Posts Tagged ‘ New Creation ’

Jesus 2018

This has always been my favorite picture of Jesus

It may sound funny declaring 2018 the year of Jesus (and no, this has nothing to do with the rapture) because everything is about Jesus after all. That’s the thing, everything is so all about Jesus that it’s not. I have become so accustom to Jesus, He’s not Jesus anymore.

We’ve read (I’ve read) the stories so much, I’ve become so used to them that I catch myself many times skimming and not reading. Every year around October I pray and ask the Lord for a “theme” for the next year. He spoke quickly, 2018 is the year of Jesus, a year to get to know me, personally, who I am, what I’m like, the point behind my miracles, get to know my Jewishness, get to know me through other traditions. As funny as it sounded I knew 2018 was the year of Jesus for me.

I’m the type of person that I get tunnel vision easily, the Lord can speak and I focus on that one thing. When it comes to Jesus, I know that I am called to read, study, understand and teach from a Hebrew (Jewish) perspective but yet in 2018 I will be looking at Jesus from many angles including the catholic view of communion and prayer. This is something the Lord has been slowly moving me towards for a year, being able to see Jesus through many different perspectives. No Christian group has everything about Jesus down, we’ve missed the biggest part by divorcing Jesus from His Jewishness. Anyway, as I have prayed and talked with the Lord these last few months I have been asking for fresh insight, a reintroduction to Jesus if you will.

Ephesians is my favorite of Paul’s letters, yet in Revelation it is the Church at Ephesus that is told that it had left her first love. Paul hardly issues any corrections in Ephesians, they are a model church. Now I wouldn’t say I left my first love, it’s not something Holy Spirit has said I’ve done but I have let Jesus, I have let the stories become usual to me. My prayer during these last few months has been that 2018 will be a year that I fall back in love with Jesus, that the joy of my salvation will be restored.

As part of the year of Jesus, I will also be reading one biography a month of a minister that has had a great relationship with the Lord and an outstanding ministry. I will continually read Isaiah, Proverbs, the Gospels and the Books of Moses all year.

the Hebrew year 5778 is the year of the door, it is the year of new beginnings, wisdom (thus reading Proverbs continually) and financial prosperity. 2017 for me has been very much about preparation, going through the most rewarding, yet the most warring season I’ve been in. Jesus is the door of salvation, we now that, but He is so much more and 2018 is a year that I will be discovering Jesus all over again. If this interests you, join me on the path of rediscovering Jesus in 2018. I will be posting here throughout the year, but much will be posted on Instagram and Twitter as well, so if you don’t already follow me go ahead and join me on the journey there.

I am looking forward to an amazing year of knowing Jesus better.     

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Resurrected & Rejuvenated

When we think of the resurrection we typically just think of Jesus coming out of the tomb, but the resurrection is so much more than that. The resurrection of Jesus is not just Him coming out of the tomb but us coming into new life.

Romans 6:3-11 KJV “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.For he that is dead is freed from sin.Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Jesus did not rise from the dead for Himself, He rose for us, so that we could live a life free from sin, shame and bondage. Just as God lead the children of Israel out of Egypt so they could inherit the land of promise full of milk and honey – so the resurrection of Jesus is for us, going from bondage to the land of promise.

The death on the cross forgives our sins and the resurrection frees us from the bondage to them. We can live free, that is what the new creation is all about! 2 Corinthians 5:17 AMP “Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature all together); the old (previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!” Now, this doesn’t mean everything is easy, there will be a spiritual fight, that’s what Romans chapters six through eight are about. Our next series will deal with how to do spiritual battle and win but before we can engage in the battle we have to know and understand who we are.

The death and resurrection of Jesus is all about us becoming like Him! We can be like Jesus, it’s why He came, to reconcile us to God and help us live a victorious life. I season let us grab hold of the truth that we are new creations and we can live the good life God intends for us!

Resources for helping us grow in the understanding of the new creation:

Gone – One Man, One Tomb, One Sunday: Rod Parsley

New Creation Realities: E. W. Kenyon

Your Best Life Now: Joel Osteen

The Blessing of the Lord: Kenneth Copeland

Crossing Over & The Cross of Christ

Exodus 14:13-15 KJV “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you this day: for the Egyptians ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward…”

I am so excited for Passover on Monday! During this season each year God, as the Scripture says, tells us to go forward. No matter where or how we may have missed it, Passover is our opportunity to go forward on the path God has for us!

In the story of Passover, the Hebrews were told to put the blood of the lamb over the doorpost so that death would passover them. After this event they were released from bondage and look at what the Scripture says;

Exodus 12:33-36 HCSB “Now the Egyptians pressured the people in order to send them quickly out of the country, for they said, “we’re all going to die!” So the people took their dough before it was leavened ‘ with their kneading bowls wrapped up in their clothes on their shoulders. The Israelite’s acted on Moses’ word and asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. And the LORD gave the people such favor in the Egyptians’ sight that they gave them what they requested. In this way they plundered the Egyptians.”

Just as the Israelite’s plundered the Egyptians, so, Jesus, plundered the enemy for us:

 Isaiah 53:4-5 NLT “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” The words of verse four also mean griefs, weaknesses, sicknesses, and distresses, sorrow and pains.

