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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5 Minute Friday: Identity

I recently came across a lovely inspiring blog – The Gypsy Mama. Lisa Joe’s words have been tremendously encouraging to me, especially as a new mom in a new world. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is Identity, so here is my 5 unedited minutes:

IDENTITY:

Go:

My identity is not determined by my performance. I am a child of God – this does not change if my actions are not perfect. He died for me on the cross in order to make me righteous – this does not change if I don’t live holy enough. Through His death my old nature has been buried and I am now a new creation – alive in Him.

This means that my old nature does not exist any more. It has been buried. Covered completely by His blood. It cannot be dug up or brought into remembrance by anyone. Never think God will remind you of your past – it simply does not exist the moment you believe in the sacrifice of Jesus. I am brand new. Every second of every day is a fresh start – in His eyes I am righteous, holy and blameless.

Your true identity can only be found in Him. You are hidden with Christ in God. You will never be truly satisfied in the world without Him, and no matter how hard you search – your identity can never be found apart from Him. When you believe, you are forever ingrained in Him. A part of His divine nature. Once again – a new creation. If you spend your time caught up in His embrace you will experience live in abundance. Your identity will come forth naturally as you live and breathe in His presence. It cannot be made up, it cannot be changed, it cannot be faked. You are born of incorruptible seed.

Stop.

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!

Approaching God

In a previous post I wrote about how I used to be fearful when approaching God. I used to think He was angry at me, waiting for an opportunity to punish me.  This was before I came to know the goodness and kindness of His character, and before I understood how righteous I was made through the sacrifice of Jesus.

If you understand and have faith in how complete the price was that Jesus paid on the cross, you are blameless before God. Now you don’t have to shy away from Him in fear and run away from His presence – you can boldly approach Him with confidence in your salvation. There are numerous verses to back this up:

“In Whom, because of our faith in Him (Jesus), we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).” Eph 3:12

“The wicked flee when no man pursues them, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous are bold as a lion.” Prov 28:1

Remember that the last verse does not refer to a righteousness earned through good works and a perfect life – it is a righteousness given as a gift when we become born again (Rom 3:22).  The only thing that can now separate us from God is self-condemnation in our own hearts:

“And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God…” 1 John 3:21

God does not condemn you – it is your own heart. Luckily – He is greater than our hearts! Through Jesus we can approach Him confidently, boldly and with a perfectly clear conscience. All that remains for us is to get to know Him and live in a relationship with Him.

A permanent mediator

It feels great when someone stands up for you and vouches for you. You feel valued, safe and protected. Jesus becomes our permanent mediator by continually showing how He has completely and permanently cleansed and perfected us.

“But if anyone should sin, we have an Advocate (One Who will intercede for us) with the Father–[it is] Jesus Christ [the all] righteous [upright, just, Who conforms to the Father’s will in every purpose, thought, and action].” 1 John 2:1

His intersession and salvation lasts forever – it does not diminish if you don’t live holy enough. It continues regardless of your actions, so that all glory can go to God through Jesus Christ.

“But He holds His priesthood unchangeably, because He lives on forever. Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them.” Heb 7:25-26

This is why we can boldly approach the throne of God, because we know about our righteousness in Jesus. It is not a righteousness ascribed to our own works, but a righteousness built entirely on belief in the sacrifice of Jesus. Now we are innocent. We cannot be accused anymore, and no-one can judge us.

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?] Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?” Rom 8:33-34

We have a permanent advocate on our side. Every time someone accuses us before God (even if we accuse ourselves) the verdict will be: “Not guilty!”. Praise God!

Where does sickness come from?

I used to think sickness came from God.  Whenever I got a cold, or some kind of sickness, I would wonder what I did wrong to deserve it.  There are many twisted theories on the origin of sickness – and most of them lead you into self condemnation.  You might believe if you are not holy enough, you are punished – and sickness is one of the ways God punishes people.  This is such a load of rubbish!  The Bible clearly explains where sickness comes from – and we should never associate it with God.

“Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because all men sinned.” Rom 5:12

This verse clearly states that the origin of sickness (death) is sin. Adam put all of mankind under a curse through his disobedience, and no one was able to escape the dreaded spread of sickness (death). Luckily God had a plan – Jesus turned the whole scenario around. Through the complete sacrifice of His Son, God brought life back to mankind. We are not under the curse anymore!

“Well then, as one man’s trespass [one man’s false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man’s act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men.” Rom 5:18

To sum up – the origin of sickness is not God, but sin. The good news is we have been redeemed from this curse through one Man’s act of righteousness, which leads to life (the opposite of sickness and death) for all men. Also read God’s Gift to us (Part 2).

How God sees you

It is not noble to think of yourself as a wretched, miserable sinner. Realizing this once is enough, until you hear the fantastic news that Jesus died for all your sins. Then, after this realization, you need to understand that your new position is one of righteousness. You are now pure, blameless and holy.

Becoming born again transfers you from darkness to light (Col 1:13), into a whole new dimension. In this dimension God sees you as He sees Christ, because of the amazing sacrifice He became. Can Christ be sinful, unholy or wretched?  No! Remember that the one sacrifice was enough, you are now forever cleansed!

Walk in this mindset, and your life will change effortlessly.  It will change from the inside out, not the other way around. It will come naturally.

“[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,” Col 1:13

“Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father’s] presence.” Col 1:22