Category Archives: Holiness

Revival song (Day of God’s favour )

Day of God’s favour

revivalIn 1994 Charles SlagIe prophesied over me that I would write music that would break the chains of oppression.

In 1996  I wrote this ‘revival’ song but 22 years later (2016) I re-wrote and recorded it feeling that its time was NOW!

Many of have us have been wounded on this journey of grace and the Father’s heart  but I do believe that we are on the cusp of revival here in the UK!

Let this song heal your heart and release joy to your soul! I’ve included Music and Lyrics so you can sing it in your church as a prophetic statement!

High quality version (sound cloud)

Paul Noble copyright 1996 

This is a day, of God’s favour, time of release

When the captives are set free, from their chains

A year of great fruitfulness, time to rejoice

The fields are white to harvest, in our land

A time of revival, is at hand.

Verse 2 

This is a day of God’s favour, time to believe

Warriors of His grace, take a stand

The years of famine are over, time to make war

The fields are white to harvest in our land

A time of revival is at hand

CHORUS

It is a time of healing, a time of war, A time to get right with our God

It is a time to be humble, a time to leap forth

A time to watch and pray to the Lord

A time to watch and pray to the Lord

BRIDGE 

Arise and shine, time to be free!

God’s singing over you, songs of jubilee

Songs of deliverance, songs of His love

Days of famine are over now!

CODA 

Time to rejoice

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice

Again I say rejoice

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice

Shine your light has come!

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What is the unforgivable sin?

What is the unforgivable sin?

unforgivable sinIn the article ‘A better sacrifice’ , we touched on the possibility that it is possible to understand the Gospel and yet wilfully reject it. This is called the sin against the Holy Spirit.

Mark 3:28 “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:”

As Dr Henry Morris says:

“The one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ. Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible”

John 3:18 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

In Matthew 12:32 and Mark 3:28, the scriptures further describes the sin against the Holy Spirit as an ‘eternal’ sin. Meaning, it’s permanent and irreversible.

Can the believer commit it?

Indeed, this is the only sin that can’t be forgiven.  The good news for the believer however is: you cannot commit it – you believe!

Unbelief therefore, is not agnosticism (not knowing). It’s when the truth is known and yet rejected.

Are then any instances in the scriptures though of persons committing this sin? I believe there are. The first is Pharaoh in Exodus chapter 7

For Example: Pharaoh (A hardened heart)

Here is a ruler of whom it not only says that God hardened his heart but also he hardened his own heart. Despite multiple miraculous plagues he refused to let God’s people go and ended up in disaster. This contrasts nicely with a ruler such ŵas Nebuchadnezzar, who brought to the edge of insanity,  finally acknowledges the God of heaven in repentance and humility.

Hardening the heart therefore, is an act of will; a stubbornness to believe and a resistance to the gracious overtures of the Holy Spirit.

For Example: the children of Israel

Likewise, the Children of Israel suffer this same hardening of the heart and unbelief and its described in Psalm 95:8 (quoted in the book of Hebrews 3:8:)

“Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:”

In several other places in Hebrews this theme is tellingly repeated: Hebrews 3:15 and 4:7 for example.

For Example: their descendants

Of course, the descendants of these Israelite reprobates act in a similar hard-hearted and unbelieving fashion, rejecting the message of Stephen by stoning him to death:

Acts 7:51 “You men who are stiff-necked an uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did”

This is clearly a deliberate and wilful rejection of the truth!

One of the bystanders to that execution (a Jew and a Pharisee): the Apostle Paul however describes the grace of God towards him because he was ignorant of the truth.

1 Timothy 1:13: “a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” 

In other words, he didn’t reject Jesus wilfully.

Why can’t this sin be forgiven?

Why can’t this sin be forgiven? Why can’t this sin be repented of? The fact is, if the only way of salvation as proclaimed by Stephen, is rejected – then there is no hope!

Hebrews 12:25 “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:”

For Example: a person owes money. However, when offered a cheque for for £1000, they deliberately rip it up –  rejecting the kind offer.