Psalm 103:2-5 AMP “Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits – Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [ each one of] all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercy; Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity, and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming and soaring]!

For Some of us to move forward, we will have to grab some things from the past and pull them forward, others will have to let go of the past to move. Ask Holy Spirit what needs to go and what needs to stay.

We need to get these passages deep in our hearts; copy them to our phones notepad, put them on index cards around our houses and highlight them in our Bibles. In order to cross over from defeat to destiny, from doubt to declaration, from fear to faith and from passivity to possession we have to have in us and coming out of us what Jesus has accomplished on our behalf. The crossing of the red sea is a picture of going from bondage to freedom. The cross is about the same thing and going from darkness to light!

No amount of teaching in and of itself can change us, we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind and our minds are renewed by the Word of God. Instead of expounding on what has already been said I want to encourage us that from today till the next post that each day we will review the following portions of Scripture:

Exodus 12-14

Romans 6-8

and at lunch, Psalm 10:2-5 and Isaiah 53:4-5

I know six chapters is quite a bit of reading but I believe if we will commit to read them for the next eight days the truth found in these portions of Scripture will come alive in us. In fact, that is my prayer for all of us who will commit to reading these sections for the next eight days, that the truth will become revelation to us and that we will see ourselves as living and able to walk out its truth on a daily basis.

Along with reading these sections, study a chapter a day, dig into the Word, let it get deep into your heart and mind and watch a transformation take place.

If you need some help digging into these truths the following books have really helped me dig in and I know I’m still not walking in the fullness of this revelation but I am believing for greater growth in my understanding in these eight days!

New Creation Realities by E. W. Kenyon

The Crucified Life by A. W. Tozer

The Cross by Rod Parsley

We believer’s can tend to relegate the crucifixion and resurrection to once a year in our thoughts, but the power, the gospel itself hinges on these events, we would do well to visit them often. I pray your reading of Scripture is blessed and if you get any of the books I mentioned that they will be a great help to you. Next week we will talk about the resurrection!  

Walking in the New Creation

imageWe have all probably heard the words of 2 Corinthians 5:17 many times. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new”.

 
We know that verse, but many struggle to live in the reality of the new creation. The reason for this is very simple, Paul explains this in Romans; the nature of the flesh is always battling against our spirit, this is why Paul said, I die daily.

 
In Romans six Paul talks about how our old nature has been crucified and that we who are dead to sin should not continue to live in sin. Chapter six, however, is not what we will be looking at today. We will be looking at the eighth chapter. I would ask though, before you continue reading that you would get your Bible and read the sixth and seventh chapter to understand where Paul is coming from in chapter eight.

 
In chapter eight Paul differentiates between the carnal Christian and the spiritual Christian and in this post we will be looking at the differences between the two.

 
We won’t be looking at every verse in the chapter, just those that highlight the differences between the two ways of living.

 
Romans 8:5-7 KJV “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (6) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7) because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

 
This is precisely why we must be renewed in the spirit of our mind. If we live our lives focused on the things of this world we will not be spiritually minded, but carnally minded.

 
Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing comes by the Word of God. Conversely; fear cometh by hearing, and hearing comes by the words of doubt and unbelief. Now that last one is not a Bible verse but the principle is true.

 
Twelve spies were sent to Canaan, two had a faith report and ten had a fear report. They went with what they heard the most of, what we hear we believe.

 
The great Old Testament chapter of what Christ will accomplish on the cross begins with these words, “Who hath believed our report, and to whom hath the arm of the LORD been revealed.” Believing requires hearing.

 
In order to be a spiritual Christian instead of a carnal Christian we must first look at what we are hearing. Take some time and take inventory of your life, what are you being filled with?

 
This ultimately leads us to the second area, the words we speak. Mark 11:23 says, we can have what we say, instead, many of us say what we have.

 
We must renew our minds and change the words of our mouths.

 
I know this sound over simplistic but this is how we walk in the new creation, we renew our minds and our mouths to the Word of God.

 
“As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”

 
“Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and they that love to talk will eat its fruit”.

 
Abraham’s faith was confirmed by the words he spoke and without faith it is impossible to please God.

 
Each of us need to take our lives moment by moment and day by day and choose to change our thinking and our mouths.

 
We start by praying and asking for the help of Holy Spirit, then we take the next step and get in the Word and renew our minds with it. It’s not enough just to go to Church, we must be in the Word daily for ourselves.

 

 

None of us will be able to see the Word work on our behalf if we aren’t in it and applying it.

 

Being in the Word changes our thinking and applying it changes our speaking.

 
That’s it, that’s how we walk in the new creation, we renew our minds and change our mouths.

 

 

Resources for renewing your mind and changing your mouth:
New Creation Realities: E.W. Kenyon

 
ReThink Your Life: Stan Toler

 
The Power of Your Words: Don Gossett & E. W. Kenyon

 

 

Easy steps to help start the process:

 
1. Cut out one thirty minute TV show and spend that time in prayer and Bible study.

 
2. Listen to a Bible teacher on your way to work (invest in CD’s, the radio is not the place to start).

 
3. Find a friend to help you keep your words lined up with The Word.

 
The truth is many of our minds and mouths don’t line up with the Word because we knowingly fill them with negative thoughts and talk. ReThink Your Life is an excellent resource that is broken into weekly segments to help you change the way you think. If you will give yourself thirty days, you will be a different person.

