Category Archives: Law

A better sacrifice

Eternal Salvation

are all sins forgivenIn the last article I looked at how the offerings of the Law were a temporary fix so that God could continue relationship with mankind despite failure. Of course, this all awaited the first coming of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God and High Priest of God, who established a salvation that would last for ever and would never need to be repeated- awesome! A better sacrifice.

Hebrews 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”

Eternal redemption

Jesus therefore, was not only the sacrifice but the high priest making the offering and He obtained and bought for us  eternal (permanent) redemption (ransom) that never needed to be repeated!

Hebrews 9:12 “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

He took our sins away:

As a consequence, this superior sacrifice of Jesus took away sins; something the law could never do – only covering it. The blood of Jesus though, cleanses us perfectly from all sin. It’s like a powerful cleaning agent. It removes sin completely. It takes it away.

1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Incidentally, it’s interesting that part of the natural function of blood is to fight infection!

1 John 3:5 “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”

Romans 11:27 “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

He cleansed the conscience

In addition, the blood of Jesus not only takes away sins but as a consequence it purges the conscience and guilt of the sinner.

Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

He changes You!

Even so, there was one another important change necessary, a change in the heart of the offerer that was promised centuries before:

Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;”

Consequently, the perfect sacrifice of Jesus didn’t just make the sinner holy for a short time (a year) – but for ever! Did you get that? You have been made perfect (in your spirit) for ever!

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

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

God forgets sins

Just to make sure, God now chooses to forget your sin! Under the Old Covenant every sin was recorded. It was reckoned to your sin debit account. Under Grace the salvation that God offers is so complete that He no longer records your sins. They are no longer charged to your account!

Romans 4:8 “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

Even better than that, your sins never come into his mind; He never remembers your sins – ever!

Hebrews 8:12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

The remission of forgiveness is so complete that it’s as if you never sinned – God has no memory or consciousness of your sins!

No more offering required!

Hebrews 10: 17 “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

And, just to underline all this amazing Good News, the verse above clearly says, that the remission or forgiveness is now so complete that –  no offering for sin is required ever again!

Why is this? Think about it. When Jesus died on the cross everybody’s sins from that point were future. If His blood only took away the past sins that had been committed, then a whole lot more blood is going to be needed, because without the shedding of blood there is nor remission or forgiveness!

Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

This meant, that instead, of a lamb being sacrificed every year, Jesus had to be re-sacrificed every year for the last 2000 years because people are still sinning! However this is not the case because every sin that has been or will be has been expiated by his precious blood.

1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Sin is dealt with once for all

Therefore, Jesus has dealt with the whole issue of sin in God’s eyes for ever.

Hebrews 9:26 “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

Are we all forgiven?

Maybe your saying though, does it mean that everybody is forgiven? Well technically yes, BUT… not everyone takes advantage of this amazing special offer:

Hebrews 9:27 “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

What if we reject Jesus?

Now, the bad news. If someone chooses to reject this sacrifice of Jesus then there is no hope – this is a sin against the Holy Spirit. This is what some of the Jews amongst the Jewish Christians were in danger of doing by rejecting Christianity and going back to the temple system of sacrifices,

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”

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?”

Read More:

Stop saying sorry!

To tithe or not?

The shadow of the law

Jesus and the mosaic law

My Kindle books

Latest book Gods Grace Works Every Day

 Kindle book – Christ in You

Kindle book – Christ the End of Law

Facebook page

562 total views, no views today

The law – imperfect sacrifices

The purpose of sacrifices under the law?

sacrificesWhat was the purpose of the sacrifices under the system of Mosaic Law? Why were they needed? In the book of Hebrews, which was written to Jewish believers and non-believers, the unknown author provides us with some answers: they awaited and illustrated something ‘better’, a word he loves to use to prove the superiority of Jesus Christ and the end of the Law age.

Hebrews 9:23 “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”

Like the rest of the law system, the sacrifices: the burnt offering; the peace offering; the trespass offering and so on – were a shadow or outline of the perfect offering of Jesus.

A temporary fix!