Hebrews 6:6 “If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Understanding Hebrews

Maybe you have noticed – most of the Bible quotations so far – have come from the book of Hebrews. This is interesting, because understanding the sin against the Holy Spirit is a major key to understanding this book.

Additionally, three other helpful keys are:

  1. To whom was it written?
  2. Why was it written?
  3. How does it apply to us today?

To whom was it written?

In this light, let’s look at a commonly misunderstood verse of Hebrews:

Hebrews 10:26 “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received  the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more  sacrifice  for sins”

Firstly, ask the question: ‘to whom was this scripture written?’ Most people people assume that the Epistle was written directly to them, when in fact it was written by a Jewish Apostle to his Jewish brothers: some born again Messianic Jews and others – who maybe had heard and understood the Gospel; are even meeting with believers – but are not yet true converts! The phrase “received the knowledge of the truth” is referring to these Jews.

Why was it written?

Next, ask the question: ‘why was it written?’  Clearly, he is addressing the problem of those Jews amongst the ‘Hebrews’ or Jewish believers, who have heard and been exposed to the power of the Gospel but refuse to accept the sacrifice of Jesus and instead are returning back to the temple worship. They are falling away.

Therefore, he is not warning gentile believers that they may lose their salvation through deliberate or wilful sin!

In fact, it makes no sense at all to interpret this verse that way: I mean – sin by its very nature is wilful!

Yes, you could sin accidentally, say break the speed limit, but most sin is a decision.

Watch your children – they choose to sin. Likewise, the first sinner Adam couldn’t plead ignorance. No, he deliberately sinned by taking the fruit from Eve his wife.

Hebrews 6:4 

Another scripture that makes sense when you know ‘why’ it was written, is Hebrews 6:4

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and  have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

Again, this verse is talking about those who have heard the Gospel, maybe even experienced its power through healing or deliverance but have chosen to reject it – they have fallen away. No repentance is therefore possible. It’s the sin against the Holy Spirit.

The sin of rejecting the messiah

The wilful sin or the sin of wilfulness therefore, is a deliberate choice to reject Jesus as Messiah even when the truth is known and even experienced.

Furthermore, there are many other examples in Hebrews, of warning to the unbelieving Jews within the believing community who have clearly heard and understood the Gospel:

Hebrews 2:3 “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation”

Hebrews 3:12 Take care brethren (Jewish believers and unbelievers) , lest there be in any one of you an evil (works filled) unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God.

Hebrews 4:1 Therefore let us fear lest, while a promise of entering his rest any of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us just as they also but the word they heard did not profit them because it was united by faith in those who heard.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience

Application – So what about us?

Lastly, how do these scriptures apply to us today? I believe that even in our churches today, there are many who call themselves Christians, who go to church, tithe, read their Bibles, sing in the choir and even know a bit of theology– yet they are not saved and born again. They have a form of religion but no power.

2 Corinthians 13:5 “ Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

Read More:

Can you miss the grace of God?

Sinning wilfully

A driving analogy

Are future sins forgiven?

Total forgiveness

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Becoming sanctified (Part 2 messing with holiness)

sanctifiedIn the last article (Messing with Holiness part 1) we discussed what holiness is and what it means to be sanctified. One important conclusion we came to was that being holy doesn’t mean being sinless.

Very soon though,  you will come across those who tell you that you are now in the process of becoming sanctified. Some will even tell you that the Holy Spirit has been given you to keep the moral law or Ten Commandments.

Firstly though, let’s establish what the Bible says about your sanctification, sainthood and holiness.

How are we made holy?

How are you made holy? You are made holy by the work of the cross when you believe. 

Acts 26:18 “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

This faith in Jesus is what sets you apart to God and makes you a saint. You are cleaned up and sanctified ( past tense).

1 Corinthians 6:11 “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

It is not what you do that makes you holy it is simple faith in the work of the cross: it is the body and blood of Jesus that makes us holy not your body or blood.

Hebrews 10:10 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Hebrews 13:12 “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”

Consequently, its not what you do that makes you holy – it’s what you believe; who you believe in!

Jesus achieved holiness for us

This means that the cross of Jesus has achieved holiness for us. It’s not something we achieve by our efforts. Jesus himself is our holiness!