 
If you choose to get the book and do the four week plan, I recommend reading The Power of Your Words after you finish reading week two. That way you can incorporate your new way of speaking with your new way of thinking.

 
Also if you do the plan, let me know so I can be praying with you. keep me up to date with how you’re doing and let me hear your story at the end.

 
May the Lord richly bless the start of your life change and encourage and empower you to walk in victory.

 

A Look @ Isaiah 61

bibleIsaiah 61 KJV “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (2) to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”

When we hear these words, we think about Jesus reading them from the scrolls as said in Luke chapter four. These aren’t just words to be fulfilled by Jesus, they are to be fulfilled by us too.

We have the same mission Jesus did, to preach the gospel of the Kingdom and to go about doing good and healing all those who are oppressed by the devil.

Yes, Jesus came to atone for sin, but that’s not all. He came to be the first born among many bretheren, we aren’t just children of God, we are sons of God.

Think about this, Isaiah nine says of Jesus, a CHILD is born and a SON is given. As children of God we grow in sonship and become mature. Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man. As Jesus grew so shall we grow. As Jesus ministered so shall we minister.

Verse four says, “And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations”.

This reminds me of the words of Isaiah 58:12 this goes in line with the great commandment, to preach the Kingdom, make disciples, heal the sick and cast out devils.

We have a mission here and it’s to bring heaven to earth. To raise up the desolations of many generations means to keep going. Each generation should not have to start over but continue where the last generation left off. This is why spiritual fathering is so important. How will the Kingdom ever truly increase if each generation has to start over?

Verses six and seven say we are called priests and that we will receive double for our shame!

It is time we walk in the reality of the new creation and not see ourselves as poor sinners saved by grace. I am not a sinner, I am God’s son. We do not have to be and should not be sin conscious we should be conscious of the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 61 ends with these words, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God;
for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (11) For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”

Again we see righteousness not sin. It’s time our head catch up with our heart. This is why Scripture talks about the transforming and renewing of the mind. After salvation, it’s not the heart that’s the problem it’s the mind. This is why Romans says the carnal mind is against God.

If our minds aren’t transformed and renewed by the Word we believe the lies of sometimes God uses and allows sickness, we believe we are sinners, we believe the enemy can have “legal right” to us.

How can a thief ever have legal right to steal, kill, or destroy the person God bought through the blood of Jesus?

We must come in line with the Word concerning our thinking. We need to live by the Word not tradition.

The Word says we are a new creation, tradition says we are still sinners but saved by grace.

It’s up to us, do we believe we are new creations or unworthy sinners?

Part 8: Understanding The Mystery of Christ

jesus_thumbs_up2Today we are looking at the mystery of Christ revealed. We will read and then pull out two portions of scripture to be discussed.

Ephesians 3:1-13 NIV “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— (2) Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, (3) that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. (4) In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, (5) which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. (6) This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (7) I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. (8) Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, (9) and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. (10) His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, (11) according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. (12) In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (13) I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.”

When we look at the Old Covenant we see that God had one people with promises, but we, through Jesus Christ have a new and better covenant with better promises (Hebrews 8:6).

Ephesians 3:6 NIV “This mystery is that through the gospel the gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and shares together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”

We are no longer Jews and Gentiles, we are all grafted in, we have THE BLESSING of Abraham and are one Church.

Galatians 3:9, 13-14 NKJV “So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. (13) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), (14) that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

“….Jews, Greeks, or the church of God -” (1 Corinthians 10:32).

Romans 4:24 tells us that what was written for Abraham was also for us, that is the mystery revealed. We must understand that God’s plan never changes, Jesus’ goal was to get THE BLESSING back to us, it was not just a Heaven issue for us but an earth issue as well.

Matthew 6:10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”

His will has not changed since the first words He spoke to man, BLESSING words.

The will of God is also revealed in the WORD of God, we don’t pray “if it be your will”, we search the WORD, know the WORD, pray the WORD, and declare the WORD.

This is the mystery revealed, we are IN CHRIST, we are NEW CREATIONS, and we live in THE BLESSING of Abraham.

The second portion I want to look at is Ephesians 3:10-12 NIV “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, (11) according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. (12) In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”

The second thing that is revealed is that we do not need a priest to approach God we in faith through Christ and with boldness we can approach the throne of Grace.

The mystery behind the vail is revealed, the glory of God – we can now walk in the glory and the glory can flow out of us as we are yielded to Him. The glory outflowed from us is salvation of others, sanctification of others, the manifestation of the Kingdom in healing, miracles, deliverance, signs and wonders.

Matthew 10:7-8 NKJV “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (8) Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

Mark 16:15-18 NKJV “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (16) He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (17) And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; (18) they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

The mystery has been revealed in us, it is Christ in us and the Spirit flowing out of us producing the Kingdom here as it is on earth.

Let’s walk in the revealed mystery and RE-PRESENT Christ and RE-PRODUCE THE BLESSING of the Kingdom on earth.