These sacrifices, as laid down in Leviticus, were a temporary fix or band-aid because God  knew that Israel would break the law and sin. However, God still wished to continue in relationship with mankind, so under this temporary system, repeated every year, unintentional sin was dealt with by the sin offering, enabling the sinner to get his or her sins forgiven or covered for a whole year. What amazing grace!

A painful reminder

Unfortunately, this was all a bit like having to get an injection or immunisation every year for the rest of the your life! It wasn’t pleasant; it was a painful yearly reminder of the worshipper’s failure and sin.

Hebrews 10: 3: “But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.”

A painful conscience

Another problem, was that it did nothing for the conscience; the worshipper still felt guilty. I mean, how could the sinner experience a clear conscience since the sin was covered by the blood of an animal? For example, if you spill ink all over your sofa 5 minutes before your guests turn up, you may fix it by covering it with a couple of cushions but you know that the ink is really still there!

Hebrews 10:11 “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:”

No change to the sinner

In addition, the sacrifice doesn’t change the offender. They are still flawed and faulty: sinners. No change had taken place; they are not perfected. They still feel guilty.

Hebrews 10: 1 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”

2: For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

Not God’s best!

The sacrificial system therefore, was never God’s best. It awaited the permanent solution and offering of a perfect sacrifice and a perfect High Priest and that’s what we will look at in the next article.

Hebrews 10:8 “Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;”

Read More:

Stop saying sorry!

To tithe or not?

The shadow of the law

Jesus and the mosaic law

My Kindle books

Latest book Gods Grace Works Every Day

 Kindle book – Christ in You

Kindle book – Christ the End of Law

Facebook page

1,006 total views, no views today

Fix your mind – Christ in You (chapter 7)

Fix your mind!

mindIn the previous chapter we saw that the man of Romans 7 came to an important conclusion: he might be unable to conquer sin in the flesh but there was one area where he did have control – his mind or, as the famous detective Poirot would say, “those little grey cells”!

Romans 7:25 “So, then, on the one hand I MYSELF with the mind (nous) am serving the law of God, but on the other, WITH MY FLESH, the law of sin.”

This is an important step because as the well-known proverb says: “As a man thinks in his heart so is he. Proverbs 23:7.

The French philosopher Descartes said something similar when he made the famous statement: “I think, therefore I am”.

What is the mind?

The mind, therefore, is very much at the centre of who we are but is much more than just the grey matter of the brain. No, the mind enables us to make sense of the world around us, giving us perception and experience of the physical world through the five senses. In addition, somehow it enables self-consciousness. We are not therefore, just computers and thinking machines.

For example, the mind does the following:

1) It enables us to conceptualise, anticipate, create, remember and imagine.

2) It gives us the ability to experience emotion and pain.

3) It creates a conscience.

4) It gives us the ability to compute and think through problems logically.

5) It enables us to be self-aware.

Therefore, the mind is the inner man, the heart and soul of our being where all the information from the external world is processed. In other words, as the physical senses of the body are a window to the physical world, enabling the mind/soul to experience that world, the spiritual senses of the human spirit are a window into the spirit, enabling the mind/soul to experience that reality.

How did sin affect the mind?

Now that we have some idea what the mind is, how then did the sin and the fall affect the mind? Of course, one of the major effects of sin is that a sinner becomes blinded to spiritual realities. This is what is termed being ‘carnally-minded’.

Consequently, the unregenerate man’s spirit is dead; there is no information coming from that realm. That is why to the lost man the Holy Scriptures are a closed book until the Holy Spirit sovereignly enlightens them because, as Jesus said, His words are Spirit and life.

2 Corinthians 3:14 “But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.”

Psalm 119:120 “the entrance of your words give light, it gives understanding to the simple”

Likewise, spiritual truths to the carnally-minded, even if highly educated, appear foolishness because they are spiritually discerned:

1 Cor 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Education then, though very important and beneficial, does not change human nature. At the end of the day it just creates a clever sinner. A man therefore, may be totally brilliant and yet totally evil – an inventor of evil things (Romans 1:30). Indeed, even in the thousand years or so before the flood when God wiped out the human race, the mind of man produced nothing but evil.

Genesis 6:5 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

How does new Birth affect the mind?

