Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Unforgiving Servant

Hi guys. This next article, I read at:
Its by Cornel Marais


"Matt 18:23-35 is one of those passages that has been used for years to beat believers over the head to get them back under performance based legalism. I have been asked about this passage quite a lot, as many people have used it when they try to argue that you can lose your salvation and be thrown out of the kingdom if you don’t do certain things. Lets look at the passage and then just ask 3 simple questions…

Matthew 18:23-35 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (ESV)

Whenever this story is read, people identify God as the king and themselves as the servant. God forgave you your sins just like the king cleared the servant’s debt. Then they say that if we don’t forgive, God won’t forgive us and deliver us to the ‘jailers’ or tormentors in another translation. Whenever we study a piece of scripture, it should always be looked at through what happened on the cross. The cross changed everything. It especially changed the way God relates to us, which is important in understanding this parable. I said I would ask 3 simple questions, so here goes:

1. Are you saved by mercy or grace?
There is a difference between mercy and grace. We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8), not mercy. The king in the parable showed mercy by forgiving the servant’s debt out of pity. God didn’t save you out of pity, He saved you out of love. Big difference. If the king had shown the servant grace, he would have not only cleared the debt, he would have given the servant enough money to never be in debt again.

2. Are you a servant or a king?
Surprisingly enough many believers would rather identify with being a servant instead of being a king. The scripture is clear that Jesus no longer considers us servants; we are friends, brothers, kings and priests. As He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). So in this story it would be more accurate if you identified yourself with the king. You are in a position to be merciful, to see the debts people have and to clear it.

3. Does God relate to you based on your works or His Son’s works?
Since we are now the righteousness of God in Christ by faith, God relates to us based on Jesus’ righteousness, or the degree to which Jesus can do right. He no longer looks at our unworthiness, because through the atoning blood of Jesus, we have been made forever worthy. Whenever we think God would ignore the blood of His Son and again look at our own righteous efforts, we are saying Jesus’ blood was not enough.

So please don’t buy into this legalistic manipulation trap that God is going to hand you over to tormentors if you don’t forgive others because if He did, He would be guilty of murdering Jesus. “But Cornel, this Jesus talking about the Kingdom?” Yes, I know. And he told this story before He went to the cross. God’s kingdom didn’t start at the cross. His kingdom has always been there. Before the cross the relationship we had to the kingdom was based on the old covenant performance based laws. Do good, get good. Do bad, get bad. After the cross the relationship we have to the kingdom is based on the finished works of Christ. If you relate to God based on the law, then you are on your own, you have no mediator and He would have to keep His word and punish sin. But if you are saved, you relate to God through Christ, your Mediator, and God again would keep His word that He would not treat you according to your sins because He has punished His Son in your stead.

So the choice is yours: Do you want God to relate to you based on your righteous ability (Old Covenant), or Christ’s righteous ability (New Covenant)? You can’t have both because old and new don’t mix.

Grace to you all!


Loads of Love

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Cross is the Grand Finale!

Friends. "We need real meat and no longer just the simple Cross", must be the single most ridiculous thing anyone could ever say. Many believers have been hoodwinked by an unhealthy overflow of the "teachers movement" that has for years been dominating "Christian Television". The misunderstanding that "The Word of God" is the Bible and we need to be "firmly grounded in the Word" , meaning having a deep theology, instead of realizing that the "Word" is NOT THE BIBLE, but JESUS.
To get caught up with any theme other than Jesus and His finished work will lead you to eventually loose your Joy. And slowly but surely the Power of God that is attached to the Good News will dwindle in your life until you reach conclusions like: "Oh, those miracles we saw were just a move of God, and then He stopped." Friends!!!, if we are believing silly statements like that, its because we have drifted away from the feasting table of the Lamb.

One can argue all they like to defend a powerless "Gospel", but it wont change the fact that what they are believing is really "no Gospel at all".
If the cross doesn't make you happy, you have come to the wrong cross. We certainly need to continue to boast about what Jesus has done. There is nothing more convincing to the world than believers enjoying Him publicly.

Just how far has mainline orthodoxy and reformed theology led His church astray. So much so that in many "church services" it is unacceptable to be overcome with the revelation of His intoxicating love!!
God invites us to be "drunk on His love" (Song 5:1). Seriously, lets sober up and fast from bad theology by drinking down the truth of the simple Gospel!!

God bless you all and remember that its better to have communion with the Author of the Book instead of the book itself.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Joshua and the Jordan - the removal of sin Part 2

In the Previous post we saw that it was at the baptism of Jesus that mankind's sin was placed in Jesus... that He became sin.... our sin (Noun: people, place or thing). It was at the cross that that sin was fully paid for through that once for all sacrifice!!
Now, since Jesus became our sin, we must then, even in our often religiously conditioned thinking, release our "humble" claim that we are merely "sinners... saved by grace". This is "non-sense"!! Believer, you are a Saint, not a sinner any more!