Part 6: Alive in Christ

imageToday we are going to speak on this subject, ALIVE IN CHRIST. We are looking at what it is to be saved, now before you move away from this post I wan to make this statement, the enemy is fine with you coming to Jesus, what he doesn’t want is you to appropriate what is yours in salvation. Salvation is more than your ticket punched for Heaven and that is what we are going to talk about today.

Before we get into the Word and the Word gets into us I ask that you pray this prayer. Holy Spirit I ask that as I read today that I would approach this subject in a new way, that I would allow truth to come alive in me and that I would not gloss over familiar things, speak to me all that you have for me and teach me all truth that I may walk in and act upon it.

Before we go back into Ephesians I invite you to take your Bible so that you may mark this passage in your thinking and underscore it in your Bible.

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

The Amplified Bible says, we are a new creature all together.

This is the reality of what it is to be saved, this is the reality of the IN CHRIST life. We are not, I repeat, are not sinners saved by grace, we were a sinner that was saved by grace.

Romans 8:14-15 NIV “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.””

The best lie the enemy can give a believer is that he is a sinner saved by grace, we must understand the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17, we are a new creature all together, are sins have been forgiven and we have the nature of Christ NOW!

In order to walk in the reality of the new creation we must take it, we must rid ourselves of the lie of being a sinner saved by grace and we must take the truth of being sons of God.

Ephesians 2:1-3 NIV “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, (2) in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. (3) All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”

This is what we did before we came to know Christ, this was the existence we had, it was not life.
But because, verse four, “But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, (5) made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”

The Bible says God is love, so we could read the verse like this, because of his great love for us, love who is rich in mercy made us alive in Christ.

We will get more into this next week but before we continue I want to make mention that scripture says we are to be filled with all the fullness of Christ, that fullness is love and the experience in full love is known as the baptism of the Holy Spirit or sanctification. That comes next week though.

Let’s finish up with verses six through ten. ” And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

At the moment of salvation we are seated with Christ. If we look back at Ephesians 1:3 we see that we are in BLESSED in the heavenly realms with every spiritual BLESSING in Christ. This is not a future thing this is a now thing.

Christ wants us to receive THE BLESSING now in this life, we don’t need what THE BLESSING can produce in Heaven we need it here.

Jesus said The KINGDOM should come here as it is in heaven. As God is holy we should be holy, as there is no lack in heaven we should have no lack here.

As children of God we carry the KINGDOM with us and it should flow out of us, that is what it means to be alive in Christ. We are to do greater things, we can only do greater things if we are alive in Christ. We come alive by being in The Word, being alive causes us to be more Christ like, or as the Bible calls it, holy.

Some may wonder how can we be holy like God, we are holy because He enables us to be.

1 Peter 1:15 NIV “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.”

Grace enables us to fulfill all commands given to us. In the Old Testament commands were not enabled, but New Testament commands come with the ability to be fulfilled because we are alive in Christ.

There are so many more things we could get into here but to close I am going to bring us back to this, Ephesians 2:10 AMP “For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”

We are God’s workmanship, this should cause our minds to go back to Genesis 1:26 NIV “Then God said, let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness….”

The word image is resemblance and representative.

Thew word likeness is resemblance, model, to be fashioned like and in the same manner as.

We are exactly like God the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. We are holy, we have the same mind and we should act and respond the same way.

We should take the path of holiness (Isaiah 35:8) God has for us, we should walk by faith (Hebrews 11:6), we should receive and spread the KINGDOM over the earth.

In order to do that we really must know who we are and that is what this series is about. I could go on and touch on many other scriptures on what it is to be alive in Christ and we will in other parts of this series, but for this post I want to recommend E. W. Kenyon’s book, New Creation Realities to you so that you can learn in a deeper way what it is to be a new creation, alive in Christ.

Next week we will look at heart holiness, we have come alive in Christ and the next thing following that is being fully renewed in love which comes in receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

I pray that as you mediate on this word you truly come into and begin walk in who you are. I highly encourage you to order Kenyon’s book, pray over it before you read it, have your Bible with you and mark the verses. Allow the truths in the book to root deep in your spirit and transform your life.

Part 5: Victory Over Temptation

brnEphesians 18b-23 NIV “His holy people (19) and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength (20) he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, (21) far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (22) And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, (23) which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

As Christians it is important to understand that God calls us HIS HOLY PEOPLE. Anywhere we go in scripture it will all go back to holiness. There is no lack of teaching on the holiness of God in the Church as a whole but a severe lack of teaching when it comes to us being and walking holy.

1 Peter 1:15-16 NIV “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; (16) for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy””.

2 Timothy 1:9a “He has saved us and called us to a holy life – …”

We need to have a mindset change, holiness is not a burden but a relief. We look at the Ten Commandments and think of don’t, don’t, don’t, let’s take a fresh look,

Have no other Gods – You don’t need the gods of Egypt, you don’t need multiple gods one for crops, family, money, health, I am he only God you need I will take care of everything.

Don’t make a graven image – Keep your eyes on me (pillar of fire and a cloud), I know where you need to go keep your eyes on me and you will reach your destiny, if you get your eyes on other things you will be lead to destruction instead of destiny.

Don’t misuse my name – This was not an ego trip, but a protection for them, when we misuse God’s name (which is more than cursing), it is to use in a way that does not bring BLESSING or ENCOURAGEMENT, but anger and condemnation.