However, new birth or new creation changes not only the spirit of man but also affects the mind. God writes His laws (how He thinks) on our hearts and minds:

Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;”

In point of fact, He not only writes his laws on our hearts but gives us the mind of Christ:

1 Corinthians 2:16:”For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

How is the mind transformed?

This transformation of the mind, though, although it starts at new birth, is an ongoing process unlike the born-again spirit. There is now work to do. We have to learn to co-operate with the Holy Spirit to actually let the mind of Christ operate in our lives. We have to work out (exercise) our salvation.

Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”

Example – Computer

Imagine a computer that has a brand new operating system installed. Unfortunately, there may be still old applications, picture files and even viruses on the hard drive. Maybe a few careful deletions of inappropriate material and programs need to take place! Possibly, some of the applications need to be upgraded and modified to run under the new operating software.

Example – A new business

A few years back my wife and I bought a ‘ladies only’ gym. The existing staff and membership came with the business.  Of course, this meant all the existing problems and attitudes came along, too! So, even though we had fresh vision and ideas for the business, we first had to change the mindset of both the staff and the members many of whom clearly preferred that things remain exactly the way they were. This meant we had to overcome their resistance to change and this ultimately meant a few staff and even members leaving.

This is very much like what happens when we get born again. Mindsets and habits don’t change overnight but the Holy Spirit (our amazing mentor) helps us turn the business around! So, don’t give in to the desire of the flesh. You’re in charge now. Don’t let those unruly staff boss you around!

Romans 6:13 “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”

Repentance and renewal

A renewal, a change of thinking and re-education in our lives, therefore, is firmly on God’s agenda.  This is what the Bible calls ‘repentance’.

Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Before we were saved, for example, we might have had a very arrogant attitude. Well, now we need to change that attitude and learn humility.

Ephesians 4:28 “And be renewed in the spirit (attitude) of your mind;”

We sin because we think sin

A key to understanding the importance of renewing the mind is to understand that we sin because we think or imagine sin.  A man cannot sin if he cannot think it first. Cain murdered Abel in his imagination long before he flew into a jealous rage and actually spilled his blood.

That is what Jesus meant when he said:

Mark 7:21-22 “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.”

In other words, the sinful behaviour comes from a sinful heart and sinful thinking.

A few examples of fleshly attitudes and mindsets:

Andrew Wommack ‘helpfully’ calls this type of fleshly thinking: “stinking thinking”!

If you are depressed – ask yourself the question, what am I thinking about? Depressed emotions generally come from negative thinking.

If you are full of sexual lust- what are you thinking about? What are you looking at? If you often look at pornography then this is going to reinforce lustful images in your mind and objectify others.

If you are constantly worried and fearful about the future – what are you listening to? What is your mind fixed on? Maybe you need to switch off the news channel now!

So then, you can’t necessarily change your fleshly appetites overnight but you can change what you think about. You can choose what TV programmes you watch.

What are we filling our minds with? 

Accordingly, what we put into our minds is what is going to come out. In other words, we are the product of our education, the books we read; the films we watch and the music we listen to. So, if someone looks at pornography every day then is it any wonder that they have a big problem with lust?!

One of the major things that is lacking in many people’s lives is peace. God’s supernatural peace is a gift that guards our hearts and minds. However, it’s also a product of what we think about:

Philippians 4:7-8 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Therefore, even though to the believer all things are permissible, clearly not all things are beneficial.  (1 Corinthians 6:12, 1 Corinthians 10:23). This should give us wisdom that maybe that it would be better not to watch that horror movie! Is it pure? Is it lovely?

Consequently, the fruit of peace is a result of what we put into our hearts and a major way we can have peace is by reading God’s Word. The Holy Spirit can’t make us read it, we have to do that but He is pleased to give us understanding of it.

Luke 24:45 “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”

What is your mind fixed on?

Hence, one way to have peace is to fix our attention on the Prince of Peace:

Isaiah 26: 3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Most of the time, the mind can only really concentrate effectively on one thing at a time – yes, ladies, even you! Maybe you can drive a car at the same time as eating a sandwich and listening to music but try working through a maths problem at the same time as writing an email to your bank!

