Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Sleeping Partner Who Benefits

When we realise how secure we are IN CHRIST, all our fears and challenges become insignificant in the light of this single truth - that we are eternaly secure.
We cant mess up our end of the covenant because the Father didnt make it "with us", but with His PERFECT Son, Jesus, who represented ALL of mankind.
When you are born again, you are placed INTO CHRIST, you are Seated with Him. He perfectly upholds your end of the New Covenant because you are IN Him and He is in you, so you simply cant mess up before God. Now thats Good News!!

By Joseph Prince:
Genesis 15:12
Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram…

"In business, sleeping or silent partners don’t work but still take home huge profits. They are like the wife of the boxing champion. He gets badly beaten up to win the prize money. But when he gets home, his wife takes it from him and says, “Thank you very much, darling!”

Do you know that in your covenant with God, you are like the boxer’s wife or the sleeping partner?

When Abraham asked God how he would know for sure that he would inherit the land that God had promised him, God made a covenant with him. (Genesis 15:8–21) But instead of cutting the covenant with Abraham by walking in between the animal pieces with him, God put Abraham into a deep sleep and cut the covenant with Jesus instead.

Jesus, the light of the world, appeared as the pillar of fire and cut the covenant with God the Father who appeared as the pillar of cloud. In other words, Jesus took Abraham’s place. He was perfect Man representing Abraham when He cut the covenant with His Father.

By substituting Abraham with Jesus, God was being gracious because if Abraham had done it, he would also have been responsible for keeping the covenant. And Abraham, being a mere man, would fail. But God the Son can never fail! Abraham’s blessings were therefore guaranteed because they did not depend on his performance but Jesus’ performance. Abraham was literally a sleeping partner, a beneficiary of the covenant.

Today, God has also made a covenant with you, called the new covenant. And like Abraham, you are a sleeping partner because the new covenant was also cut between God the Father and God the Son at Calvary. You are simply a beneficiary of the new covenant. You enjoy all its benefits without having to work at keeping it. Jesus, your representative, has already fulfilled all the conditions on your behalf. And because His obedience is perfect and His work is perfectly finished, the covenant blessings for you are guaranteed!

My friend, there is nothing left for you to do, but everything for you to believe. Don’t try to work for your covenant blessings. Rest in the Son’s finished work and receive them by faith!"

Isn't it funny how we so often find simply resting in His finished work, the hardest thing to do. If/when you have issues and challenges in your life, remember the words of Jesus that announced the glorious end to all striving to earn victory over every work of darkness (anything that reflects robbery, killing and destruction in your life) and all striving to earn favor. they were: "IT IS FINISHED"

God Blessed you

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Means of Grace

There are many ways in which we may receive grace. It may come to us through the ministry of others who have received it. We may receive it through meditating on passages of the Bible, or through the worship and sacraments of the Christian fellowship. However, there is only one ultimate means of grace, the cross of Christ. This, of course, does not mean that before the cross God was not gracious. Grace is eternally one of the characteristics of God’s nature. In fact, Paul tells us that the grace that comes to us through the cross “was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has been revealed to us through the appearing of our Saviour, Jesus Christ…” (2 Timothy 1:9,10). It seems it was the grace of God back in eternity that set in motion the whole of creation, in order that God might have people like you and me to share it with.

There are many glimpses of grace through the Old Testament, but it was not until Christ was made known in his humanity, and particularly through his willing death for our sins, that it was fully revealed. In Titus 2:11 Paul says that the grace of God “appeared” with the coming of Christ. This is the same Greek word used in Luke 1:78, 79, “the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Grace had always been there in the nature of God, but it “shone forth” with the coming of Jesus, and especially through his cross. As Jerry Bridges put it, “Christ’s death was the result of God’s grace; grace is not the result of Christ’s death.” The cross was the means by which it was made possible for us to receive it. Maybe there is some significance in the fact that with the giving of the law at Mount Sinai 3,000 people perished, while at Pentecost 3,,000 people were saved (Exodus 32:28; Acts 2:41).

Alan E. Lewis, in his impressive volume Between Cross and Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday, describes the consistency of God’s expression of grace with his eternal nature, like this:

Embodied for us in time by the eternal Son, grace is revealed as everlasting: the consistent, unambiguous expression of God’s nature. It remains, to be sure, God’s free choice to love us and adopt us, not some necessary principle of divine being; but this freely chosen grace confirms and corresponds to God’s true nature; and it is a freedom exercised eternally, not in accidental moments.

