 10, Paul lists the sins. If you go read it, I’m sure we all will find ourselves there before we came to Christ. However, 1 Corinthians 6:11 says, And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. This is all past tense!

So what do people do now that they know this?

Luke 15:10 – “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The first thing people do is repent. And because we have repented, we then rejoice! Do you know why many believers don’t rejoice during a time of worship in the house of God? Because they are still looking for favor with God. But if they truly believed, they can stop looking for that favor because it’s already there!

The biggest problem that a believer has being joyful over their salvation is because they have only believed in their mind, not with their heart. You can’t just believe with your mind, thinking you can still live any way you want. The Bible says, “You will know them by their fruit.” What kind of fruit are they producing? If a person is still living for themselves, still going their own way and still in charge, then they haven’t trusted in Jesus and are on their way to hell.

The only way a person gets truly saved is to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and that means you follow His ways.

 

 

Amazing Immutability Part 3

This word “immutability” refers to the unchangeableness of God. Immutable means unchangeable, impossible to change. Mutation is something that can change. God cannot change because He has no need to change. He is perfect in all His ways.

Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.”

1 Samuel 15:29 – “And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent.” 

Malachi 3:6 – “For I am the LORD, I do not change.”

The book of Hebrews was written to tell the Jews that if they didn’t stop acting like Hebrews they would only end up being Hebrews. In other words: It was written to people who knew the law. And because of that, the writer begins with a foundation that many Gentiles didn’t have.

Hebrews 6:13 – For when God made a promise to Abraham because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, (Verse 14) saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” (Verse 15) And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

(Verse 16) For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. (Verse 17) Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,

(Verse 18) that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. (Verse 19) This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, (Verse 20) where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

So this hope that we have is based on that God can’t change and He can’t lie, anchors our soul. This is our emotions, what we’re thinking and how we are feeling.

So if we understand when we are going through a battle that God can’t change, then we have an anchor in the storm. This word immutability and immutable is only seen two times in the Bible and it’s in Hebrews Chapter 6. We have to understand that it’s impossible for God to lie or change.

When we take an oath, we have to swear by someone greater than ourselves. This tradition comes from Jewdisim. God had no one greater than Himself to swear by so the covenant that He made with Abraham, He swore by Himself.

Hebrews 6:17 (NASB) In the same way God, desiring, even more, to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His promise.

Who are the heirs of the promise? Romans 4:13 – For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. (Verse 14) For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect.

In the same way that God made an oath, covenant, with Abraham, this is the new covenant by which God took an oath and He can’t lie. The new covenant is grace! What are the things in the new covenant that God can’t change?

Jesus is our Hig Priest forever.

Hebrews 6:20 – where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 7:17 – For He testifies: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (This is also stated in Psalm 110:4.)

Hebrews 7:23 – And there were many priests because they were prevented by death from continuing. (Verse 24) But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.

There is no possibility of Jesus not remaining High Priest for those who believe in Him. He’s our High Priest forever. All other priest died before, but Jesus lives and remains forever.

Hebrews 10:11 – And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, (Verse 13) from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 

He sat down because it was finished! He will never die on the cross again. He lived a perfect life and died the perfect sacrifice. My question that I always wonder is: Who came up with the idea, if they know Scripture, why would there still be priests today? Do they not know that there is only One Priest and only that One could take away sin? All the other so-called priests in the world are useless. Nowhere in the New Testament after Jesus, does it say that priests should be appointed. That is man-made!

Is Jesus still your High Priest when you have a bad week?

Jesus is our Mediator of the New Covenant forever.

Hebrews 8:6 – But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

A better covenant with better promises. When you think of the Old Covenant, that’s the Mosaic covenant. Why is the New Covenant better than the old? Because the New can do something the Old cant’ do. It cleanses our sin, not just cover our sin! It cleanses us from all sin and unrighteousness. It can cleanse our conscience so we don’t serve God out of dead works. A dead work is a work done trying to earn the favor of God.

Hebrews 9:9 – It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience – 

Hebrews 9:13 – For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for purifying of the flesh, (Verse 14) how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Verse 15) And for this reason, He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. (Verse 2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purged, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

This verse is not talking about being perfect in our performance. It’s talking about our position with God. Does the church focus on Grace consciousness enough or is it focused too much on our failures and sin? We will become like what we focus on – success, because of what Jesus has done – or failure because we ware weak.

In comparing the Old Covenant and the New: In the Old, God wrote the law down in the book of Leviticus and the book of Deuteronomy and the people said they would follow it. But before Moses even got down from the mountain, they broke it.