Honor the Sabbath – Jesus said the Sabbath Day is for man, not man for the Sabbath, this means God wants us to rest, Hebrews four says a rest remains for the children of God but we must choose to enter in.

Honor your father and mother so that you will have a long life and all will go well with you.

Don’t kill – I will vindicate you, don’t vindicate yourself. I will protect you.

Don’t commit adultery – be satisfied with the spouse I chose for you, no one is better.
Don’t steal – I provide all your needs according to my riches in glory, what do you need to steal?

Don’t give false testimony or covet – Be truthful for everything in the end will be as it needs to be. Don’t covet because I give you everything you need and if you walk obediently before me I’ll give you the desire of your heart.

That’s a little bit of a different way of looking at it isn’t it, it puts God in a whole new perspective.

Part of changing the way we see ourselves and seeing ourselves as holy is noticing what Ephesians 1:21 says FAR ABOVE – ALL – rule, and authority, power, and dominion, and every name…

Scripture says we are seated with Christ (now) in the heavenly realms. Jesus gave us authority over all power of the enemy in His name.

When it says far above all the enemy that mans us, not just Jesus. We are far above sin, we are far above temptation, we are far above everything the enemy can throw at us, WE ARE HOLY and the devil, sin, demons, and temptation are DEFEATED.

We need to see it that way, the devil, who is defeated has nothing on us, the only way we sin is if we choose to.

Monday we talked about how sanctification is the act of the Holy Spirit that eradicates the sin nature and fills us fully with the Holy Spirit and the life of love. We need to see ourselves in that place when we receive the fullness of the Spirit.

We need to see ourselves far above sin and temptation.

1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

With every temptation there is a way out so the temptation does not become the act of sin. What is that way out?

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. (4) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, (5) casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,”

The reason why most don’t defeat temptation is because the enemy has convinced us that temptation (thought) is the same thing as sin (acting on the thought). Temptation is not sin.

James 1:14-15 NIV “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. (15) Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” – Temptation is not sin, but following through with temptation leads to sin and sin brings forth death.

We will get to death in a moment, but one last thought on escaping temptation, we always cry out to God after sin, “oh God I’m sorry, I repent, forgive me, help me to never do that again”. We need to make a conscience choice to cry out to God during the temptation and not after.

The devil has so many convinced that temptation is sin that we feel we cant cry out to God in temptation, that is a lie and we must recognize it as such.

On sin bringing forth death, lets go back to Genesis.

God speaking in Genesis 2:17 NIV “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” In Genesis three they ate the fruit, but Adam lived another 930 years. The death God was speaking of is spiritual death, that is the same death James was speaking of.

I want to bring up something here, I believe God can and will heal physical sickness and disease here on the earth, while some die of sickness, I don’t believe you must be sick to die. With that being said, I want to say this, I believe the greatest scheme of the enemy has been to get us focused on our physical bodies.

Some in the church have so focused on the message of physical healing and neglected to teach the importance of the spiritual healing that comes at sanctification.

The truth is anything physical or outwardly we receive is based on our holy walk before God.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2 NIV “IF you FULLY OBEY the LORD your God and carefully follow ALL his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you on high above all the nations of the earth. (2) All these BLESSINGS will come on you and accompany you IF YOU OBEY the LORD your God:”

Matthew 6:33 AMP “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.”

3 John 2 NKJV “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

Notice Blessing comes only after full obedience.

All the things of life overtake us after seeking His Kingdom and being and doing like Him.

Our prosperity and health is dependent upon how much our soul prospers.

To get our minds on receiving THE BLESSING of God without walking in holy obedience is not going to happen. No one can “name it and claim it” without being in right standing with God.

I believe in BLESSING but I also believe that is the thing the enemy has got the eyes of many in the church on, they know BLESSING scriptures but they don’t know the holiness scriptures and holiness always precedes BLESSING.

God said to Abraham walk before me and be blameless, He says the same things to us.

Let’s get our focus back on holiness, lets live, walk, act, and talk rightly before God and others and THE BLESSING will manifest.

The truth is THE BLESSING is first a spiritual BLESSING and secondly a physical one.

We started this study with …”BLESSED in the heavenly realms with every SPIRITUAL BLESSING in Christ…”

The moment we get our eyes off the spiritual and on the physical is the moment we lose THE BLESSING.

Don’t lose it, stay focused on God, stay focused on holiness, that is how we overcome temptation.

We must understand it is not a fight against sin, Jesus won that, our fight is against temptation, and we can win it just as Jesus defeated sin.

Part 4: Six Marks of In Christ Living

brnContinuing with our In Christ Series, today we will be talking about the six marks of In Christ living; living by faith, walking in love, holiness, the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, and the sanctified life.

Ephesians 1:15-18 NIV “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,”

The first thing we notice is that Paul heard bout two things concerning them, their faith in the Lord Jesus and their love for all God’s people.

Let’s look at each of these things separately, their faith, we must understand that faith for salvation is not the ending place but the beginning place. Scripture says four times that the just or the righteous ones will live by faith. We not only receive salvation through faith, we are sanctified (give ourselves fully to God) through faith, and receive everything by faith.

