Safeguarding the truth

I sometimes look at the content of my blog and wonder if there is enough variety to keep readers interested. This comes from a human mindset that always wants to hear new things and constantly be entertained. In itself it is not a bad mindset to have – but in terms of Christianity it can lead to many churches straying away from the core focus which is Jesus. He is, and should always be, the center of the Gospel.

Paul also wrote about the same topic in Phillipians 3:

“For the rest, my brethren, delight yourselves in the Lord and continue to rejoice that you are in Him. To keep writing to you [over and over] of the same things is not irksome to me, and it is [a precaution] for your safety.” Phillipians 3:1

By repeating the truth over and over again, Paul wanted to protect their newfound safety in Christ. They were surrounded by lawful voices telling them to do various things in order to establish righteousness. He repeated over and over again that Jesus is the only source of their righteousness, and the only way to salvation.

Just like Paul, I will repeat these truths in order to protect my own spiritual safety and that of all the readers.

Stay safe in the singular focus of the Gospel which is Jesus. Stay safe in the knowledge that faith in Him is the only way to attain righteousness. Stay safe in the knowledge that none of your own works can save you. Stay safe in the knowledge that God does not condemn you, and that He loves you without condition.

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Nothing is hidden

As humans we would feel very vurnerable if every man on street could read our minds. Imagine if every person you came into contact with knew everything about you – your personality, your dreams and secrets? With God, no fear is necessary.

“O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. You know my downsitting and my uprising; You understand my thought afar off. You sift and search out my path and my lying down, and You are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue [still unuttered], but, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” Ps 139:1-4

God knows every single detail about you. He knows every thought, every worry, every aspiration – every hair on your head is counted. With God we should never feel exposed or vurnerable. Once you are born again, He immediately qualifies and accepts you as righteous, regardless of how ashamed you still are about your life or what He knows about you. He reached out to save you while you were in your worst condition – why would He cast you out now because you don’t think you are holy enough?

Share every single aspect of your life with God – even the parts you don’t feel proud of. Know that there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ (Rom 8:1), and that you are free to BOLDLY approach the throne of grace!

God has done what the law could not do

“Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus … For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], so that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us…” Rom 8:1-4

Romans 8 gives us irrefutable proof that justification does NOT come through the law. It clearly says there is something which the law cannot do – namely the abolishing and overcoming of sin. God, on the other hand, was able to accomplish this. He sent His son as an offering for sin, and in this way met every righteous and just requirement of the Law. In other words – there is nothing of the law that is left for us to complete. Every single requirement was met through Jesus’ sacrifice.

In other words, if we now believe in this sacrifice we are completely set free and justified. That is why there is now no more condemnation for us. No one can point a finger at us and tell us we are not righteous or acceptable before God. We can approach Him boldly and without fear. We have been forever freed from the law of sin and death (a strict list of rules which had to be followed in order to not experience wrath and condemnation) to walk in a law of the Spirit of life (which is Jesus and the life in abundance we now have in Him).

A new era

In the previous post I spoke about how hearing the true message of our salvation over and over again will change us from the inside out. A message that goes hand in hand with our true salvation is the message of grace. Jesus came to change a whole lot of things – one of which is the complete fulfillment of the law’s demands.

“For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgement and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this salvation is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.] Eph 2:8

How can anyone possible argue with this verse? How can any church still preach a message of striving or effort in order to please God? Before Jesus came to change everything, only the Jews who were part of God’s covenant could approach Him (and then only through keeping up with the law’s demands). After Jesus, all of the world (called ‘Gentiles’) previous excluded from this covenant could now approach God through faith.

“[Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God’s agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God. But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ you have been brought near…By abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law and its decrees and ordinances [which He annulled];” Eph 2:12-13, 15

It is very clear that in this new era no preference is given to any person, nation or church who upholds the law. The only deciding factor when it comes to salvation and a clear conscience before God is whether you have faith in His Son.

A reminder…

What I love about true Christianity is the simplicity of the message. Jesus encourages us to become more like children in Matthew 18. I don’t know if you’ve seen this – but little children can watch their favourite movie 200 times in a row without getting bored. This should become our mentality regarding the truth about the cross and salvation of Christ. If we understand the greatness of Jesus’ salvation, we will never tire of hearing about it!

Today, many preachers preach messages filled with deep and complicated revelations and theological discussions. Although there is nothing wrong with revelation – the message of Christ should never be neglected. It is not a message that should only be preached one time. It cannot be heard too many times. It is through hearing the truth over and over again, that we will become saved and changed into the image of Christ.

So I want to remind you about the basics again:

I can go on, but first I just want to really let the above mentioned facts sink in… :-)

Looking at the Bible

There are different ways of reading your Bible – and each will bring forth different results. One way will lead to an overcoming life filled with the glory and life of God; the other will lead to a life of condemnation and eventual spiritual death.

When we read our Bible we should look at it and see what Jesus has ALREADY accomplished. Every verse is subject to God’s ultimate showcase of His glory – Jesus’ death and resurrection, which leads to a life of reconciliation, freedom, acceptance and supernatural provision. For most of my life I used to read the Bible from a self-accusing mindset. This lead to condemnation and depression – not a life that is glorifying to God.

“And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.” 2 Cor 3:18

As we behold God’s word as a mirror of His glory – i.e. to behold God and see the perfecting work of His Son on the cross (already accomplished) – we will be transformed. Look away from all that will distract (self-accusing thoughts and your own efforts to measure up) unto Jesus. This will truly change your life – from the inside out (effortlessly).

Don’t forget who you are (1)

Many Christians walk through life not knowing who they are. Most of the time they feel condemned, useless and devoid of power. God wants you to know who you are. First and foremost – if you believe in Jesus – you are a son/daughter of God (for all intents and purposes ‘son’, in this context, refers to both male and female genders).

“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.” Gal 3:26

“And because you [really] are [His] sons, God has sent the [Holy] Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba (Father)! Father! Therefore, you are no longer a slave (bond servant) but a son; and if a son, then [it follows that you are] an heir by the aid of God, through Christ.” Gal 4:6-7

You don’t have to fear God’s wrath like a slave does – you can approach Him knowing how much love He has for His children.  Your mindset should also move away from religious service (like a slave) to a loving relationship (like a son).  When in doubt, always refer back to the natural examples God gave us.  An earthly father will not love you more if you scrub his floors all day and look to the ground when you speak to him. God is no different – He is content and delighted if you tell Him how much you love Him and spend time with Him.