However, in the New Covenant, God says, “I’m going to love you, protect you, provide for you, and forgive all your sin even though you will not be perfect in your ways.” Our part of this new covenant is to believe and accept the One and only sacrifice that was made by His Son and then and only then can we enter into a covenant with Jesus.

 

Amazing Righteousness Part 2

All of us that are saved were amazed by God’s grace. When we heard that Jesus, the Son of God died for us and all of our sins were forgiven and we can get to heaven, because we believed, we thought, “That’s amazing!” But are you still amazed by His grace?

The enemy over time tries to get us to move from grace into works. We read our Bible, maybe work in the church, and just don’t sin as much as we used to before being saved. We are doing the Christian things that we think are required of us. So do some think that just maybe they don’t need as much grace now as they did back when they were first saved? We all should still be just as amazed with saving grace as we should be with sustaining grace!

Amazing Righteousness

Romans 4:1 – What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? (Verse 2) For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God. (Verse 3) For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Verse 4) Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. (Verse 5) But to him who does not work but believes Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,…

The world, those who don’t know Christ, know nothing about this. They don’t understand this, because if they did, they would accept Christ. They don’t understand that you believe in Jesus and sin is taken out of your account and righteousness is put in your account. Is that not amazing?

If you ask a lost person how do they get to heaven, most will say that the good they do has to be more than the bad. The only problem with that thinking though is God’s standards are not just “good,” they have to be perfect. In order to be perfect, they would have to keep every one of God’s laws perfect and no one can.

James 2:10 – For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

How many of us have made one little slip of God’s law? All of us have. So if God’s standard is perfect and none of us has been perfect, how can any of us go to heaven? We believe in the Perfect One – Jesus! We believe in the One who did keep the law perfectly.

Romans 4:3 – For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

What is righteousness?

If someone tells you that a person is righteous, what would you think about that person? We would have a tendency to think that person “lives righteously.” He does righteous things. They might be a good husband; a good father; a good employee; a good and kind person. He’s in general, a good guy. He lives to the best of his ability to be righteous.

That would be a good assumption, but not the only assumption. But is this person righteous because he does righteous things, or does he do righteous things because he is righteous? This is the whole difference between grace and works. Is he righteous in God’s sight because he does righteous things? So is he right with God because he does right things, or does he do right things because God by His grace makes him right with God?

When we fully understand grace, it will change everything about our Christian life! The way we understand grace will affect the way we see God and relate to Him. It will also affect the way we see others and the way we relate to others. It will affect mainly the way we see ourselves. It will affect how we react when we stumble.

Righteousness is right standing with God. That’s the easiest definition of righteousness. Next question: Can a righteous person do an unrighteous deed? Yes. Can an unrighteous person do a righteous deed? Yes. But, does the righteous deed that the unrighteous person does make them righteous? No.

Does an unrighteous deed done by a righteous Christian, believer, make that person unrighteous? No. Why? Because believers are righteous because of their position not by performance. It’s still wrong to do unrighteous things being a believer and there will be consequences, but their right standing with God is by the blood of Jesus. It doesn’t change a believers position.

Did Abraham earn his righteousness?

Romans 4:2 – For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God. (Verse 3) For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Verse 4) Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace, but as debt.

Accounted – keeping records of credits and debts – accounting. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad to do good works, because we are saved to do good works. We’re not saved by good works but to do them. These verses in Romans are saying that if Abraham had done good works to obtain righteousness, God would have owed him a debt.

Before we were saved, all of our accounts were full of sin with maybe a few right acts. However, there are some that were right with good deeds more than others. But if the righteous deeds are done before coming to Christ then this next verse says it all: Isaiah 64:6 – all our righteousness are like filthy rags. People need to remember that verse is referring to us before you are saved. Our accounts were full of sin before we came to Christ not after we are saved, so stop saying your righteousness is as filthy rags after you are saved. That’s as if to say you didn’t receive Christ’s righteousness when you were saved.

But here’s the good news: God took the righteousness out of His own Son’s account and put the sins of the whole world in His account.

2 Corinthians 5: 21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

So when Jesus died for our sins and shed His blood, the blood of Jesus erased our sins. People don’t realize that He took the sins of the whole world. However, everyone is not saved because everyone has a free will and it is up to each individual to choose to receive what Christ did.

Keep in mind: People don’t go to hell for their sin. That sin was paid for by Christ. People go to hell for unbelief!