It was because God is a gracious God that the cross became a necessity, as there is no way in which we could be the recipients of grace without the offering of God’s Son for our sins. It is the cross that explains the significance of Paul’s statement in Romans 5:21, “just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness”. In offering us his grace, God is not being unrighteous in ignoring the fact of sin and evil. At the cross, sin received the full weight of his judgement. Through our identification with Christ in his death, grace can now reign “through righteousness”. Our forgiveness and continued access to his grace is fully consistent with God’s righteousness.

3 significant "BUT's"
In the first three chapters of Romans, Paul describes in some detail why all the human race, Jews and Gentiles, are guilty under God’s law and have no hope of proving themselves righteous before him. However, half way through chapter 3 he declares, “But [1] now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known…This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ … all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. … He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (vv. 21-26).

[1] Italics mine.

In Ephesians 2, Paul describes how we were spiritually dead in our sins, subject to the ways of this world and the spirit of evil, slaves to our sinful nature and deserving God’s anger. He continues, “But [2] because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” (vv. 4, 5). He goes on to explain that it was “by the blood of Christ” and “through the cross” that this was achieved (vv. 11-18).

[2] Italics mine.

In Paul’s letter to Titus he describes how “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures” (3:3). Then comes the third “but”. “But [3] when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but … through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (vv. 4-7). Though the cross is not specifically mentioned here, it is certainly implied.

Another significant word that Paul used is the word “still”, in Romans 5. In verse 6 he says, “when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” In verse 8 he says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” In verse 10 he says, “while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son”. There you have grace! While we were still weak, sinners and enemies, we were reconciled.

Although grace is freely and undeservedly given to us, it is not without cost to God. It cost him the cross.

“A sin-soaked criminal is received by a blood-stained Saviour. That’s the pure definition of grace.” :

As someone has said, “At the cross, God gave the most precious thing he possessed for the most undeserving people he knew.” This truth is vividly illustrated by Christ’s acceptance of the repentant thief while hanging on the cross. “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). As Henk Hamsteeg put it in an article in Challenge Weekly, “A sin-soaked criminal is received by a blood-stained Saviour. That’s the pure definition of grace.” And, as Paul declares in Romans 8, his great chapter on the blessings that come to us through the cross, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (v. 32). All things, that is, that are for our good, in time and in eternity (cf. v. 28). Paul argues here from the greater to the lesser. If God has graciously given his greatest gift, his Son to die for us, to meet our greatest need, our need for reconciliation, then this is the guarantee we have that his gracious meeting of our other needs will follow. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (v. 31). Who indeed?

I found this article at:

God Blessed you!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Keep the Gospel simple - a response

Hi Anon

Thanks for the comments.

You said:

"when someone gets saved (not sure how u define this)...."

Act 11:13 And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, 'Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter;
Act 11:14 he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.'
Salvation is by believing the Good News of Gods UNDESERVED Favor to you through Jesus Christ.
....Act 15:9 and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.
Act 15:10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? ("Salvation" by works - Law ...or that requires works to be maintained year after year.)
Act 15:11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will."

you said:

"thereby removing the power of sin and guaranteeing salvation.
2) therefore you cannot sin any longer
3) you cannot lose your ticket into heaven"

The power of sin is the Law (1 Cor 15:56)and we have died to the Law (Rom) so sin has lost its grip on us. BUT, we do certainly STILL SIN - as Im sure you would agree.
How does all this fit?
Well, clarity comes when we see that the "sin" that we have died to (Rom 6) is not the VERB of sin. It is the NOUN of sin.
Of the 37 times the word "sin" is mentioned in Romans, only 1 is a VERB but 36 times it is a NOUN, speaking of our POSITION IN SIN - not the actual ACT/behavior of sinning.
So believers are no longer "IN SIN", we are now "IN CHRIST".

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

It is impossible to go on "IN SIN" (I think the NIV has "sinning"- verb here. That is wrong.) because we have died to that POSITION and are now seated IN CHRIST.
That’s why the ACT of sinning cannot place us back under the position of "a sinner", because we have supernaturally been translated from that kingdom into the kingdom of the Son He loves.
But the revelation of this truth will cause us to sin (verb) less because 'the Law stirs up the VERB', and when we realise we have been removed from under that Law, its power to cause us to Verb-sin is broken!! Praise GOD!!

Now, faith in the Gospel is what translates us from Sin into Christ. Any "verb-sin" (including unbelief) once you IN CHRIST has no power to alter the Covenant you are in with God because the Covenant is built on the blood of Jesus - not yours! Jesus represented you as "the Son of man", and was found to be PERFECT. You are now IN HIM!! We cant mess up our half of the covenant because JESUS is our half. That’s the Good News.