The flood of the curse and sins power over mankind was uprooted at its source - Adams unbelief, at Jesus' baptism, and punished in full at His crucifixion:

"For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In overflowing wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy redeemer." (Isa 54:7-8)
This was fulfilled on the Cross:
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mat 27:46)

Jesus was condemned representing man so that there would NO LONGER be Condemnation for man In Christ:
"He certainly has taken upon himself our suffering and carried our sorrows, but we thought that God had wounded him, beat him, and punished him. He was wounded for our rebellious acts. He was crushed for our sins. He was punished so that we could have peace, and we received healing from his wounds. We have all strayed like sheep. Each one of us has turned to go his own way, and the LORD has laid all our sins on him." (Isa 53:4-6)
"The LORD says, "It was my will that he should suffer; his death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness. And so he will see his descendants; he will live a long life, and through him my purpose will succeed. After a life of suffering, he will again have joy; he will know that he did not suffer in vain. My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment of many and for his sake I will forgive them. And so I will give him a place of honor, a place among the great and powerful. He willingly gave his life and shared the fate of evil men. He took the place of many sinners and prayed that they might be forgiven."
(Isa 53:10-12)
That's the Gospel right there friends! Dont be deceived by "doctrines of demons" that would have you still feel the weight of your sin! It is for freedoms sake, that you have been set free. Jesus was delighted at the result of stopping that Adamic flow through the human race.

Joshua chapter 3 shares with us the account of Gods people entering into the Promised Land. This was a Promise given to Abraham hundreds of years before. It is (as all of the Old Testament) a type and shadow of the New Covenant realities that are available NOW for all who would simply believe it as a child.

Here is the account:

Joshua got up early the next morning. He and all the Israelites left Shittim. They came to the Jordan River, where they camped before crossing. Three days later the officers went through the camp. They told the people, "As soon as you see the ark of the promise of the LORD your God and the Levitical priests who carry it, break camp and follow them. However, stay about half a mile behind them. Don't come any closer to them so that you will know which way to go because you have not gone this way before." Joshua told the people, "Perform the ceremonies to make yourselves holy because tomorrow the LORD will do miracles among you." Joshua also told the priests, "Take the ark of the promise, and go ahead of the people." They did as they were told. Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to honor you in front of all the people of Israel. I will do this to let them know that I am with you just as I was with Moses. Order the priests who carry the ark of the promise, 'When you step into the water of the Jordan River, stand there.'" So Joshua said to the people of Israel, "Come here, and listen to the words of the LORD your God." Joshua continued, "This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly force the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites out of your way. Watch the ark of the promise of the Lord of the whole earth as it goes ahead of you into the Jordan River. Choose one man from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. The priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of the whole earth, will stand in the water of the Jordan. Then the water flowing from upstream will stop and stand up like a dam." So they broke camp to cross the Jordan River. The priests who carried the ark of the promise went ahead of the people.(The Jordan overflows all its banks during the harvest season.) When the priests who were carrying the ark came to the edge of the Jordan River and set foot in the water, the water stopped flowing from upstream. The water rose up like a dam as far away as the city of Adam near Zarethan. The water flowing down toward the Sea of the Plains (the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. Then the people crossed from the east side of the Jordan River directly opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the LORD'S promise stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan River on dry ground. (Joshua 3:1-17)

This account is full of outrageously glorious pictures!!
here are some:

Joshua was now the new head/leader of Israel now that Moses had died. His name is the Hebrew version of the Greek name, "Jesus". Under the leadership of Moses (Law), the Israelites wondered around in the dessert for 40 years and "their corpses were scattered across the desert and they did not enter the Promise because of their unbelief" (Heb 3) That's because the Law is NOT of faith... it can't produce faith! Only hearing the gospel can (Rom 10:7) . Under the headship of Joshua (Jesus/Grace) it took the nation only a few days to set foot on the Promised Land!!

The river they crossed was the river Jordan.
Jordan means "Descender/ symbolising death"!! The Jordan ended its course by flowing into the Dead Sea. Did you get that?...The Jordan river (A picture of death by literal definition...The consequence of Adams sin/unbelief), empties into the Dead sea.

Now, we know that the Bible says that the wages of sin - Adams sin - is death: For by Adams trespass, death reigned through that one man, and Adams trespass led to condemnation for all men, and through that one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, (Rom 5)
Scripture says that death reigned from the time of Adam... Because of his unbelief, we were all made sinners - by nature (noun) - and sin and death had its way in all of mankind as a result of Adams disobedience.

The only conclusion of that inherited Adamic Nature, if left to run its course, is to end in Death. Eternal separation from an infinitely Good God. This account (before the Ark enters) is a picture of the one track flow of humanity in our fallen state we are in, in Adam.

But the Good News, revealed in this "Shadow" is that Abba intervened and stopped the Natural consequence of sin by sending His Son Jesus.
The priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant as a unit, represent Jesus.... being 100% man and 100% God at the same time. When they enter the water, sin and death is reversed... all the way back to Adam! Death (Jordan river) is reversed all the way back to its origin - Adam!!! The text says that they walked through on "dry ground". That means that there was not even a trace of the curse left for us to contend with!
WHO WILL BELIEVE THIS? They are the ones who will live it!