The best definition of faith, I believe, is Hebrews 11:1 in the Amplified Bible. “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”

Faith is proof and reality of things not seen or understood in the sense realm, that is why Scripture says we walk by faith not by sight. Notice here that faith is seen as the reality and not what can actually be seen, touched, tasted, heard, or felt. The key to walking in faith is found in verse six, “But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].”

Notice here we must believe God is God, this involves taking God at His Word, believing that every promise written in it is available to us who walk obediently before Him and believe that He rewards those who seek Him.

Matthew 6:33 AMP “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.” If we seek God, his way of doing and being right, this is the life of holiness, God will take care of us, our every need.

The second thing Paul noticed was their love walk. Many people look to Romans as the book for Christians but John Wesley Stated that First John is the book for Christians. He was not elevating the book or saying others are not necessary but that the teaching on the life of love found in First John helps us to fulfill the command Jesus gave us.

Jesus told us to love The Lord our God with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

I’m not going to expound on the following verses but I want us to look at some of the things John said concerning the life of love that we as disciples of Christ are to live.

1 John 2:15-17 NIV “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” – We are not to love the world but we are to love God.

1 John 3:16 NIV “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

1 John 4:9-18 NIV “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

As we can see from these few verses we have read from First John that love and the “how to” of love is packed into this book and I encourage us to take time later and read through the book. I also have a feeling that at some point this year we will do a series in First John.

This section of Ephesians we are looking at today and the section we will look at Thursday are what I call the spiritual illumination part of Ephesians. We have seen briefly the importance of faith and love, we cannot please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6) and faith works by love (Galatians 5:6) and we will see in a few moments the importance of holiness, foe we will not see God apart from it (Hebrews 12:14).

The next thing Paul says is that he prays that they receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.

The wisdom spoken here is a spiritual wisdom and revelation here is a disclosure and a manifestation of light. We will remember that Jesus took us out of the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light and that Jesus appeared as light to Paul, and Jesus is Light (Genesis 1).

Why is a Spirit of wisdom and revelation given? Verse 17b “so that you may know Him better”.

He then goes on to say that our heart may be enlightened and that we know the hope we are called to, His holy people.

In looking at all of this we see in these four verses we are to be a people of faith, we are to be a people of love, we are to know God better, and we are to be holy. Our entire person has just been summed up, who we are in Christ is all here in these four verses.

I’m not going to dive into holiness to much right now because parts seven, eleven, and twelve are dedicated completely to looking at holiness. We must understand this before we get to Thursday, that as children of God we can by the power of the Holy Spirit walk rightly before God and we do not have to yield to the enemy and we do not have to sin.

We all love to quote the verse that says if anyone sins he has an advocate with the Father. We love to talk of confessing sin, this is necessary, however, the same verse that says if anyone sins begins like this, 1 John 2:1 NIV “My dear children, I write this to you so that you WILL NOT SIN. BUT (AND) IF anybody does sin…”

We see a but and if not a when and that is key for us to understand.

to wrap up the message today I would like you to turn in your bible to Romans chapter six and read the entire chapter, when you are finished, read the rest of the blog.

With Romans six having been read we see we have the power to live holy before God, even if you have not yet received sanctification, you as a child of God can have victory.

Sanctification is a Bible word that simply means yielding and giving yourself fully to God and having the nature of sin destroyed in your life, we should all earnestly seek for the experience of a clean heart and allow the Lord to lead us in that direction.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NIV “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;”

Psalm 51:7-10 NIV “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
If you are setting here today having read this post saying I want to be cleansed of all sin I want to receive a pure heart you can today, all you have to do is ask the Lord to cleanse your heart and life of sin and to fill you with the Holy Spirit and give you a pure heart.

I pray this post has been a blessing to you, there was much I could say on each point but for the sake of length I tried to condense the points. At other points during the series we will be able to deal with things more in depth. Hope you will be back on Thursday, if you have questions on sanctification you can leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.You can also check the sanctification tag and the recommended reading page for further study.

 

Part 3: Salvation & Sonship

brnAs we continue to talk about what it means to be in Christ, today we will look at our salvation and adoption into the family of God.

Ephesians 1:5 NIV “In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

We first see that everything starts in love, love is not an attribute of God, Love is God and God is love. We could say that love himself predestined us for adoption.

The love part of this verse is key as we talk about who we are in Christ, in Christ we are loved by love himself. Think about this, no matter who has rejected us in the past or present, no matter who thinks we are not worthy, that God, the King of the universe loved us and called us to be His child.

We further understand this love when we recognize that someone has to choose to adopt, God did not have to choose us and Jesus did not have to choose to leave Heaven and come to earth. God chose us to be part of His family and we chose to be part of His.

Romans 8:14-17 NIV “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

All of this according to HIS GOOD PLEASURE AND WILL. This is the love of God, this is the life of the believer, a son of God, a place with your name on it at the family table.

This understanding needs to come in when we pray. Let me give you an example, when you go over to someones house and you would like something to drink you ask them somewhat hesitantly when they haven’t offered if you can have a drink. On the other hand, when you walk into your parents house even when you are fifty years old, you walk in, open the fridge, and get a coke. Notice the difference?

Many Christians go the first rout with God. God is our Father, the scripture says it is His good pleasure to give us the Kingdom, instead of begging prayer, let’s have believing prayer.