However, when a person believes in Christ, righteousness is put in their account. We didn’t earn it. When Abraham believed, he put works to his belief by moving when God said move. Faith without works is dead. It’s not enough o believe with just your mind. When a person really believes, they start following Jesus Christ. A lot of people believe with their mind but continue to live the way they want.

What did Abraham have to do? 

He had to believe! John 6:28, 29 – Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” (Verse 29) Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

This belief has to be in our hearts, not just our mind. Remember before Abraham believed God, there were no people of God, no Jews, no laws. Abraham was a “heathen” just like everyone else. There was no nation of Israel. Don’t blend it altogether. Moses didn’t come until 500 years later. After Abraham believed, he went into a city with his pretty wife and lied about his wife being his sister. The king then could take his wife and put her in with other concubines. Abraham did this twice. Abraham did this after he believes in God. Abraham also sleeps with a handmaid in order to have a son.

If Abraham did all this after he believed, what was he like before he believed? He wasn’t a good guy. So don’t think that this righteous man found God and just became better. It was not so. But one day God shows up to talk to him and this is what He says: “Abraham, this is going to be hard for you to believe, but I didn’t come today to judge you. I came today for one reason, to bless you.” You can read what God said in Genesis 12. And then Abraham believed God and God accounted it to Abraham as righteousness! Romans 4 says that’s what God does for us. He removes the sin in our accounts and places the righteousness of Christ in there when people believe.

Do you want your account of sin wiped out and replaced with the righteousness of Christ? It’s your choice, ready and waiting to receive Him.

 

What’s So Amazing About Grace? Part 1

Why do you think God wants us to know about His grace? All we have to do is just look around and see there are people everywhere that don’t know anything about God’s grace. Or, how many believers don’t understand God’s grace and live with a sense of shame and condemnation? And how many believers are performance oriented? How many believers live discouraged because they can never live up the expectations of themselves or others?

There is such a misunderstanding of what God’s grace does, even among believers. Is grace unmerited favor? Is it the divine enablement of God? Or should the question be, “What does grace do? One of the aspects of grace is: It does divinely enable us to live a new life in Christ.

Grace is the unmerited, undeserved, unearned kindness and favor of God!

So, what does unmerited mean? Ephesians 2:8, 9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (Verse 9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.

There will be no boasting in heaven! No one will be able to say, “Look what all I did to get here!” We will be there because of Jesus and what He did, not us. When we first get saved, we know we didn’t merit anything to get saved. However, maybe twenty years later, after all the good things we’ve done for God, we may think more highly of ourselves, as if we deserved it.

Grace is undeserved!

Even though a person might be a pastor, teacher or leader in the body of Christ, they are still undeserving of God’s grace. Romans 3:24 – being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 

Our English pronunciation of the word grace is “Charis.” The “C” in Greek is silent. So this word is actually pronounced “Ha-ris,” the “i” would be pronounced like “ee.” But it does mean the unmerited favor of God. However, this word was a cultural word before it was a Scriptual word.

The cultural meaning of “Charis” is it implies or is referred to a gift from a superior to an inferior. This was inferior in “goods,” someone in need. When a person that had wealth gave something to a person in need, that was called grace. This giving involved three parties. The person providing the goods was called the “patron.” The person receiving the goods was called the “client.” But the third person was called the “broker.”

The broker would go out into the community and see the needs of the “inferior” and would bring them together with the “superior.” The brokers actually paid for the merchandise that was given. The patron provided it, the client received it, but the broker paid for it! (Does this sound familiar?)

The broker is Jesus. He brought us together with the Father, but He also paid fully for us.

Grace is also unearned.

Romans 11:6 – and if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

If it’s free it’s not earned, otherwise free is not free. If it’s earned then it’s not free otherwise earned is not earned. It’s one or the other. Grace is either free or it’s earned and we can’t have it both ways.

Baker encyclopedia of the Bible: “Grace is the dimension of divine activity that enables God to confront human indifference and rebellion with an inexhaustible capacity to forgive and to bless.”

I think Satan loves to get people to argue about grace to the point that makes people forget that “Christ died for our sins!” Everything we do in this life that we achieve is because the Father pushes, pulls, and carries us to the finish line. We don’t get there on our own. We get there because Jesus brought us to the Father and took care of us and paid for it all!

That’s the Grace of God!!

“The Christ” Part 8

Jesus is the Christ!

Acts 17:2 – Then Paul as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, (Verse 3) explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”

Acts 18:5 – When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.

Acts 18:28 – for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly showing from Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.