1 Corinthians 1:30 “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”

Is this holiness temporary until the next time we mess up? No we have been perfected for ever! Yes you heard it – for ever!

Hebrews 10:14 “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

Being a saint or holy one therefore, does not await your death and a decision from the Pope. Sainthood is yours now!

Even the Corthinthian believers, who were certainly not sinless in their behaviour, are called holy and saints, further underscoring  that sainthood is NOT based on performance.

1 Corinthians 1:2 “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:”

I mean, they were hardly glowing candidates for sainthood – with scandal rivalling the Roman Catholic church today! Yet, Paul indeed calls them saints: God’s chosen ones.

Is sanctification a process?

Doesn’t the above scripture though (1 Corinthians 1:2), indicate that sanctification is a process? In other words we are called to be saints, in other words we sort of are but are not quite! A better translation however – as in the ASV –  is:  “saints by calling”.  So this verse is not in fact saying we are becoming holy!

Let me ask you a question. From all the scriptures quoted so far, if you believe in Jesus, are you holy? If you answer: “well I’m trying to be or I hope”,  so then please read them again!

What about this scripture though you might ask?

1 Peter 1:15 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;”

I like what Graham Cooke says about this one: “we read it as a command but actually it’s a benediction”. In other words, the one who called you is different and special so you be different and special also.

The fact is, you are as holy as you will ever be: An oak tree sapling is as much an oak tree as an oak tree 100 years old. The difference between them is maturity and fruit. The difference between a believer who has known the Lord 5 minutes and 5 years is fruitfulness and maturity.

Holy matrimony

I mean, wouldn’t it be ridiculous to tell a married couple that they need to be more married! Marriage by its very nature is holy – a couple are set apart ‘wholly’ for one another. That doesn’t mean they have a perfect marriage but hopefully they will learn to grow together and love one another. In fact, love and holiness are very close relations!

Ephesians 1:4 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”

Furthermore, Paul uses this picture of holy matrimony  to illustrates the relationship of Jesus to his precious bride the church.

Ephesians 5:6 “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word”

Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

As we can see from the above scriptures, the church is in the process of being cleansed and prepared for her wedding day. She’s at the spa having a leg wax and massage. It similar to the process Esther went through in order to be a Queen:

Esther 2:12 “Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)”

Does this mean then, because Esther went through all these beauty treatments, that she wasn’t beautiful? Of course not, but she ended up not just beautiful but stunning – fit for a king.

Unfortunately, this is not how many  holiness preachers see the church or individuals, with their constant calls to repentance and holiness. It’s as if they think that the church is Cinderella and needs constant abuse? Maybe that’s because they are the ugly sisters! Seriously though, what they are in effect saying is:  “church you look disgusting,  get cleaned up!”

Grace preachers on the other hand,  see the church as beautiful and holy already but maybe in need of a little leg wax and a special hairdo! Holiness and beauty then are also close relations!

Psalm 29:2 “The beauty of holiness! Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”

Do we have any part to play?

Now, just in case you tempted to think that I am saying that we have no part to play and it doesn’t matter how we respond  –  nothing could be further from the truth!

Titus 2:11 “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”

Grace therefore teaches us to deny ungodliness and resist evil. God can’t do that for us. In other words, we don’t have to live like the rest of the common unsaved folk around us because we are already special different and royalty! We get to choose! We get to act!

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself  a peculiar people,  zealous of good works. 

James says:

James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

1 Thess 5:22  “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

Peter encourages us because we are different (strangers and pilgrims) we should abstain from fleshly lusts ( probably sexual in nature)

1 Peter 2:11 “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”

Paul also tells us to live sexually pure:

“For this  is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:” 

1 Thessalonians 4:7 “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”

1 Thess 4:4 “That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;”

Consequently, as believers when we learn to obey God, walking in the spirt and believing his word, then godliness and holiness are produced in our lives as a fruit.

Romans 6:19 “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Romans 12:1  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

In addition, as I have explained in another article, the work of the Holy Spirt in our lives will mean we will want to separate ourselves from situations that contaminate and defile us. If I’m wearing an expensive suit I won’t be going rock climbing!  If I was a freemason before getting saved,  then I should break free from that ungodly partnership – it is not appropriate.