What we set or fix our minds on can be likened to the rudder of a ship – it sets the direction of our lives. We can choose. We can either focus on the flesh and its desires or we can set our minds on the Spirit and have the fruit that results: life and peace.

This is what is meant by the expression ‘walking in the Spirit’.

Galatians 5:16 “But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh”

It’s in the mind and heart that belief or unbelief takes place. A double-minded or uncertain man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). The believer, however, is urged to be unwavering and single-minded. We are to set or fix our minds:

Romans 8:5 “For those who according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the spirit the things of the spirit”

Romans 8:6 “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.

Colossians 3:2 “Set your mind on the things above not on the things on the earth”

Spiritual warfare

Of course, that is easier said than done because we have an enemy, the devil, who does his damnedest to distract, divert or deceive you. In fact, that’s really the principal power he has over you. Consequently, spiritual warfare is mostly between the ears!  Just don’t give in to the devil’s mind games!

2 Corinthians 2:11 “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (thoughts, mind games)”

So, the devil can’t make us think in a certain way but we are susceptible to suggestion and temptation. Think of TV advertising. Your kids would never have had the desire for that latest gadget, if they had not first seen the advert on the TV!

Hence, the devil is not just interested in getting you to sin but he wants you to believe lies. This is the way whole people groups have been deceived and put under the bondage of philosophies such as communism. Some Christians, too, have shipwrecked their faith because they have not tested what they were reading, hearing or experiencing against the Word of God.  This means, we must test the spirits to see if they are of God. (1 John 4:1)

Colossians 2:18 “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind”

2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

How does God want us to fight the enemy? It is not with carnal weapons but with spiritual weapons: the word of God, prayer, speaking in tongues, prophecy and so on.

2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

How are you reckoning?

Lastly, there is another important way we renew our minds: it is to reckon ourselves according to what the Bible says about us rather than how we feel.

Romans 6:11 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

In other words, when the Bible says we are dead to sin, even though our experience may contradict the Word, we continue to reckon according to the Word rather than experience.

Likewise, by faith we put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Is that an act? Are we being a hypocrite? No, because this is who we truly are and we are renewing our minds as to that fact.

Romans 13:14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

Questions for discussion

1) What is the mind?

2) How did sin affect the mind? – 2 Corinthians 3:14

3) How does new birth affect the mind? – Hebrews 10:16

4) Explain how the mind is transformed.

5) How is Romans 12:2 repentance?

6) Explain how thinking sinful thoughts is the precursor to sinful actions.

7) Why is it important what we fill our minds with?

8) Why is the mind the battleground in spiritual warfare?

9) Explain how we renew our minds by the principal of reckoning.

Chapter 6

Chapter 5

Chapter 4

Chapter 3

Chapter 2

Chapter 1

Or … In the meantime why not read the whole book on Amazon Kindle?  

New Creation Church Gosport

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

1,366 total views, no views today

Above the law!

above the lawAs New Covenant believers we are not under the Law of Moses, in fact we are over it. We are above it; we are now citizens of a different country. For example: the Law of the United States doesn’t apply in this country (for example different speed limits and currency). Indeed, even if you cross the border into Scotland from England the drink driving limits are stricter and even a glass of wine may put you over the limit!

In the UK the Queen of England technically is above the Law. In fact, she makes the law! As a believer you are seated with Christ in heavenly places. You reign with him; you are dead to the law; you are also above it!

When we are under something then that is what rules us. When we are over it then we are in another realm. Astronauts for example when walking on planet earth are under the law of gravity. However, when they are in orbit in space then they are above the law of gravity. The rule of gravity still applies – it hasn’t stopped working on earth – but the astronauts are dead to it. Likewise, as believers those who walk by the spirit are not under law any longer when they are led by the spirit.   Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

Further reading:

God is not counting sins!

Holiness

Legalism

Awake to righteousness

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

964 total views, no views today

Christ the End of Law – Kindle book

Christ the end of Law – my second Amazon Kindle book is now available on all Amazon sites!