The Only outstanding sin (according to John 16) is the sin of UNBELIEF. But He is talking about "the World" - who are not yet saved.
So, the only outstanding sin is Unbelief UNTO Salvation - NOT unbelief within Salvation.
All the sins (verb) of the world have been paid for (1 John 2:2), except unbelief UNTO Salvation ( Adam). This still leaves the free will decision of man to Choose to respond to the Gospel.

Sometimes believers who are wrongly taught that God sends calamity upon them to teach them or for some greater good - (sickness, death of loved ones, car accidents..Etc), turn against God and want nothing to do with HIM (and rightly so.... who would want to worship a God who causes 4 year old kids to drown or kill parents in flaming car wrecks!!)

But the truth is that Satan has come to Rob, KILL, and destroy. If you are IN CHRIST, God is not holding your behavior - even acting in reaction in unbelief - against you.

However, Jesus and the Apostles do speak about weeds among the wheat (who look outwardly just like wheat in the early stages), and wolves in sheep clothing, and spy's of our freedom. Outwardly these individuals look just like "good" Christians, but time reveals that they are actually not. When they "reject" God, people create a theology that you can fall away or loose your Salvation, but you cant loose what you didn’t have in the first place!!

So how will you know if you are really saved?
Do you believe the Gospel? Yes, then you are IN CHRIST and are Saved.
Lets Keep the Gospel as it is - Simple!


Monday, January 11, 2010

"The Son of Man" and "The Son of God"

Have you ever heard the question: "Can Satan or the other angels get saved if they repent"

The answer is , No.

When Jesus came, He came as "The Son of MAN" to perfectly represent MAN and to perfectly REDEEM Man before God the Father.
If He had come as "the Son of an Angel"...... then maybe!!
But....If Gods son is an angel, then God too must be an angel........ But God created the angels.....did God then create himself....but He is the UNcreated.... Somehow that cant work can it?!!

Not only did He come as the "Son of God" to represent man before God, He also came as "The Son of God" to perfectly represent God to man:
Heb 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Jesus exhibited perfectly, His Fathers nature. Jesus only did what His fathers will was, and his will is according to His Nature (as in any other person).

So, understanding that Jesus, as the Son of God, perfectly revealed to us his fathers will, answers a whole lot of common questions about Gods will, like: "Is it Gods will to heal everybody?"
Well, all who came to Jesus AND all who He came across that were sick, were left HEALED (Act 10:38), and scripture tells us that Jesus perfectly represented Gods will - then Yes, it is Gods will that ALL would live well.

"Does God choose for some to go to heaven - and therefore, some to go to hell?"
Well, Jesus, who perfectly represented Gods will said, I did NOT come to condemn the world, but to SAVE it. In Fact Scripture clearly says that its Gods will that ALL would be saved. It by Grace through faith that men are saved and scripture also says that that self same saving grace has appeared to ALL men and that Jesus paid the price in full for the sins of the WHOLE world.... So, Does God choose some for heaven or hell?.... NO, man chooses to respond or not to respond to the Good News and be saved or remain unsaved.

Jesus as the SON of God perfectly represents Gods will to man.

"If you dont live right, Gods Judgment will be upon your life...
So stop sinning and then God wont condemn you!!"

Jesus, who perfectly represented His Father said to the woman caught in the act of adultery after all her accusers had left...
Joh 8:10 Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
Joh 8:11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more."
Jesus, gives her the GIFT OF NO CONEMNATION BEFORE telling her to stop her ways. This is because its Gods will that His Grace empowers us to overcome (Titus 2:11-12).
Despite what the vast majority of "bible believing" Christians are taught, God would be completely unjust and unrighteous to punish the same sin twice.... once in the body of Jesus on the cross and then AGAIN when you commit that sin!
No, God will not judge you according to your right or wrong living, but He judges you according to Jesus' perfect obedience.

What about, "God sometimes gives us sickness or disaster to teach us or punish us"
Ok, so we can "can" the "God punishing us" one - as above, and as for God putting sickness on us.... Did Jesus ever do that? NO. Then clearly its not Gods will.
Jesus said that the HOLY SPIRIT would teach us...... not accidents and sickness. Now, that doesnt mean that God wont use your situation and work it out for Good, but He certainly did not cause it!!

"God will send us persecution..... He even promised it!"