2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

In conclusion therefore, our sanctification and holiness are a ‘done deal’ but how we live is important.  As Peter says we once lived one way but now we have a holy calling and we no longer find it necessary to float down stream – we are swimming against the tide!

1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

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Further reading:

Messing with holiness part 1

Raising the bar on holiness

Gardening and holiness

What is holiness?

True holiness

2 Corinthians 7:1

The dangers of the holiness movement

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Messing with holiness (part 1)

In this series of articles I’m going to mess with you holiness or sanctification theology – you’ve been warned!

Can unbelievers be sanctified?

holinessLet’s start with a bang. Did you know that it is possible for an unbeliever to be sanctified? Yes you heard me right! Here is the verse:

“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.”

What is going on here? How can an unbeliever be sanctified? I believe the explanation is that  because one member of the family is saved the rest are treated by God as if they were already.

This doesn’t mean they are automatically saved however, only that they are now on a ‘fast track’ to salvation; the spotlight is on them! It’s like when Paul says to the jailor: “believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved and your whole house”. This doesn’t mean that every member of the household is automatically enrolled into the book of life; just that the opportunity of salvation has increased because they are probably going to hear the Gospel and see its transforming power first-hand.

Hebrews 10:29

In addition, this helps explain an apparently ‘difficult’ scripture:

“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” Hebrews 10:29

Consequently, now it’s clear that sanctification can apply to an unbeliever, this scripture becomes much clearer. The writer of the Hebrews is speaking to Jews (not Gentiles) who are meeting with Jewish believers. They are not saved and in fact are in danger of turning their back on Christianity and returning to Judaism. Therefore, they are described as sanctified for the same reasons as the previous example.

Conclusions?

Both these examples then illustrate an important point: sanctification does not mean sinlessness!

Ok then, so what does it mean? Simply put, sanctification means to be made holy, separated, different, special.  Holiness therefore has nothing to do with sinlessness even though it does have to do with purity and cleansing.

Leviticus 10:10 “And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;”

Therefore, when God is described as holy its not referring to his sinlessness its referring to his uniqueness!  God is separate, different, perfect and incomparable!  That is why when man tries to replicate God in the form of an animal or human he is making God common and that’s called idolatry.

Romans 1:21 “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

In Exodus, Moses encounters this Holy God in the burning bush and he is told to take off his shoes because the ground is holy. Was the ground sinless? No, of course not, it was the presence of God who is unique, special that made it holy.

What does the Bible say is Holy?

Wrapping up, and just to further emphasise that holiness and sanctification do not mean sinlessness, it’s clear that many other things declared by the Bible as holy are not capable of sinning  because they are inanimate:

1. The Holy scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:5 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

2. Your food!  1 Timothy 4:5 “For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

3. The Sabbath: Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

4. The Law: Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”

5. Every Jewish first born male child : Luke 2:23 “As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;”

Implications?

What then,  if holiness is not sinlessness does it matter how we live? Surely we should be becoming more holy?  That is what we will discuss in the next article!

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Further reading:

Gardening and holiness

What is holiness?

True holiness

2 Corinthians 7:1

The dangers of the holiness movement

The law of liberty

The Bible impossible tales

What’s all this fuss about hyper-grace?

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Gardening and holiness

gardenGod seems to like gardens and gardening. Indeed , Jesus describes the Father as a gardener.

John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.”

The first home God made for Adam and Eve was not a house but a special garden. The last home (paradise or heaven) is also a garden.

My garden

My idea of gardening (I’m not a keen gardener), is just get rid of all the weeds and return to lovely fresh earth – even better concrete it over!

garden before

My garden without weeds!

Unfortunately, as every gardener knows, and as I have learned the hard way, with fresh earth new weeds soon spring up – unless fresh plants are planted.  This is because, within the soil, are the seeds of many weeds and unfortunately it’s the same with out sinful flesh.  So, we may be able to eradicate a few bad habits, with a bit of discipline and dedication, but unfortunately we still have a flesh that produces weeds quiet efficiently and sadly without any effort at all. The fact is, weeds seem to grow faster than anything else!