Many new believers ask the important question: “Now I’m saved do I have to keep the Law of Moses? Do I need to keep the Law (or parts of it) as a means of sanctification to stay saved?” This book answers those questions

These questions stem from people teaching that Grace has not ended the Law but that indeed you do need to keep the Law, or at least parts of it, – say, the Ten Commandments. However, I believe this is a crazy idea: I mean, if the Law couldn’t make you holy or righteous as a sinner in the first place why could you think it’s going to help you as a ‘saint’ after you’re saved?

In this book I clearly show why Christ has ended the Law for righteousness! I hope you enjoy it!

For UK click here
For US click here

Christ the End of Law KIndle Amazon

 

 

law

How can you help?

Please download my book, read it and give me a great review!

 

 

 Kindle book – Christ in You

Facebook page

Awake to righteousness

What is legalism?

1,118 total views, no views today

What is legalism?

Relating to God by law

lawWhat is legalism? It is when we believe our performance affects God’s favour towards us. In other words, when we do something good say attend church, give to the poor, don’t sin ( or at least keep a clean slate), read our Bibles, pray, or witness to the lost – that somehow God in turn rewards us. Contrary to this, if we maybe do something bad then we believe that we are out of favour with God and even are being punished by God. This is relating to God on the principle of law rather than grace.

Are you responsible?

Even more subtle than this though, is a lie that we are solely responsible to maintain our relationship with God and this is somehow dependent on our continual confession of sin. In other words, if we don’t confess sin then we are not forgiven and our relationship with God is broken – He now has a frown on his face and maybe he’s even a little angry and won’t answer our prayers or return our phone calls!

Can you lose this relationship?

Some believers even honestly believe, that its possible to lose that relationship all together if the backlog of unconfessed sins mounts up beyond a certain threshold of grace where God throws his hand in the air and at last gives up on us and walks away.

Let me ask you this question: when you didn’t know God and were an ungodly sinner who was it that initiated the relationship? Was it your seeking God that attracted his favour and forgiveness or was it his grace that found you and caused you to repent?

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 2:4 “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”

What is the nature of our relationship?

The truth is that a legalistic and distorted view of our relationship with the Father misunderstands the nature of the relationship. Under the Old Covenant God physically related to his people. The disciples had a relationship with Jesus where they handled him, sat down with him for a meal and even watched him asleep in a boat.

1 John 1:1 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;”

That is not the kind of relationship with God that as believers we now have.  As Jesus revealed, we now worship the Father in spirit because God is a spirit. (John 4:24). Paul says it in another way: he says even if we have known Christ after the flesh thus we know him no longer.

2 Cor 5:16 “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”

This means that God doesn’t see your sin, He doesn’t see you flesh He only relates to you by and in the spirit. He sees the old you as dead and only the new Christ in you. All that matters is new creation.

Galatians 6:15 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”

That is why God can say He remembers your sins no more and that He doesn’t reckon sin to your account. It’s like you look in a mirror and you see yourself imperfect but when God looks He only sees perfection and Jesus. Consequently, when He relates to you and you are conscious of all you sin and faults, just know that God isn’t conscious of them at all! You are accepted in the beloved not in your own worthiness and righteousness.

Does sin matter?

Does sin matter then? As a believer, your sin is not stressing God out because Jesus has dealt with every last stain of it.  If this statement makes you nervous then examine HOW you are relating to God. Is it dependant on your performance or the performance of Jesus? We now relate to God by faith and in the spirit.

That is why He declared you dead to sin and alive to God. The cross completely closed the book. There is no future punishment for sin – for those in Christ. Romans 8:1 You have been transferred from death to life.

Now, the fact is we still have to live in a physical world and relate to physical people in the flesh – even in church. God may have forgiven all your sins but people may not have! Therefore, if you continue to sin you are not going to inherit the kingdom of God, you are not going to experience life in abundance as Jesus promised.

Galatians 5:21 “Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

So, tying all this stuff up. The important thing is that God wants you to enjoy a relationship with him not based on rules but the leading of his Spirit –  this was his original intention for Adam and Eve  in the Garden of Eden. He wants you to walk in the spirit not the flesh. If you are indulging your flesh then you are going to find it hard to relate to God by the spirit and sin itself – not the Holy Spirit’s big stick of conviction – will make you feel unhappy because you are living unnaturally as far as your new nature is concerned!