Now understand when we talk of God as Father we arent speaking of not honoring Him as God or taking reverence out of prayer. Just like with a good earthly dad there is honor yet comfort in approach, the same goes for God.

As believers, let’s really take hold of this truth of sonship.

Ephesians 1:6-10 NIV “to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (7) In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (8) that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, (9) he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, (10) to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”

He has freely given, all we must do is choose to accept it. At the point we accept it we have redemption (deliverance and salvation), we are delivered from the hand of the enemy and the kingdom of darkness and saved unto God and the Kingdom of light (His dear son).

He makes known to us the mystery of His will, this goes beyond the mystery of salvation. We have all heard people say that God says no man knows the mind of the Lord.

Let’s look at the oft quoted verse, 1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Now let’s look at the very next verse, pay attention to the first word BUT. 1 Corinthians 2:10 NKJV “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”

Look at 1 John 2:20 NKJV “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.”

The Spirit was given to remind, teach, and reveal, we do not have to be in the dark concerning God’s will like so many say. Well I just don’t know if it’s God’s will for me to have that job? Well ask Him! I don’t know if it’s God’s will for me to be healed? Ask Him!

Many times the will of God for a situation sits on our coffee tables unopened! The will of God is written in the Word of God!

God’s will is as follows:

It is God’s will that you be sanctified – 1 Thessalonians 4:3

The Lord delights in (wills) the prosperity of His servant – Psalm 35:27

That all men be saved – 2 Peter 3:9

There are so many promises in God’s word, the promises of God are the will of God, get your Bible, begin to pray, and discover His will for you!

Now, just because something is God’s will does not make it automatic in our lives. We have to come to Him in repentance and faith for salvation.

We have to surrender ourselves, our full selves in order to receive the work of sanctification by the Spirit.

Prosperity won’t just happen, we must tithe and be wise with money in order for God to bestow prosperity un us.

Every promise in God’s word is conditional, why? Because if God did not give conditions he would have to bless the wicked, and God being a just God will not do that.

Ephesians 1:13-14 NIV “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

When we believed we were marked and sealed with the promise of the Spirit. We saw earlier in Romans chapter eight that the Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. He is also the one who guarantees our inheritance. What does that mean? The Spirit is the one who leads us in claiming and proclaiming the promises in and for our lives, and He is the one that brings about the fulfillment of our faith proclamations.

As Children of God let us walk as sons and daughters in the earth and claim every promise for our lives. Jesus prayed that The Kingdom would manifest here on earth as it was in Heaven. It’s time to start making the Kingdom manifest in our lives through our confession and through our prayer life.

Part 2: Spiritually Blessed & Holy

brnLast week we began our In Christ Series with an established definition of holiness, “A state of personal spiritual life resulting from the baptism with the Holy Spirit, involving freedom from voluntary sin, purity of conscious intention and motivation, the practice of personal Christian ethics, and complete devotement to God.” (Donald Metz, Studies in Biblical Holiness, pg. 15).

It is important that we keep that definition at the front of our thinking as we study through Ephesians. In chapter one, Paul begins a sentence that in the original Greek begins in verse three and does not end till verse fourteen. It seems that Paul just looses himself in what he is writing.

Today we will not look at all the verses, I want and believe it is important for us to first notice the words of verses three and four before proceeding into what I call a salvation discourse.

Ephesians 1:3-4 NIV “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (4) For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

I want us to notice that we are blessed in the heavenly realms. We will get into this more in verses nineteen through twenty-three but I want to go ahead and make mention here of the fact that we have victory in Christ Jesus and do not have to be a slave or in bondage to sin, it is not written in the scripture, we are not lead to believe by the scripture that we as Christians cannot help but sin everyday, that is simply not Bible.

What I really want us to focus in on here for just a minute is the phrase, “with every SPIRITUAL blessing in Christ.” So many times we can focus on THE BLESSING for our finances, health, relationships, and other areas of our lives that we forget the SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS.

I am thankful for financial blessings, the blessing of health and all these other blessings, however if we begin to focus on these blessings at the neglect of our spiritual blessing, our spiritual life, THE BLESSING of these other areas will become a curse for us (Jeremiah 44:8, Deuteronomy 6:10-15).

We must always keep our minds on the right thing and we must always keep our eyes on Jesus.

Proverbs 11:27 NIV “Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to the one who searches for it.”

Proverbs 21:17 NIV “Whoever loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.”

Proverbs 28:20 NIV “A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”
We see from these three scriptures that motives are the key to THE BLESSING of God, the moment we get our eyes off Him and on His “stuff” we can forget receiving anything.

Now let’s go back and finish our text for today, verse four, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

That’s God’s plan right there, that we be holy and blameless in his sight. Now some would say that is a positional holiness only, meaning that God sees us as holy but we are still bound to our sin nature, this is contrary to scripture.

Romans 6:6, 11-13 NIV “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with (destroyed – KJV) that we should no longer be slaves to sin. (11) In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (13) Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.”

Holiness is key to our Christian lives, we are admonished to holiness all throughout scripture, in Ephesians alone as we will see as we go through this series that we are called to be holy and blameless in love, terms relating to holiness; called, inheritance, holy people; holy temple, living worthy of our calling, new self, righteousness, holiness. We are told they way of holiness is no cursing or slander, no bitterness or rage, anger or malice, no immorality, impurity or greed. We are instructed that the way of holiness is to encourage, forgiving, kind, and compassionate.