The place where John came baptizing for the remission/forgiveness (divorce)/removal of sin, is in the same area where the Israelites walked over on dry land, unhindered by the flooding Jordan river. The Ark and priests here, are a prophetic picture of what Jesus would do hundreds of years later. When He entered the River to be baptised, sin was removed, so that righteousness could be fulfilled by the finished work of the cross!

How spectacular is this Gospel of Jesus. Every little detail all points towards the highlight of humanity.... Gods Unceasing flow of love towards YOU!!

Jesus loves you all so much, no matter what anybody tells you!!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Jesus in the Jordan - the removal of sin. Part 1

The world's sin was place in Jesus at His baptism, and paid for at the cross.

Have you ever wondered when exactly our sin was placed on Jesus body?
Perhaps you haven't, and have just assumed that it was at the cross....
Well, yes, our sin was paid for at the cross. The punishment of the sin of the world was paid for in full at the cross, but Jesus "became our sin" (2 Cor 5) at His baptism.

Now, we all know very well that the Old Testament was a shadow of the reality of Jesus.... Check these few things:

"And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness." (Lev 16:22)

He was the spotless Lamb of God (a sheep), being offered as a goat... a scape goat.
Remember the separating of the sheep and goats:
"Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Mat 25:32-34)
But here Jesus the Lamb of God is identified with sinners... with goats!!
He was "was numbered with the transgressors;" (Isa 53:12)
And is baptised a "baptism of repentance for the removal of sin" (Mark 1:4) - not His sin, but ours!!
Scripture says (2 Cor 5) that he BECAME Sin, but not in and of himself.... it was our sin that He became. Now, if He became our sin, then we no longer had it.... He took it upon himself! Thats Good News!

This act by Jesus caused His Father to be heard saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." (Mat 3:17)
Why was Father well pleased? Because without Jesus having been baptised for Him to become our sin, the cross would have been meaningless. We could never be made righteous without Him being baptised for us..... even if He went to the cross.
But the Father said that what Jesus had just done was "pleasing" to Him.
So, now that He had been baptised, Gods intended righteousness for man could now be made completely, freely available:
"But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." (Mat 3:15)
This was done to fulfill all righteousness.... Again, unless He was baptised, righteousness could not be fulfilled. If He went to the cross without having being baptised for OUR sins - as He had none of his own..., then there would have been no sin in Him to be paid for!

No baptism = No Righteousness/Right-standing before God because we would all still be in our sins!

So, as per the Leviticus shadow, All sin is placed onto the goat via the laying on of hands and, "And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness."

What's the next thing that happens to Jesus after John the Baptist has laid hands on him and baptised him?
He is then led into the wilderness by Holy Spirit!! (Mat 4:1)

The eternal difference between this act and the yearly shadow revealed in the Old Covenant is that Hebrews tells us that Jesus' sacrifice was a once off, for ALL time sacrifice, and needed NOT to be offered yearly because having once been cleansed, the believers now no longer need to have a sin-consciousness!! (Hebrews 10:1-22)

**side note: "But Andrew, we must confess our sins??.... how does that fit with this??"
Simple... It doesn't! Confession of sin to regain favour with Abba is a "doctrine of Devils" preached by man, designed to keep you in bondage to a different "gospel".
Whilst the hermeneutics principle of "plane meaning" is an important one, the principle of "historic context" is probably more important. 1 John 1:9 is the only place in the New Testament where any of the apostles mention confession of sins to God in order to be forgiven. John wrote this into that specific context. If you miss 1 John 1:7 (and the Good News of the New Covenant for that matter!), you will be conned by preachers taking that verse out of its "Historic context".
More on this at:

Back to sin being removed from the world at His baptism:
This is further evidenced during the ministry of Jesus. It's the reason why he could say things like.... "your sins ARE forgiven (removed/separated/divorced from you)" (Mat 9:2), before the cross!!
Its why He did not condemn the guilty woman caught in adultery - as He only did and said what the Father did and said, He said, "neither do I condemn you..." (John 8:11)
Or at Simon the Pharisees house with the weeping woman, saying, "Your sins are forgiven" (Luke 7:48)

We will look at this further in part 2. For now, just let Him convince you that He is NOT counting you sin against you, and He is NOT reminding you of your sin! Man!! that's the Gospel!!

"He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." (Psa 103:10-12)

With one sacrifice he accomplished the work of setting them apart for God forever. The Holy Spirit tells us the same thing: "This is the promise that I will make to them after those days, says the Lord: 'I will put my teachings in their hearts and write them in their minds." Then he adds, "I will no longer hold their sins and their disobedience against them." When sins are forgiven, there is no longer any need to sacrifice for sins. (Heb 10:14-18)

Jesus Loves you so much and will NEVER leave or Forsake you!!