There are only two states for anyone: you are either living under Law and living in the flesh or you are living under Grace and by the spirit. There is no middle ground.

Galatians 5:18 “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law”

More related articles:

What do you do when you sin?

Awake to righteousness

True holiness

What is holiness?

What is the kingdom of God?

Repentance is not what you think

Awake to righteousness

My Kindle book “Christ in You”  For the UK it can be found here…

For the US …

Elsewhere …. just find the relevant amazon site to your country and search for: Christ in You.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 20.00.48
Facebook page

Awake to righteousness

Self-consciousness

1,133 total views, no views today

A short story!

Short story – based on Luke 19

short story

Illustration -Carol Winkler (c) 2015

What possessed a wealthy, chief tax-gather like myself to scramble up a sycamore tree, tearing my expensive clothes and looking like a complete idiot into the bargain? I mean, what lunacy had driven me to perch precariously on this overhanging branch, straining just to get a glimpse of this travelling so-called miracle worker from Galilee called Jesus of Nazareth.

Well, for one thing, I was a little curious about all the fuss and attention and unbelievable stories of miraculous cures. In addition, friends had recently told me that Matthew – a colleague and friend of mine in the Jerusalem tax office -had quit his job just to follow this man full-time! Then, just this afternoon, a blind beggar had been completely healed!

This tree, then, was a great spot to see this healer from afar and keep a ‘low profile’ at the same time. Indeed, it was probably the safest place for a man of my short height. For one thing, people hated me. In their eyes I was a traitor and a thief and I suppose they were right. Of course, there was also the very real danger of being trampled to death by the milling and jostling crowds! No, this was the safest place; I had a front seat view!

As I thought about it, though, I wasn’t sure I would want to meet him face-to-face anyway. I’d heard that he wasn’t only a healer but a prophet who reads minds. And, to be honest, I didn’t want my mind read. I wasn’t very proud of the way I intimidated people. In Jericho everyone feared a knock on the door from Zacchaeus the tax collector! That was perhaps my way of compensating for my lack of height but then again, that hardly justified stealing!

At that moment Jesus and his entourage drew close to where I was and I could see him plainly. He wasn’t how I had imagined. He looked pretty ordinary and a bit tired. He stopped right under my tree and looked up to where I was hiding. I kept still, hoping that he wouldn’t see me. His eyes locked on to mine and he said: “Zacchaeus, come down from that tree. Id like to come to supper at your house today.

For a moment, I froze. How did he know my name? Why did he want to come to my house? As I looked at the crowd I could see a few people I knew. They certainly didn’t look very happy at my ‘good fortune’ – that’s probably because they knew who I was and how much I had cheated them in their last tax return!

After a few short moments, though, I scrambled down the tree – fortunately without breaking my neck – and stood right in front of him. I looked up at him. He was tall with a commanding presence and piercing dark eyes. I felt a little intimidated – it’s as if I knew that he knew everything I’d ever done, everyone I had cheated. He didn’t look angry though and I didn’t feel any condemnation. No, strangely, I only felt acceptance and love.

short storyAt that moment, I heard the murmuring of a few more disapproving voices around me saying: “Hes going to have supper with this sinner!” Quickly, I came to me senses. I knew what I must do. I said: “Lord, I give half my goods to the poor and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation I will restore him four times over!” Around me there were a few shocked intakes of breath but a grin crossed the face of Jesus. He said: “This day salvation has come to this house. This man is a son of Abraham.

What a supper we had that day! I wish it could have gone on forever. Half of Jericho was there, along with a few making sure I kept my promises, of course! I was happy though. A burden of guilt had lifted off my life. I felt free. Like the former blind beggar who was now sitting at the top table next to Jesus, I had been blind but now I could see!

Extract by Paul Noble (c) 2015 from Kindle book Christ the End of Law

Further reading:

Above the Law

The woman with the flux of blood

God is not counting sins!

Holiness

Legalism

Awake to righteousness

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

 

1,019 total views, no views today