Some will look at that no doubt and cry foul, legalism, Pharisee, and other terms, but we need to understand something, grace is not the absence of law but the ability to walk in it. Let me repeat that, grace is not the absence of law but the ability to keep it.

contrary to what many might say and hear, the law was given for our benefit, to teach us how to live.

many will say we wouldn’t no sin except the law. This is not entirely true, sin came before the law, and the law was written so that we would know to sin.

Now the law does not save anybody, but it does teach us how to live. Yes, the Holy Spirit teaches us, but what does He teach us? The Word (the law).

Jesus said He would right the LAW OF GOD on our hearts, He expounded the law in His sermon on the mount. He summed up the law, not did away with it in the two commandments.

In this day of “greasy grace” I believe we need to look again at law and holiness, they are not bad but good. Do we really thing God would give the Children of Israel something bad? Do you think Jesus would have affirmed and expanded something that was bad or going to be done away with?

Some may have gotten upset because I didn’t include verse fourteen of Romans chapter six, I did it not because it creates a problem, but because the wrong understanding of it creates a problem.

“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”

Now that I have finished my remarks on law, grace, and holiness I will conclude today’s post explaining this verse. Under sacrificial law, the sacrifice atoned for sin, thus the law not being able to save. Jesus came and saved us by His blood, the forgiveness of sin. When we are filled with the Spirit the nature of sin is destroyed, thus the law is no longer OLD Testament rule keeping but a guide to helping us live right and walk holy before God.

Some may still not like that answer, they may still see all this as legalism, I just ask that you would continue to journey with me through Ephesians and have an open heart as we learn together.

 

Part 1: In Christ Introduction

brnWe are going to take the next several weeks and journey through the book of Ephesians to discover who we are in Christ and what belongs to us in Christ. On monday I gave a word about 2014 being a year of victory and in order to obtain that victory we must know who we are in Christ.

During these next weeks we will discuss the topics of sonship, walking in wisdom and understanding, seeing our daily lives through the Spirit, being alive in Christ, The plan of God, how to develop, family and friend relationships, and spiritual warfare.

We are all born into this world a human being, the only difference between a four year old and a forty year old is development. Each one has the same hands, feet, and everything, but the forty year old is more skilled than the four year old because he has had the time to develop.

The letter of Ephesians was a circular letter, many manuscripts do not have “in Ephesus” I believe that is because the letter is intended to promote spiritual development.

Today we are going to look at the first two verses, Ephesians 1:1-3 NIV “Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people, the faithful in Christ Jesus: (2) Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Paul says two things that will be key in our thinking as we learn who we are in Christ and what we have in Christ. We are called God’s holy people and the faithful.

The point of development in Christ, knowing who we are and what we have goes back to these things, being holy and faithful.

The Scripture tells us that blessing is dependent on our lifestyle and obedience, Deuteronomy 28:1-2 NIV “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. (2) All these blessings will come on you and accompany you, (overtake you, the New King James says) if you obey the LORD your God.”

As we go through Ephesians you will notice that holiness and faithfulness is a key component to spiritual development, it is important that we mark that in our thinking.

I want to establish a definition of holiness before we move forward in the series so that as holiness comes up we have a foundation to build upon.

Psalm 15 describes holiness as one who is blameless, does what is right, speaks truth, does not do wrong to his neighbor, despises a vile (cursing) person, honors those who fear God, keeps promises, and does not accept bribes.
For the sake of a concrete definition we turn to Donald Metz’s book, Studies in biblical holiness. “The word holiness may be said to refer to a state of personal spiritual life resulting from the baptism with the Holy Spirit, involving freedom from voluntary sin, purity of conscious intention and motivation, the practice of personal Christian ethics, and complete devotement to God.”

It is with this established definition we will go forward over these next weeks.

I believe this study is the most vital study for a Christian to do, if we do not know who we are in Christ and what belongs to us in Christ we cannot claim the exceeding great and precious promises of the Word of God.

It is when we know who we are in what we have that we defeat temptation when it comes.

The devil is defeated, he was defeated at calvary, he is defeated presently, he will always be defeated! The only time the enemy can snare you is when you let him, we avoid the snare by knowing and doing the word. We avoid the snare by speaking things that line up with the Word of God.

Proverbs 6:2 says we are snared by the Words of our mouth, thats how the enemy gets us, we hear a great word at church but as soon as we get out the door we say something contrary to the Word. We must speak the Word, we must walk rightly before God, for if we are willing and obedient we shall eat the good of the land.

I ask you to pray over these post in the coming weeks ask Holy Spirit to prepare your heart to learn who you are and what you have, ask for a believing spirit and a receiving heart, we are children of God and heirs with Christ Jesus, all good things belong to us!

Prepare your heart and mind to receive these next few weeks, get ready to know who you are and walk in who you are. Get ready to receive and take all the good things that belong to you.

There are two books that I believe will be beneficial in our study, The Power of Your Words by E. W. Kenyon and Re-Think Your Life by Stan Toler. The first book deals with your words and the second book deals with the mind, these two areas are essential in the discussion of who we are in Christ.

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