So why is it so important that we understand that Jesus is the Christ? And, what does it mean practically to us? The name Christ is from the Greek word “Christos.” It’s only in the New Testament because the New Testament was written in Greek, but it’s in the New Testament 571 times.

In the Old Testament, the word for Jesus is “the Messiah.” In Hebrew, it’s “Me’sie.” Why didn’t they just say the word “Messiah?” Why didn’t they just use Messiah to describe Christ or Christos? Me’sie is in the Old Testament 39 times. It’s translated 37 times “anointed.” It was only used 2 times Messiah. Why? Because it means “The Anointed One!”

So the closest word when writing the New Testament in Greek that they had to the Hebrew word Messiah was Christos – Jesus is the Anointed One. That is what Paul was trying to tell the Jews. He is the Anointed One, the Christ.

In the Old Testament God commanded the Israelites to anoint three groups of people: Prophets, Priests, and Kings.

Exodus 30:30 – “And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and sanctify them, that they may minister to Me as priests.” (God was talking to Moses.)

1 Kings 19:16 – “Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Mimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.”

God was speaking to Elijah. Elijah represented the prophets. Elijah was to anoint the king and the prophets and Moses was to anoint the priests.

So what does it mean that Christ is the anointed One? It means that Jesus is my Prophet, my Priest, and my King! The proof is in the Scripture:

(God is speaking to Moses) Deuteronomy 18:18 – ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. (We know this is Jesus because Acts 3 quotes this verse and says Jesus is the fulfillment of this verse.)

That is Jesus the Prophet, now here is Jesus the Priest and King: Zechariah 6:13 – “Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; so He shall be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” (Who sits on a throne? A King.)

God wanted them to anoint the prophets, priests, and kings in order to get them ready for one day when God sent the true Prophet, the Priest, and the King! So what does it mean that Jesus is my Prophet?

It means that I can hear God directly.

This simply means that we can hear from God Himself and don’t need another person to tell us what He is saying to us.

Jeremiah 31:34 – “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall know Me, from the lest of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.

This is the New Covenant. The benefits are the forgiveness of sin, knowing the Lord on personal bases and it’s from the lest to the greatest. And because of the New Covenant, we get to hear from God and don’t have to go to another to hear what He is saying to us. God speaks through His Son the Prophet. John 10:27 – My sheep hear My voice.

We don’t have a hearing problem and God doesn’t have a speaking problem. The problem is that some cannot recognize His voice. Those who are not used to spending time with Him won’t be familiar with His voice.

Do you recognize certain peoples voice on the phone? They don’t have to tell you who they are. I believe a Christian should come to the place that when the Holy Spirit speaks, they should know it is Him. We become so familiar with that voice that we know exactly who is speaking. Yes, we can also hear God speak through others, but we need to learn to hear Him directly.

This also means that I can talk directly to God.

So what does it mean that Jesus is my High Priest? It means that I can talk directly to God about anything. In the Old Testament, only the priest could approach God, and the priest could only approach Him once a year. However, sacrifices were done every day, morning and evening. The priest s were the only ones that could approach God because they were anointed and the people were not.

Now Jesus approaches God on our behalf because He is our anointed Priest. Hebrews 7:27 – who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Jesus gave the most perfect sacrifice, once for all – Himself! There are no more payments due on our account! Not by Him and not by you! If you are a believer, your account has been marked “Paid in full!”

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. If we ever have a need, not only do we have mercy and grace, but we can go boldly to His throne of grace. Jesus is our High Priest and has cleared the way for us to go boldly to God and talk about anything to Him. So, we can hear God and we can talk to God about anything. He already knows what’s on our mind. He knows our thoughts. Now, what does it mean He is my King?

It means I can walk with God.

Revelation 17:13 – “These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (Verse 14) “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” 

Satan is not Jesus’ counterpart! A lot of people think God is way up there and Jesus and Satan are on the same level battling it out all the time. Jesus is not doing battle with Satan, we battle Satan and the demonic forces. He has already done the battle and won. Jesus destroyed the works of the devil at the cross. Also, keep this in mind; Jesus is the Creator and Satan is the created! If Satan has a “counterpart” it is Michael, Gabriel. They were all created angels. So, never ever put Satan on the same level as Christ!

Jesus is the King and Satan is a prince. He’s the prince and power of the air, the Bible says, and he’s the prince of darkness! He is not nor will ever be a king.