He did promise that we would be persecuted if we want to live as Jesus intended for us to live, but He did not say that He would send it!!
He said, that when those trials come, his grace would be enough for us to push through it. (like Paul, with the persecution from men against the Gospel)

"But God sends trials to discipline us."
No, he doesnt. It the process of ENDURING in faith in Gods grace through those trials that is the "disciplining" and not the trials themselves. (Heb 12 in context)

With all of the common questions that arise that place Gods Goodness into question, one statement of Jesus - who perfectly represented the Father to us - that "A Kingdom divided against itself cannot stand", puts to flight immediately, many of them.
In other words, for example: God gave us power and authority over all sickness and disease. Now, for Him to then go and make us sick is a kingdom divided against itself..... it is opposing itself!!
He said "tell everyone the Good News about His Grace -to All men" Now, for Him to make sure that some dont respond because the are not "chosen" is a kingdom divided against itself.

God is for us, Not against us. The value of Jesus coming to reveal His Father's heart can not be breezed over.
When we try hard to find reasons why God "wont" or "doesnt" bless us, we will always miss His Grace and Love to us through Jesus, and that is the very revelation that will make us walk victorious!!

"God is Good" in the words of Jesus. Stop trying to prove Him wrong!!

He Loves you as you are, Completely

Friday, January 8, 2010

Living in His Promises

So many believers today know that Jesus died for them to save them, but are very much unaware of the full implication of this. A huge step in the right direction towards victory in absolutely every area of our lives is when we really begin to believe what we know:

1Jo 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has in us.

The more we rest in what He has done for us on the Cross, the less we will strive in our own attempts to achieve a victorious life. This is an amazing truth!!

Rom 4:16 says that the way we receive the promises of God is NOT by self-effort and obedience to the Law (:a list of right and wrong behavior to inherit or loose out blessings).
Us, receiving the promises of God in our lives is dependent on us having Faith in the Grace (Unmerited/undeserved Favor) of God towards us.

But Andrew, how does simply believing that help my marriage?

God tells us that His Promises are received by Faith in His Grace. Now, one of God's promises' is that He brought life and life abundantly -that you would experience His Goodness towards you in every area of life.
Your marriage that may not be in an "ideal" place more reflects the work of Satan "to rob, kill and destroy" and is NOT reflecting "life abundantly" therefore still needs to line up to Gods word.

God says that if you are trying in your own strength to fix it, you cant receive Gods Promises, because His promises are not received by mans effort but by Faith in Gods Grace towards you because of Jesus' finished work.

"You mean to say I must just sit back and do nothing, and it will all "just work out"!

No, just make sure that what you do do, has the Love of God (the Good News) fueling it, and for that to happen.... you need to believe (not just know) the full extent of Jesus on Calvary.

This is why:
Scripture says:
1Jo 4:19 We love, because he first loved us.

We must see the "hugeness" of Gods love directed towards you by sending Jesus to take your place of Judgment based on Gods Holy wrath towards all of your sin, and in so doing, completely and forever removing it from Gods sight (Psalm 103) and memory (Jer 31, Heb 8) because of His Righteous acquittal of you.
He would now be UNRIGHTEOUS if He was still holding your sins against you.
When we see this amazingly Good News of His great love towards us, it causes us to love Him, and others.
We love, BECAUSE we know and believe His love for us, even while we were still in sin (unbelievers). It is COMPLETELY unconditional of you! Its ONLY CONDITIONAL of your perfect sacrifice - Jesus!

When you Just Believe the Gospel, the result is Love for others..... included your husband or wife. Even when they "dont deserve it", once you "know AND UNDERSTAND" His love for you - the fruit is Love for others.
Love for others is NOT a work of the flesh (self effort)..... it is a FRUIT that is borne by the Holy spirit living in you,(Gal 5)

His promise is that if we have Faith in His Grace, we will walk in His Promises.

Lets Trust that Sarah (Grace) is able to raise up Isaac (Children of the Promise) (Gal 4:21-31)

Keep living Blessed!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

God Remembers Your Sins No More

Most of the Body of Christ believe that God is powerfull and can do the things He says. But how often we doubt this truth when it applies directly to our own sin and short falls. About our sins God said, "I will remember them NO MORE".
And then, when we begin to walk in the understanding of the NEW COVENANT that God himself has made an oath to not count our sins against us or be angry with us (Isa 54:9-10), he (the devil) condemns us for not being condemned!!
But when we realise that we have been given the "Gift of NO CONDEMNATION", we get to use the efforts of the devil to condemn us, as a reminder and turn it around and remind him that he is already condemned.