How to get rid of weeds!

My garden with new plants!

My garden with new plants!

That is why, grace and the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit in our new christ-like nature, with constant watering and care, produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit which will strangle the weeds or works of the flesh just by their very presence. If you want to be holy (and if your born again you will), then rather than fighting sin and bad habits all the time, concentrate of  sowing to your spirit because that fruit will suck all the life out of those horrible weeds!

How do you sow to your spirit then? Simply set your mind on good things; godly things: pray often; read and study the Bible; speak positive words over people; seek to move in the gifts of the Holy Spirit; serve in your local church; worship; do good deeds for others. That is what a fruitful life looks like – the weeds will soon disappear!

Holiness

By the way, being holy means to be set apart and that’s what a garden is: an area of land which the gardener purposes in his heart to become beautiful. Yes, it may not start the way – it may be overgrown with weeds but it is holy even at that point because the gardener has set it apart for himself!

Therefore at the end of the day, this is the test of a true believer: If the soil is good then it will produce fruit for God rather than thorns and thistles?

Hebrews 6:7 “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”

Just to finish,  its probably significant that the dramatic and climatic events of the resurrection took place in a garden tomb and Mary mistook the resurrected Jesus as the gardener!

John 20:15 “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”

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Further reading:

What is holiness

True holiness

2 Cor 7

A hellish confusion

What’s all this fuss about hyper-grace?

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Christ the End of Law
Christ in you the hope of glory

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The law of liberty

libertyFor believers we are not under law but under grace. Therefore, our sense of morality doesn’t come from the Law of Moses or any religious law added since. No, it comes by the law of the spirit of life or the spirit of liberty; it comes as we are relationship with the Holy Spirit our coach and friend.

Galatians 5:13 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

James 1:25 “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

The perfect law of liberty

Therefore, we are not lawless or anarchists, but are careful to obey the New Testament in every way, not to earn God’s favour or righteousness but because we stand fully clothed in that righteousness and in the grace of God. To me, as the Apostle Paul said, all things are lawful but not profitable, so therefore if what I do doesn’t honour God or harms by brother or neighbour in any way – then I will not do it. I would add too: if it harms your own body also then it’s wrong. 

1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

Gay marriage?

This means then, that when people ask me whether I agree with Christian gay marriage I would ask the question: “does it harm anyone?” Of course, the answer would be by – from those promoting it – that it doesn’t. However, the Apostle Paul clearly shows, that in fact there are consequences to pay for homosexual acts as for any permissive sexual act including pornography, adultery and fornication. They are sins against your own body.

Romans 1:27 “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

1 Corinthians 6:18 “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

The kingdom of God

Consequently, a christian participating in homosexual acts will not inherit the kingdom of God and that kingdom as defined by scripture can be simply defined as righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost.

1 Corinthians 6:9 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind”

Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Of course, you may still be saved by the skin of your teeth, but right now you will reap a harvest that is not the Kingdom of God because you are giving the devil permission to ravage your life.

1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Corinthians 3:15 “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Is it right for a christian to smoke?

It means therefore, that it isn’t legalistic to warn believers that certain kinds of behaviour are harmful just the same as I would warn you to look before you cross the road. For example there is nothing in the New Testament in the Bible about smoking cigarettes so can a believer smoke? My answer would be yes as long as you are not under the power of smoking (addicted) and you can honestly claim its not harming your body. Also have you thought go how your passive smoking is effecting everyone else and depleting your bank account?

1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

This is the law of liberty. It isn’t up to me; any other believer; or even the church to make the standards for you but living by the Holy Spirit results in living to a higher standard of holiness than ever the law could engender.

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Further reading:

A hellish confusion

What’s all this fuss about hyper-grace?

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Christ the End of Law
Christ in you the hope of glory
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What’s all the fuss about hyper-grace?

hyper-graceI find it puzzling, that those who believe in the forgiveness of sins past, present and future (Billy Graham falls into this camp), are disparagingly labelled as being HYPER-GRACE (this is Dr Michael Brown’s definition in his book of the same title). I mean, is this to somehow differentiate between just bog-standard GRACE and HYPER-GRACE? Is hyper-grace just a little to extreme and excessive – even for God?