There is a covenant between the Son and the Father and that’s why the King can show us kindness and mercy. God didn’t make the New Covenant with us, because we couldn’t keep it. God made the New Covenant with His Son the King! And because we believe in Jesus the Christ, the anointed One, Jesus becomes our Prophet, Priest, and King !!

 

“The Physician” Part 7

The word physician is similar to another word, physical. A physician is one who is skilled in the art of physical healing. So, is Jesus a physician? I would think so since He created the physical body.

We are three parts: spirit, soul, and body. Is Jesus concerned about our spirit? Yes. Is He concerned about our soul? Yes. Why then do so many think He is not concerned about our bodies?

God heals in three ways: naturally, medically, and miraculously. In other words: God designed our bodies to heal naturally. If God hadn’t designed our bodies to heal naturally, then the first time we cut our finger, we would have bled to death.

We have all probably been healed medically. How many have had stitches? A lot of people have. How about a cast? How about minor surgery? How about major surgery? All of these is experiencing God’s natural and medical healing. We should never discount God’s healing through medicine! God’s the one who gives the wisdom to heal through medicine so don’t count it out.

However, He also heals miraculously. Mark 1:40 – Then a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to HIm and saying to HIm, “If You are willing You can make me clean.” (Verse 41) And Jesus, moved with compassion, put out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” (Verse 42) As soon as He had spoken, immediately leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. 

Matthew 14:14 – And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.

Jesus heals because He loves people! When He saw sick people, He had compassion for them. He wanted them well. Would Jesus be any different today? Doesn’t the Bible say that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever?

Some believe that Jesus only healed because He needed to prove that He was the Messiah. Jesus didn’t need to prove anything to anyone! Because of error in teaching on healing, there are some who resist it. For instance: When we tell someone that Jesus still heals today, they might say, “Yes, but…” But nothing!

Jesus never healed people to draw attention to Himself! He never did it to perform or prove who He was. As a matter of fact, He told many people not to tell anyone they had been healed. He told that leper not to tell anyone.

People today have made a “show” out of the sick getting healed. They have sensationalized it for their own fame and glory. I can name a few, but won’t.

Matthew 4:23 – Now Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. (Verse 24) Then His fame went throughout all Syria, and they brought Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics and paralytics; and He healed them.

Matthew 8:16 – When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, (Verse 17) that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”

1 Peter says that Jesus bore our sins, so why would people only believe that He bore our sins but not our sickness? Why would a person only believe half of what He did when the Bible plainly states that He bore sickness and sins?

Luke 4:40 – Now when the sun was setting, all those who had anyone sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. 

Luke 6:19 – And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.

If you had divine power to heal people, how many would you heal? All! Then why would God be any different? We read all these verses and see that Jesus healed all that came to Him, but the enemy puts in people’s mind, “Ya, but will He heal me?” Do you know that not everyone asked to healed, but received healing anyway?

Is it Jesus will to heal you today?

In Mark Chapter 1, there was a leper that asked to be healed if Jesus was willing. He didn’t ask Jesus if He was capable. We don’t really doubt if Jesus is capable, we doubt His willingness. That’s sad especially if we know the Scripture.

Here is what Christians will do when asking for healing: “If it be your will, Lord!” They think that sounds spiritual. It shows me that they haven’t read: Mark 1:41 – And Jesus, moved with compassion, put out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing, be cleansed.”

Do some think that He has lost His willingness to heal? The very definition of “will” is “desire.” So ask yourself this question: Is it still God’s will for you to be healed today as it was when He walked the earth? Is it God’s will for everyone to be saved? Yes, then why would it not be His desire for all people to be healed? However, is everyone saved; is everyone healed? No, but why not?

First of all, I imagine there are thousands of miraculous healings that we never hear about. Second, we live in a fallen world; third, some people have become too intelligent to be healed, meaning they know it all. They are too smart to be healed by God. And fourth, always remember we are in a battle. And then some feel as if they are not worthy to be healed. If you are born again, blood-bought, then yes you are worthy because of what Jesus did, not because of what you did. If you are covered in His blood, then you are in right standing with God All Mighty!

Never, ever forget, grace is for the undeserving! Mark 2:16 – And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” (Verse 17) When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

God’s not willing that any should perish without Him. How did you get saved? By faith through grace. So how would you get healed? By faith through grace! Nowhere does it say in the Bible that only the person doing everything perfectly gets healed. Stop asking, “Am I good enough to be healed?” If you have to work for your healing then it’s not by grace through faith.

The common thread that all these people had that got healed by Jesus was, “They were all sick!” They all needed the Great Physician!