Hebrews 10:17
17… “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

"I don’t know about you, but I would say that Hebrews 10:17 is good news. God sees all our sins — past, present and future — and says, “Your sins I remember no more!” The words “no more” are a strong double negative in the original Greek text. In other words, God is saying, “Your sins I will by no means ever remember!”

Has God lowered His standards? No, He is still perfectly holy. He did remember all our sins — 2,000 years ago at the cross. Every sin which we have committed or will commit has been punished to the full in the body of Jesus Christ at the cross. That is why today, God remembers our sins no more. We should, therefore, not be sin-conscious.

Each time we fall into sin, God wants us to remember the cross and say, “Lord Jesus, you were sentenced for this sin I committed. You bore the judgment, so God will not judge me for this sin. You were condemned for this sin, so God will not condemn me for it.”

If you don’t look to the cross, you will become sin-conscious and you will walk around with a certain expectation of judgment. And that expectation of judgment will give the devil a chance to get you thinking that God has something against you because of your sin.

You must come to the place where you know and believe that all your sins are forgiven, that there is no sin that will ever disqualify you from God’s blessings, that there is no sin that will ever send you to hell, because you are forgiven and saved eternally.

Hebrews 10:12, 14 says, “But this Man [Jesus], after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God… For by one offering He has perfected forever those that are sanctified…”

You and I are perfected forever because of Jesus’ perfect work on the cross. We are perfected by God’s full acceptance and perfect delight in His Son’s work that has so glorified His holiness. Beloved, hear God say to you, “I will be merciful. Your sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

But Andrew, Gods word that MUST be fulfilled also says in Rom 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death,"
God is Righteous and His word MUST be accomplished.... right?
So the penalty for sin - even just one, is death and it MUST be Punished!!

Well, In absolute Righteous fulfillment of Gods word, Jesus died for all of our sin. Jesus takes our place in this fulfilment 2000 years ago.
Thats why the next half of that verse that is often left out of the quotation by people who preach "the wrath of God" to get people saved says:
"but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Praise God for His amazing Love. He came NOT to condemn, but to Save.

God Blessed You!!

Jesus’ Blood Keeps On Cleansing You

Heres a thought: God would be Unjust, and Unrighteous to call believers Righteous IF He was still holding sin to their account.
Yet so often Believers are rather believing the devil when he accuses us and reminds us of things we have done wrong. We often take note of his accusations quicker than we remember what God said about us..... and its only Gods call that really counts!!
God said that if you believe the Good News about Jesus taking your place at Calvery, you will be saved. And if you are saved, then you inherit as your own, the very self same Righteousness of GOD as your own forever!! (2 Cor 5:21).

It really is NOT "being humble" to GROVEL before God as a "sinner" after He has DECLARED you to be RIGHTEOUS. This is not "humility", that is actually PRIDE, because you are saying that you know better than God. (Of course, when we do this, it doesnt stop us from still maintaining our perfect righteousness, but it does stop us from walking in the blessings and freedom of it).

1 John 1:7
7But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

"During the day, the devil may whisper in your head, “You cannot go into God’s presence because you have not been reading your Bible and serving in church.” Or he will tell you that it is because of the sin which you have just committed.

The devil will always make you feel that you are not qualified or clean enough to go near God. But the truth is, regardless of how you feel and what you have done, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.

In the original Greek text, the tense for the word “cleanses” denotes a present continuous action. This means that once you are a believer, the blood of Jesus Christ keeps on cleansing you from every sin!

So you can rest knowing that you are always forgiven in this continuous “wash cycle” of Jesus’ blood. Because you are continually cleansed, you are always in the light. Of course, you will fail here and there, but you are still in the light because the blood is continuously washing you!

The Bible says that we overcome the devil, the accuser of our brethren, by the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 12:11) If you have sinned, remind yourself that Jesus’ blood keeps on cleansing you from every sin — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — and move on with God! The devil cannot defeat you when your faith is in the blood that cleanses you continuously.

Some Christians are guilt-ridden because their consciousness of their sins condemns them. Although Jesus’ blood continuously cleanses them, they would rather hold on to their past mistakes and feel bad about them, thinking that they are being humble and holy when they do this. But this is nothing more than self-righteousness.

My friend, the eternal blood of Jesus Christ offers you eternal redemption and everlasting righteousness. Accept the payment of His blood as the final, perfect and only sacrifice you will ever need!"

(PS, some may point out that the text says "If we walk in the light...". If you are saved, you are in the light. check:

God Blessed You