The big problem in the minds of the anti-hyper-grace camp, seems to be that if future sins are already forgiven then surely there is nothing to stop the forgiven taking advantage of God and sinning with impunity – so encouraging licentiousness? Isn’t this the point though? If it can’t be abused then it’s not really grace at all – it’s mercy!

And anyway, what’s the real difference? Surely, even if every sin you commit today has to be individually confessed and repented of in order to be forgiven, then you can still go out and sin, repent, confess and get God’s forgiveness anyway – because you know the outcome; you know God’s heart to forgive!

In our own experience, we know that God never turns around and says: “I’m not forgiving today, what you did is to bad, and you’ve done it to many times.” No, we know we have forgiveness because he HAS forgiven us in Christ at the cross.

hyper-graceIndeed, the fact that you might have to confess every sin doesn’t stop you sinning. It’s a fact, confessing the same sin over and over again, feeling condemned and guilty, and making promises to turn over a new leaf don’t work. Why? Because, you are focusing on the sin and applying law and your own fleshly strength to control a bad sinful habit. You are rubbing salt into a wound.

Grace is so wonderful, because like medicine it stops the infection, it breaks into the sin/confess/sin cycle: (The sin/confess cycle is exactly what Roman Catholics practice in the confession booth and Protestants do privately or at communion.) However, none of this religious performance results in deliverance or holiness, just frustration, sometimes desperation and many just give up, give in and continue to sin – they become licentious.

I believe, that because, future sins are forgiven, and there is no judgement for those in Christ Jesus (even when you sin), then the result is that the believer’s eye is off themselves and their own self-effort and onto Jesus who is the deliverer.

For example: when a non-swimmer falls into a lake and someone attempts to rescue him or her, often the drowning person grabs hold of the rescuer in panic and nearly drowns both of them. A wise life-saver will knock the drowning person unconscious so that they can safely drag the inert person to the shore!

This is what God has done for us in Christ. He’s knocked SIN (noun) on the head. We’re unconscious; we died with Christ. As the word says, God is not counting your sins any longer. No longer does he see you or relate to you in the flesh. He sees you in Christ; in the spirit. Consequently, we died to the law and sin and where there is no law there is no longer any offence!

Therefore, the work of the cross is so much more than just getting our sins forgiven, it is the execution and termination of the problem: SIN (noun) in the flesh. It’s only when you realise this wonderful truth of grace and the complete forgiveness of sins, that you stop looking at your spiritual score card and start living in the spirit as God intended!

Does this mean that you can still go out and sin without fear of judgement because you are in Christ? Yes you can, but that does’t mean that there aren’t any consequences at all to continuing to sin. For Example: if I foolishly decide not to pay my taxes I may soon find myself in jail!  If I sleep around as a married man I may find myself in the divorce court! Of course even in our stupidity, God’s grace abounds and grace will teach you, even in a jail cell, that continuing to sin is a dumb idea!

Lastly, the disparaging use of the term hyper-grace is a bit ridiculous really. It’s like saying that it’s wrong to call God’s love hyper, amazing, super, or abounding (terms that the Bible uses in fact in relation to grace).

hyper-graceSubsequently, what are the limit’s to God’s grace? Is it limited to only those who repent as (John Burton) would say. In other words, you only qualify once you repent and if you stop repenting you forfeit God’s grace. This is a horrible idea and it isn’t even grace let alone hyper-grace.

As the Bible says, God’s grace is upon all and towards all. The only restriction is that it has to be accepted; it has to be received by faith. The only way you can miss the grace of God is if you reject it,  ignore it or maybe even replace it with hyper-holiness teaching! 

P.S You will probably notice ,if you read the material from those who are attacking so-called hyper-grace, that they don’t believe in the eternal security of the believer either. Evidently, they need this big stick to keep their followers in line and they call this grace?

New Creation Church Gosport

Escape to reality – Paul Ellis

Download my Kindle books on Amazon:

Christ the End of Law
Christ in you the hope of glory
Christ the End of Law KIndle Amazon

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